Is it supposed to sound like this?

Discussion in 'Music' started by PaulDA, Aug 30, 2004.

  1. PaulDA

    PaulDA Cinematographer

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    Last night, I finally hooked up my gear in its dedicated room. It's ugly (cables visible everywhere, old tables and a/v racks for gear, etc.) but functional. No WAF involved, it's MY room. Anyway, I placed the speakers where I want them, did a quick calibration of the speakers with my Radio Shack meter and loaded up my first SACD in multichannel (had been listening to a number of them in two channel while waiting), Alison Krauss and Union Station Live. I considered it the best recorded disc I owned, with natural sounding acoustic instruments, clarity, detail, etc. When I switched over to the 5.1 mix, I noticed an odd kind of reverb, especially noticeable during quiet passages and vocals. Is this owing to the space in which it was recorded (and two channel can't reproduce this effect) or is there possibly something wrong with my setup? Other m/c SACDs and DVD-As that I ran through the system didn't have this reverb. I haven't yet treated the room acoustically, but it's not overly lively. I will say the 5.1 mix and its reverb did make "think" I was in the auditorium (though it sounded like an empty hall, when it should have sounded full). Perhaps that extra reverb is more "realistic"?

    For what it's worth, my gear is Marantz DV6400--all settings large, sub on, Integra DTR 6.4 receiver--BM/TA active on multichannel inputs, 80hz crossover, all speakers to small, Boston Acoustics VR-M60s front L/R, Boston Acoustics VRC centre, Boston Acoustics VR-M50s surround L/R, Boston Acoustics PV900 subwoofer.

    Just curious. I've been looking forward to listening to hi-res multichannel in my own setup for a long time (DD and DTS mixes of DVD-As were as M/C as I'd gotten before now) and I guess I should be prepared to experience some sonic characteristics that might seem unfamiliar.
     
  2. Darryl

    Darryl Stunt Coordinator

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    I don't have that disk, but since you didn't notice the effect on other disks I would guess the reverb is part of the multi-channel mix.
     
  3. Rich Malloy

    Rich Malloy Producer

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    "Live" isn't an overly-reverby mix to my ears, though there's a touch of rear-hall slapback. My first thought is that you may have a time-alignment issue, but you say other m/c SACDs and DVD-As sound fine to you. So... what other m/c mixes are you comparing it to?
     
  4. PaulDA

    PaulDA Cinematographer

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    My room is small (15x10) so time alignment shouldn't be too much of an issue. Also, my receiver applies the BM/TA settings to the multichannel inputs. Other m/c mixes I compared last night were Rumours DVD-A, The Thorns SACD and Hotel California DVD-A. Am just about to go try some more. Will report back tomorrow.
     
  5. PaulDA

    PaulDA Cinematographer

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    I discovered the problem last night. My receiver applies the speaker distance and crossover settings to the multichannel inputs, but NOT the speaker level settings. I had to run the test tones in the player and calibrate each channel. Once I'd done that, I replayed the "reverbing" tracks and it had diminished to a subtle ambience sound, rather than the somewhat alarming "reverb" from the night before. I replayed the other tracks/discs that had not displayed the reverb problem and found them all better as well (some instruments that seemed a bit "hot" in the mix were now in proper form, so to speak).

    Guess I should have read my manual more closely.:b
     
  6. Rich Malloy

    Rich Malloy Producer

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    Does your digital time alignment/level matching cause a reduction in sound quality? My Sony C555ES has a bass mgmt/level matching feature that degrades the signal when activated - I just went without bass mgmt until I got my ICBM-1.

    I still think you're experiencing something a bit wonky, particularly when you describe the surround info as "ambient" and the room sounding like an "empty hall, when it should have sounded full". "Live" is a discrete surround mix, and you should be hearing people discretely placed in the rows all around you, and indeed throughout the hall. The illusion of sitting in a full theater should be complete. At one point someone calls out "I love you, Alison!" and then a few beats later someone else screams "I love you more!!!", and you should be able to clearly locate these people in the hall, nearly to the degree of pinpointing their seat/row location!
     
  7. PaulDA

    PaulDA Cinematographer

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    Perhaps I didn't express myself properly when I said "ambient". What I was trying to say was the "reverb" was gone and only a faint echo remained, near the end of "Baby, Now That I've Found You", when the group harmonizes. The effect now is a slight reverb consistent with singers in a large space, when the audience is listening quietly (as they are in this track). It is quite realistic to my ears, as many shows I've seen in such spaces have a similar effect. I did not mean to imply that the surround mix was not discrete. I can clearly pick out the two "shouters" you mention (just before "Baby...") and place them around me.

    As to my receiver's m/c BM/TA, it does NOT do level matching, only time alignment and crossover management. I used the player's internal test tones and recalibrated for level settings. Once I did that, each m/c mix I listened to sounded appreciably better balanced. I did not notice a sonic degradation after fixing my player's levels (though the tones in the player varied far more from one speaker to another than the ones in my receiver to read 75dB at my listening position via analogue Radio Shack meter--just received my copy of DVE in the mail today so I will recalibrate everything again to see if it makes a difference).
     
  8. ScottCHI

    ScottCHI Screenwriter

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    wow, paulDA, you are amazingly patient! [​IMG]

    glad you got the hirez m/c going, now. any other impressions?
     
  9. PaulDA

    PaulDA Cinematographer

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    Other impressions:

    The cave troll/Balrog scenes in LOTR EE in DTS sounded amazing, could feel the air pressure change with the LFE through the sub.

    Ballads--John Coltrane in both two channel and DPL II Music, sounded like I was in the studio listening to the recording session live. (listened to the 20 bit remaster from '95)

    Dark Side of the Moon--SACD, m/c mix. Obviously this music was intended to be m/c. Amazing sound from a 30 year old recording.

    Sampled tracks from Tori Amos and Loreena McKennit in both two channel and DPL II Music mode. They really shine in DPL II.

    Still early days yet, but I've yet to find a track that is worse in DPL II than two channel. Some are merely different (so it would depend on my mood) and some are clearly better in DPL II, but none worse.

    I'll allow myself time to overcome my initial enthusiasm so I can make a more critical appraisal, but for now (and I hope for a long time) all is great.
     
  10. Doug Otte

    Doug Otte Supporting Actor

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    My old receiver only has DPL, and I don't like to use it for music. I'm glad to read that DPL II does well by music.

    Now I'm really excited about upgrading to a Denon 3805 in a couple of months!

    Cheers,
    Doug
     
  11. FeisalK

    FeisalK Screenwriter

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    I know Queen's Night At The Opera is on DVD-Audio in full 5.1, but give a listen to Death On Two legs in DPLII...
     
  12. ScottCHI

    ScottCHI Screenwriter

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    i never really understood why someone would want to listen to stereo music in DPLII mode, myself.

    different strokes......................




    [​IMG]
     
  13. PaulDA

    PaulDA Cinematographer

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    You're right, different strokes. I started out by wanting to explore how the sound changes and whether it was worth it. I'd tried the same thing with DPL years ago and hated it. Tried all the other SSPs at the time, hated them too (well hate is a strong word but none of them did anything for me). I'd heard good things about DPL II and decided to give it another try. So far (and I've just run through a small part of my collection) I've found certain discs really shine with DPL II, (mostly music that has a lot of synths and other electronic instrumentation) whereas for others, like the Coltrane, it was different. Not bad, not better, just different. As I A/Bed the Coltrane, I found myself returning more often to the original stereo than with tracks from Genesis or Tori Amos, for example. My early impression is the algorithm does better with electronic music. It also seems to do well with live soundtracks.

    Perhaps I'm overly influenced by the m/c mixes on my hi-res discs, perhaps I'm just enjoying playing with my new toy. Anyway, it's all about enjoying the tunes, in the end.[​IMG]
     
  14. ScottCHI

    ScottCHI Screenwriter

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    absolutely.

    and i'm not meanin' to give you any sh!t, at all.

    perhaps I'M the one missing out by not trying it.
     
  15. PaulDA

    PaulDA Cinematographer

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    Don't sweat it. I just felt like pontificating. Off to enjoy some more tunes.
     
  16. FeisalK

    FeisalK Screenwriter

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    I've not tired escargot, but I can't understand why anyone would wanna eat snails
     
  17. ScottCHI

    ScottCHI Screenwriter

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    yeah, exactly.

    you gotta step in dogsh!t to know it's dogsh!t, eh?

    [​IMG]
     
  18. PaulDA

    PaulDA Cinematographer

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    Actually, escargot is quite nice, especially with some camembert and a nice cabernet sauvignon. [​IMG]

    Back to audio. (sorta) You don't have to step in dog droppings to know what they are, you can smell them. However, I've never been able to smell an audio format.[​IMG]
     
  19. FeisalK

    FeisalK Screenwriter

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    it smells ... like teen spirit! [​IMG]
     
  20. ScottCHI

    ScottCHI Screenwriter

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    no, you don't even have to smell it to know.............

    ever listen to your cds in MONO?

    well why not?
     

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