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Stereo vs. surround

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Anonymous
January 29, 2005 1:56:57 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.high-end (More info?)

Hi:

Maybe this question was answered a lot of times in this group, but I'm
new on it.

Could someone explain me why is the surround sound better than stereo
if the human ears are just two?

i.e., is it not possible to simulate real world sound using just two
audio sources?

what additional features do the surround add to the stereo?

if there are several audio sources (5.1 in a modern surround system)
but only 2 ears, how can the human brain qualify as better the surround
audio?

best regards



eto

More about : stereo surround

Anonymous
January 29, 2005 6:51:49 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.high-end (More info?)

On 28 Jan 2005 22:56:57 GMT, oopscene@gmail.com wrote:

>Could someone explain me why is the surround sound better than stereo
>if the human ears are just two?

Because your ears let you hear sounds from all around you, not just
from two sources in the front.

>i.e., is it not possible to simulate real world sound using just two
>audio sources?

No. All real musical events are heard in the context of the acoustics
of the performing space. You cannot reproduce that space with only
two sources.

>what additional features do the surround add to the stereo?

See above.

>if there are several audio sources (5.1 in a modern surround system)
>but only 2 ears, how can the human brain qualify as better the surround
>audio?

Question makes no sense. The human brain can, using input from the
two ears, interpret the source of sound in all three dimensions
(although it is better at some than others).

Kal
Anonymous
January 29, 2005 6:54:42 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.high-end (More info?)

oopsc...@gmail.com wrote:
> Hi:
>
> Maybe this question was answered a lot of times in this group, but
I'm
> new on it.
>
> Could someone explain me why is the surround sound better than stereo
> if the human ears are just two?

Because in a real musical performance, the sound isn't just coming from
two directions; it's coming from many directions as it bounces off
walls, ceilings, floors, and audiences. By having more speakers, we can
better simulate the sound as it was in the original hall (or in the
space the recording engineer attempted to simulate). Also, having an
odd number of speakers up front is supposed to help with localization
of voices, but somebody else is going to have to explain that to you.

By the way, the reason 2-channel became dominant has nothing to do with
the fact that we have two ears. It's just that back at the dawn of
stereo, nobody had a practical way to get more than two tracks into a
record groove. It was just a technical compromise at the time. (There
were already recordings with more than two channels.)
>
> i.e., is it not possible to simulate real world sound using just two
> audio sources?

Depends on how good a simulation you want.

> what additional features do the surround add to the stereo?

A greater sense of the original ambience of the performance.

> if there are several audio sources (5.1 in a modern surround system)
> but only 2 ears, how can the human brain qualify as better the
surround
> audio?
Um, have you ever listened to a trio? How did you do it? :-)

bob
Related resources
Anonymous
January 29, 2005 6:55:50 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.high-end (More info?)

oopscene@gmail.com wrote:
> Hi:
>
> Maybe this question was answered a lot of times in this group, but I'm
> new on it.
>
> Could someone explain me why is the surround sound better than stereo
> if the human ears are just two?
>
> i.e., is it not possible to simulate real world sound using just two
> audio sources?
>
> what additional features do the surround add to the stereo?
>
> if there are several audio sources (5.1 in a modern surround system)
> but only 2 ears, how can the human brain qualify as better the surround
> audio?

Just ask yourself whether or not you can hear sounds from all around
you. If so, then surround sound is valid. Why can't that be reproduced
from only two speakers in front of you? Because stereo doesn't work by
drilling the signals from two sources into your ears. It is a field type
system in which the source directions are reproduced by the placement of
actual sources around you, with the addition of summing localization in
the region in front of you. This is all necessary because you can turn
your head in your listening room, just as in real life, plus some pinna
effects that help identify front/rear directionality.

In the concert hall, you sit in a mainly reverberant field, which cannot
be reproduced in a small listening room by only two speakers. The
surround speakers help support the omnidirectional nature of the live
reverberant field. This, plus the directional effects of movie tracks,
make surround sound much more realistic than plain stereo.

Gary Eickmeier
Anonymous
January 29, 2005 7:03:08 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.high-end (More info?)

oopscene@gmail.com wrote:
> Could someone explain me why is the surround sound better than
> stereo if the human ears are just two?

There is a white paper on that subject at:

http://www.harman.com/wp/index.jsp?articleId=120
http://www.harman.com/wp/pdf/Loudspeakers&RoomsPt1.pdf

Part One:How many loudspeakers? What kind? Where?
By Dr. Floyd E. Toole
Vice President Acoustical Engineering
Harman International Industries, Inc.

--
http://www.mat.uc.pt/~rps/

..pt is Portugal| `Whom the gods love die young'-Menander (342-292 BC)
Europe | Villeneuve 50-82, Toivonen 56-86, Senna 60-94
Anonymous
January 29, 2005 7:05:08 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.high-end (More info?)

oopscene@gmail.com wrote:
> Hi:
>
> Maybe this question was answered a lot of times in this group, but
I'm
> new on it.
>
> Could someone explain me why is the surround sound better than stereo
> if the human ears are just two?
>
> i.e., is it not possible to simulate real world sound using just two
> audio sources?
>
> what additional features do the surround add to the stereo?
>
> if there are several audio sources (5.1 in a modern surround system)
> but only 2 ears, how can the human brain qualify as better the
surround
> audio?


First, let's get one thing out of the way. Current commercially
available "surround sound" e.g., "5.1" is an EFFECTS system. It
connent and was never intended to produce realistic sound fields.
It's a special effects system designed as an adjunct to movie
playing and serves that purpose to one degree or another.

Now, consider the following experiment. Have yourself blindfolded
and placed in a room. Have a few of your friends stand around you,
say, in a circle about 20 feet across, with you at the center.
Have, one at a time, each of these friends snap their fingers.
Can you tell which direction the snapping comes from? (hint:
unless you have some defect in hearing, yes)? Can you tell the
difference between a sound coming from in front and to the left
apart form one coming from behind and to the right (hint: same
answer)?

Now, given the premise implicit in your question, this should be
impossible. But it's not only possible, it's routine and, for a
significant portion of human history, was vital to survival.
Imagine not knowing whether the growl of a hungry tiger was
in front and to the left or behind and to the right. If you
couldn't tell the difference, which way do you run?

The reason it works is by a property of hearing known as the
"head related transfer function" (or HRTF) of the ear. The
position of the ears on your head, and the shape of the
surrounding structures on your head (like the shape of the
outer ear, jair and such) alters the sound in a significant
enough fashion that it's possible for the brain to interpret
not only left-right placement of a sound source, but front-back
AND up-down.

(now, it should be noted that, despite the strident claims
of a number of people in high-end audio, this ability is
at best approximate and NOT without significant error. It
is possible to present sounds that are impossible to
localize. Also, the ear is utterly incapable of taking
advantage of parallax, like the eye can, in determining
distance: distance decoding takes place because of assumed
audio clues, such as direct/reverb ratio, intensity,
alteration in frequency balance, and such, all of which are
easily faked).

So, if you begin to accept the actual physics and physiologu behind
the process, and that human hearing is capable of sensing positions
with three degrees of freedom (left-right, front-back and up-down),
then you are starting on the procerss that lead a group of people
involved in the physiology of human hearing to reach the conclusion
over 60 years ago that two channel reproduction, i.e., stereo,
was utterly incapable of reproducing a sound field that human hearing
would interpret as being a realistic replica of what was heard, say
in an actual live-music venue.

(again, you are likely to hear contrary opinions to this here,
however, they are stated by people who are either unware of
this research, even though it has been extensively published,
people who have a vested interest in two-channel reproduction,
or people who simply have an opinion in contradiction to
established fact and want to express it nonetheless. )

In a realistic live music venue, sound is coming at you from all
directions and, depending upon the venue and where you are, those
secondary sounds, like reverberation, may be a minor or may be a
major part of what you actually hear. However, unless a means is
provided to present you in your home listening environment with
the same 3-dimensional sound field, with the right signals coming
from the correct left-right, front-back, up-down directions, OR
some other means are taken to exploit the HRTF YOU have that
enables YOU to interpret the sound field correctly, a system
cannot be expected to plausibly provide a realistic presentation
of the original sonic event. This is not to say that the resulting
deficient presentation must be inherently unsatisfyuing, it just
isn't real.

And two commonly available systems today are INCAPABLE of performing
this task: stereo and typical theater-type surround sound.
Anonymous
January 29, 2005 10:10:48 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.high-end (More info?)

First, we have to address how your question was phrased. It assumes
that one is better than the other and asks only for confirming
evidence. There is not agreement that one system is better than
another and certainly not in a general sense and not with the
limitation of only two options such as 2ch Vs 5.1ch. In other words,
to get a straightforward response, the question should be "What is
considered better, 2ch or 3 or more ch sound?" Even with that
non-directive line, there are still a lot of ways to answer the
question that could be correct or just opinions as it is a complex
problem.
You don't suggest any type of recording that is being reproduced and
that is a critical part of the equation as the recording method will
determine the playback method. One is basically the other in reverse,
although some will ague that point as well as it is obviously possible
to playback recordings on any system with some signal manipulation.
Also you don't say whether you are asking about a music event or a
movie soundtrack, which would be a more 3 dimensional experience for
instance. Now, any number greater than 1 channel can produce ambience
or spacial effect and really even one channel could do some in a
single direction (depth) with some phase manipulation.
Basically, in a 3 dimensional space, sound is not limited to any
number of channels, but rather they are infinate. That does not
necessarily mean that an infinate number of channels is the only way
to reproduce it or that it is even best, but it may give us something
to work with. In an attempt to create such a "surround" field as a 3D
space, engineers have developed multi-channel recordings and played
them back on multi-channel systems. When all else remains the same,
that does increase dynamic range and power, which in a smaller system
is limited in relation to the original event. Which brings us to
another issue; all else does not always remain the same. Other
variables that effect quality can be added to or left out of systems
and so it is easy for an excellent 2ch system to outperform a poor
5.1ch system. It does require you to face the 2ch system and have it
arranged in a way that is balanced for you body's bilateral symmetry.
In a multi-channel system, you can rotate in the field as the sound
eminates from all (or an aproximation) points around. These scenarios
however are limited by what I initially alluded to in that the stereo
system must be reproducing a true stereo recording and the
multi-channel system must be reproducing a true multi-channel
recording, both done in real time and in reals space to make it work.
Typically however, recordings are mixed so that the channels do not
always represent specific directions and the sound field is diminished
or destroyed. It is also possible to construct a soundfield that did
not actually exist by electronic manipulation of a recording. So what
do we prefer? I like to listen to my stereo recordings on my stereo
system. I also enjoy listening to soundtracks on the same stereo when
I watch movies. I do enjoy the surround sound systems that we have
here on demo at our showroom, but I don't feel a pressing need to have
that in my home for movies. I find it to be equally entertaining and
it can be more exciting for movies which are recorded in true
discrete surround, but it is disconcerting for stereo music. I also
don't bother with multi-channel music recordings as it is more of a
novelty due to the limited selections and I choose music based on its
artistic value and not on its technology. So I am not going to buy a
recording because someone says that it is recorded well in
multi-channel if I would not buy it in stereo for its musical
qualities. That may be a rather lengthy synopsis, but it is far from
complete and so full of holes, the subject being far to great to
address by a simple answer. Had you asked a single and a simple
question such as "Do you prefer stereo for general use?" I could have
simply said, "Yes".
-Bill
www.uptownaudio.com
Roanoke VA
(540) 343-1250

<oopscene@gmail.com> wrote in message
news:ctefvp011in@news4.newsguy.com...
> Hi:
>
> Maybe this question was answered a lot of times in this group, but
> I'm
> new on it.
>
> Could someone explain me why is the surround sound better than
> stereo
> if the human ears are just two?
>
> i.e., is it not possible to simulate real world sound using just two
> audio sources?
>
> what additional features do the surround add to the stereo?
>
> if there are several audio sources (5.1 in a modern surround system)
> but only 2 ears, how can the human brain qualify as better the
> surround
> audio?
>
> best regards
>
>
>
> eto
Anonymous
January 30, 2005 10:26:43 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.high-end (More info?)

<nabob33@hotmail.com> wrote in message news:ctgbk2012ra@news1.newsguy.com...
> oopsc...@gmail.com wrote:
>> Hi:
>>
>> Maybe this question was answered a lot of times in this group, but
> I'm
>> new on it.
>>
>> Could someone explain me why is the surround sound better than stereo
>> if the human ears are just two?
>
> Because in a real musical performance, the sound isn't just coming from
> two directions; it's coming from many directions as it bounces off
> walls, ceilings, floors, and audiences. By having more speakers, we can
> better simulate the sound as it was in the original hall (or in the
> space the recording engineer attempted to simulate). Also, having an
> odd number of speakers up front is supposed to help with localization
> of voices, but somebody else is going to have to explain that to you.
>
> By the way, the reason 2-channel became dominant has nothing to do with
> the fact that we have two ears. It's just that back at the dawn of
> stereo, nobody had a practical way to get more than two tracks into a
> record groove. It was just a technical compromise at the time. (There
> were already recordings with more than two channels.)
>>
>> i.e., is it not possible to simulate real world sound using just two
>> audio sources?
>
> Depends on how good a simulation you want.
>
>> what additional features do the surround add to the stereo?
>
> A greater sense of the original ambience of the performance.
>
Well just think about this one: if your 2 channel system gives problematic
sound, standing waves etc. your 5.1, 6.1 channel system may magnify your
troubles by a factor of 3. Any listening room is going to give a surround
sound of its own, on top of that provided by any recording, 2 CH (isn't that
why there are those room treatments) or MC. It may get confusing with MC,
whether it was put down on the master, rarely, or arrived at by the
engineers, what works in their set-up is more than likely not to work the
same way in yours. I like my dedicated listening room as is; having used my
Tympanis there without moving them an inch for over 13 years, it has become
as comfortable as a worn shoe and the room boundaries provide its own
surround sound. I can't see changing that set up at all. I have a MC HT room
elsewhere in my house and it's *fun* listening to it in the case of traffic,
moving aircraft, 1812s and gun blasts (all too common IMO plus damaging to
my hearing), but it has to stink for Beethoven's Ninth.
Anonymous
February 1, 2005 3:23:41 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.high-end (More info?)

Kalman Rubinson <kr4@nyu.edu> wrote:
> On 28 Jan 2005 22:56:57 GMT, oopscene@gmail.com wrote:

> >Could someone explain me why is the surround sound better than stereo
> >if the human ears are just two?

> Because your ears let you hear sounds from all around you, not just
> from two sources in the front.

> >i.e., is it not possible to simulate real world sound using just two
> >audio sources?

> No. All real musical events are heard in the context of the acoustics
> of the performing space. You cannot reproduce that space with only
> two sources.

This is key . Obviously, even in room using a two-channel system, there's
sound coming at you from all around, due to reflections. A multichannel
system allows you to better reproduce the 'surround' aspects
of a *different* room (the real one the recording was made in, or an 'unreal'
one concocted in the studio).
Anonymous
February 1, 2005 3:24:05 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.high-end (More info?)

Norman M. Schwartz <nmsz@optonline.net> wrote:
> <nabob33@hotmail.com> wrote in message news:ctgbk2012ra@news1.newsguy.com...
> >
> Well just think about this one: if your 2 channel system gives problematic
> sound, standing waves etc. your 5.1, 6.1 channel system may magnify your
> troubles by a factor of 3. Any listening room is going to give a surround
> sound of its own, on top of that provided by any recording, 2 CH (isn't that
> why there are those room treatments) or MC. It may get confusing with MC,
> whether it was put down on the master, rarely, or arrived at by the
> engineers, what works in their set-up is more than likely not to work the
> same way in yours. I like my dedicated listening room as is; having used my
> Tympanis there without moving them an inch for over 13 years, it has become
> as comfortable as a worn shoe and the room boundaries provide its own
> surround sound. I can't see changing that set up at all. I have a MC HT room
> elsewhere in my house and it's *fun* listening to it in the case of traffic,
> moving aircraft, 1812s and gun blasts (all too common IMO plus damaging to
> my hearing), but it has to stink for Beethoven's Ninth.

It might, but it certainly doesn't *have* to. The Fifth sounds mighty fine to me
in mine, for example -- the source being DG's surround remaster of the
famous Carlos Kleiber-conducted version. The 'surround' channels of this
one are for ambience.




--

-S
If you're a nut and knock on enough doors, eventually someone will open one,
look at you and say, Messiah, we have waited for your arrival.
Anonymous
February 1, 2005 3:28:43 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.high-end (More info?)

oopscene@gmail.com wrote:
> Hi:
>
> Maybe this question was answered a lot of times in this group, but I'm
> new on it.
>
> Could someone explain me why is the surround sound better than stereo
> if the human ears are just two?
>
> i.e., is it not possible to simulate real world sound using just two
> audio sources?
>
> what additional features do the surround add to the stereo?
>
> if there are several audio sources (5.1 in a modern surround system)
> but only 2 ears, how can the human brain qualify as better the surround
> audio?
>
> best regards
>
>
>
> eto
I think the concise, simplified answer to that question is that surround
sound is better at creating the 3 dimensions of sound than stereo. We
have 2 ears, and with those 2 ears we can accurately sense 3D, whether a
sound is in front, back, high or low, or left or right of us. While
both stereo and surround systems can reproduce 3 dimensional sound,
surround just does it more accurately and also gives more control to the
studio/engineers in recreating the 3D soundfield in the listening
experience.

CD
Anonymous
February 1, 2005 3:35:13 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.high-end (More info?)

oopscene@gmail.com wrote:
> Hi:
>
> Maybe this question was answered a lot of times in this group, but
I'm
> new on it.
>
> Could someone explain me why is the surround sound better than stereo
> if the human ears are just two?
>
> i.e., is it not possible to simulate real world sound using just two

This is the one question everyone has gotten wrong so far. The answer
is yes, it is *possible* in theory. Your instincts on this one are
completely right. In theory you only need one channel for each ear to
reproduce natural 3D sound. The problem is no one has *actually done
it* successfully. It would have to be some sort of binaural system done
with headphones of some sort so as to completely control the input to
each ear. While current binaural systems are quite convincing with rear
imaging, for some reason they aren't as convincing with images infront
of the listener. But the human brain only gets two signals from the
ears so in theory you are dead on. You only need two channels. The fact
that we move our heads in real life while listening is one of a few
reasons why this is not an easy thing to do in practical application.
Consider what would be involved in compensating for that.

Scott Wheeler
Anonymous
February 1, 2005 4:35:36 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.high-end (More info?)

On 1 Feb 2005 00:35:13 GMT, Theporkygeorge@aol.com wrote:

>This is the one question everyone has gotten wrong so far. The answer
>is yes, it is *possible* in theory. Your instincts on this one are
>completely right. In theory you only need one channel for each ear to
>reproduce natural 3D sound. The problem is no one has *actually done
>it* successfully. It would have to be some sort of binaural system done
>with headphones of some sort so as to completely control the input to
>each ear. While current binaural systems are quite convincing with rear
>imaging, for some reason they aren't as convincing with images infront
>of the listener. But the human brain only gets two signals from the
>ears so in theory you are dead on. You only need two channels. The fact
>that we move our heads in real life while listening is one of a few
>reasons why this is not an easy thing to do in practical application.
>Consider what would be involved in compensating for that.

Good and valid point. The issue of head movement is a very important
one as we often actively manipulate the head-related-transfer-function
when listening carefully. Nonetheless, this is a theoretically
possible alternative although less socially inclusive than
multichannel.

Kal
Anonymous
February 1, 2005 7:19:17 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.high-end (More info?)

Theporkygeorge@aol.com wrote:

> This is the one question everyone has gotten wrong so far. The answer
> is yes, it is *possible* in theory. Your instincts on this one are
> completely right. In theory you only need one channel for each ear to
> reproduce natural 3D sound. The problem is no one has *actually done
> it* successfully. It would have to be some sort of binaural system done
> with headphones of some sort so as to completely control the input to
> each ear. While current binaural systems are quite convincing with rear
> imaging, for some reason they aren't as convincing with images infront
> of the listener. But the human brain only gets two signals from the
> ears so in theory you are dead on. You only need two channels. The fact
> that we move our heads in real life while listening is one of a few
> reasons why this is not an easy thing to do in practical application.
> Consider what would be involved in compensating for that.

No, nobody "got it wrong." We are talking about field-type systems,
namely stereo and surround. There is no point in telling us that
binaural can do it with only two channels. Different subject. I said
first thing in my post that stereo doesn't work by drilling the sound
from two speakers into your ears. Please go back and re-read it.

Gary Eickmeier
February 2, 2005 3:03:48 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.high-end (More info?)

oopscene@gmail.com wrote:
> Hi:
>
> Maybe this question was answered a lot of times in this group, but I'm
> new on it.
>
> Could someone explain me why is the surround sound better than stereo?
>
> eto

It doesn’t sound better.

When you are at a venue, regardless of how many speakers are placed
around you, the end result of the sound is affected by the dynamics of
the situation: the amount of people roaring, the dimensions of the room,
the number of seats in front of you, etc. As a result, the old
designers of audio knew something that the scientific community did not
comprehend: regardless of how many tracks one has, recorded sound can
never reproduce the reality. Instead of trying to replicate the sound
through the use of infinite tracks, the mastering process of recoded
sound became such that it was primarily concerned with the purity of the
sound. That is to say, removing impairing noises from the recorded sound..

What we are concerned with is having the purest sound and not
reproducing the exact dynamics of a particular venue. When one starts
throwing in numerous tracks to reproduce the reality of the venue, they
would be making a film: that is to say, adding effects that have no
affect other than they sound powerful. if that were the practice today,
we’d be left with hollywoodish recorded audio that was full of
lackluster effects that adds absolutely nothing to the originality of
the recording.

If you want an example of which is better, check out Mondi’s “Advanced
Remote” DVD, then compare it to any of the stereo releases--it suffers
the same fate as “The (that really annoys me) Dark Side of the Moon”
SACD. The end result will be the proof: the stereo release sounds more
“real” than multichannel audio release.

In the end, it is entirely up to personal preference.

Yours truly,

Michael
Anonymous
February 2, 2005 3:05:46 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.high-end (More info?)

Gary Eickmeier wrote:
> Theporkygeorge@aol.com wrote:
>
> > This is the one question everyone has gotten wrong so far. The
answer
> > is yes, it is *possible* in theory. Your instincts on this one are
> > completely right. In theory you only need one channel for each ear
to
> > reproduce natural 3D sound. The problem is no one has *actually
done
> > it* successfully. It would have to be some sort of binaural system
done
> > with headphones of some sort so as to completely control the input
to
> > each ear. While current binaural systems are quite convincing with
rear
> > imaging, for some reason they aren't as convincing with images
infront
> > of the listener. But the human brain only gets two signals from the
> > ears so in theory you are dead on. You only need two channels. The
fact
> > that we move our heads in real life while listening is one of a few
> > reasons why this is not an easy thing to do in practical
application.
> > Consider what would be involved in compensating for that.
>
> No, nobody "got it wrong." We are talking about field-type systems,
> namely stereo and surround. There is no point in telling us that
> binaural can do it with only two channels. Different subject.

Not at all. The original question was... "Could someone explain me why
is the surround sound better th­an stereo
if the human ears are just two?" Perhaps you do not consider binaural
recordings played over headphones to be stereo. I do.


I said
> first thing in my post that stereo doesn't work by drilling the sound

> from two speakers into your ears. Please go back and re-read it.

You put that limitation on *stereo* not me, not the original poster. No
such exclusion was made in the question that he asked. The bottom line
of the question as I read it was why do we need more than two sound
sources when we have two ears? Answer is we don't really.
Scott Wheeler
Anonymous
February 2, 2005 7:32:47 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.high-end (More info?)

On 2 Feb 2005 00:03:48 GMT, Michael <newsoffthewire@comcast.net>
wrote:

>It doesn’t sound better.

That's entirely subjective but it does have the potential to be more
accurate than stereo.

>When you are at a venue, regardless of how many speakers are placed
>around you, the end result of the sound is affected by the dynamics of
>the situation: the amount of people roaring, the dimensions of the room,
>the number of seats in front of you, etc. As a result, the old
>designers of audio knew something that the scientific community did not
>comprehend: regardless of how many tracks one has, recorded sound can
>never reproduce the reality. Instead of trying to replicate the sound
>through the use of infinite tracks, the mastering process of recoded
>sound became such that it was primarily concerned with the purity of the
>sound. That is to say, removing impairing noises from the recorded sound.

You are ascribing too much to the cogitation of "the old designers of
audio" who worked with the technology they had available. With
limited technology, focussing in on clean sound and removal of noise
was wise. However, times change.

>What we are concerned with is having the purest sound and not
>reproducing the exact dynamics of a particular venue. When one starts
>throwing in numerous tracks to reproduce the reality of the venue, they
>would be making a film: that is to say, adding effects that have no
>affect other than they sound powerful. if that were the practice today,
>we’d be left with hollywoodish recorded audio that was full of
>lackluster effects that adds absolutely nothing to the originality of
>the recording.

Excuse me but that's nonsense. If you are talking only about tricks
and effects, perhaps. If you are adding additional useful and
understandable information in the form of real directional information
it helps the perception and makes it easier to hear and comprehend.

>If you want an example of which is better, check out Mondi’s “Advanced
>Remote” DVD, then compare it to any of the stereo releases--it suffers
>the same fate as “The (that really annoys me) Dark Side of the Moon”
>SACD. The end result will be the proof: the stereo release sounds more
>“real” than multichannel audio release.

Two entirely synthetic experiences with little relationship to
real-world acoustics. The differences are due to the skills of the
producers, regardless of the number of channels.

>In the end, it is entirely up to personal preference.

In some cases.

Kal
Anonymous
February 2, 2005 7:33:50 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.high-end (More info?)

The bad news in your post are the "in theory" words...

I think you added an interesting and maybe the most important thing to
consider to having real audio experience: The head movement.

A lot of replies I had, said that the more audio sources, the more
realism... they were true: I can have 50 audio sources located in
several positions in a venue, every one playing an instrument solo in a
big orchestra; the result: A "almost" real sound.

But I think we should consider the human limitations, by example: I do
not see the need for color depth greater than 24 bits, the human eye
cannot notice the smallest difference between two adjacent values; or
the 24 or 32 bits of audio resolution in digital audio.

Saludos



Ernesto





Theporkygeorge@aol.com wrote:
> oopscene@gmail.com wrote:
> > Hi:
> >
> > Maybe this question was answered a lot of times in this group, but
> I'm
> > new on it.
> >
> > Could someone explain me why is the surround sound better than
stereo
> > if the human ears are just two?
> >
> > i.e., is it not possible to simulate real world sound using just
two
>
> This is the one question everyone has gotten wrong so far. The answer
> is yes, it is *possible* in theory. Your instincts on this one are
> completely right. In theory you only need one channel for each ear to
> reproduce natural 3D sound. The problem is no one has *actually done
> it* successfully. It would have to be some sort of binaural system
done
> with headphones of some sort so as to completely control the input to
> each ear. While current binaural systems are quite convincing with
rear
> imaging, for some reason they aren't as convincing with images
infront
> of the listener. But the human brain only gets two signals from the
> ears so in theory you are dead on. You only need two channels. The
fact
> that we move our heads in real life while listening is one of a few
> reasons why this is not an easy thing to do in practical application.
> Consider what would be involved in compensating for that.
>
> Scott Wheeler
Anonymous
February 2, 2005 7:36:11 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.high-end (More info?)

Theporkygeorge@aol.com wrote:

> Not at all. The original question was... "Could someone explain me why
> is the surround sound better th­an stereo
> if the human ears are just two?" Perhaps you do not consider binaural
> recordings played over headphones to be stereo. I do.

I know it all seems to moosh together into one big sound reproduction
deal, but there are existing definitions and important distinctions that
make binaural different enough from stereophonic to put it in a
completely separate category. It was William Snow who first defined them
and put stereophonic in the field-type systems and binaural in the
head-related type systems.

The big picture is as follows: You can put all of these systems under
the umbrella of "auditory perspective." This immediately differentiates
them from mono (technically, monaural = a head-related, or headphone,
system in which one signal is sent to one or both ears, and monophonic =
the signal sent to one speaker) in their ability to give us information
about not only the sound of the instruments but also their placement on
the soundstage.

Under auditory perspective systems, you have binaural and stereophonic.
Binaural is a head-related system in which two signals are sent to the
two ears. It is recorded with a dummy head, and it hears the instruments
and the entire acoustic space in which it was placed, from the position
where it was placed. Stereophonic is a field-type system in which the
original sources are recorded with at least two mikes, but could be any
number, placed within the original sound field, usually much nearer the
instruments than a binaural recording. It is played back on loudspeakers
placed in positions similar to those of the original sources, at a
distance from the listener, in another acoustic space. The stereophonic
system can use any number of channels for greater realism and simulation
of the original space.

The principle that defines the difference between these two systems is
this: There are fundamentally two ways to reproduce an object for our
human senses. You can reproduce the input signals for the brain that a
viewer would witness if he were there in front of the object, or you can
reproduce the object itself, and let the viewer's own senses
participate. A visual analogy that is very apt is 3-D photography vs
sculpture. If you have a still life you want to reproduce, you can take
a 3-D slide of it or you can sculpt it and paint that sculpture. The 3-D
photo is taken with a camera that has two lenses placed in positions
similar to your two eyes, and then reproduced by channeling those two
images to your eyes separately. You then witness the still life just as
the camera did, from the camera's position. Note that you can't change
the perspective of what you are seeing, or move around and get different
viewpoints with the photo. This is like the binaural recording. With the
sculpture, you also have a 3-D still life, but it is viewed with your
own natural eyes from wherever you wish. The art work is placed there in
front of you, and you can walk around and get different perspectives,
and any number of people can view it at the same time. This is like the
Stereophonic system (including surround). The speakers are placed in the
room in front of you, in positions geometrically similar to the musical
instruments, and you can move around and still get that perspective, and
even move closer to the right or left side of the imaginary orchestra
(and closer and farther away in a large room). Many listeners can
participate, such as in a theater.

Stereophonic recordings should not be played binaurally, and binaural
recordings don't usually sound very good on loudspeakers. We can listen
to stereo on headphones if we don't mind the exaggerated wide
perspective and through the head sound, and we can attempt to do
binaural on loudspeakers with certain signal processing techniques, but
this shouldn't confuse the distinctions that separate the two types of
auditory perspective systems.

Gary Eickmeier
February 2, 2005 7:46:21 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.high-end (More info?)

Michael wrote:
>> Could someone explain me why is the surround sound better than
>> stereo? eto
>
> It doesn’t sound better.
>
> When you are at a venue, regardless of how many speakers are placed
> around you, the end result of the sound is affected by the dynamics of
> the situation: the amount of people roaring, the dimensions of the
> room, the number of seats in front of you, etc. As a result, the old
> designers of audio knew something that the scientific community did
> not comprehend: regardless of how many tracks one has, recorded sound
> can never reproduce the reality. Instead of trying to replicate the
> sound through the use of infinite tracks, the mastering process of
> recoded sound became such that it was primarily concerned with the
> purity of the sound. That is to say, removing impairing noises from
> the recorded sound.
> What we are concerned with is having the purest sound and not
> reproducing the exact dynamics of a particular venue. When one starts
> throwing in numerous tracks to reproduce the reality of the venue,
> they would be making a film: that is to say, adding effects that have
> no affect other than they sound powerful. if that were the practice
> today, we’d be left with hollywoodish recorded audio that was full of
> lackluster effects that adds absolutely nothing to the originality of
> the recording.
>
> If you want an example of which is better, check out Mondi’s “Advanced
> Remote” DVD, then compare it to any of the stereo releases--it suffers
> the same fate as “The (that really annoys me) Dark Side of the Moon”
> SACD. The end result will be the proof: the stereo release sounds
> more “real” than multichannel audio release.
>
> In the end, it is entirely up to personal preference.
>
> Yours truly,
>
> Michael

I agree, it doesn't sound better. It could probably sound more "3d", if the
recording were made in a proper way. Now 95% of the rcordings I have are
just 2-channel normal CDs. So whatever setting I choose(programs and delays)
on my Yamaha AV amp, it sounds only worse with the surround on. Even the
center speaker in my setup will disturb the stereo space, I listen to movies
with the "phantom" setting. A center speaker is IMHO only useful with people
on random positions not in the sweet spot.
But even then, our attention is drawn by the screen and although if we are
closer to one speaker, our brain puts the dialogues right where the actor on
the screen is.
And that is the fundamental difference. when you watch a movie, your
attention is focused on the picture, you are not even aware of the sound (if
it is done correctly).
But listening to CDs, I have my eyes closed and all my attention is focused
on the hearing. I also have the Pink Floyd SACD and prefer the 2-channel
version. The surround seems "overdone", too much effect. It is impressing in
the beginning, but then annoying, as you write.
I am sure a proper recording will sound more realistic, but that one has
still to come IMHO.
--
ciao Ban
Bordighera, Italy
Anonymous
February 2, 2005 10:06:23 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.high-end (More info?)

I've listened to mainly a 7.1 home theater setup up for the past two
years. The best DVD player I could afford also decodes DVD audio, so I
wired that up and I've bought 15 or 16 DTS and DVD audio DVDs. Most
of the time though, when I listen to music, I listen to old cds. My
reciever is a B&K 306 and I can easily switch between eight and two
speakers or any combination in between. I've found that what works,
what I like to listen to all depends on the mix. My old stereo cds
sound best with just the front two speakers. I do have some DVD audio
disks that I like to listen to but some of them are quite distracting.
I have a remix of the Grateful Dead's "Workingman's Dead" and it's
almost silly. The sound is much crisper than the original record or
cd, the separation much cleaner but perhaps because I've listen to the
two channel mix so often, I find the six channel mix to be quite
disconcerting. The instruments sound great but they are all around me.
OK, so I'm sitting on the stage with the Grateful Dead, I can get
used to that but their voices sound like they are coming from the next
room, which in my house is a bathroom. I remember yelling to my wife,
"Come here, you have to hear this, the Grateful Dead are singing in our
bathroom." Some studio multichannel recordings really do work, though,
like Alan Parson's "On Air" recorded with DTS. He's got airplanes
taking off, insturments here, instuments there and it works, it's
great. I also have some live DVDs, like the Band's "Last Waltz" and
the Eagle's "Hell Freezes Over" that work because the mix engineers
only used the surround channels for ambient sound. Those two DVDs are
wonderful, talk about being there!

So, overall, I would have to say multichannel CAN sound a lot better
than stereo but that it quite often doesn't and indeed, a lot of that
is personal preferance.
Anonymous
February 2, 2005 10:07:04 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.high-end (More info?)

In article <ctefvp011in@news4.newsguy.com>, <oopscene@gmail.com> wrote:
>Could someone explain me why is the surround sound better than stereo
>if the human ears are just two?

What you hear is the product of all the transfer functions between the
performers and you - concert hall or recording studio, microphones,
mixing/equalization, recording equipment, playback electronics, speakers,
room, and your head.

The shape of your head and ears (head related transfer function) mean
you hear different frequencies from sounds coming in different directions.
Timing between signals also determines how you hear them. To get a full
soundfield with the right frequency and time relationships you'd need to put
the recording microphones in an artificial head which created the same
frequency response differences for sounds coming from various directions.

This doesn't work with two speakers in a room because with typical
speakers in typical rooms being more than 2.5' from a speaker means
you're picking up more room reflections than direct sound including
big peaks where you hit a room resonance. You don't get anything
like the same sound from the same directions you'd get at a live
concert.

You'd also like to share the experience with friends which
furthur complicates things.

When you add more speakers you pick up more direct sound from the
right directions. Since you're no longer depending on the room to
create some semblance of the concert hall it can be relatively dead
so you get even less reverberant sound.

7 channels is definately insufficient for this purposes.

Some people have suggested that 12 plaback channels are enough (Holman,
Griesinger) for higher frequencies plus two for sub bass. David Griesinger
has said that matrix encoding these across 5 recorded channels is enough.

>i.e., is it not possible to simulate real world sound using just two
>audio sources?

Sure. You just need to record using microphones in an artificial head
and listen with headphones.

--
<a href="http://www.poohsticks.org/drew/">Home Page</a>
In 1913 the inflation adjusted (in 2003 dollars) exemption for single people
was $54,567, married couples' exemption $72,756, the next $363,783 was taxed
at 1%, and earnings over $9,094,578 were taxed at the top rate of 7%.
February 3, 2005 3:21:19 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.high-end (More info?)

>Kalman Rubinson wrote:
>
> In some cases.
>
> Kal

In all cases, it's a matter of personal preference. This very hobby,
audio, is entirely up to personal preference. The age old debate of
this sounds better or does not--just like we are doing right here--is
entirely up to personal interpretation. Regardless of what you say or
what I say, we are still going to have our personal opinions on the
subject. My explanation is limited to how I view the present situation
of stereo versus surround sound, just as yours is also confined to how
you currently view the situation.

Everybody needs different levels of proof in order to accept something
as fact--and for some people, it doesn't matter what level of proof they
receive, because it wont change their outlook. Everything in life is
subjective, friend.

Now, let’s get back to the main debate: surround versus stereo. The
designers of old most certainly did have more than stereo at their
disposal, but they chose to go with stereo for the very reasons I listed.

I say this from personal knowledge, friend, as I knew one of Sansui’s
original stereo engineers of the 1950s, Mr. Chan Moi. He disclosed to
me that at Sansui and throughout the rest of the world, they--audio
engineers--purposefully designed stereo to present the cleanest example
of the music, and not to try and attempt the “realization” of it--that
is to say, to not go with surround sound. As such, we have our current
spectrum of stereo sound. He also told me that they chose stereo,
because of the real world tests they received across entire demographics
of people and due in large part to some sort of physics equation. Now,
I am not one to use math to prove personal preferences and I’m not
claiming that Sansui invented stereo in any way, but at Sansui, it was
the backbone of their stereo audio division.

It doesn’t matter if you have two tracks or a thousand, because the
“reality” one wants to hear is how the sound was originally affected by
the dynamics of the venue.

Surround sound was purposefully missed, friend, because it’s improper
and does not accomplish what one’s reason would tell them. Those two
speakers in my bedroom function just as they would if they were part of
a concert; and my room is modulating the sound of whatever music I play,
just as the venue’s building would. The difference is not the number of
speakers or tracks that contribute to the “reality” of the sound--it’s
the physical attributes of the particular venue.

Now, in terms of movies, surround does have the leg up on stereo,
because the current crop of action-intense movies try to simulate the
viewer into the movie. For instance, it tries to recreate the cars
passing behind the viewer, the bullets speeding past the viewer’s head,
etc. In other words, with movies, the key concern is
depth--movement--and stereo has a hard time creating a surround sound,
because it only has two channels for which to represent movement--a
sound moves from one speaker to the next and vice versa, or plays on
both of the speakers.

When listening to a band live, one does not have cars passing by their
heads or planes flying overhead, so the point is moot. In a true live
concert--such as that of an orchestra--the pieces are in front of the
viewer and they will stay there for the duration of the concert. It
would be stupid to try and “spice up the recording” by throwing in
surround sound, so that the violinist was really playing behind you,
instead of playing in front of you--that would be tampering with the
originality of the venue. To drive the point further, for most
concerts--I wouldn’t dare say all of the concerts--musicians are in
three positions: in front of you, to the left of you, or to the right of
you--and that is exactly how the stereo technology functions. The
actual distance from you to the musician is also a factor, but even mono
compensates for that.

That, my dear friend, is exactly what the problem with surround sound
and music is: in all of the venues I’ve been to, I’ve never had a
musician play behind me and in front of me--they just don’t operate like
that. Now, certainly, in reality, sound is multidirectional, but so is
it when it leaves one’s speakers--meaning, speakers automatically output
“multidimensional sound”, which is then modulated through the dynamics
of a room. In a venue, what one is really hearing is how the room and
its attributes are modulating the sound. This “exact modulation” can
never be reproduced, regardless of how many tracks or speakers on uses,
because on would need the exact physical characteristics of the room to
reproduce such a sound.

Back to my “true original point”, instead of stereo being concerned with
representing the physical attributes of a room--which is truly
impossible--its main concern is with representing the purest recorded
sound possible--stereo is technology that is concerned with the best
possible quality. Stereo tries to remove all of the impairing sounds
from a recording, and in doing so, it presents the “cleanest and purest”
version of the recorded sound. I dare anyone to try and make a better
sounding surround sound recording than its stereo counterpart.

You may love surround sound, and if so, my hat is off to you. The
problem with this is--and I’m not saying this problem applies to your
specific opinion--is that more often than not, people do not truly
understand what a medium is trying to do and why it is trying to do
it--and yes, I consider stereo to be a true medium, and not just some
technology. Instead of understanding why it was done in a certain way,
most people like to disregard it, and toss the “old technology” aside.

In the case of stereo versus surround, I think the main thing that is
hurting stereo is the lack of high fidelity interests throughout the
world, which has forced the corporations to move onto the “next thing”.
I do believe that the music industry is not so stupid to jump ship
with them. At present, in the entertainment industry, music and movies
tend to operate on separate hemispheres, so hopefully the division bell
will last a lot longer: stereo will remain supreme, which is how things
are and should remain.

Yours truly,

Michael
Anonymous
February 4, 2005 3:47:31 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.high-end (More info?)

Michael <newsoffthewire@comcast.net> wrote:
> >Kalman Rubinson wrote:
> >
> > In some cases.
> >
> > Kal

> In all cases, it's a matter of personal preference. This very hobby,
> audio, is entirely up to personal preference. The age old debate of
> this sounds better or does not--just like we are doing right here--is
> entirely up to personal interpretation. Regardless of what you say or
> what I say, we are still going to have our personal opinions on the
> subject. My explanation is limited to how I view the present situation
> of stereo versus surround sound, just as yours is also confined to how
> you currently view the situation.

> Everybody needs different levels of proof in order to accept something
> as fact--and for some people, it doesn't matter what level of proof they
> receive, because it wont change their outlook. Everything in life is
> subjective, friend.


2 + 2 may or may not = 4, you know. Ohm's law? Subjective, my friend,
merely subjective. Heliocentrc solar system? Well, some believe so, but
who's to say?


"Everything in life is subjective." Except that, I guess.
Anonymous
February 4, 2005 3:47:53 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.high-end (More info?)

In article <ctrqpv0cf3@news1.newsguy.com>,
Michael <newsoffthewire@comcast.net> writes:
>
> I say this from personal knowledge, friend, as I knew one of Sansui’s
> original stereo engineers of the 1950s, Mr. Chan Moi. He disclosed to
> me that at Sansui and throughout the rest of the world, they--audio
> engineers--purposefully designed stereo to present the cleanest example
> of the music, and not to try and attempt the “realization” of it--that
> is to say, to not go with surround sound. As such, we have our current
> spectrum of stereo sound. He also told me that they chose stereo,
> because of the real world tests they received across entire demographics
> of people and due in large part to some sort of physics equation. Now,
> I am not one to use math to prove personal preferences and I’m not
> claiming that Sansui invented stereo in any way, but at Sansui, it was
> the backbone of their stereo audio division.

Then would you please explain why my father's circa 1966 Sansui solid
state receiver had a built in center channel decoder? If I remember
correctly the owner's manual even described how a much better sound
experience could be had by connecting a mono amp and speaker to the
center channel line level output.

I would also think that the main reason for just 2 channels is that
the main audio reproduction system was LPs and that putting more than
2 channels on an LP was a difficult undertaking in the 1950s.
Anonymous
February 4, 2005 3:51:11 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.high-end (More info?)

"Aldo Pignotti" aldopignotti@yahoo.com wrote:

>I've listened to mainly a 7.1 home theater setup up for the past two
>years. The best DVD player I could afford also decodes DVD audio, so I
>wired that up and I've bought 15 or 16 DTS and DVD audio DVDs. Most
>of the time though, when I listen to music, I listen to old cds. My
>reciever is a B&K 306 and I can easily switch between eight and two
>speakers or any combination in between. I've found that what works,
>what I like to listen to all depends on the mix. My old stereo cds
>sound best with just the front two speakers.

In the beginning of the 90s I heard a convincing demonstration of broadcast
surround sound (then the Shure Brothers analog surround process was used to
broadcast Chicago Cubs games with a matrixed surround) reproduced by the
Lexicon CP3 system. It was so convincing, crowd sound around me and not
clustered around the front speakers, and the Lexicon 2 to multichannel upmix
was so good that I was never able to go back to 2-channel playback even with
2-channel sources.

IOW the Lexicon CP3 did such a good job of synthesizing surround sound (putting
you in a real environment) it was a revelation. Even today I never listen to
'stereo' in 2-channel for enjoyment, although I do have to use 2-channel
sources reproduced in 2 channel format for some evaluative work.

I do have some DVD audio
>disks that I like to listen to but some of them are quite distracting.

This, of course, is true. For some reason re-mixers seem intent at putting you
'in the band' instead of 'taking you to the concert.'

>I have a remix of the Grateful Dead's "Workingman's Dead" and it's
>almost silly. The sound is much crisper than the original record or
>cd, the separation much cleaner but perhaps because I've listen to the
>two channel mix so often, I find the six channel mix to be quite
>disconcerting. The instruments sound great but they are all around me.
>OK, so I'm sitting on the stage with the Grateful Dead, I can get
>used to that but their voices sound like they are coming from the next
>room, which in my house is a bathroom. I remember yelling to my wife,
>"Come here, you have to hear this, the Grateful Dead are singing in our
>bathroom." Some studio multichannel recordings really do work, though,
>like Alan Parson's "On Air" recorded with DTS. He's got airplanes
>taking off, insturments here, instuments there and it works, it's
>great. I also have some live DVDs, like the Band's "Last Waltz" and
>the Eagle's "Hell Freezes Over" that work because the mix engineers
>only used the surround channels for ambient sound.

Actually I found "The Last Waltz" extremely disappointing. I owned this
performance on Laser Disc and the Lexicon Music Surround format made the movie
come alive. Without the video the DVD-A of the sound only just made it clear
that the original sound just wasn't very good.

Those two DVDs are
>wonderful, talk about being there!

"The Last Waltz" DVD-A didn't take me there. And that's another thing I don't
like about many multichannel (you know that the de-facto multichannel format
always has been Dolby Digital) video performances is the frenetic camera work.
It is true that the image of the concert space, the high ceilings, the pillars,
the apparent distance, the windows, etc) makes for a better representation of
being at the concert (seeing the space helps), the un-real camera work with way
too many close-ups, and camera angles that no attendee could ever see is often
more distraction than anything else.

>
>So, overall, I would have to say multichannel CAN sound a lot better
>than stereo but that it quite often doesn't and indeed, a lot of that
>is personal preferance.

I'll agree. But to me it's largely a function of production that many of my
2-channel sources played back with Music Surround or Music Logic 7 are more
realistic in the sense of taking me to the concert than many SACD or DVD-A
releases.
Anonymous
February 4, 2005 3:53:32 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.high-end (More info?)

On 3 Feb 2005 00:21:19 GMT, Michael <newsoffthewire@comcast.net>
wrote:

>In all cases, it's a matter of personal preference.

Enjoyment certainly is. More than that I will not grant.

>Now, let’s get back to the main debate: surround versus stereo. The
>designers of old most certainly did have more than stereo at their
>disposal, but they chose to go with stereo for the very reasons I listed.

Again, not economically feasible in a mass-distributed medium until
recently.

>snip>

>Surround sound was purposefully missed, friend, because it’s improper
>and does not accomplish what one’s reason would tell them. Those two
>speakers in my bedroom function just as they would if they were part of
>a concert; and my room is modulating the sound of whatever music I play,
>just as the venue’s building would. The difference is not the number of
>speakers or tracks that contribute to the “reality” of the sound--it’s
>the physical attributes of the particular venue.

Here is the nub of the issue. Your room does not "modulate" or
otherwise influence the music in any way as the original venue would
simply because they are entirely different in physical and acoustic
parameters. Now, if you want to listen to anechoic recordings and say
that playing them makes it seem as if the musicians are in your room,
that is a logically valid approach. But, if you want to hear the
musicians as they sounded in the original venue, then you must convey
the acoustics of the original venue.

>Now, in terms of movies, surround does have the leg up on stereo,
>because the current crop of action-intense movies try to simulate the
>viewer into the movie. For instance, it tries to recreate the cars
>passing behind the viewer, the bullets speeding past the viewer’s head,
>etc. In other words, with movies, the key concern is
>depth--movement--and stereo has a hard time creating a surround sound,
>because it only has two channels for which to represent movement--a
>sound moves from one speaker to the next and vice versa, or plays on
>both of the speakers.

Well, how true!

>snip>

>That, my dear friend, is exactly what the problem with surround sound
>and music is: in all of the venues I’ve been to, I’ve never had a
>musician play behind me and in front of me--they just don’t operate like
>that. Now, certainly, in reality, sound is multidirectional, but so is
>it when it leaves one’s speakers--meaning, speakers automatically output
>“multidimensional sound”, which is then modulated through the dynamics
>of a room.

Vide supra.

> In a venue, what one is really hearing is how the room and
>its attributes are modulating the sound. This “exact modulation” can
>never be reproduced, regardless of how many tracks or speakers on uses,
>because on would need the exact physical characteristics of the room to
>reproduce such a sound.

This has, in fact, been achieved quite successfully, if not yet
consistently, despite your denials.

>Back to my “true original point”, instead of stereo being concerned with
>representing the physical attributes of a room--which is truly
>impossible--its main concern is with representing the purest recorded
>sound possible--stereo is technology that is concerned with the best
>possible quality. Stereo tries to remove all of the impairing sounds
>from a recording, and in doing so, it presents the “cleanest and purest”
>version of the recorded sound. I dare anyone to try and make a better
>sounding surround sound recording than its stereo counterpart.

Again, this has been done. There's no reason that any of the 5-6
channels need be in any way inferior in any quality to what is
contained on the 2 channels of stereo.

>You may love surround sound, and if so, my hat is off to you.

I love good sound and the better it is, the more I love it. Just as
stereo adds a dimension of the real event not conveyed by mono
recordings, so, too, does multichannel further convey added
dimensions. I do not care for the term "surround" since it includes
various and sundry synthetic processes.

>snip>

>In the case of stereo versus surround, I think the main thing that is
>hurting stereo is the lack of high fidelity interests throughout the
>world, which has forced the corporations to move onto the “next thing”.
> I do believe that the music industry is not so stupid to jump ship
>with them.

The incoherence of the music industry is apparent. They will do
whatever they see as profitable and high quality recordings, of any
format, will always take a backseat to that.

>At present, in the entertainment industry, music and movies
>tend to operate on separate hemispheres, so hopefully the division bell
>will last a lot longer: stereo will remain supreme, which is how things
>are and should remain.

I doubt that the separation exists any longer given the mergers of all
the major providers. Nonetheless, stereo will survive primarily
because the mass market really has no concern for quality and would
rather listen to compressed MP3s via cheap earbuds. Those of us who
care about the quality of music reproduction, regardless of the number
of channels, occupy an increasingly small niche.

Kal
Anonymous
February 4, 2005 3:55:57 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.high-end (More info?)

Michael wrote:
>>
> When listening to a band live, one does not have cars passing by
their
> heads or planes flying overhead, so the point is moot. In a true
live
> concert--such as that of an orchestra--the pieces are in front of the

> viewer and they will stay there for the duration of the concert. It
> would be stupid to try and "spice up the recording" by throwing
in
> surround sound, so that the violinist was really playing behind you,
> instead of playing in front of you--that would be tampering with the
> originality of the venue. To drive the point further, for most
> concerts--I wouldn't dare say all of the concerts--musicians are in

> three positions: in front of you, to the left of you, or to the right
of
> you--and that is exactly how the stereo technology functions. The
> actual distance from you to the musician is also a factor, but even
mono
> compensates for that.
>

I was thoroughly turned off by the quad experiment in the 70s, but
after being an anti multi channel, two channel guy, I now believe the
time for multi-channel has arrived. Not that it will be a financial
success for the industry (high end surround will probably never reach
the masses, especially since two channel high end never did), but
instead I believe that the technology is in place to make surround work
and more importantly that that labels and sound engineers are better
trained or experienced to harness and make the technology work to bring
a significant improvement over two channel sound. If it only rises to a
level of being only a niche market, but hangs around a while, so be it.
If the technology works and enough good music is recorded in the
format, I want in.

Using primarily Telarc two channel classical recordings as a
reference, I found multi-channel to be very pleasingly like an ideal
extension of two-channel; like vastly improved two channel. In most of
the recordings I have listened to, the soundstage was wider, deeper,
and taller, without any hint (in most cases) that you were listening to
more than two speakers. In fact, it is more like listening to no
speakers at all. That's right, good multi-channel is more like
"no-channel", when compared to even an excellent two-channel
presentation. Done correctly, it can be that seamless. In other words,
multi-channel done correctly sounds like what stereo has been futilely
trying to accomplish all these years, but has been only partly able to
achieve. This is why when an audiophile states, "I don't like
multi-channel", I conclude that they have never experienced the
technology correctly implemented. If you like good two-channel, you
will *love* good multi-channel.

I am tempted to call it "small-hall realism". I am reluctant to say
that because that type of comparison is bandied about all the time. I
remember my father showing me of a review of the old AR1 from the 50s
or early 60s. The reviewer made a similar "small hall realism"
comparison when talking about the AR1. Have you ever heard the AR1?
Well, I have not. But I heard the more advanced AR3a and in my mind
they could *never* simulate "small-hall realism".

Ask yourself the question, is recorded two-channel as close to a live
experience than is possible? If you believe that to be the case, then
yes multi-channel is a silly idea. But if you believe like I do that
there still remains a serious gap between recorded and live music then
multi-channel, I believe, is a requisite. My personal experience is
that the best two-channel falls far short of the best multi-channel
that I have auditioned.

Again, I have found that the best multi-channel I have heard sounds
like great two-channel, only far far better. A good two-channel system,
will rarely tip itself off that it is, in fact, two channels. The same
holds for good multi-channel (software and hardware). Which is why I
have opined that if you prefer two channels that you will prefer good
multi-channel even more. It sounds like better two-channel that you
have experienced not like "multi-channel" or "surround". To put it
another way, if you listen to an optimally recorded two-channel
recording through two good speakers in a good room, and then listen to
that same recording that was also optimally recorded in multi-channel,
through 5 speakers (same model as the stereo speakers) I cannot fathom
why most audiophiles or music lovers would prefer the two-channel
version. This goes beyond taste or what one is "use to" because the
multi-channel version will sound very much like the two-channel, except
that it will sound less like a recording and more like a live
performance!

I do believe that when we are talking about previously recorded
two-channel music, it can be a slippery slope to start turning them
into multi-channel recordings. Although keep in mind that hundreds of
major releases (so I understand) of MC recordings were made during the
70s and 80s that we enjoyed as two channel releases but never saw the
light of day as multi-channel. These recordings done in multi-channel
presumably would be more in keeping with "the remixing/reinterpretation
of the original material". In fact, in those circumstances, we may have
*never* heard these recordings as they were intended, such as, perhaps,
the Isley Brothers "3+3" until multi-channel rode to the rescue or the
RCA Living Stereo three-channel recordings. This addresses the argument
often cited that multi-channel goes against the "original intent"
of the artists and engineers. This is not neccesarily true for hundreds
of old recordings. Likewise, a rapidly growing number of new
recordings, even those you may have recntly purchased on CD, you may be
(you probably are) missing out on what the artist and the recording has
to offer. Reading industry magazines, such as "Billboard" and
listening to artist interviews, it has become apparent to me that many
artists are taking to multi-channel like a duck to water.

Keep in mind that at its advent two-channel was viewed to actually be a
step *backward* by many music lovers. And it's completely
understandably why. Many of those early stereo recordings were
afflicted with the "ping pong" malady and worse. The music was often
disfigured. But it was slowly perfected to the point where it earned
the status of being a quantum leap forward over mono. And so too has
multi-channel suffered at its incarnation with examples of over
engineering and tawdry tastes or poor implementation(such as, perhaps
the recording I believe you heard with the violinist playing behind
you). But multi-channel too is getting better and in time I believe it
will be seen as an important leap forward. (But going two-channel to
multi-channel is probably not as big a leap as going from mono to
two-channel). Many excellent multi-channel recordings, that *far*
outstrip their two-channel counterparts, already exists.
Robert C. Lang
Anonymous
February 4, 2005 4:24:11 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.high-end (More info?)

On 3 Feb 2005 00:21:19 GMT, Michael <newsoffthewire@comcast.net>
wrote:

>Now, let’s get back to the main debate: surround versus stereo. The
>designers of old most certainly did have more than stereo at their
>disposal, but they chose to go with stereo for the very reasons I listed.

But we have to take into consideration that multichannel transmission
was very cumbersome before wideband digital media was avaliable. Two
cahnnels were a lot easier and cheaper. In these days, power is cheap,
digital channels come by the dozen and speakers are good. I don't
think it is as simple as they choose two chnnels because it was
better, I think they went by it because it was viable! Wasn't Sansui
part of the Quadraphonic movement, by the way?

>
>Surround sound was purposefully missed, friend, because it’s improper
>and does not accomplish what one’s reason would tell them. Those two
>speakers in my bedroom function just as they would if they were part of
>a concert; and my room is modulating the sound of whatever music I play,
>just as the venue’s building would.

That is true *if* you wan't the musicians moved into your bedroom!
Most music lovers, including me, wants to be moved to concert hall,
not vice versa! For this, more channels are better than fewer.
>
>Now, in terms of movies, surround does have the leg up on stereo,
>because the current crop of action-intense movies try to simulate the
>viewer into the movie. For instance, it tries to recreate the cars
>passing behind the viewer, the bullets speeding past the viewer’s head,
>etc. In other words, with movies, the key concern is
>depth--movement--and stereo has a hard time creating a surround sound,
>because it only has two channels for which to represent movement--a
>sound moves from one speaker to the next and vice versa, or plays on
>both of the speakers.
>
>When listening to a band live, one does not have cars passing by their
>heads or planes flying overhead, so the point is moot.

Not if you want the live performance, it isn't! Two channels may be
enough, if you record nearmiking in a club, and playback in the same
club. But that is not what is typically happening, is it?

> It
>would be stupid to try and “spice up the recording” by throwing in
>surround sound, so that the violinist was really playing behind you,

It would not be Hi-Fi, but I can be great fun!

>That, my dear friend, is exactly what the problem with surround sound
>and music is: in all of the venues I’ve been to, I’ve never had a
>musician play behind me and in front of me--they just don’t operate like
>that.

But all sound that *Is* coming from the back in a concert hall, why
throw that away? Why do you think concert halls are not acoustically
dead? Because you want sound to get around, that's why. And you will
get sound coming to you from behind, even without helicopters.


>Now, certainly, in reality, sound is multidirectional, but so is
>it when it leaves one’s speakers--meaning, speakers automatically output
>“multidimensional sound”,

Yes, but is with the acoustics of your bedroom, not the concert
hall...

Multichannel is nearly always better than stereo, in my opinion.

Per.
Anonymous
February 4, 2005 6:59:44 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.high-end (More info?)

Kalman Rubinson kr4@nyu.edu wrote:

>On 3 Feb 2005 00:21:19 GMT, Michael <newsoffthewire@comcast.net>
>wrote:

....snips....

>>At present, in the entertainment industry, music and movies
>>tend to operate on separate hemispheres, so hopefully the division bell
>>will last a lot longer: stereo will remain supreme, which is how things
>>are and should remain.
>
>I doubt that the separation exists any longer given the mergers of all
>the major providers. Nonetheless, stereo will survive primarily
>because the mass market really has no concern for quality and would
>rather listen to compressed MP3s via cheap earbuds. Those of us who
>care about the quality of music reproduction, regardless of the number
>of channels, occupy an increasingly small niche.
>
>Kal

Actually with regard to reproduction formats it's easy to forget that stereo
DID NOT unilaterally and universally REPLACE mono. We still listen to mono
everyday on newcasts, sports, talk radio, etc. The difference is that mono
today is much better than in was before and after stereo.

Stereo will remain here, in a practical sense, forever.
Anonymous
February 4, 2005 7:07:24 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.high-end (More info?)

Nousaine <nousaine@aol.com> wrote:

> "The Last Waltz" DVD-A didn't take me there. And that's another thing I don't
> like about many multichannel (you know that the de-facto multichannel format
> always has been Dolby Digital) video performances is the frenetic camera work.
> It is true that the image of the concert space, the high ceilings, the pillars,
> the apparent distance, the windows, etc) makes for a better representation of
> being at the concert (seeing the space helps), the un-real camera work with way
> too many close-ups, and camera angles that no attendee could ever see is often
> more distraction than anything else.



True for me this evening,watching the Criterion DVD of 'Gimme
Shelter' ; I preferred the mostly static-camera outtakes of 'Little
Queenie' and 'Prodigal Son' to the 'official' performance segments,
even thought the picture quality was vastly better on the latter.
Anonymous
February 4, 2005 7:19:04 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.high-end (More info?)

"Nousaine" <nousaine@aol.com> wrote in message
news:cturvg01ptk@news3.newsguy.com...
> Kalman Rubinson kr4@nyu.edu wrote:
>
> >On 3 Feb 2005 00:21:19 GMT, Michael <newsoffthewire@comcast.net>
> >wrote:
>
> ...snips....
>
> >>At present, in the entertainment industry, music and movies
> >>tend to operate on separate hemispheres, so hopefully the division bell
> >>will last a lot longer: stereo will remain supreme, which is how things
> >>are and should remain.
> >
> >I doubt that the separation exists any longer given the mergers of all
> >the major providers. Nonetheless, stereo will survive primarily
> >because the mass market really has no concern for quality and would
> >rather listen to compressed MP3s via cheap earbuds. Those of us who
> >care about the quality of music reproduction, regardless of the number
> >of channels, occupy an increasingly small niche.
> >
> >Kal
>
> Actually with regard to reproduction formats it's easy to forget that
stereo
> DID NOT unilaterally and universally REPLACE mono. We still listen to mono
> everyday on newcasts, sports, talk radio, etc. The difference is that mono
> today is much better than in was before and after stereo.
>
> Stereo will remain here, in a practical sense, forever.

True, but just as mono is a subset that can play on stereo equipment (as
well as on its own mono-capable-only devices), so too stereo can exist as a
subset of multichannel while continuing to be listenable on
stereo-capable-only devices.
Anonymous
February 4, 2005 7:19:24 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.high-end (More info?)

On 4 Feb 2005 03:59:44 GMT, nousaine@aol.com (Nousaine) wrote:

>Actually with regard to reproduction formats it's easy to forget that stereo
>DID NOT unilaterally and universally REPLACE mono. We still listen to mono
>everyday on newcasts, sports, talk radio, etc. The difference is that mono
>today is much better than in was before and after stereo.

Yes but mono is no longer in general use for music and music
reproduction is what we were talking about.

>Stereo will remain here, in a practical sense, forever.

Sure, just like mono.

Kal
Anonymous
February 5, 2005 12:52:42 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.high-end (More info?)

"Kalman Rubinson" <kr4@nyu.edu> wrote in message
news:cu07ac0u35@news4.newsguy.com...
> On 4 Feb 2005 03:59:44 GMT, nousaine@aol.com (Nousaine) wrote:
>
>>Actually with regard to reproduction formats it's easy to forget that
>>stereo
>>DID NOT unilaterally and universally REPLACE mono. We still listen to mono
>>everyday on newcasts, sports, talk radio, etc. The difference is that mono
>>today is much better than in was before and after stereo.
>
> Yes but mono is no longer in general use for music and music
> reproduction is what we were talking about.
>
>>Stereo will remain here, in a practical sense, forever.
>
> Sure, just like mono.

The L/R RCA inputs of at least one of my devices indicate using the L CH
input for a mono source, e.g. my analog cable box, which is then distributed
to both channels.
Anonymous
February 5, 2005 3:09:57 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.high-end (More info?)

On 4 Feb 2005 21:52:42 GMT, "Norman M. Schwartz" <nmsz@optonline.net>
wrote:

>"Kalman Rubinson" <kr4@nyu.edu> wrote in message
>news:cu07ac0u35@news4.newsguy.com...
>> On 4 Feb 2005 03:59:44 GMT, nousaine@aol.com (Nousaine) wrote:
>>>Stereo will remain here, in a practical sense, forever.
>>
>> Sure, just like mono.
>
>The L/R RCA inputs of at least one of my devices indicate using the L CH
>input for a mono source, e.g. my analog cable box, which is then distributed
>to both channels.

QED. ;-)

Kal
Anonymous
February 6, 2005 8:03:14 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.high-end (More info?)

"Kalman Rubinson" <kr4@nyu.edu> wrote in message
news:cu12sl015u4@news3.newsguy.com...
> On 4 Feb 2005 21:52:42 GMT, "Norman M. Schwartz" <nmsz@optonline.net>
> wrote:
>
>>"Kalman Rubinson" <kr4@nyu.edu> wrote in message
>>news:cu07ac0u35@news4.newsguy.com...
>>> On 4 Feb 2005 03:59:44 GMT, nousaine@aol.com (Nousaine) wrote:
>>>>Stereo will remain here, in a practical sense, forever.
>>>
>>> Sure, just like mono.
>>
>>The L/R RCA inputs of at least one of my devices indicate using the L CH
>>input for a mono source, e.g. my analog cable box, which is then
>>distributed
>>to both channels.
>
> QED. ;-)
>
HQD :-(
February 10, 2005 3:42:52 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.high-end (More info?)

> Audio Guy wrote:
>
> Then would you please explain why my father's circa 1966 Sansui solid
> state receiver had a built in center channel decoder?

Hello.

Different products call for different design philosophies. For their
high end products, this was not the case. I could ask my friend and
find out what the exact philosophy behind your product was. But, common
sense leads me to believe that they were designing for a market or based
on the components of that particular receiver, it functioned better
with a center channel.

Hope that helps,

Michael
Anonymous
February 10, 2005 5:18:57 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.high-end (More info?)

In article <cueamc0bv9@news1.newsguy.com>,
Michael <newsoffthewire@comcast.net> writes:
>> Audio Guy wrote:
>>
>> Then would you please explain why my father's circa 1966 Sansui solid
>> state receiver had a built in center channel decoder?
>
> Hello.
>
> Different products call for different design philosophies. For their
> high end products, this was not the case. I could ask my friend and
> find out what the exact philosophy behind your product was. But, common
> sense leads me to believe that they were designing for a market or based
> on the components of that particular receiver, it functioned better
> with a center channel.
>
> Hope that helps,
>
> Michael

But if Sansui

"purposefully designed stereo to present the cleanest example of the
music, and not to try and attempt the “realization” of it--that is to
say, to not go with surround sound" (Quoting from your post)

then why would they spend the time and effort to produce a receiver
with a built in center channel decoder. Someone there must have had a
different design philosophy and they felt a center channel was needed
to present a more truthful reproduction. This seems to cast the
foundation of your post into question.
February 11, 2005 3:42:12 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.high-end (More info?)

>Audio Guy wrote:
> then why would they spend the time and effort to produce a receiver
> with a built in center channel decoder. Someone there must have had a
> different design philosophy and they felt a center channel was needed
> to present a more truthful reproduction. This seems to cast the
> foundation of your post into question.

Does Volkswagen simply make the "people's car"? They have been making
high-end cars for sometimes now, and most people view them as bridging
away from their original design philosophy. Whether this is right or
wrong, it's not our place to say. The fact remains that they make
products that differ from their design philosophy--every company in the
world does this.

Back in the 1960’s, it was fashionable for people to have center
channels, just as it is now fashionable for people to have multiple
channels. Regardless of whether or not it sound better, it would be
stupid for a company to ignore the demand of a product. If they did,
they would be missing business opportunities, and would most likely go
belly-up as a result--this is why your receiver was built.

If you would have purchased one of their high end receivers, you would
notice that they are not wired for center channels.

I thought this was more than clear in my last post.

Hope this clears that up,


Michael
Anonymous
February 11, 2005 3:44:05 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.high-end (More info?)

"Audio Guy" <audiousenet@yahoo.com> wrote in message
news:cuegah080m@news4.newsguy.com...
> In article <cueamc0bv9@news1.newsguy.com>,
> Michael <newsoffthewire@comcast.net> writes:
> >> Audio Guy wrote:
> >>
> >> Then would you please explain why my father's circa 1966 Sansui solid
> >> state receiver had a built in center channel decoder?
> >
> > Hello.
> >
> > Different products call for different design philosophies. For their
> > high end products, this was not the case. I could ask my friend and
> > find out what the exact philosophy behind your product was. But, common
> > sense leads me to believe that they were designing for a market or based
> > on the components of that particular receiver, it functioned better
> > with a center channel.
> >
> > Hope that helps,
> >
> > Michael
>
> But if Sansui
>
> "purposefully designed stereo to present the cleanest example of the
> music, and not to try and attempt the "realization" of it--that is to
> say, to not go with surround sound" (Quoting from your post)
>
> then why would they spend the time and effort to produce a receiver
> with a built in center channel decoder. Someone there must have had a
> different design philosophy and they felt a center channel was needed
> to present a more truthful reproduction. This seems to cast the
> foundation of your post into question.

Back in the late 50's / early 60's when stereo first came out, amplifiers
often had a center tap (it wasn't a channel per se). That is because many
people still had corner horn speakers, and adding a second often left too
large a gap between, so a "center-fill" speaker (by the same manufacture,
but designed for along-the-wall placement was the usual recommendation.
Since the original post mentioned that the receiver was a mid-sixties
receiver, it is probably a hangover design.

It is not hard to find this configuration. I recently sold a pristine
Fisher KX200 that had a similar arrangement. It was also from the
early/mid-sixties.
Anonymous
February 12, 2005 6:07:05 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.high-end (More info?)

In article <cugv4l0hcg@news2.newsguy.com>,
"Harry Lavo" <harry.lavo@rcn.com> writes:
> "Audio Guy" <audiousenet@yahoo.com> wrote in message
> news:cuegah080m@news4.newsguy.com...
>> In article <cueamc0bv9@news1.newsguy.com>,
>> Michael <newsoffthewire@comcast.net> writes:
>> >> Audio Guy wrote:
>> >>
>> >> Then would you please explain why my father's circa 1966 Sansui solid
>> >> state receiver had a built in center channel decoder?
>> >
>> > Hello.
>> >
>> > Different products call for different design philosophies. For their
>> > high end products, this was not the case. I could ask my friend and
>> > find out what the exact philosophy behind your product was. But, common
>> > sense leads me to believe that they were designing for a market or based
>> > on the components of that particular receiver, it functioned better
>> > with a center channel.
>> >
>> > Hope that helps,
>> >
>> > Michael
>>
>> But if Sansui
>>
>> "purposefully designed stereo to present the cleanest example of the
>> music, and not to try and attempt the "realization" of it--that is to
>> say, to not go with surround sound" (Quoting from your post)
>>
>> then why would they spend the time and effort to produce a receiver
>> with a built in center channel decoder. Someone there must have had a
>> different design philosophy and they felt a center channel was needed
>> to present a more truthful reproduction. This seems to cast the
>> foundation of your post into question.
>
> Back in the late 50's / early 60's when stereo first came out, amplifiers
> often had a center tap (it wasn't a channel per se). That is because many
> people still had corner horn speakers, and adding a second often left too
> large a gap between, so a "center-fill" speaker (by the same manufacture,
> but designed for along-the-wall placement was the usual recommendation.
> Since the original post mentioned that the receiver was a mid-sixties
> receiver, it is probably a hangover design.

But this still doesn't prove that the other fellow's point about
Sansui having a philosophy that 2 channel audio is the only "pure" way
to reproduce sound. I'd still say it's the other way around,

> It is not hard to find this configuration. I recently sold a pristine
> Fisher KX200 that had a similar arrangement. It was also from the
> early/mid-sixties.

No problem here. In fact I think it proves my point that a lot of
people disagree that 2 channel reproduction is not the end all of
audio.


So how about you, do you agree with this fellow's insistence that 2
channels is a more pure way of reproducing audio?
Anonymous
February 12, 2005 6:52:54 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.high-end (More info?)

In article <cugv140haa@news2.newsguy.com>,
Michael <newsoffthewire@comcast.net> writes:
>>Audio Guy wrote:
>> then why would they spend the time and effort to produce a receiver
>> with a built in center channel decoder. Someone there must have had a
>> different design philosophy and they felt a center channel was needed
>> to present a more truthful reproduction. This seems to cast the
>> foundation of your post into question.
>
> Does Volkswagen simply make the "people's car"? They have been making
> high-end cars for sometimes now, and most people view them as bridging
> away from their original design philosophy. Whether this is right or
> wrong, it's not our place to say. The fact remains that they make
> products that differ from their design philosophy--every company in the
> world does this.

I wouldn't think they would if they felt as strongly as you insist
they did about the "purity" of 2 channel reproduction.

> Back in the 1960’s, it was fashionable for people to have center
> channels, just as it is now fashionable for people to have multiple
> channels. Regardless of whether or not it sound better, it would be
> stupid for a company to ignore the demand of a product. If they did,
> they would be missing business opportunities, and would most likely go
> belly-up as a result--this is why your receiver was built.

So a lack of center channle capability would have caused them to go
"belly up"? If so, then the "purity" of 2 channel reproductions seems
to have been somehting that most people disagreed with then, wouldn't
you say?

> If you would have purchased one of their high end receivers, you would
> notice that they are not wired for center channels.

I do not remember the model number of the receiver, but I assure you
it was touted as a high-end, state of the art model at the time.

> I thought this was more than clear in my last post.

Nope, and still rather unclear to me. I still haven't seen anything
you've posted that justifies the undesirability of other than 2
channel reproduction, either then or now.
Anonymous
February 13, 2005 8:16:54 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.high-end (More info?)

Audio Guy wrote:

> So a lack of center channle capability would have caused them to go
> "belly up"? If so, then the "purity" of 2 channel reproductions seems
> to have been somehting that most people disagreed with then, wouldn't
> you say?

I agree with Audio Guy. There is nothing "pure" about 2 channel
reproduction. As I said earlier, stereo is not about drilling the two
channels of a two channel recording directly into your ears. Two is
simply the minimum number of channels for an auditory perspective
illusion. There can be any number of channels, and the more the merrier.

Gary Eickmeier
Anonymous
February 13, 2005 10:41:09 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.high-end (More info?)

"Gary Eickmeier" <geickmei@tampabay.rr.com> wrote in message
news:cuo22601413@news1.newsguy.com...
> Audio Guy wrote:
>
>> So a lack of center channle capability would have caused them to go
>> "belly up"? If so, then the "purity" of 2 channel reproductions seems
>> to have been somehting that most people disagreed with then, wouldn't
>> you say?
>
> I agree with Audio Guy. There is nothing "pure" about 2 channel
> reproduction. As I said earlier, stereo is not about drilling the two
> channels of a two channel recording directly into your ears. Two is simply
> the minimum number of channels for an auditory perspective illusion.
> There can be any number of channels, and the more the merrier.
>
Not if they were specifically engineered for 2, or even 1 channel, (ignoring
the handful made for 3 channels).
Anonymous
February 14, 2005 5:41:36 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.high-end (More info?)

Norman M. Schwartz wrote:

> "Gary Eickmeier" <geickmei@tampabay.rr.com> wrote in message
> news:cuo22601413@news1.newsguy.com...

>>I agree with Audio Guy. There is nothing "pure" about 2 channel
>>reproduction. As I said earlier, stereo is not about drilling the two
>>channels of a two channel recording directly into your ears. Two is simply
>>the minimum number of channels for an auditory perspective illusion.
>>There can be any number of channels, and the more the merrier.
>>
>
> Not if they were specifically engineered for 2, or even 1 channel, (ignoring
> the handful made for 3 channels).

All right, I'll take you up on that hypothetical! The question is, if
you had a two, or even a one channel recording, would it be better to
play it back in the same number of channels, or multichannel?

If you take as your standard the recording, then you might have a point.
You may want to hear it played back the same way the mastering engineer
heard it, thru two or one channel, if only to see how that does. This
would, however, be a myopic exercise indeed, because the recording is
not the standard we should be concerned with.

If you take as your standard the original event, then you will always
want to play it back in multichannel, no matter how many channels you
are starting with. Why? Because a live event does not come from a
peep-hole in front of you, or even two peep-holes in a stereo array. A
live sound field is several direct sources, followed by many early
reflections from front and side walls, and finally a reverberant field
from all around you.

You can't duplicate all of the timings and directions of all of these
sources and reflections, but spatially speaking, you can come a lot
closer with multichannel than with a single speaker or two speakers in
front of you.

Gary Eickmeier
Anonymous
February 14, 2005 7:33:35 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.high-end (More info?)

Gary Eickmeier wrote:
> Norman M. Schwartz wrote:
>
> > "Gary Eickmeier" <geickmei@tampabay.rr.com> wrote in message
> > news:cuo22601413@news1.newsguy.com...
>
> >>I agree with Audio Guy. There is nothing "pure" about 2 channel
> >>reproduction. As I said earlier, stereo is not about drilling the
two
> >>channels of a two channel recording directly into your ears. Two is
simply
> >>the minimum number of channels for an auditory perspective
illusion.
> >>There can be any number of channels, and the more the merrier.
> >>
> >
> > Not if they were specifically engineered for 2, or even 1 channel,
(ignoring
> > the handful made for 3 channels).
>
> All right, I'll take you up on that hypothetical!


What hypathetical? This is a real world situation most of the time.



> The question is, if
> you had a two, or even a one channel recording, would it be better to

> play it back in the same number of channels, or multichannel?


Actually that isn't really the question at all. The question really is
if you have a recording that was engineered specifically to sound best
on one channel or two channels does adding channels help or degrade the
sound. We have many examples of this in the real world. There is no
need to discuss this in the hypathetical. One can look at any number of
Blue Note jazz recordings that were actually recorded in two channels
for the purpose of a one channel final mix. It is a common opinion that
these recordings sound better with the mono mixes than they do with the
true stereo mixes. This says nothing of the horrible results one can
find with any number of original mono recordings "reprocessed for
stereo." Those were universally dismal. Will three more channels make
them better? C'mon. That would be a classic example. One can also look
at any number of stereo recordings that have been butchered in
multichannel. I would not say it is a hard fast rule that recordings
specifically engineered for mono or for stereo will always sound best
in their intended format but IME they almost always do.



>
> If you take as your standard the recording, then you might have a
point.


I'm not really sure what a "standard" recording is but it does seem to
work that way for the most part with most real world commercial
recordings of quality.



> You may want to hear it played back the same way the mastering
engineer
> heard it, thru two or one channel, if only to see how that does. This

> would, however, be a myopic exercise indeed, because the recording is

> not the standard we should be concerned with.


What? If one's interest in audio is to play back actual real world
recordings of music this makes no sense to me. The recordings we want
to listen to must be the standard at least for those recordings.



>
> If you take as your standard the original event, then you will always

> want to play it back in multichannel, no matter how many channels you

> are starting with.


Aside from the fact that the original event is long lost this simply is
not always true at all.In fact I bet it is rarely true. Look no further
than those classic Blue Note recordings. Take a look at any pictures of
the set ups used for those recordings. The mono mixes were most
definitely better than the original event could have possibly been. The
set up was not made to make a good sounding original event but to make
a good sounding mono recording. Then take a look at the vast majority
of popular recordings. The idea of original event becomes rather
meaningless. But then lets take a look at stereo. How do you figure
processing a purist two mic recording into multichannel will do a
better job of recreating the original event than the proper playback of
such a purist recording as it was intended to be played and engineered
to be played? You can't invent channels that were never recorded and
expect it to be more accurate.




> Why? Because a live event does not come from a
> peep-hole in front of you, or even two peep-holes in a stereo array.
A
> live sound field is several direct sources, followed by many early
> reflections from front and side walls, and finally a reverberant
field
> from all around you.

How does five peep-holes help with recordings made for two peep-holes
or one? It's all an aural illusion no matter how many "peep-holes" you
use. It still doesn't reproduce the original event. More channels
bouncing sound around a room that bears little or no resemblance to the
original venue will hardly make for a better reproduction of the
original event. This is particularly true if you are working from an
original recording that only has one or two channels. Building new
tracks for new "peep-holes" aint gonna get you closer to the original
event.






>
> You can't duplicate all of the timings and directions of all of these

> sources and reflections, but spatially speaking, you can come a lot
> closer with multichannel than with a single speaker or two speakers
in
> front of you.


With real world recordings that were originally one or two channels? I
kind of doubt that. My experience tells me otherwise as well.


Scott Wheeler
Anonymous
February 15, 2005 3:30:10 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.high-end (More info?)

"Gary Eickmeier" <geickmei@tampabay.rr.com> wrote in message
news:cup350025on@news3.newsguy.com...

> You can't duplicate all of the timings and directions of all of these
> sources and reflections, but spatially speaking, you can come a lot closer
> with multichannel than with a single speaker or two speakers in front of
> you.
>
You also can come closer to the original event by colorizing older black and
white films, but the result is decidedly ugly.
I can engage the Pro Logic circuitry while playing a 2 CH stereo recording
in my HT room, or similarly listen to such a recording in my car with the
sound sent to my ears from all directions, fun and interesting for short
periods of time, but in actuality it places me in *nowheresville*' and does
not put me closer to the live event at all.
Anonymous
February 15, 2005 6:48:45 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.high-end (More info?)

On 15 Feb 2005 00:30:10 GMT, "Norman M. Schwartz" <nmsz@optonline.net>
wrote:

>"Gary Eickmeier" <geickmei@tampabay.rr.com> wrote in message
>news:cup350025on@news3.newsguy.com...
>
>> You can't duplicate all of the timings and directions of all of these
>> sources and reflections, but spatially speaking, you can come a lot closer
>> with multichannel than with a single speaker or two speakers in front of
>> you.
>>
>You also can come closer to the original event by colorizing older black and
>white films, but the result is decidedly ugly.
>I can engage the Pro Logic circuitry while playing a 2 CH stereo recording
>in my HT room, or similarly listen to such a recording in my car with the
>sound sent to my ears from all directions, fun and interesting for short
>periods of time, but in actuality it places me in *nowheresville*' and does
>not put me closer to the live event at all.

ProLogic is to real multichannel as the old pseudostereo is to real
stereo: A cheap misleading fake. (Actually, it's slightly better.)

Kal
Anonymous
February 16, 2005 3:26:22 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.high-end (More info?)

Kalman Rubinson <kr4@nyu.edu> wrote:
> On 15 Feb 2005 00:30:10 GMT, "Norman M. Schwartz" <nmsz@optonline.net>
> wrote:

> >"Gary Eickmeier" <geickmei@tampabay.rr.com> wrote in message
> >news:cup350025on@news3.newsguy.com...
> >
> >> You can't duplicate all of the timings and directions of all of these
> >> sources and reflections, but spatially speaking, you can come a lot closer
> >> with multichannel than with a single speaker or two speakers in front of
> >> you.
> >>
> >You also can come closer to the original event by colorizing older black and
> >white films, but the result is decidedly ugly.
> >I can engage the Pro Logic circuitry while playing a 2 CH stereo recording
> >in my HT room, or similarly listen to such a recording in my car with the
> >sound sent to my ears from all directions, fun and interesting for short
> >periods of time, but in actuality it places me in *nowheresville*' and does
> >not put me closer to the live event at all.

> ProLogic is to real multichannel as the old pseudostereo is to real
> stereo: A cheap misleading fake. (Actually, it's slightly better.)

All stereo is 'fake' too...and pretty cheap these days.

Personally I quite like DPL II. You never know what a new track will
sound like through it. ;> More than a few times I've preferred the
'surround' that the algorithm synthesizes from the stereo track, to the
choices that a mixing engineer made for the surround remix.
Anonymous
February 16, 2005 4:29:48 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.high-end (More info?)

On 16 Feb 2005 00:26:22 GMT, Steven Sullivan <ssully@panix.com> wrote:

>All stereo is 'fake' too...and pretty cheap these days.

Much but not all.

>Personally I quite like DPL II. You never know what a new track will
>sound like through it. ;>

It's OK to like fakes. ;-]

Kal
!