music vs movie

Discussion in 'Beginners, General Questions' started by jeff_c, Feb 22, 2007.

  1. jeff_c

    jeff_c Auditioning

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    I have heard people ask should i set up my system for music or movies? Is there a big difference? Thanks
     
  2. JerryLA

    JerryLA Stunt Coordinator

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    For me a balance of both is a crucial necessity. I have friends who really don't care about the sound to which I disagree. I watch a lot of music dvd's and the sound on most of them is better than front row seats to a concert. On the other hand I have found that the soundtracks to certain movies bring as much to the movie experience as pristine video. I recently updated my surround speakers and found a whole new experience when I can actually hear what is mixed into the rear surround speakers. I guess it all depends on your viewing habits and your pocket book.
     
  3. John Garcia

    John Garcia Executive Producer

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    I agree with JerryLA - tweak it so both sound right. I listen to more music, so my system is geared towards that, however movies sound great as well. So really, test it with both and find a balance between both.
     
  4. Ed Moxley

    Ed Moxley Cinematographer

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    Check your owner's manual, and see if you can get your receiver to save the settings, once you get them right for music.

    One big difference between movies and music, is that stereo music doesn't have the .1 (LFE) channel, like the movies do. So, your music won't have the same kind of bass output, and may sound like something isn't right, if you're used to listening to movies.
    Good luck!
     
  5. ChrisWiggles

    ChrisWiggles Producer

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    Can you elaborate on your question?

    There can be acoustic and surround-placement differences.
     
  6. JohnRice

    JohnRice Lead Actor

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    When it comes right down to it, I want 2 channel music to sound the best it can, so that is where I start. The entire room and particularly the L&R speakers are set up for optimal 2 channel music. Then, the HT is set up the best it can be around the 2 channel aspects. The truth is, I think that doing it this way also tends to give the best surround result as well, because the L&R channels are set up for the absolute best imaging and room response, to the surround benefits from it. Despite impressions to the contrary, the front channels actually build the foundation of the entire surround experience. The surround channels really just reinforce and enhance what starts with the front.

    Regarding the lack of a LFE channel in 2 channel music, many, if not most surround receivers have the capability to route all frequencies below the crossover frequency to the sub, so there should be no loss of bass with 2 channel. Simply setting the mains to "Small" and the LFE to "On" should accomplish this.
     
  7. John Garcia

    John Garcia Executive Producer

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    That's the way I look at it. I selected my components based on my music listening habits and the side effect was that movies benefited too [​IMG]
     
  8. bobbyg2

    bobbyg2 Supporting Actor

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    I listen to music more than I watch movies, so I set up my system for music.
     
  9. JeremyErwin

    JeremyErwin Producer

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    Sound stage.
    Stereo music has to sound three dimensional. Some speakers are better than others at this.

    DVD-A and SACD can be really quite demanding of the format. For instance, it is common to skimp on the surrounds, because many people believe that they merely support and reinforce the right left and centre speakers.
    But one of my DVD-A's contains a concerto for double orchestra. One orchestra is in the rear. and the other in the front. Skimpy rear speakers would compromise the sound of the "rear" orchestra.

    On the other hand, few people expect their music to demand 115 dB peaks on the LFE channel.
     
  10. bobbyg2

    bobbyg2 Supporting Actor

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    I put my worst speakers in the rear because they:

    1. Have the lowest volume
    2. Have the least use
    3. I don't want to put the speakers in the front due to wattage compatibilities.
     
  11. JohnRice

    JohnRice Lead Actor

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    wattage compatibilities?
     
  12. jeff_c

    jeff_c Auditioning

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    I guess what I'm trying to say is: When people say that they have set up their surround system for more music playing, what exactly have they done differently than someone who has set theirs up for movies? I hear this brought up often and have never understood what was different.
    For instance: Did the movie guy turn up the bass, and maybe the music guy placed his fronts a bit farther apart for a better soundstage??

    Thanks
     
  13. JohnRice

    JohnRice Lead Actor

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    There can be so many differences in what that means to different people. for me, it mainly meant I started my equipment purchases with my focus on music. I put the vast majority of money into the 2 channel electronics and speakers. Of course, this means the surround speakers are not identical, or even from the same manufacturer as the main ones. I also set up the 2 channel pieces first to get the absolute best imaging and sound from them, then worked the surround around that.

    If HT were my priority, I might have the L&R speakers a bit further apart, since they are being filled in with the center. I might not have them as far from the front wall. The models I have work best when they are at least 3 ft from the front wall. I have them more like 4 ft out, which a lot of people simply couldn't or wouldn't do.

    Probably the biggest thing is I wouldn't have put about 90% of the cost into the 2 channel part (including sub) and spread it out more. The amount I spent on the 2 channel was pretty significant, so I didn't exactly skimp on the others. It just wasn't anywhere near in proportion.
     
  14. ChrisWiggles

    ChrisWiggles Producer

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    Well, aside from system design choices in terms of what speakers to buy and where to weight your money in terms of the system, the main differences have to do with surround placement, and with the acoustics of the room.

    stereo-music systems rely more on the room for providing some ambiance, which means somewhat longer RT60 time and a lot more diffusion can be a good room design choice. HT-only systems tend to be more towards the shorter RT60 time and deader as the surround speakers are providing more of the ambiance, not the room.

    The other difference is that for HT system, dolby placement puts the surrounds above the listening position and firing across at each other, the speakers more to the side and only slightly behind. multichannel music position is more to the rear at ear heigh and aimed at the main listening position.
     

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