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The Future of ambisonics
Old 18th January 2018
Gear Maniac
Bart Nettle's Avatar
The Future of ambisonics

The Music Industry have been crying out for a new medium that can be repackaged and developed with improved quality over MP3, Movie Industry too! Manufacturing begging for new devices to make.
It seems Ambisonic headphones, TVs and PCs are set to be made if the consuming public approve of and accept nothing but,
Your thoughts please?
Old 26th February 2018
Lives for gear
monomer's Avatar

Originally Posted by Bart Nettle View Post
Your thoughts please?
What does ambisonics have to do with mp3?
Old 1st March 2018
Lives for gear
I think ambisonics has as bright a future as any of the other formats available at the moment - however atmos will attempt to corner the market. The problem with both systems is that they are incapable of making sounds appear "close" to you in a very convincing way (aka focussed sources). So whilst ambisonics and atmos wrestle it out eventually something that can be truly "3D" will eventually either evolve or extinct them.
Old 11th April 2018
Gear Maniac

Convenience will be the deciding factor. So far all successfully formats have provided convenience first then quality. Even the CD was combining for a while as it was portable, obviously beaten by MP3.

If you can put ofn headphones that truly give you an immersive experience it might take of, but it must not come at expense to the listener, either on phones, in car, at work etc. Unless it can cross most mediums easily I cannot see how any new format will work as a whole.
Old 5th July 2018
Gear Nut

I think the industry and consumers need to focus on understanding and delivering quality music in stereo first before going down this road IMO.

As much as I admire Gerzons work I think Ambisonic was a bit off, and thats apparent in its commercial success (none) .
It focuses on that extra plane. The important thing to realise is its outdated when put beside technology like AUREAL 3D / EAX. The world of gaming (and virtual reality) is only gaining traction and with virtual worlds, this is where extra speakers has potential. Attempts to capture elevation and reproduce it is unrealistic. It won't catch on, people have enough trouble getting stereo to sound good let alone extra complications like this.

What I'm saying is its much easier to generate elevated sound within a virtual domain than it is to attempt to record it via Microphone, the main reason d'etre of AS.

As for Ambisonic headphones, they don't exist. This is likely marketing who propagate misinfo (as usual). Same goes for Surround sound headphones. The idea probably stems from the merit that some headphone amps accept 5.1 in spdif format. Such format must get down-mixed to 2ch, naturally being that they're headphones.
Old 4th November 2018
Here for the gear

I worked with ambisonics for a few years for music production. I found it to be really exciting. Height added to the experience along with great surround options. It's best experienced on loudspeakers and consumers can't do that at home.

With Ministry of Sound now having a Dolby Atmos soundsystem in the main room of it's nightclub in London, my belief is for now it's up to venue owners to install more 3D sound systems for artists to create music for.

It makes it more a community one-off type of thing rather than a commercial worldwide development, but much like Vinyl still being popular do we really need everyone to hear it?

I hope one day we have a 3D format to get on stores but for now feels a little way off. More local 3D systems will create a new generation of artists, DJs and performers. Hopefully, this is where the tech industry can push these new products in the near future.
Old 8th November 2018
Lives for gear
Wizzomixer's Avatar
Four channel headphones which would be suitable for Ambisonics have come and gone. They appeared in the 1970s for use with Quadraphonic recordings. Two models are the Pioneer SE-Q404 and the Unisound MS-422. There were others.
Unisound - 4 Channel Stereo Headphones Speaker-P Unknown Wor
Pioneer SE-Q404 - Manual - Four Channel Headphones - HiFi Engine
Old 13th November 2018
Gear Nut

tl;dr Honestly, if your anal about elevational sound and wanted to do it properly, you would need speakers under your feet in addition to those overhead. Neither format does that so the whole idea is ****ing flawed from the start.

@ AMJJungle
Ambi/Atmos only hope is if artists who use the systems could do so untrained, possible only if the haptic (use-ability) of such is straight-forward / intuitive. Right now when you look at a dolby atmos mixing desk its plain to see this is not an objective, and that they want to 'train' people how to use it. The nightclub idea is ok but they mostly play EDM and are some of the worst places to listen to music (weren't always). Good luck training EDM artists to use ambisonics with better than stereo results. Theyre under enough pressure as it is already poor kids. (sarcasm). Its likely that Atmos system upmixes stereo EDM at the moment.

Atmos/Ambi needlessly adds to an existing record/replay puzzle, complicates recording, distribution and consumption. Ideally, you buy a box it plays music and the music is recorded to reflect that.
Add more and more boxes, introduce a drop of human error, what eventually happens? Consider SACD and HDCD, of the minority that did have optimal/ideal setups, all had little content to choose from in the end. Some 500 releases IIRC. That people have specific tastes narrowed this number down even further. If you learn how the ears work, then consider/trace the typical signal chain from speaker to studio and how said is produced, most people aren't hearing stereo properly today to begin with. Therefore why introduce yet another format that will only complicate **** more, to the spectrum of products for consumers to choose from? Have you seen how many logos are on the front of AV receivers today? Today is a format cluster fucx. One of the reasons Sony and Philips collaborated in 1980 for CD was specifically to address and standardize the myriad of sampling frequencies being released at the time. Everybody agreed in the preceding years, that to continue to develop and release separate digital formats, as was the case then, would be nonsensical. I think this notion should be revisited. As an example, recently the EU government 'directed' manufacturers to standardise phone chargers (for reasons of pollution) they listened and everyone’s life became easier. Before then, charger situ was a joke - it had parallels with what music is today IMO (if compared to seventies).

I entered this sphere of 'how music works' in my own time as a a frustrated consumer and its obvious how stereo alone has 'evolved' or rather derailed since the seventies. Just to get quality music into a room today is a mission, albeit digital isn't as noisy and impractical (concerning tape noise, rewinding, needle dropping and physical formats) but to play pre-1987 vinyl on bog standard hifi wipes the floor with mega systems playing the latest BS. I was born in 91 - what a let down music is today. (psyco-acoustically) Euphonic Digital Stereo (as standard) has a long way to go. There are pockets of individuals who are well disciplined here but are swamped by amateurs. Good stereo mix starts at recording. I don't understand why Mastering Engineers even still exist. Now we want to try elevational sound. Do we expect surround sound mastering engineers next? c'mon folks.

I've not experienced ambisonics or Atmos. I am familiar with Creative Aureal, essentially the same thing, with the sounds deduced from real-time events in a in-the-screen environment, albeit without a height element (which Aureal3D/CMSS-3DSurround does using using real-time HRTF EQ and convincingly too).

Ambi/Atomos could certainly work if used alongside augmented reality or hologram technology exclusively. In both cases experiencer is surrounded by not only said speakers but also the virtual moving objects (which are tied to the algorithms in the AMbi/Dolby). Ambi has its roots in music recording segment (with the special mics michael gerzon devised), times have changed and its now better suited in other, newer segments that involve sound like gaming. That type of microphone is obsolete now that virtual scenes can be generated with computers. Attempting to capture and transcode the special Ambisonic via mic and system, per original intention, is sub-optimal. As for music, nobody wants the guitarists swirling around the ceiling - do they? An argument for Ambi is it can be used to make 'soundscape' but note this has already been explored, popular among small-scale indie jungle and drum and bass producers armed with all-you-can-do samplers synths in the 90s. Music should compel ones imagination. With Film and games where an image is pre-determined, everything changes. (one reason I hate music videos actually).

Just keep surround away from music please outwith that, do what you want. Hopefully the manufacturers learn their lesson and make huge losses. Then again the china luxury class might be more inclined. lol

God speed, good luck and stay safe.
Old 3rd December 2018
Here for the gear
The two advantages of the ambisonics are: royalty free and scalability (From mono, binaural to n.n in one mix). IMMO this will be a great success
Old 5th December 2018
Lives for gear
johnsound's Avatar
Originally Posted by Giro1991 View Post

What I'm saying is its much easier to generate elevated sound within a virtual domain than it is to attempt to record it via Microphone, the main reason d'etre of AS.
I've been recording using Soundfield and CoreSound Ambisonic microphones for years and the 'with height' function is nice, but not essential and certainly not the sole raison d'etre of Ambisonics. It's the post-production possibilities that have always interested me. An Ambisonic recording can be transcoded into mono, binaural, conventional stereo, 4.0, 5.1, 7.1 and many other formats at the post-production stage without having to involve the consumer, but if you want to be able to muck about with it, then there's plenty of software, from free to really expensive to let you do that.

And it's not just microphone recording that can use Ambisonic techniques, as the games world has rapidly discovered: that's why ProTools and Nuendo now have Ambisonic mixing tools up to higher orders built-in as standard.


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