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Immersive classical techniques
Old 12th July 2019
  #1
Immersive classical techniques

Hi all,

I’ve been seeing and hearing a lot in the last ysR about immersive audio recording techniques, and wanted to start a thread to see if and what you all are doing to record for Atmos or any other immersive surround systems.

A lot of the specialty companies who grew up on the stuff, like 2L or Sono, etc seem to base their setups around a rigid mic setup that mimics the speaker arrangement. I’ve never tried this and to me it seems.... inflexible, to put it one way, but I guess listeners are happy.

Then just recently I saw a photo of Erdo Groot of Polyhymnia doing a recording for the medium, with an extra 4006 perched on top of his main L and R (and I assume surrounds as well) mic stands, sitting a few feet above the standard mic arrangement. At least I think that’s what I saw, but it was a Facebook photo so it was hard to tell.

I saw a funny arrangement at a famous soundstage where a famous mix engineer had an expensive quartet of mics on very tall stands in kind of odd placements to the sides of the ensemble, and on asking about how that array was arrived at I got the impression it wasn’t actually being used....

And since there don’t appear to be any threads about it yet, I thought I’d try to get the ball rolling!

To you high stature guys at Soundmirror or 5/4, etc, who do surround recordings as a specialty, are you feeling the pressure to get into this format, and how are you approaching it?

Any amateurs out there messing around to see what’s possible? Trying FLAC wrappers?

..... or is this the new “trade secret” ......

Old 12th July 2019
  #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by king2070lplaya View Post
Then just recently I saw a photo of Erdo Groot of Polyhymnia doing a recording for the medium, with an extra 4006 perched on top of his main L and R (and I assume surrounds as well) mic stands, sitting a few feet above the standard mic arrangement. At least I think that’s what I saw, but it was a Facebook photo so it was hard to tell.
As I don't do "classical technique", I do use a similar setup for ATMOS for film scoring for the ceiling speakers. There's an elevated arrangement of mics above my standard decca tree (plus surrounds) to cover the top four ceiling speakers (technically an array of speakers but re-recording mixers don't want panning so a fixed quadrant system for a top "bed" works best for delivery from film score mixer to the dub stage mixers.) I've tried a few different patterns for those.

But I wonder for delivery format to the listener in basic classical... -- ATMOS is well regulated for theaters. What is delivered for a private listener seems more questionable (along with reproduction.)
Old 12th July 2019
  #3
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fred2bern's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by pentagon View Post
But I wonder for delivery format to the listener in basic classical... -- ATMOS is well regulated for theaters. What is delivered for a private listener seems more questionable (along with reproduction.)
I also wonder... I only produce classical music and when I ask the artists I work with they all listen to music in stereo.
All my private friends listen to music in stereo, none of them can listen in 4 or 5.0.

Of course, you'll allways find one guy able to tell you that he is well equipped at home to listen to movies in 5.1, but this guy 'll also tells you that the few experiences he does with classical music is not good compared to his good stereo system he kept to listen to... music.

Maybe it's different everywhere else on the planet, but around me, in "my" world, they are all interested and equipped with stereo.

Of course I'm not talking about music for movies, it's another world if you go and listen in a cinema, another experience.

Fred.
Old 12th July 2019
  #4
In the 24+ years we have been in business I have NEVER been asked to do 5.1 or 7.1 or ATMOS recording for classical music. If you are getting requests for these types of service then GOOD for you.
Old 12th July 2019
  #5
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There is some classical work being done in surround, and a few engineers doing it. It is a niche field, still, for a few users who have made the considerable investment in listening spaces that are set up for surround (and immersive) at the same quality level that very discerning stereo classical listeners have.
Old 12th July 2019
  #6
Quote:
Originally Posted by king2070lplaya View Post
To you high stature guys at Soundmirror or 5/4, etc, who do surround recordings as a specialty, are you feeling the pressure to get into this format, and how are you approaching it?
The same way we started recording surround elements on all our multitrack masters in the early 90s, we've been recording elements for Immersive for about 4 or 5 years. We have a large archive of material, but only in the last 2 years have we started to do anything in earnest with them. Unfortunately, until recently there has been no real way to distribute the material other on blueray, which doesn't make sense for the typical record company to stock and distribute. Now that there Atmos audio to download and Dolby headphone virtualization, we have started to go back and revisit some of this material.
I'm in the process of upgrading my room for Atmos certification. I've built a temporary setup with 5.2.4 and am going to make the leap to 7.2.4 after construction.
I have 6 titles that I'm in the process of mixing this summer and fall. including a Mahler 8, a Beethoven 9 and a Bruckner 9. Right now there are no plans for a release schedule.
As with all things, you need to be looking to the future and finding things that differentiate you from your competition. We've been doing this as a company for over 50 years and typically it has paid off. Quoting Henry Ford, "If I had asked people what they wanted, they would have said faster horses..."
We were early adopters of:
  • Dolby (1970),
  • Soundstream (1978),
  • Sony digital recording and editing, (1982),
  • Digital multitrack recording and editing (1983),
  • Digital workstations (Lexicon Opus 8 track in 1986, Sonic Solutions 4 track in 1989 and 24 track in 1991)
  • High res PCM stereo(Mitsu x86 20 bit recorder 1990)
  • High res PCM multitrack (18 track 20 bit 1997),
  • DSD/SACD (1999),
  • AOIP (Merging Horus 2011)
Often these things were invisible to the client, but the quality of product has always been our biggest selling point.
One other thing to point out, Soundmirror is not a big company. We have never had more than 6 employees. However, investing in technology and skills has let us punch over our weight class for a very long time.

As always, YMMV.
All the best,
-mark
Old 12th July 2019
  #7
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Bruce Watson's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by king2070lplaya View Post
I’ve been seeing and hearing a lot in the last ysR about immersive audio recording techniques, and wanted to start a thread to see if and what you all are doing to record for Atmos or any other immersive surround systems.

A lot of the specialty companies who grew up on the stuff, like 2L or Sono, etc seem to base their setups around a rigid mic setup that mimics the speaker arrangement. I’ve never tried this and to me it seems.... inflexible, to put it one way, but I guess listeners are happy.
Well, I don't know if happy describes it exactly. It's... different.

Example: the 2L disk 2L-057-SABD, which comes with two physical discs, one a stereo Hybrid SACD, the other a Pure Audio Blu-ray, using DTS HD MA 192kHz/24 bit 5.1 channels. A duo piano team playing Mozart and Grieg.

They claim, I think (it's been a while since I read up on it, so maybe not), that the two disks were mastered from the same source (my interpretation is from the same mic array, but again, maybe not).

What I found is that the SACD sound is excellent. Two pianos are difficult to localize in a stereo sound field, and this is pretty well done to my ears. And the pianos sound like... pianos. I really don't have any complaints.

The Pure Audio Blu-ray's sound is... different. It is far more enveloping, it sounds like you are right in the hall with the musicians. The hall reverb is really good. But... the pianos are not as distinct. I get a much more distant feel, and the whole effect is at least somewhat blurry.

I'm thinking some of this is due to the array itself. That many mics, in an array with that kind of medium spacing between mics, might be causing sufficient phase and timing problems that it results in the "blurring" that I'm hearing. IDK.

What I'm saying is that they are both really good. But they are anything but interchangeable. Why this is, I do not know. All I know is what I'm hearing.

I certainly don't know how to do it right, but it's a good thread to start and I'm hoping for some interesting discussion.
Old 12th July 2019
  #8
Thanks Mark,

Do you have a clever way to check the sound of your immersive elements and how they’ll integrate into your standard stereo/surround array without having atmos monitoring on-site? Do you ever find those immersive elements useful in the stereo or surround mixes?



Quote:
Originally Posted by mpdonahue View Post
The same way we started recording surround elements on all our multitrack masters in the early 90s, we've been recording elements for Immersive for about 4 or 5 years. We have a large archive of material, but only in the last 2 years have we started to do anything in earnest with them. Unfortunately, until recently there has been no real way to distribute the material other on blueray, which doesn't make sense for the typical record company to stock and distribute. Now that there Atmos audio to download and Dolby headphone virtualization, we have started to go back and revisit some of this material.
I'm in the process of upgrading my room for Atmos certification. I've built a temporary setup with 5.2.4 and am going to make the leap to 7.2.4 after construction.
I have 6 titles that I'm in the process of mixing this summer and fall. including a Mahler 8, a Beethoven 9 and a Bruckner 9. Right now there are no plans for a release schedule.
As with all things, you need to be looking to the future and finding things that differentiate you from your competition. We've been doing this as a company for over 50 years and typically it has paid off. Quoting Henry Ford, "If I had asked people what they wanted, they would have said faster horses..."
We were early adopters of:
  • Dolby (1970),
  • Soundstream (1978),
  • Sony digital recording and editing, (1982),
  • Digital multitrack recording and editing (1983),
  • Digital workstations (Lexicon Opus 8 track in 1986, Sonic Solutions 4 track in 1989 and 24 track in 1991)
  • High res PCM stereo(Mitsu x86 20 bit recorder 1990)
  • High res PCM multitrack (18 track 20 bit 1997),
  • DSD/SACD (1999),
  • AOIP (Merging Horus 2011)
Often these things were invisible to the client, but the quality of product has always been our biggest selling point.
One other thing to point out, Soundmirror is not a big company. We have never had more than 6 employees. However, investing in technology and skills has let us punch over our weight class for a very long time.

As always, YMMV.
All the best,
-mark
Old 12th July 2019
  #9
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by philper View Post
There is some classical work being done in surround, and a few engineers doing it. It is a niche field, still, for a few users who have made the considerable investment in listening spaces that are set up for surround (and immersive) at the same quality level that very discerning stereo classical listeners have.
i get to record/mix classical music in surround a bit but it's indeed a niche market and way less often required than i wish; guess i'm approaching my 500th recording or live mixing in surround but only about a dozen in immersive formats. most surround work i do is for broadcast (for the archive though), exhibitions or installations (and regularly for a small group of enthusiasts which can afford to pay extra and get an exclusive 5.1 mix in return). i know very few people who have a decent 5.1 home system and i don't know a single person who went beyond... - formats for installations vary a lot, from ambisonic to ambeo.

interestingly enough, live sound has been picking up a bit lately, not only regarding 5.1 but also with immersive formats; l'acoustics' lisa, d&b's soundscape or astro spatials's sara let you do pretty much anything you want - again, not very often required and pricey when done (or then the scale of production is way above what i could offer so my work remains limited).

i hope to do more live surround mixes for a jazz festival i regularly get to work for starting next year but it's certainly not gonna be immersive...
Old 12th July 2019
  #10
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For live work there is some interest on the part of some avant garde-type players in using the new high-tech Meyer multichannel systems that some venues in my area have acquired lately, but it remains to be seen how much they are willing to put into the front end of a system that could really make that work, as well as taking the increased time needed to make intelligent choices about how to use this kind of setup during an extended sound check. This isn't the kind of thing that you can mock up very well for them in a rehearsal space, at least not yet... For recordings, I see home set ups built by rich people with taste, and those systems LOOK like they'd sound amazing. But that's an even smaller market (at the moment) than 5.1 for home TV. I don't see the point in mixing music projects in surround only to have them played back on a TV "surround bar".
Old 13th July 2019
  #11
Gear Maniac
 

For some perspective, NativeDSD sells both stereo and 5.0/5.1 surround from 66 labels, who's recordings were recorded in DSD or DXD. The site's current worldwide customer list exceeds 18,000, of which about 1,000 are active repeat customers, and maintains contact through a magazine style mailing twice weekly. Sales of surround recorded music, mostly classical, average about 20% of total sales, and has been growing over the five years of the site's activity.

It's not just rich people with their home theater systems purchasing 5.0/5.1 surround recordings. Many audio and music interested customers have discovered that a small scale five channel listening system can be assembled integrated within a stereo listening system, or in lieu of. The 2.5X more information supplied by surround acoustic recordings is more emotionally pleasing and involving than stereo, and has supported a sustained surround sound market.

Personally, I never listen to stereo, it gives me a headache

Tom
Old 13th July 2019
  #12
Immersive Recording for a Cage "Music Circus"

I made my first immersive location recording about 9 months ago and I'm about to start mixing it. I don't have an Atmos-ready system, but I've cobbled together an "upper layer" in my control room for mix sessions. Ultimately, I expect it to be heard mostly in headphone renderings.

I spent the last several years at AES haunting the immersive lecture and demo rooms to understand different microphone techniques and how they sound in playback. I agree with Bruce Watson that many of the most common techniques seem to obtain immersion at the expense of localization. There are a lot of recordings being made with stacked mics on five widely-spaced stands. I think one reason is that many of the "name" engineers and producers in this field are mostly recording symphonic and choral music with very large ensembles, which they render with "broad brushes", so to speak. The demos I heard of these recordings always sounded best when heard well back in the playback room. Get too close to the front speakers, and you realize there are lots of conflicting localization cues. I had a classical recording client with me one day, and we both noticed exactly the same thing. I'm not saying these engineers are "wrong"; this recording style is obviously getting them gigs. But it's not what I want to do for my work with smaller ensembles.

I decided to fall back on my prior experience making surround recordings, and augment a 5-channel surround "tree" with height channels. Recently published research shows that "raised" height microphones generate perceivable comb-filtering. I decided to use "coincident" height channels based on hypercardioid capsules from the same series as my front triple. I also employed a Hamasaki-inspired pair of side-facing figure-eights for ambience, and a rear-facing sub-cardioid in each side balcony for low-frequency de-correlation. That's a total of 11 channels to which I added a separate stereo pair for monitoring convenience and a couple of on-stage mics. I've attached a picture of my main array, another perspective showing it position relative to the stereo and ambience pairs, picture taken from the position of one of the balcony mics, and a picture of some of the action on stage. Musicians and other performers were doing things not only on stage, but also out in the hall. A conventional stereo recording wouldn't really have done justice to all that was happening.

David L. Rick
Seventh String Recording
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Last edited by David Rick; 14th July 2019 at 07:54 PM.. Reason: missing word added
Old 13th July 2019
  #13
Thanks David, that’s an awesome post!

Quote:
Originally Posted by David Rick View Post
I made my first immersive location recording about 9 months ago and I'm about to start mixing it. I don't have an Atmos-ready system, but I've cobbled together an "upper layer" in my control room for mix sessions. Ultimately, I expect it to be heard mostly in headphone renderings.

I spent the last several years at AES haunting the immersive lecture and demo rooms to understand different microphone techniques and how they sound in playback. I agree with Bruce Watson that many of the most common techniques seem to obtain immersion at the expense of localization. There are a lot of recordings being made with stacked mics on five widely-spaced stands. I think one reason is that many of the "name" engineers and producers in this field are mostly recording symphonic and choral music with very large ensembles, which they render with "broad brushes", so to speak. The demos I heard of these recordings always sounded best when heard well back in the playback room. Get too close to the front speakers, and you realize there are lots of conflicting localization cues. I had a classical recording client with me one day, and we both noticed exactly the same thing. I'm not saying these engineers are "wrong"; this recording style is obviously getting them gigs. But it's not what I want to do for my work with smaller ensembles.

I decided to fall back on my prior experience making surround recordings, and augment a 5-channel surround "tree" with height channels. Recently published research shows that "raised" height microphones perceivable comb-filtering. I decided to use "coincident" height channels based on hypercardioid capsules from the same series as my front triple. I also employed a Hamasaki-inspired pair of side-facing figure-eights for ambience, and a rear-facing sub-cardioid in each side balcony for low-frequency de-correlation. That's a total of 11 channels to which I added a separate stereo pair for monitoring convenience and a couple of on-stage mics. I've attached a picture of my main array, another perspective showing it position relative to the stereo and ambience pairs, picture taken from the position of one of the balcony mics, and a picture of some of the action on stage. Musicians and other performers were doing things not only on stage, but also out in the hall. A conventional stereo recording wouldn't really have done justice to all that was happening.

David L. Rick
Seventh String Recording
Old 13th July 2019
  #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by David Rick View Post
(...) many of the most common techniques seem to obtain immersion at the expense of localization. There are a lot of recordings being made with stacked mics on five widely-spaced stands. (...)
never recorded that way (except for comparison and cannot recommend it either); i'm mostly recording with a soundfield as main mic and a double ortf above it for the height channels which makes for a relatively small setup - at the expense of stereo width of the rear surround channels of the soundfield if instruments are moving (as stated elsewhere); not much of an issue with everyone seated/standing though.
Old 13th July 2019
  #15
Quote:
Originally Posted by king2070lplaya View Post
Thanks Mark,

Do you have a clever way to check the sound of your immersive elements and how they’ll integrate into your standard stereo/surround array without having Atmos monitoring on-site? Do you ever find those immersive elements useful in the stereo or surround mixes?
We monitor in surround on location, so typically I take my height elements and route them to a separate quad subgroup on the Pyramix and monitor them on their own, checking for continuity of imaging with the 5_0 mix and over all front to back blend. I then blend them with the mains and check that they are not fighting. Then, for the most part, I periodically check to make sure nothing is wrong and mostly ignore them during tracking.
Immersive is really a post production intensive process. There are so many variables in how you mix immersive. Virtual room shape and size; box, dome or slant top; and how you monitor the material (Studio or stage, 5, 7 or 9 channel lowers, 2 or 4 channel uppers and mono or stereo LFE.). Like was mentioned above, theatrical has pretty much been sorted out, but music is still the wild west. For the time being, i'm using my room and the comparison of theatrical with the theater to get a good sense of the overall imaging options. Beyond that, probably the greatest listenership will be with the Dolby headphone virtualization, so that is part of the process as well.
Atmos is not a high def format, and as such has its own set of limitations. Today, ATMOS production is limited to 48k and for that reason we are treating it as a delivery medium and not a master. I'm doing all my production at DXD or 192 and then at the end creating a 48k mix master project for ATMOS delivery.

As always, YMMV.
All the best,
-mark

Last edited by mpdonahue; 13th July 2019 at 04:35 PM..
Old 16th July 2019
  #16
Been fooling around quite a bit with Ambisonics, whenever possible and practical. Not the best, but it's a start for me.

Did an immersive 360-video session at the college where I teach about a year ago. I tried to approach it in a way that would work in just about any format. Haven't tried it on speakers with height yet, though.

In my heart of hearts, I'm not sure I see immersive over speakers really catching on. We had enough trouble getting consumers to buy into 5.1. Add to that the fact that we have a bit of a "format war" going on: many of the classical engineers I see are insisting on recording for DTS 5.4.1, with height speakers over the mains; whereas I see the dominant consumer format heading the way of Dolby Atmos, which places the height speakers over the listener. At a recent playback demo at AES, I heard firsthand what can ensue if a recording/mix done for the former is heard over the latter.

I firmly believe that the dominant immersive platform will end up being headphone listening. I think there's enormous creative potential for this medium, both on its own and also coupled with AR, VR, and 360-video production.
Old 16th July 2019
  #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tailspn View Post
For some perspective, NativeDSD sells both stereo and 5.0/5.1 surround from 66 labels, who's recordings were recorded in DSD or DXD. The site's current worldwide customer list exceeds 18,000, of which about 1,000 are active repeat customers, and maintains contact through a magazine style mailing twice weekly. Sales of surround recorded music, mostly classical, average about 20% of total sales, and has been growing over the five years of the site's activity.

It's not just rich people with their home theater systems purchasing 5.0/5.1 surround recordings. Many audio and music interested customers have discovered that a small scale five channel listening system can be assembled integrated within a stereo listening system, or in lieu of. The 2.5X more information supplied by surround acoustic recordings is more emotionally pleasing and involving than stereo, and has supported a sustained surround sound market.

Personally, I never listen to stereo, it gives me a headache

Tom
This has not been my experience at all. Even people who do have money mostly listen to music as BG in their houses and cars. Some of them have built-in systems, but they don't work well as real surround--just ambientized stereo. I see mostly people who really sit and listen in a concentrated way getting into what surround speaker setups I do see, since the exact listening position is so important. I agree at least in theory with the idea that the future of consumer surround might well be via headphones, so the listener's mobility is retained.
Old 16th July 2019
  #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by philper View Post
I see mostly people who really sit and listen in a concentrated way getting into what surround speaker setups I do see, since the exact listening position is so important. I agree at least in theory with the idea that the future of consumer surround might well be via headphones, so the listener's mobility is retained.
Real listeners go to concerts. I certainly will not be investing in any company or product pushing immersive for the home. Nobody wants it or needs it.

But for movie theaters, concert PA sound its a different story.
Old 16th July 2019
  #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by David Spearritt View Post
Real listeners go to concerts. I certainly will not be investing in any company or product pushing immersive for the home. Nobody wants it or needs it.

But for movie theaters, concert PA sound its a different story.
not sure about the limited wish/demand for immersive formats - if there is some demand, it certainly will not be for playback via loudspeakers but via headphones!

(sennheiser just bought a company specialized in 3d audio)
Old 16th July 2019
  #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by David Spearritt View Post
Real listeners go to concerts. I certainly will not be investing in any company or product pushing immersive for the home. Nobody wants it or needs it.

But for movie theaters, concert PA sound its a different story.
I agree, and hope that continues, no matter how good or immersive surround audio gets. That's also why I see the headphone-immersive thing as being so important, since people who are serious enough about music to go to concerts will still want to listen at home, although they are not confused about the differences between live vs recorded sound. If they are city-dwellers, even people of some means can't or won't really afford to dedicate a large part of their home to a correctly installed surround speaker system anyway. Compromised speaker-surround (esp if it involves surround bars or "bouncy-house" speakers) makes music (and movie) sound worse, I think.
Old 17th July 2019
  #21
Thanks Rob,

Can you expand on the effect of hearing the recording for one medium played back on the other? Was it more of a levels/decoding issue, or an incompatibility of mic or mixing technique?

KB

Quote:
Originally Posted by RobAnderson View Post
Been fooling around quite a bit with Ambisonics, whenever possible and practical. Not the best, but it's a start for me.

Did an immersive 360-video session at the college where I teach about a year ago. I tried to approach it in a way that would work in just about any format. Haven't tried it on speakers with height yet, though.

In my heart of hearts, I'm not sure I see immersive over speakers really catching on. We had enough trouble getting consumers to buy into 5.1. Add to that the fact that we have a bit of a "format war" going on: many of the classical engineers I see are insisting on recording for DTS 5.4.1, with height speakers over the mains; whereas I see the dominant consumer format heading the way of Dolby Atmos, which places the height speakers over the listener. At a recent playback demo at AES, I heard firsthand what can ensue if a recording/mix done for the former is heard over the latter.

I firmly believe that the dominant immersive platform will end up being headphone listening. I think there's enormous creative potential for this medium, both on its own and also coupled with AR, VR, and 360-video production.
Old 17th July 2019
  #22
Lives for gear
Surround/immersive/5.1/home theatre has been around long enough (and more crucially in recent years...cheaply enough ) to have made all the inroads into adopters' homes as it was ever destined to do.

I'm guessing that, despite all the industry pushing (including BluRay, pairing with huge screens, low disc costs etc) it still isn't a big % of entertainment sales...and doesn't seem likely to increase. Maybe it's the speaker stands and wires (and tripping hazards ) thus involved ?

I agree with those who propose that, if a sales revolution in immersive/surround is going to occur...it'll be in the personal listening/headphone arena. How far has that advanced in recent years ? Have they cracked the illusion of height yet...or images to the rear, or below ? This can be done in theatres with strategically positioned speakers...but has it been able to translate to headphones ?

Can't you tell I'm still in the audio dark ages in this regard ....
Old 17th July 2019
  #23
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Bruce Watson's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by David Spearritt View Post
Real listeners go to concerts.
That's a bit city-centric don't you think? If you live far enough outside a reasonable sized city, getting to hear a good group in a good hall can be difficult at best and impossible at worst. People who live in those areas, for whatever reasons, mostly don't move there to get away from the opportunity to hear decent music. Shocking, isn't it? But not everyone who likes listening to music can go to concerts as easily as you seem to think.

Quote:
Originally Posted by David Spearritt View Post
I certainly will not be investing in any company or product pushing immersive for the home. Nobody wants it or needs it.
Just because you don't want or need it doesn't mean that nobody wants it or needs it.

I know a number of people who have Dolby Atmos setups in their homes. They install it for home theater, but that's where they listen to music too. Which is what those Blu-ray music discs are for. Which would not be published if no one wanted them.

Quote:
Originally Posted by David Spearritt View Post
But for movie theaters, concert PA sound its a different story.
The reason people want Dolby Atmos in the home is to exceed what they can hear at an actual Dolby Theater. This happens because in the home each channel gets one speaker. In a large movie projection theater, you get many speakers per channel, and it smears the sound all over. They have to do this to cover all the seats. In home theater, you have to cover just a few seats, and many times exactly one seat. Sound imaging in 3D space can be a whole lot better in the home. When you calibrate time-of-arrival to your particular seat imaging can be scary good.
Old 17th July 2019
  #24
If you want to talk about the marketplace for immersive audio in the home, please start another thread.

I’m specifically looking to run a thread here for people who may be interested in learning about and discussing mic’ing and mixing/post-production techniques for immersive audio recording creation.

If you aren’t interested in learning and discussing how to make immersive recordings, please go to a different thread. Thank you.

Last edited by king2070lplaya; 17th July 2019 at 08:38 PM..
Old 17th July 2019
  #25
Before you can begin to produce Immersive content, you need to have a frame of reference about how it sounds and how it it is manipulated. To do this , you need to listen to a bunch of stuff from different places in different formats and learn the pitfalls and mistakes that others have already fallen prey.
To be honest, the cost of entry for immersive does not have to be expensive. Beyond the "System in a box" that you buy at best buy, you can put together a very high quality system for a little north of $1000 on ebay and craigslist and Amazon including the 4k TV.
I did this in my basement family room. I was given a budget of $1k by the Donahue family CEO/CFO.
We had a new TCL 55" 4k Roku TV that we got on sale at Amazon for $299.

I bought the following on Ebay, Craigslist and Amazon:
  • 1 used Onkyo 9.2 immersive receiver for $300
  • 3 pairs of NHT Super Zero speakers in white ($60 pair) $180
  • 2 NHT 2.2 speakers ($180)
  • 1 NHT vs2 center channel speaker ($60)
  • 1 NHT sub with amp controller ($120)
  • 6 Speaker mounts for Super Zero's from Amazon ($42)
  • 200' 12ga speaker wire from Amazon ($38)

I wired it up in an afternoon, including mounting the speakers and running the cables in the walls. Add the bluray player that I already had and my old HTPC/music sever running on a NUC and I can play or stream in Dolby surround from Amazon and Netflix and do Immersive from either the disc player or directly from the NUC via the Dolby Access app.
I configured the whole system using the included set up microphone and built in control in the receiver to manage the delays and levels and have been really impressed with the quality of the playback.
As always, YMMV.
All the best,
-mark

Last edited by mpdonahue; 17th July 2019 at 06:30 PM..
Old 17th July 2019
  #26
Gear Nut
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by mpdonahue View Post
Before you can begin to produce Immersive content, you need to have a frame of reference about how it sounds and how it it is manipulated. To do this , you need to listen to a bunch of stuff from different places in different formats and learn the pitfalls and mistakes that others have already fallen prey.
To be honest, the cost of entry for immersive does not have to be expensive. Beyond the "System in a box" that you buy at best buy, you can put together a very high quality system for a little north of $1000 on ebay and craigslist and Amazon including the 4k TV.
I did this in my basement family room. I was given a budget of $1k by the Donahue family CEO/CFO.
We had a new TCL 55" 4k Roku TV that we got on sale at Amazon for $299.

I bought the following on Ebay, Craigslist and Amazon:
  • 1 used Onkyo 9.2 immersive receiver for $300
  • 3 pairs of NHT Super Zero speakers in white ($60 pair) $180
  • 2 NHT 2.2 speakers ($180)
  • 1 NHT vs2 center channel speaker ($60)
  • 1 NHT sub with amp controller ($120)
  • 6 Speaker mounts for Super Zero's from Amazon ($42)
  • 200' 12ga speaker wire from Amazon ($38)

I wired it up in an afternoon, including mounting the speakers and running the cables in the walls. Add the bluray player that I already had and my old HTPC/music sever running on a NUC and I can play or stream in Dolby surround from Amazon and Netflix and do Immersive from either the disc player or directly from the NUC via the Dolby Access app.
I configured the whole system using the included set up microphone and built in control in the receiver to manage the delays and levels and have been really impressed with the quality of the playback.
As always, YMMV.
All the best,
-mark
Where did you place the Atmos speakers?
Old 18th July 2019
  #27
Quote:
Originally Posted by king2070lplaya View Post
Thanks Rob,

Can you expand on the effect of hearing the recording for one medium played back on the other? Was it more of a levels/decoding issue, or an incompatibility of mic or mixing technique?

KB
Since the Atmos speakers are over your head (vs Auro3D being time-aligned with the horizontal speakers), and the listening area was large, it became a bit of a phase nightmare - acoustic comb filtering and such.
Old 18th July 2019
  #28
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by king2070lplaya View Post
If you want to talk about the marketplace for immersive audio in the home, please start another thread.

If you aren’t interested in learning and discussing how to make immersive recordings, please go to a different thread. Thank you.
Apologies king, mods please delete or transfer to new thread.
Old 18th July 2019
  #29
Quote:
Originally Posted by dogmusic View Post
Where did you place the Atmos speakers?
I'm running a 5.1.4 Atmos setup. The Onkyo receiver will actually adjust the delay for Auro3D, but it is a bit of a science project. I'm working on Dolby Atmos at the office, so I went with that at home. I can take my mixes and play the discrete files back at home for comparison on a bandwidth limited system.
However, for the most part i use it to watch movies and there is even some Atmos on Netflix, but you need the upgraded account.
As far as placement goes, I'm using a standard ITU for the bottom speakers and a equidistant square for the overhead speakers. I can get them within about 20cm of the correct location. I use the delay in the receiver to compensate. They are off by less than a millisecond.
As far as the recording aspect of it, it really comes down to delays and time of arrival. I generally position my microphones so that my rear channels are in the 30 ms range. For Atmos, I typically duplicate the front curtain of microphones at height and add a wide pair at about 10ms and a very wide pair at 20ms.
I find that I don't like rears that are much more than 30ms behind the mains. The real trick is to get the sense of movement of sound through the space, especially the transients and low frequencies. The real test for any atmos setups are organ pedal notes and bass drums and how the pressure waves propagate through the space. When it is right, you can feel the wave move back and forth running the length of the space.
The Mahler 8 I'm working on was recorded in a space almost 250' long. This is a really great test of the system for getting the movement in space dialed in.

As always, YMMV.
All the best
-mark
Old 18th July 2019
  #30
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by mpdonahue View Post
I'm running a 5.1.4 Atmos setup. The Onkyo receiver will actually adjust the delay for Auro3D, but it is a bit of a science project. I'm working on Dolby Atmos at the office, so I went with that at home. I can take my mixes and play the discrete files back at home for comparison on a bandwidth limited system.
However, for the most part i use it to watch movies and there is even some Atmos on Netflix, but you need the upgraded account.
As far as placement goes, I'm using a standard ITU for the bottom speakers and a equidistant square for the overhead speakers. I can get them within about 20cm of the correct location. I use the delay in the receiver to compensate. They are off by less than a millisecond.
As far as the recording aspect of it, it really comes down to delays and time of arrival. I generally position my microphones so that my rear channels are in the 30 ms range. For Atmos, I typically duplicate the front curtain of microphones at height and add a wide pair at about 10ms and a very wide pair at 20ms.
I find that I don't like rears that are much more than 30ms behind the mains. The real trick is to get the sense of movement of sound through the space, especially the transients and low frequencies. The real test for any atmos setups are organ pedal notes and bass drums and how the pressure waves propagate through the space. When it is right, you can feel the wave move back and forth running the length of the space.
The Mahler 8 I'm working on was recorded in a space almost 250' long. This is a really great test of the system for getting the movement in space dialed in.

As always, YMMV.
All the best
-mark
I think it is great this being discussed because I know so little about it. When you finish Mahler 8, I assume it will be available to buy, correct? Is there anything protecting the recording in the same way HDCP 2.2 protects 4K Blu-Ray’s? Music is still the Wild West and I wonder if it has to be that way. If there is some sort of protection, I would assume it would be part of post-production.
I’m here to learn.
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