DVA-A = DVD-Annoying

Discussion in 'Playback Devices' started by Mark_J_H_Jr, Aug 12, 2003.

  1. Mark_J_H_Jr

    Mark_J_H_Jr Stunt Coordinator

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    I am curious as to others opinions of multi-channel music.

    After trying to like and enjoy the format, I find my opinion is that it is just a gimmick. There is no realism to music. Yes, the quality is there. But the multi-channel version is just down right annoying to me. [​IMG]

    Why on earth would someone mix vocals over your head, or percussion to the back left?

    When I go to a concert, the music is not behind me, above me or in the balcony to the right or left. It mainly comes from the front, with whatever ambience the surrounding structure imparts.

    The DVD-A discs I have wasted my money on, play tricks with the sounds. The realism is gone. It is as if the engineer mixing the music was just messing around and experimenting with the technology.

    Last night I was listening to the Eagles “Hotel California”. I swear, Henley was over my head…

    Good grief, the processing modes of most receivers do as good a job as these supposed super audio discs.

    Does anyone else find this as annoying as I do?
    [​IMG]
     
  2. Angelo.M

    Angelo.M Producer

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    First, this thread ought to be moved to 'Music'.

    Second, when done well, music presented in surround can be stunning, like the surround mix of Dark Side of the Moon. Not all multi-channel mixes are as successful, and some verge on gimmicky.

    That being said, I prefer the high-resolution 2-channel mixes on most of the DVD-A's and SACD's I've heard, so, in that sense, I partially agree with you. I rarely listen to the surround mixes of the few high-res discs that I own.
     
  3. Levesque

    Levesque Supporting Actor

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    I think it's only a matter of taste or preference. I own around 35 DVD-A, some are really good, some are bad.

    I think the equipment you are using makes a big difference to. When I was using a Rotel RSP-1066, DVD-A was just ok, but with the Anthem AVM20, I'm rediscovering all my DVD-A.

    My father is a musician (he played with the Rolling Stones in 1967...), and always hang-out in small blues club to play and listen. He's my reference for music criticism, and knows what he's talking about recording, mastering and quality of a source.

    He's not particularly fond of DVD-A, but he completely love the Riding with the King DVD-A (Clapton and B.B. King). It's one of my favorite, and if you ever went to a smokey-bluish blues club, you will really enjoy the quality of this DVD-A. You really feel like you are sitting in the middle of this small club. My father is a die-hard 2 ch listener and lover. But some DVD-A are starting to grow on him. Takes a while to adjust to it.

    But music is judge by the ear hearing it. Just try to pick some good recording and doing some open-mind listening sessions, and then you will, maybe, like me, discover a brand new way of listening to music.

    For me, DVD-A and SACD is not just a gimmick, but a different and a new way to enjoy music.
     
  4. Ed Cherry

    Ed Cherry Auditioning

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    I agree with Levesque above .... I own about 20 or so SACDs & DVD-As now and the quality of the mix has everything to do with the experience. Some are excellent "Riding With The King" (DVD-A)is one of the best I've heard ... it is fantastic. If you like jazz then the Spyro Gyro SACD is terrific as well. I believe once the newness of the formats is over and the studio engineers become more familiar with the process of producing excellent surround then things will get better. Also it would be nice if there could be some defacto agreement on what to do with the effects (.1) channel. It is not acceptable for this to be used as a full range channel as some have done. What are they thinking ... 99.9% of people have a sub on that channel. Oh well this really is indicative of a new format and we are living through its' infancy. But it will grow up ... can't wait!
     
  5. Doug_H

    Doug_H Supporting Actor

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    I am also a stereo fan for most of these discs, the quality is better overall. I do however enjoy many of the multi channel tracks. The ones where it places you on the stage with the band are my favorites. These are the ones where you have the drums in the back left ETC. I know most people have never experienced the music from the stage itself. When done right this takes me right back to days playing on that stage [​IMG]
     
  6. Mark_J_H_Jr

    Mark_J_H_Jr Stunt Coordinator

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  7. Yogi

    Yogi Screenwriter

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    I find multichannel music distracting. I like all my action up front where its supposed to belong.
     
  8. Doug_B

    Doug_B Screenwriter

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    Although I'm partial to 2ch presentations, I find that I am more open to multi-ch mixes of material with which I was not previously familiar from a 2ch perspective. Of course, I still am fairly unforgiving even in these cases.

    My favorite multi-ch presentations to date are the aforementioned Dark Side of the Moon SACD and Bela Fleck's Tales from the Acoustic Planet Part II. In Bela's mix, each instrument is heavily weighted in a particular channel, and a few of the photos in the liner notes (and on the display) reinforce the sensation that you're sitting in the living room with the band while they're playing; very interesting. [Note: I'm still dubious about recommending this selection from an audio quality perspective until I listen to it on a supposedly better DVD-A player. My impression is that the higher freqs drop off.]

    Doug
     
  9. Angelo.M

    Angelo.M Producer

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    Mark:

    I still think that a discussion of multi-channel music is what you're after, and so the thread belongs on the 'Music' board. We're not talking hardware here, but software.

    OK, I'll jump out of the pool now...
     
  10. Jack Briggs

    Jack Briggs Executive Producer

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    More of a judgment call. We seem to be discussing the philosophy of multichannel engineering and music more than music itself. Hence, Mark posted in the correct section. Otherwise, Angelo is on the mark more often than not! [​IMG]

    This raises another issue: Is multichannel recording becoming more an exercise in music making as opposed to music reproduction? Are we not revisiting a hot topic that was central to the whole "quadraphonic" fad of the early 1970s?

    What goes around comes around.
     
  11. Mark_J_H_Jr

    Mark_J_H_Jr Stunt Coordinator

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    I guess my post straddles music and hardware.

    _________________________________________________

    Part of my problem or question is:

    Is my setup and equipment actually reproducing what was intended? I was, and am, confused by the whole business of multichannel music.

    Am I really supposed to be hearing content coming from behind me or a guitar from the balcony or vocals from overhead?

    From the responses, the answer to that question is "yes".

    The recorded content is not intended to be a reproduction of an actual recording session or a concert, but of what a recording engineer deems to be art.

    If that is the case, then my original equation for me, is that DVD-A does equal DVD-Annoying.

    So please tell me if I am wrong. I like the concept of multi-channel, but not the implementation.
     
  12. Angelo.M

    Angelo.M Producer

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    Interesting point. I don't think that multi-channel music reproduction as it is evolving at present is a fad, but I think it will remain a niche market for the forseeable future, present company nonwithstanding. I think that it will see its deepest penetration into symphonic/classical recordings, and perhaps jazz and showtune recordings, but I predict very slow growth overall.

    Bad thing? I don't know. I suppose you have to consider the whole state of the recorded music business (topic for another thread, right?). I think we are more likely to see the music/concert DVD--or a hybrid DVD with a stereo track and supplemental materials--begin to become more pervasive, as folks continue to buy CDs in smaller and smaller numbers. I see a format like that, taking advantage of players already in many homes, burgeoning, with DVD-A and SACD remaining a much smaller force in the market.
     
  13. Mark_J_H_Jr

    Mark_J_H_Jr Stunt Coordinator

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    Angelo,

     
  14. Angelo.M

    Angelo.M Producer

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  15. Rick_Brown

    Rick_Brown Second Unit

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    Mark_J_H_Jr, I find your assumptions to be incorrect, at least for pop/rock music. There is no "stage", there is no "balcony". There is only a bunch of mono multi-tracks that the performer and producer have mixed according to what they "deem to be art". It starts to sound kind of philosophical here, but here goes: If the performer/producer deems that their recording be mixed in surround, then the ONLY way to experience their musical vision is to reproduce it in surround.

    Take Graham Nash's latest release "Songs For Survivors". Nash conceived the album as a surround project only from day one, where he wanted to put the listener "inside" of the band. Stereo just doesn't get close to the artistic intent here!

    Of course, the whole issue of remixing vintage recordings which were never recorded with surround in mind is another thing to argue about altogether.
     
  16. RobertR

    RobertR Lead Actor

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    I think Rick summed it up pretty well. Pure studio creations that have NO stage reality can have the channels used any way the musicians/engineers see fit. Classic recordings of classic performances should be left alone in this regard. New recordings of classic works should use the surround channels only for ambience retrieval.
     
  17. RichardHOS

    RichardHOS Second Unit

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    I'd have to agree pretty much with what Robert ^^ said.

    IMO, the capability of multichannel recording and playback, when used for any form of live music (classical, jazz, whatever, so long as the recording is of a "stage" performance) should be focused on improving the accuracy of the reverberant soundfield.

    However, when used for a completely concocted studio performance, where tracks were likely performed separately anyway, all bets are off and whatever the "artistic vision" of the performers and/or engineers may be then that's the way we should hear it. There's nothing "natural" about the stereo field heard on most studio recordings, so why should there be anything "natural" about the surround field?

    Well, that's my buck-three-ninety-eight anyway. [​IMG]


    note: the possibility certainly remains that the artistic vision of the performers/engineers really sucks. [​IMG]
     
  18. Ben_E

    Ben_E Stunt Coordinator

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    My short opinion is that electronica music is best suited to multi channel environments.
     
  19. Steve Lucas

    Steve Lucas Stunt Coordinator

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    Hmm..maybe a little off topic, but still within the same area......
    Do most all DVD players play DVD-A? Or does your DVD player have to specifically be a DVD-A player? I'd like to try some DVD-A disks but don't want to waste my money buying something I won't be able to listen too.

    Thanks,
    Steve
     
  20. Jack Briggs

    Jack Briggs Executive Producer

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    No, Steve, not all DVD-Video players can play DVD-Audio. But all DVD-Audio players can play DVD-Video.

    So, for multichannel home audio it is agreed that the goal is to reproduce the incoming signal as accurately as possible in the home environment. Agreed?

    Then, Richard above nails it. Multichannel high-rez recordings of orchestral music (and chamber music!) should attempt to recreate the music being played in a three-dimensional environment. Popular music standards should be issued as originally released and/or recorded (in terms of numbers of channels possible), and with new pop recordings it's entirely up to the artist.

    The idea is to reproduce the original event (insofar as it even exists, given the number of takes that may be edited together).

    I think the funhouse-mirror releases and remixes we're experiencing now are due to the novelty of the new formats. Doesn't anybody here remember the earliest "gimmick" records released at the dawn of two-channel stereo?
     

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