What's wrong with surround today?

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by RichardMA, Sep 21, 2002.

  1. RichardMA

    RichardMA Second Unit

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    I'd like to preface this with the face I do not know
    anything about Logic 7, either the HK or Lexicon
    implementation. But I assume they derive matrix channels
    out of material of 2.0 channels or more and as such, are
    not the equivalents of true discrete systems like DD 5.1
    or DTS 5.1/6.1.

    Lately, there is alot of talk about what the extended
    surround formats represent, most of it somewhat confused.

    So whose at fault here? The general public and their
    penchant for misinterpretation or the mfg's who are
    always trying to pretend they've created something they
    have not?
    I'd say both are culpable, but at least the
    mfg's can do something to mitigate some of the errors
    seen on both sides; Stop misrepresenting 6.1 channels as 7.1 channels. It's 6.1 channels and 7.1 speakers!
    Right now, there is NOTHING beyond 6.1 channels. The 7th
    or 70th channel is either an added channel that is mono
    combined with the 6th channel or some de-correlated channel
    courtesy of THX ULTRA 2 that is still NOT directional. Anyone can have extra channels if they want to pretend extra speakers are extra channels. Just add them in parallel with your regular speakers!
    You want a "pseudo THX Ultra 2 7th channel effect?" Just
    reverse the leads between those two rear speakers and you end up with a crude 20+ year old surround technique developed by Hafler.
    What those 2 rear speakers give you is something that's used in movie theatres to afford full seat sound coverage but something that is RARELY needed in home theaters of normal size. The only compelling argument for using the extra rear speaker seems to be to prevent a Dolby Pro-Logic design shortcoming that causes collapse of the left and right surrounds into the rear channel. Using two speakers helps minimize the effect of this problem.
    One day, someone, maybe Sony with SDDS will produce a TRUE
    multichannel environment that goes beyond DTS ES Discrete,
    and it will provide 8 or more channels of purely discrete sound, complete with correct panning and cues! That day
    has not come. Till then we will simply be bombarded with
    more "modes" that only approximate true, discrete and directional surround sound.
     
  2. Carl Johnson

    Carl Johnson Cinematographer

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    I'm sure you will get plenty of responses disagreeing with your opinion but I feel the same way. If the soundtrack is recorded in 5.1 then that's how I'll listen to it. I don't doubt that the matrixed additional channels add an additional level to the presentation but that level isn't what was played in the theater so I can do without it.
     
  3. Kevin C Brown

    Kevin C Brown Producer

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    SDDS has 8 channels or so, and that is how it is presented in theaters. What do you do then?

    Same for DTS-ES and DD EX (or THX Surround EX). 6.1 discrete channels, even if that 7th channel is matrixed into the 2 surrounds as is the case with DTS-ES (matrix) and EX.

    So, when you listen to Dolby Pro Logic soundtracks, do you listen in stereo? You have only 2 discrete channels in that case too. But in most people's opinion, it is best played back on a 5.1 system.

    For whatever reason, some people try to give matrixed channels a bad rap, but they are there to improve the sound field. Up to you whether you want to take advantage of that or not.

    For those of us that have migrated from 5.1 to 6.1 or 7.1, I think you'll find that *most* prefer the greater number of speakers. Not because "more" is better, but because at least in the 5.1 to 6.1 case, it can help with a gap in the rear soundfield *that you don't even realize is there until it isn't.* And usually all 7.1 does compared to 6.1 is to remove any potential localization with the rear channel.
     
  4. DanielSmi

    DanielSmi Second Unit

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    I agree with Kevin.

    Daniel Smith
     
  5. Kevin Alexander

    Kevin Alexander Screenwriter

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    I disagree with Kevin. Wait...the other Kevin.[​IMG]
    Kevin Alexander
     
  6. Tim Hoover

    Tim Hoover Screenwriter

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  7. Marty Neudel

    Marty Neudel Stunt Coordinator

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    >You don't see anyone referring to Pro-Logic as a 4.0<

    Tim,

    actually Dolby Labs used to refer to it that way. Then it became 4:2:4. While there are 5.1 discreet channels in DD, they occupy one track.

    The lines get fuzzy. I think it's fair to say that a soundtrack that is meant to end up as a six-channel presentation is a six-channel soundtrack. Where I feel the line should be drawn is in soundtracks INTENDED to be X channels being dematrixed into X+ channels.

    Marty
     
  8. Brian Burgoyne

    Brian Burgoyne Second Unit

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    SDDS, 8 channels.....whoa! I better go buy some more speakers!
     
  9. Kevin C Brown

    Kevin C Brown Producer

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    The original soundtrack recordings used to encode DD EX and DTS-ES matrix have 7 discrete channels. But the 7th channel is matrixed in with the 2 surrounds.

    Same-o with DPL. 4 down to 2.
     
  10. Lewis Besze

    Lewis Besze Producer

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    Actualy the DTS ES using only 5 ch discreet and 1 matrixed in the theaters.
    The DTS ES Discrete format is strickly for home use!
    I know that there are 6 ch discrete uncompressed masters out there but that's not how it presented in the theaters.[except DLP]
     
  11. Kevin C Brown

    Kevin C Brown Producer

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  12. RichardMA

    RichardMA Second Unit

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  13. RichardMA

    RichardMA Second Unit

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    As far as channel format nomenclature goes,
    maybe it should be like this:
    DD 6.1 is actually 5.1.1 (5 discrete, 1 LFE, 1 matrix)
    ProLogic II could be 0.5.0 (No discrete, 5 matrix,
    one LFE).
    DTS ES Discrete could be: 6.0.1 (6 discrete
    no matrix and one LFE).
    DD/DTS EX/ES matrix with THX Ultra 2 processing
    would be 5.2.1 (5 discrete, 2 matrix, 1 LFE).
    Using a Circle Surround device with a 5.1 system
    would result in 5.1.2 (5 discrete, 1 matrix and
    2 matrix LFE's).
    Etc, etc.
     
  14. Wes

    Wes Screenwriter

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  15. Holger

    Holger Stunt Coordinator

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    hi richard,


    according to your statement, that you have no experience made yet with lexicon's and harman's logic7 i will forgive you (and in the name of all lex users) your unwisdom:)


    but to be serious: i think the difference between logic7 and thx ultra2 processing is a very big one. the logic7 algorithms are much more complicated then those of thx ultra2 and if you have one day the chance to encounter the impact of a fully loaded lexicon 7.1 setup, i strongly recommend to give it a long and good listen. then you will learn one thing. the four surround channels logic7 is working with, can be VERY DIRECTIONAL and VERY DISCRETE if they are supposed to be.

    by the way: as you may know, the lord of the rings and blade2 dvd's contain both a 2 channel logic7 ENCODED soundtrack besides the 5.1 discrete soundtracks. for most lexicon users this is the preferred soundtrack, because it gives you 8 discrete sounding (matrix)channels of surround information instead of 6 or 7.



    regards, holger
     
  16. Kevin C Brown

    Kevin C Brown Producer

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    I find it hard to believe that extracting 7.1 channels out of 2 stereo channels would ever give you the channel separation, dynamic range, and/or freq response [added] that 5.1 discrete channels would. (LOTR L7 encoded 2-channel.) No matter how sophisticated the algorythm is! [​IMG]
    Just simple math in terms of how much information there is, what the bandwidth for storage is, and then the decoding speed needed.
    BTW, DPL (II) would be 2.2.0, or at best, 2.3.0. [​IMG]
     
  17. Lewis Besze

    Lewis Besze Producer

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    Kevin,
    I agree,not to mention that the source is the 2ch DD at 192kbps.
    No thanks!
     

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