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Height channels for music recordings?

garbulky

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#1
This has been something of long interest to me.
And that is the lack of height channels for stereo music. What advantage would that bring? And I don't mean close miced mono recordings mixed together on a virtual soundstage. I mean actual stereo recordings of an acoustic space.

It leaves us to extrapolate the height dimension from a left right stereo track.

Dolby Atmos now has height channels but I see little use of that for stereo acoustical recordings in an acoustic space. It's all movies and stuff going overhead etc.

instance, I am curious whether there can be additional audible information gained for these following recording and playback options.

- Choir on risers. Self explanatory
- A singer playing a guitar. Guitar is lower than the singer.
- Two singers of different heights singing side by side
- A recording of a single large instrument in a room. Will it portray the size of an instrument more accurately.


Anyway, does anybody have any thoughts on stereo with height?

I see that somebody is doing height recordings using an orchestra. Their purpose is stated to be to provide better ambient information of the church venue.
https://www.yumpu.com/en/document/v...g-music-in-91-height-surround-lindberg-lyd-as

https://www.auro-3d.com/blog/interv...ut-a-sculpture-you-can-literally-move-around/
Has anybody tried out the music?


I figured below what I write below would be an entertaining read. But it's just me recounting something fun I tried to do while being completely clueless about what to do. So please don't take it seriously like I'm claiming some sort of science or any right way to do this. I'm pretty sure I've bungled whatever I was attempting at.

So I went ahead and tried my own amateur (read newbish) recording method . I used four mics. Two matched pairs but each matched pair was different from the other pair.
One pair of MXL condenser microphones. And Rhodes Stereo condenser microphone.
I set them up but wasn't aware of the correct way to do so.
The directions I ended up with a North south, west, east points for the mics - like the ends of a cross. The idea was that west to east was the stereo information. North to south was the height information.

As you can see since the silver Rhodes is a stereo microphone there is no way to adjust the angles on it or separate it out. So I just made do.

I did a I tried to eyeball the volume on my Tascam DR 70d mk2 which has four volume levels to try and get things somewhat matching using the onscreen graphical feedback. I'm pretty sure I didn't succeed.
Anyway the Tascam DR70d mk2 is a pretty neat cheap device. It has the ability to power four phantom microphones at the same time while being standalone. It also can record four independent mono channels at up to 96 khz. Or two stereo channels.
So basically I got information for a stereo setup with a second stereo "top height and bottom height channel.

Unfortunately that's where my adventure ended. I didn't have a multichannel device to play back four channel audio. And I didn't know how to mix mono channels to multichannel audio. And I didn't have a multichannel amp though I did have four speakers.
 

Kal Rubinson

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#2
Such recordings do exist. Telarc and Chesky did some in the past on SACD or DVD-A and, I think, that mdg still does. And, of course, a label like 2L now does that lot with their Blu-ray discs.
 

jhaider

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#3
REM recently remixed Automatic for the People in Atmos.

I have it, but haven't had a chance to set up my height speakers yet, unfortunately. For some reason my wife frowned upon my temporary review front heights...



When I did the Marantz AV7702 review I was very impressed with the ambience retrieval on native content from the Auro 3D demo disk.
 
OP
G

garbulky

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Thread Starter #4
Has anybody tried hearing acoustic instruments with height included? Does it make a difference?
 

Sal1950

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#5
For some reason my wife frowned upon my temporary review front heights...
No sense of humor? :( Put your foot down, stand up and be a man. "it's my house and I'll hang speakers anywhere I dang like"
I'll tell her for you if you'd like. :eek: :p
 

Sal1950

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#6
When I did the Marantz AV7702 review I was very impressed with the ambience retrieval on native content from the Auro 3D demo disk.
All kidding aside, I'm saving my lunch money to upgrade my AV7701. Mainly for the Audyessy upgrade to XT32 but also to be able to add some type of heitht info. Looking for a 8802a when I can get one for the right price. (Kal liked his ;) )
 

jhaider

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#7
No sense of humor? :( Put your foot down, stand up and be a man. "it's my house and I'll hang speakers anywhere I dang like"
I'll tell her for you if you'd like. :eek: :p
We both wear the pants in our house:

https://www.amazon.com/Handbook-ICU-Monitoring-Suzette-LaRoche-ebook/dp/B0787VQF84/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1519415240&sr=8-1

But thanks for giving me an opportunity to brag about my wife! :)

And I don't think the 8802a is the way to go. The 7704 is a better choice. It can use the Audyssey app, which lets you restrict the frequency range of Audyssey correction. The 7703 is little different from the 7704, and can be had very cheaply. Or wait for the next generation.
 

Sal1950

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#8
And I don't think the 8802a is the way to go. The 7704 is a better choice. It can use the Audyssey app, which lets you restrict the frequency range of Audyssey correction.
How interesting, the newer 7703&4 and 8805 offer the Audyssey MultEQ Editor app. It allows you to play with target curves, etc for only $19.95! That might put a bite in the ass for sales of Audyssey Pro?
I am a bit surprised you don't think the 880X is worth the $ over the 770X for SQ, editor app aside?
Shame the 8802a can't be upgraded, I had been watching the used market for a good buy. Now you've thrown another bit of indecision into my life, thanks a lot. LOL
 

Sal1950

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#10
There is no more Audyssey Pro. I have a 7703 right now, and it works just fine. The analog outputs are markedly quieter than my review 7702's.
Thanks for the insight. There are some 7703s on ebay right now priced low, sure would be nice to be able to play with target curves, hummmm.
 

jhaider

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#11
Thanks for the insight. There are some 7703s on ebay right now priced low, sure would be nice to be able to play with target curves, hummmm.
Unless you need the extra two channels, I see no good reason to prefer the 8805 over a 7703 or 7704. Other people are more into electronics than I am, but I've found that getting the minimum that does what you want it to do is a good strategy. If balanced outputs are unimportant to you, but you already have outboard amps, the Denon 4300 of the same generation is probably the D+M part to get.

Also, I should hedge my comment on the relative noise performance of the 7702 (original model) review unit vs my personal 7703 by noting that I never had them on the same amp. I had an ATI AT2007 for the 7 base-level channels when I wrote the 7702 review. The AT2007's 12V trigger board died in a power surge, so I replaced it with an ATI AT4007. A month before the ATI nCore amps that are so much smaller and lighter came out, unfortunately!

If memory serves the AT2007 had a higher-than-normal 34dB gain through the balanced outputs. The AT4007 is a more standard 28dB gain through the balanced outputs. So that's effectively 6dB of front-end noise reduction. I still believe the analog section of the 7703 is quieter than the 7702 though. Even with 10dB attenuators on the 7702 there was a higher noise floor than I expect.
 

Sal1950

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#12
Unless you need the extra two channels, I see no good reason to prefer the 8805 over a 7703 or 7704.
Thanks for your input on this Jay. After much hand-wringing I pulled the plug today on a brand new AV 7703 from Crutchfield for $1499 total delivered to the door. The new 8805 is the only 88-- series that has the EQ editor app and at 3X the price ($4500) it was way too rich for my blood anyway.
Thinking about learning curve of the new DRC features is already making my brain hurt and it's about 3 days out still. LOL
 

andrew

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#13
And I don't think the 8802a is the way to go. The 7704 is a better choice. It can use the Audyssey app, which lets you restrict the frequency range of Audyssey correction. The 7703 is little different from the 7704, and can be had very cheaply. Or wait for the next generation.
So the 8802a doesn't allow one to restrict the frequency range of the correct?

@Kal Rubinson - I seem to recall that you're using 8802a and Dirac. Is that correct? And, if so, then how is it all set-up?
 

Kal Rubinson

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#14
So the 8802a doesn't allow one to restrict the frequency range of the correct?

@Kal Rubinson - I seem to recall that you're using 8802a and Dirac. Is that correct? And, if so, then how is it all set-up?
I use DL in my server which connects to the 8802, so only music sourced from the server can be played with controlled frequency EQ. However, I just replaced the 8802a with an 8805, so the Audyssey App is effective on all sources now.
 

Sal1950

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#15
However, I just replaced the 8802a with an 8805, so the Audyssey App is effective on all sources now.
I'd be interested in your take on the app when time and the learning curve allows. It has improved significantly over the last few months..
 

Kal Rubinson

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#16
I'd be interested in your take on the app when time and the learning curve allows. It has improved significantly over the last few months..
My impressions will appear in my column before I am able to discuss them here.
 

Fitzcaraldo215

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#17
This has been something of long interest to me.
And that is the lack of height channels for stereo music. What advantage would that bring? And I don't mean close miced mono recordings mixed together on a virtual soundstage. I mean actual stereo recordings of an acoustic space.

It leaves us to extrapolate the height dimension from a left right stereo track.

Dolby Atmos now has height channels but I see little use of that for stereo acoustical recordings in an acoustic space. It's all movies and stuff going overhead etc.

instance, I am curious whether there can be additional audible information gained for these following recording and playback options.

- Choir on risers. Self explanatory
- A singer playing a guitar. Guitar is lower than the singer.
- Two singers of different heights singing side by side
- A recording of a single large instrument in a room. Will it portray the size of an instrument more accurately.


Anyway, does anybody have any thoughts on stereo with height?

I see that somebody is doing height recordings using an orchestra. Their purpose is stated to be to provide better ambient information of the church venue.
https://www.yumpu.com/en/document/v...g-music-in-91-height-surround-lindberg-lyd-as

https://www.auro-3d.com/blog/interv...ut-a-sculpture-you-can-literally-move-around/
Has anybody tried out the music?


I figured below what I write below would be an entertaining read. But it's just me recounting something fun I tried to do while being completely clueless about what to do. So please don't take it seriously like I'm claiming some sort of science or any right way to do this. I'm pretty sure I've bungled whatever I was attempting at.

So I went ahead and tried my own amateur (read newbish) recording method . I used four mics. Two matched pairs but each matched pair was different from the other pair.
One pair of MXL condenser microphones. And Rhodes Stereo condenser microphone.
I set them up but wasn't aware of the correct way to do so.
The directions I ended up with a North south, west, east points for the mics - like the ends of a cross. The idea was that west to east was the stereo information. North to south was the height information.

As you can see since the silver Rhodes is a stereo microphone there is no way to adjust the angles on it or separate it out. So I just made do.

I did a I tried to eyeball the volume on my Tascam DR 70d mk2 which has four volume levels to try and get things somewhat matching using the onscreen graphical feedback. I'm pretty sure I didn't succeed.
Anyway the Tascam DR70d mk2 is a pretty neat cheap device. It has the ability to power four phantom microphones at the same time while being standalone. It also can record four independent mono channels at up to 96 khz. Or two stereo channels.
So basically I got information for a stereo setup with a second stereo "top height and bottom height channel.

Unfortunately that's where my adventure ended. I didn't have a multichannel device to play back four channel audio. And I didn't know how to mix mono channels to multichannel audio. And I didn't have a multichannel amp though I did have four speakers.
On height, I think there is clear reason that opening up the xyz spatial dimensions of audio proceeded as it did: mono to stereo to 2D 5.1/7.1 Mch and only now to the final height dimension in Atmos, Auro and DTS. The reason I believe is we do not have as much acuity for sound source localization in the height dimension. I think that is obvious by looking at the layout of our binaural ears, which are in the xy plane. Yes, we have some acuity in the z direction, but not nearly as much as we do in the xy surround direction.

So, I believe there are diminishing sonic returns in adding height channels. If the next step beyond stereo had been stereo plus height, it likely would have bombed. But, starting with movies, the industry went in the xy direction with 2D Mch surround, which has succeeded. Classical music listeners also seemed to agree, because the xy surround envelopment in the concert hall acoustic seems much more essential than the height dimension. So, 5.1/7.1 Mch exist as a persistent niche primarily for those seeking "concert hall sound" in their recordings. Count me as a huge fan.

I really think you should take a close look at Auro 3D. I think it is by far best suited to music, which is not surprising since it was developed by one of Europe's major music recording studios. Their emphasis is not on ceiling "voice of God" channels, though they include that. Rather, it is on height channels 30 degrees up from the listener. They also make a 2D stereo or Mch to 3D Auromatic upscaler, which I have heard good things about.

I have heard discrete Auro 3D and I liked what I heard, but that was very limited sans comparisons with/without.

I am going out on a wild and crazy tangent here, especially for this forum. But, I find there are certain speaker/room situations where height is audible from 2.0 and conventional 5.1 channel xy sources. I first heard this on a Chesky test CD long ago with my tall Martin Logan CLS's. A set of tracks had jangling keys go up the left side, across the top, then down the righ side. Reproduction was not perfect going across, but it was actually quite good up and down.

Today, I still have tall ML, line source dipoles with hybrid woofers. I firmly believe I can often hear whether an orchestra is playing on risers or not. Some orchestras do, some do not. Photos or videos seem to bear out what I am hearing. Friends with Magicos or Revel Salons hear it on my system, but not on theirs with the same recordings. I agree, and I do not hear it on theirs either. But, there are no DBTs here to conclusively establish this one way or the other, and it is a subtlety one must concentrate on to perceive. I believe there may also be other more subtle manifestations of this. I have not tried singer with guitar, but the listener might be biased to hear this knowing the necessary height differences.

Still, I think the best investment in additional recording or reproduction channels is capturing more of the room acoustic in xy as opposed to adding a more defined height illusion.
 

Sal1950

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#18
My impressions will appear in my column before I am able to discuss them here.
Understood. I think the app is a major point separating it from the others, specially the higher cost units with things like Dirac Live, etc. The older units with Audyssey XT32 just aren't in the same ballpark as Dirac, where the new D-M app for XT32 moves the goalpost closer.
 

Kal Rubinson

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#19
Understood. I think the app is a major point separating it from the others, specially the higher cost units with things like Dirac Live, etc. The older units with Audyssey XT32 just aren't in the same ballpark as Dirac, where the new D-M app for XT32 moves the goalpost closer.
I intend to compare them.
 
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