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7.1.4 setup, Genelec vs KEF

juliangst

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The problem with R8 is that it only has a keyhole mount and needs modification to mount it on the ceiling
 

Descartes

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Can you recommend any interesting Atmos music? I got the tip from Kraftwerk but the BluRay is not available any more/at the moment.

Mixing music in Atmos is in it's absolute beginnings. There is no real "standard" or "howto", it's like the early times of Stereo (like the sins the Beatles did :p).
Having the front instruments in the front ceiling and back instruments in the back ceiling sounds logical at first but on the 2nd thought ... do we need height elevation for the whole front stage? Reverb would be in both similar, so it seems to be a panning decision.
I would probably try to stick with the "howto" what the film industry does and would use the center for main voice (+ Snare?) and be very careful to be mono compatible in the ceiling speakers. Thinking about it ... I would LOVE to have a center speaker in a mix!
The new master of Pink Floyd in ATMOS is phenomenal!
 

Descartes

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What's your situation?

When we are talking about CINEMA (not watching a crummy little TV :cool:) you noramlly use an acoustic transparent screen and put the front speakers behind that. This has so many benefits (e.g. voice location, you can put a lot of absorption behind the screen, hide the tech etc). And Genelec or Neumann are better suited for that.
With a serious preamp you could also use digital outputs for the speakers.

Depending on room size and SPL level you really need I would say a set of KH150 and KH120ii would be a "minimum standard" which should be already really good. Add a self built (double) bass array and bigger speakers if needed/wanted and you should be good.

But the room ... the room is always the interesting part :)
I am thinking Genelec is probably best as it integrates all amplifier and eliminate all the boxes except the pre/pro. It also eliminate speaker wires will probably sound more like the original recording.
 

Sammy135

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Dolby doesn't say that you need in ceiling or on ceiling. They just call it 'overhead speakers'.
It doesn't matter if those speakers are in the ceiling or on the ceiling
So, what do you think is the superior option, hypothetically speaking and no room restrictions.

That mixing studio example you showed looks like they had a crazy budget, and they chose on wall heights instead of in ceiling, so probably some truth to that being better?

Also, assuming that is better and sticking to go with CI series, could you use in walls ci 200 RR for example, but in the front high wall, instead of in ceiling?
 

Ellebob

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You can use in ceiling speakers in wall if they fit. Many in ceiling speakers are deeper than standard wall framing. The Kef you mentioned is about 5.5" deep and will not fit in most 2x4 framing in the US. If you don't have that limitation then no problem using it in wall.
 

juliangst

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So, what do you think is the superior option, hypothetically speaking and no room restrictions.

That mixing studio example you showed looks like they had a crazy budget, and they chose on wall heights instead of in ceiling, so probably some truth to that being better?

Also, assuming that is better and sticking to go with CI series, could you use in walls ci 200 RR for example, but in the front high wall, instead of in ceiling?
Speakers pointed at you is better.
You want to receive all the on axis direct sound and not the floor.
Some speakers like the Kef might be flat at 45° angles but they still send unnecessary energy into the room
 

IamJF

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The new master of Pink Floyd in ATMOS is phenomenal!
Thanks - will get this one. And there is a John Williams BluRay with Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra (I'm from Austria) which I will give a try but to be honest that's only for showcasing ATMOS and from curiosity, I'm not listening to soundtracks as music ...
 

holdingpants01

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The new master of Pink Floyd in ATMOS is phenomenal!
it actually sounds like it was written with atmos in mind, with all the sounds flying around. To me however the back surrounds are too loud and busy when they play almost the same stuff as the front, it takes away focus and intimacy especially from the drums. Stereo in this regard sounds better.
 
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Descartes

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it actually sounds like it was written with atmos in mind, with all the sounds flying around. To me however the back surrounds are too loud and busy when they play almost the same stuff as the front, it takes away focus and intimacy especially from the drums. Stereo in this regard sounds better.
To each their own ;)
 

holdingpants01

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To each their own ;)
sure, I just prefer the approach of "3D enhanced stereo" rather than "obviously it's not stereo, hide your head there's a snare drum coming behind!" for atmos mixes and there are plenty of both to choose from
 

Danaxus

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It's not been mentioned here as far as I can see, so...have you considered an Auro-3D speaker configuration as opposed to a Dolby Atmos one?
I ask for several reasons:
  • I've read that Dolby Atmos home mixes are, for the most part, terrible. Even if your movie is Atmos, you'd still be better off upmixing
  • I've also read that the best and most flexible upmixer to date, is Auro-3D's Auromatic
  • Auro-3D speaker configuration does really well playing back Dolby Atmos content, but Auro-3D content doesn't sound good with a Dolby Atmos speaker configuration
  • Auro-3D speaker configuration is arguably easier to install, and you only need one crappy-sounding ceiling-type speaker (and even that's optional). You can use KEFs, Genelecs - the best your budget can afford for all the important channels.
 

GXAlan

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I just started this thread. Given the popularity of Genelec speakers in actual mixing studios, it seems like that will be the better option for you.
 

IamJF

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It's not been mentioned here as far as I can see, so...have you considered an Auro-3D speaker configuration as opposed to a Dolby Atmos one?
I ask for several reasons:
  • I've read that Dolby Atmos home mixes are, for the most part, terrible. Even if your movie is Atmos, you'd still be better off upmixing
  • I've also read that the best and most flexible upmixer to date, is Auro-3D's Auromatic
  • Auro-3D speaker configuration does really well playing back Dolby Atmos content, but Auro-3D content doesn't sound good with a Dolby Atmos speaker configuration
  • Auro-3D speaker configuration is arguably easier to install, and you only need one crappy-sounding ceiling-type speaker (and even that's optional). You can use KEFs, Genelecs - the best your budget can afford for all the important channels.
I'm pretty sure that Atmos source material sounds better on a proper Atmos setup as on some upmixing different setup. Where did you read that?

The problem with this topic - source material is Atmos. The industry produces Atmos. Cinemas are Atmos, BluRays are Atmos. And multichannel music is tiny and will not be big enough to force a different speaker setup.

Why should a ceiling speaker sound crappy? Make an absorbant ceiling and put your speaker in/on that surface. You can angle a normal speaker. With 7.1.2 you have the speaker pretty over your head, no anlges or whatever needed.
In my usecase the back speakers are way harder to integrate cause I'm sitting to close to the rear wall.
 

juliangst

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It's not been mentioned here as far as I can see, so...have you considered an Auro-3D speaker configuration as opposed to a Dolby Atmos one?
I ask for several reasons:
  • I've read that Dolby Atmos home mixes are, for the most part, terrible. Even if your movie is Atmos, you'd still be better off upmixing
  • I've also read that the best and most flexible upmixer to date, is Auro-3D's Auromatic
  • Auro-3D speaker configuration does really well playing back Dolby Atmos content, but Auro-3D content doesn't sound good with a Dolby Atmos speaker configuration
  • Auro-3D speaker configuration is arguably easier to install, and you only need one crappy-sounding ceiling-type speaker (and even that's optional). You can use KEFs, Genelecs - the best your budget can afford for all the important channels.
It’s also a preference thing. The Dolby upmixer extracts a lot of ambience while Auromatic basically is multichannel stereo. Gene from audioholics compared upmixers for 2.0 and 5.1 upmixing:


 

Sammy135

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It's not been mentioned here as far as I can see, so...have you considered an Auro-3D speaker configuration as opposed to a Dolby Atmos one?
I ask for several reasons:
  • I've read that Dolby Atmos home mixes are, for the most part, terrible. Even if your movie is Atmos, you'd still be better off upmixing
  • I've also read that the best and most flexible upmixer to date, is Auro-3D's Auromatic
  • Auro-3D speaker configuration does really well playing back Dolby Atmos content, but Auro-3D content doesn't sound good with a Dolby Atmos speaker configuration
  • Auro-3D speaker configuration is arguably easier to install, and you only need one crappy-sounding ceiling-type speaker (and even that's optional). You can use KEFs, Genelecs - the best your budget can afford for all the important channels.

auro might be compromised in his setup. I think he said his ceiling is 7.22 ft high, and he's going with oled.

Because the oled is smaller, 77 or 83, he'll have to sit either 7.5 ft or 8.3 ft to maintain a 40 degree view angle. So when you sit 7.5 ft at minimum and the average ear height from the ground when reclining being about 3 ft.

Auro 30 degree at 7.5 ft away ends up being 4.33 ft. 4.33 plus the 3 ft from sitting lands above the ceiling height needed = 7.33 ft.

83 inch oled, lands you at 7.8 ft.

So with smaller ceilings, auro sometimes lands you Having to place front heights actually in the ceiling instead of the front wall. Not sure how this would sound, but might be a compromise to the official auro spec. Probably still okay though, might comprimise auromatic algorithm, but it might make native GOOD MIX atmos still sound good.
 

Danaxus

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I'm pretty sure that Atmos source material sounds better on a proper Atmos setup as on some upmixing different setup. Where did you read that?

The problem with this topic - source material is Atmos. The industry produces Atmos. Cinemas are Atmos, BluRays are Atmos. And multichannel music is tiny and will not be big enough to force a different speaker setup.

Why should a ceiling speaker sound crappy? Make an absorbant ceiling and put your speaker in/on that surface. You can angle a normal speaker. With 7.1.2 you have the speaker pretty over your head, no anlges or whatever needed.
In my usecase the back speakers are way harder to integrate cause I'm sitting to close to the rear wall.
There should be a thumbs down for this, but mostly from YouTube, and some threads on avsforum. ex:
The impression I left with was: if the movie is properly atmos mixed for the home (and not just a quick port from the theatre mix which apparently, is quite different?), then not much gets passed to the height channels. In that case, upmixing can do a better job of creating 3D immersion, and Automatic is king here. If you arrange your speakers according to Auro-3D's standards, then good atmos mixes will sound great on it - arguably you won't miss having a proper Atmos speaker configuration.

Basically, if the atmos mix is bad, or you want to up mix from stereo - Auro-3D is the way to go. If you have a good atmos mix, Auro-3D is a decent way to go.


Now how much of this is snake oil, or clueless people spouting nonsense? I really don't know. Getting good, objective info is so very difficult in this field. I wish I could build several rooms and run blind tests myself. If there are sound engineers here who mix movies for a living that can chime in about how much budget and time is being thrown at properly mixing atmos for the home, that would be wonderful.

As for speakers - sorry, crappy is not a fair way to describe ceiling speakers. I know Amir's been on a quest to find good ones, and so far has landed on the KEF 200 being the best in a sea of turds. I just assume that a cabinet speaker will always outperform a ceiling one. Auro-3D has you use cabinets for all channels except the single optional voice of God, whereas Atmos has you using 2-6 ceiling speakers. I just figure that gives Auro-3D a pretty solid head start in terms of speaker quality.
 

IamJF

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There is a big retailer in Germany (TakeOff Media) who did the comparison in their demo studios. And choose to build Atmos rooms (focus on home cinema).
All Studios I know have Atmos setups (and new built ones mostly go that route).
As I don't have the option to do a usefull comparison I decided to join the party and don't waste to much thoughts on "what could have been".

The good thing with Atmos - you don't have to upmix it, there is more and more material comming out. But it's still in the beginnings, I can imagine not every source is well done (as is with Stereo, even after all this years).

Ceiling speakers - no studio is using in wall speakers! It's a neat looking option in a living room but for a dedicated home cinema I would use "normal" speakers in the correct angle and make sure you don't have nasty interference with the ceiling (= the right absorption on the right spots).

I only had a quick search through this videos (hope i find time later the week) - but for sure I don't want vocals in my ceiling speakers! They should live in the center and the room should be extended to surround the listener. I do so much work to get a precise pin point location with my speakers ... don't mix the content all over the place:D. But for sure - that's a personal preference.
 

Danaxus

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There is a big retailer in Germany (TakeOff Media) who did the comparison in their demo studios. And choose to build Atmos rooms (focus on home cinema).
All Studios I know have Atmos setups (and new built ones mostly go that route).
As I don't have the option to do a usefull comparison I decided to join the party and don't waste to much thoughts on "what could have been".

The good thing with Atmos - you don't have to upmix it, there is more and more material comming out. But it's still in the beginnings, I can imagine not every source is well done (as is with Stereo, even after all this years).

Ceiling speakers - no studio is using in wall speakers! It's a neat looking option in a living room but for a dedicated home cinema I would use "normal" speakers in the correct angle and make sure you don't have nasty interference with the ceiling (= the right absorption on the right spots).

I only had a quick search through this videos (hope i find time later the week) - but for sure I don't want vocals in my ceiling speakers! They should live in the center and the room should be extended to surround the listener. I do so much work to get a precise pin point location with my speakers ... don't mix the content all over the place:D. But for sure - that's a personal preference.
There's a German channel - Grobi.tv - that covers the various 3D approaches, but also seems to lean towards Auto-3D

He also has collaborated with some English speaking channels.
 

dmilller

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Interesting thread. I agree about the budget approach.

When a new room has a KEF Blade One budget, room treatment, and even how the room is built, becomes much more important than surround speaker choice.

Certainly four subs is the way to go and paying for highest level base management is money well spent. With the low ceiling the height tweeters will need to be pointed at the listening position and not too close.

Surrounds just need to be competent full range speakers. Heights in particular are only sent enough higher frequency signal to set position location. The idea that these speakers need to be matched tonally is simply the sellers desire to sell more expensive stuff. I would do three rows of relatively inexpensive heights and not necessarily use the center row. The center row may be too close the the listeners.
 

IamJF

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When a new room has a KEF Blade One budget, room treatment, and even how the room is built, becomes much more important than surround speaker choice.

Certainly four subs is the way to go and paying for highest level base management is money well spent. With the low ceiling the height tweeters will need to be pointed at the listening position and not too close.

Surrounds just need to be competent full range speakers. Heights in particular are only sent enough higher frequency signal to set position location. The idea that these speakers need to be matched tonally is simply the sellers desire to sell more expensive stuff. I would do three rows of relatively inexpensive heights and not necessarily use the center row. The center row may be too close the the listeners.
I did some research - Dirac ART seems to be the best bass management at the moment, even better as Trinnov cause way more realistic requirements and with very good results as it seems. Looks like it comes close to a double bass array when you do a proper layout.

For movies I also don't overestimate the requirements for surrounds and ceiling speakers. For ATMOS music this is different - for best quality demands are higher.
 
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