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Old 17th March 2013, 11:08 PM   #1931
dewardh is offline dewardh  United States
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Originally Posted by Soundtrackmixer View Post
IMO stereo as a medium can present a " they are here" perspective pretty darn well, but fails with the "you are there" pretty miserably.
That's where those front wall reflections can help. They can "fill in the gaps" . . . perhaps not as well as multiple channels, but better than just two boxes.
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Old 17th March 2013, 11:11 PM   #1932
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However, with a good setup, stereo can do amazing things. In some ways even more amazing than multi-track. I know, I've heard it done many times. It can be tough to do in small rooms, but that's a room limitation, not a stereo limitation. Anyone who says it doesn't work, just hasn't heard it done well, period. Classic stereo is capable of amazing realism. And that's a good thing, as so many millions of recordings were published in 2 track.


Here is the problem with your comment. Multitrack is a way to an end not the end, and stereo or multichannel is that end. The average listener has never heard the individual tracks on a multitrack recorder, and quite frankly it is not very useful in this form. Multitrack is a capture system, not a playback system. I think your comment here is apples and oranges.

I am not sure my dislike of stereo has anything to do with realism. Getting the performer in the room in stereo is a very obtainable goal. My problem with stereo is the spatial distortion it introduces, and the over reliance of phantom imaging which breaks down with even small head movements. One of the most unsettling things to me as a person who goes to the symphony 10-15 times a year is having the handclaps from a two channel recording happening in back of my speakers. That is not natural at all. Or listening to the recorded ambience coming from behind my speakers, instead of to the sides and rear of the room - which is natural. This failure, no matter how good the recording is always snaps me out of focus because it is a gross spatial error that fails my "realism" test. Stereo will naver be spatially natural or accurate, it is too limited to a frontal perspective to do so.

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Old 17th March 2013, 11:16 PM   #1933
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That's where those front wall reflections can help. They can "fill in the gaps" . . . perhaps not as well as multiple channels, but better than just two boxes.
That front wall is not actual recorded information, it is simply a room reflection. I prefer a center channel with center based signals over relying on a reflection.

One is real, the other is not, and let's be frank - there is nothing like the real thing. The brain has to work far to hard with filling in the gaps than actually enjoying the music.
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Old 17th March 2013, 11:27 PM   #1934
fas42 is offline fas42  Australia
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Originally Posted by Soundtrackmixer View Post
My problem with stereo is the spatial distortion it introduces, and the over reliance of phantom imaging which breaks down with even small head movements. One of the most unsettling things to me as a person who goes to the symphony 10-15 times a year is having the handclaps from a two channel recording happening in back of my speakers. That is not natural at all. Or listening to the recorded ambience coming from behind my speakers, instead of to the sides and rear of the room - which is natural.
Imaging breaking down with head movements says to me that the system is not working well enough -- the soundscape is capable of being made rock solid as you move around the room.

Likewise with handclaps ... this can be quite "shocking" in its impact on some recordings.

I tend to run my system at high SPLs, the sound subjectively completely fills the room, or "pressurises" it is a term I've seen being used a bit -- feels very natural to me ...

Frank
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Old 17th March 2013, 11:45 PM   #1935
gedlee is offline gedlee  United States
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Originally Posted by Soundtrackmixer View Post
IMO stereo as a medium can present a " they are here" perspective pretty darn well, but fails with the "you are there" pretty miserably.
Precisely my opinion as well.
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Old 17th March 2013, 11:50 PM   #1936
dewardh is offline dewardh  United States
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Originally Posted by Soundtrackmixer View Post
That front wall is not actual recorded information, it is simply a room reflection.
It is a "room reflection" of "actual recorded information" . . . and there are circumstances where it simply sounds better that way.

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Originally Posted by Soundtrackmixer View Post
I prefer a center channel with center based signals over relying on a reflection.
If you can capture a "clean" center . . . and figure out a way to deliver and present it. It may be "easy" for movies, maybe not so much for capturing an orchestra in a hall.

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One is real, the other is not, and let's be frank - there is nothing like the real thing.
I think "frank" would be that neither is "real" (center speaker or "reflections") . . . and we try to get the most believable illusion that we can with the recordings that we've got.

You're right about "applause" sounding wrong, too "front loaded", but that's because in the hall the audience is around and behind you. The orchestra is not. I don't go to concerts or listen to recordings for the sounds of the audience (including their much-appreciated applause gesture) . . . and think that investing a couple more channels in getting that "effect" right is . . . well . . . unnecessary . . .
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Old 18th March 2013, 12:31 AM   #1937
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It is a "room reflection" of "actual recorded information" . . . and there are circumstances where it simply sounds better that way.
I am sorry, unless you love silly compromises, I cannot think of any ideal(or not) situation where a reflection is better than a actual channel of information.


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If you can capture a "clean" center . . . and figure out a way to deliver and present it. It may be "easy" for movies, maybe not so much for capturing an orchestra in a hall.
Nonsense. You obviously have never heard of(or heard) multichannel audio. If you had, I am sure you would not have ever made this comment. The delivery system has been there since DVD-A and SACD entered the market. Bluray disc has taken over now, and the two other formats are essentially dead.

I have done over 450 orchestra recordings in my career(for archival purposes), and I always use the center channel for ANYTHING located in the center of the orchestra. All you need is a center channel that is identical to the left/right mains, and well calibrated to them. If you don't think this is possible, I will steer you towards the Lucern Festival Orchestra's Mahler series on Bluray. It is a superb example of center channel integration, and how it can make the frontal soundstage larger and much more precise than in stereo.


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I think "frank" would be that neither is "real" (center speaker or "reflections") . . . and we try to get the most believable illusion that we can with the recordings that we've got.
This is not going to work on me at all. Signals picked up by a microphone(lets say the center microphone of a decca tree set up) is a "real signal. That microphone picked up a real group of instruments, and can transfer it to a real speaker. Your room reflections are not apart of the microphone pickup, it is a manufactured process as a result of room reflections. That is not real. Any logical thinker knows the difference.

Quote:
You're right about "applause" sounding wrong, too "front loaded", but that's because in the hall the audience is around and behind you. The orchestra is not. I don't go to concerts or listen to recordings for the sounds of the audience (including their much-appreciated applause gesture) . . . and think that investing a couple more channels in getting that "effect" right is . . . well . . . unnecessary . . .
I hate to tell you this, but the audience is an integral part of the live experience, and when microphones caputure it, it is now apart of the playback experience as well. Trying to seperate the two as you are attempting to do, is like taking a single slice of bread, cracking it into two pieces, and telling me this is two whole slices of bread. Sorry, not buying this kind of compromise. You don't listen for the sound of any audience, it is there whether it is spatially distorted(as in stereo), or rendered spatially correctly.

You have settled for stereo reproduction, and I respect that. But trying to spin and diffuse reality does not make your point a very strong one.
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Last edited by Soundtrackmixer; 18th March 2013 at 12:42 AM.
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Old 18th March 2013, 12:42 AM   #1938
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Soundtracker,
If I remember correctly I think very early on a center channel was proposed for reproduction but was not adopted and two channel stereo is what we got. It would have appeared to be easy to do as I remember some of the first tape machines I ever saw were Ampex three track machines. It is a shame that didn't happen as the center channel would have been superior to the illusion of a center channel that we get with two discrete channels. That being the case do you know of anyone who is using multitrack recording for music that is not on a film track? Blueray would be a nice way to distribute the music as most of us already have one with a computer though it would probably be better as a stand alone device. I am not impressed by most multichannel HT amplifiers as of yet but I am sure in time some will get better than most consumer models. I imagine there must be some high end models I am not aware of as I don't do home theater at this point in time. Since you work in the industry today what is the prognosis of great multitrack recordings and playback for music?
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Old 18th March 2013, 12:48 AM   #1939
gedlee is offline gedlee  United States
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Soundtracker,
If I remember correctly I think very early on a center channel was proposed for reproduction but was not adopted and two channel stereo is what we got.
Correct, the idea of a center channel is almost as old as stereo. Its a shame that it was never adapted, but there are good ways to derive an uncorrelated center channel from LR.
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Old 18th March 2013, 01:05 AM   #1940
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Correct, the idea of a center channel is almost as old as stereo. Its a shame that it was never adapted, but there are good ways to derive an uncorrelated center channel from LR.
Yes, Havery Fletcher at Bell labs:

1940 - Harvey Fletcher and Stokowski made another stereophonic demonstration at Carnegie Hall April 9 and 10, with recorded stereo music from a three-channel system using sound on film with a frequency range of 30 to 15,000 cps and a volume range of 120 decibels. A 4th track was used as a loudness playback control track. The New York Times reported April 10 "Sound Waves 'Rock' Carnegie Hall As Enhanced Music' Is Played" and "The loudest sounds ever created crashed and echoed through venerable Carnegie Hall last night as a specially invited audience listened, spellbound, and at times not a little terrified."
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