Questions about 5.1, why surround sound.

Discussion in 'Music Corner' started by GMav, Oct 13, 2004.

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  1. markl

    markl New Member

    Veech, I'm not arguing against 5.1. I have both an SACD and a DVD-A system, and a pretty spiffy surround set-up. Me likey the surround sound! :righton:
  2. Dave D

    Dave D Done!

    Milton, Canada
    Ambience, Shmabience!

    You like 5.1....ENJOY!

    You don't? Don't buy! Don't listen!! Leave us be!! You have your originals to listen to ....knock yourselves out!
  3. J. R.

    J. R. Forum Resident

    Kansas City, MO
    Well, I don't have to be young or stoned to enjoy a 5.1 recording....that was a very ignorant remark.

    I am neither young nor do I get stoned. You know, if you enjoy mono, stereo, quad, 5.1..whatever.....that's great! To each his own. IMHO, it is the epitome of elitism to belittle other people's choices of listening styles or recording format.

    Just say what you like about a format....not cut other people down for enjoying a format that you don't.

    I enjoy 5.1 recordings of alll kinds of music. It doesn't necessarily replace the mono or stereo is just another way to enjoy that recording. Some recordings work better than others. I haven't heard anything yet that I have said "Geez, I really wish they wouldn't have done this in 5.1".
  4. Veech

    Veech Space In Sounds

    Los Angeles, CA
    Cool! I kinda got a soapbox for a minute there... but yeah, I totally agree with you Mark about the idea of music being composed and recorded specifically with 5.1 in mind as the primary medium. That experience should be awesome, eh?

    I for one do not care for the use of 5.1 rear channels as "bounceback", or live ambience. I guess it's ok to simulate the listening experience of a live recording, but I want discreet 5.1. I *like* drums in the back! *hah* It's all a matter of taste, eh?
  5. RetroSmith

    RetroSmith Forum Hall Of Fame<br>(Formerly Mikey5967)

    East Coast
    Of course.

    5.1 is the greatest thing to happen to music lovers in 30 years.

    What "law" says The Beatles have to be stereo or mono? The Beatles stereo mixes are so pukey in general that 5.1 is a huge improvment over those automatically.

    When done right, like on "Yellow Submarine" 5.1 is absolutely awesome.

    What makes me laugh, more than anything, are the folks that say "I cant stand 5.1", but then admit that they have NEVER HEARD a 5.1 setup!!! They just "think its wrong"!!

    Stereo is *so* 1970s.......
  6. GMav

    GMav Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Salem, Oregon, USA

    From another point of view, what "law" states that the Beatles have to be 5.1?

    I understand that some people like 5.1 and I have no problem with that. I simply prefer the Beatles recordings the original way they were presented.

    I have heard 5.1 in a very good system. With recordings that I remember, when they were "re-created" in 5.1, I wasn't impressed. What did impress me, was movies presented that way. So, from a video standpoint, that's OK with me.

    With regards to your "5.1 is the greatest thing to happen to music lovers in 30 years" statement, to you (and others), perhaps it is. If that is the case, you may want to reconsider your "Stereo Rules" tagline.......LOL

    Greg :D
  7. Dave D

    Dave D Done!

    Milton, Canada
    in the words of Yosimite Sam....

    Heeeeyyyy!!! I LIKE You! :D
  8. RetroSmith

    RetroSmith Forum Hall Of Fame<br>(Formerly Mikey5967)

    East Coast
    Gmay.....I think you miised the whole point of my post!!!

    You guys ALREADY have, for 30 years, the mono and stereo Beatles mixes. Enjoy them in good health.

    I'm saying, hey, give us 5.1 lovers the same chance the stereo and mono heads got. Let us hear The Beatles in 5.1. The old mixes will still be around on LP, 45, Cassette, 8 track, CD, minidisk, reel to reel, etc, long after mankind is extinct.

    I think its 5.1s turn now.
  9. RetroSmith

    RetroSmith Forum Hall Of Fame<br>(Formerly Mikey5967)

    East Coast
    PS......for those of you who havent heard the Yellow Submarine 5.1 mix of Nowhere Man, you havent heard the song yet.
  10. GMav

    GMav Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Salem, Oregon, USA

    A couple of observations.

    First: As I stated in this thread before, I have no problem with people wanting 5.1

    Second: I have heard Nowhere Man in 5.1 I wasn't impressed. I have heard the song before, and I prefer the original.

    Third: My name is GMav....not GMay.........LOL

    And to use your tagline......indeed (Stereo - and Mono Rules). I hope I don't owe you a roayalty for that......LOL

    Greg :righton:
  11. RickH

    RickH Senior Member

    Raleigh, NC
    Just a general statement regarding 5.1 for audio - regardless of the history aspect, music properly done in 5.1 is a new revelation, presents a missing dimension you just don't get with stereo, IMO. It's a jaw-dropping experience, you go, "oh man! I'm really hearing this the way it was meant to be!" That was exactly my thoughts the first time I heard Dark Side of the Moon in 5.1 earlier this year. How I (and many others) would LOVE to hear Sgt. Pepper's in surround.
  12. Metoo

    Metoo Forum Hall Of Fame

    Spain (EU)
    GMav, I know the 'cognitive dissonance' of listening to a recording I have always heard say in stereo in 5.1. One has grown accustomed to listening to it in a certain way and the change sounds odd, sometimes even disconcerting. Yet, I've found that if you give the mix some listening time it tends to move into the auditory comfort zone (so to speak) and you suddenly hear things you had never noticed, which, BTW, where always there.

    I do believe that hi-rez albums should continue to bring an original mix in stereo, or maybe even mono, if they were first recorded that way. In any 5.1 music done from scratch this would only make sense for compatibility's sake and to be able to listen to the music on stereo headphones.

    In a sense, the experience of listening to 5.1 after being used to listening to a record in stereo or mono is like (excuse me for the example) when you have an ear wax plug and it is eliminated. You suddenly hear things that you had forgotten where there and, for some time, all you sense has this strange feeling, everything (in this case) tends to sound bright and somewhat tinny (not referring to surround mixes).

    I always point out that liking surround mixes or not mainly has to do with personal tastes that usually center on how your nervous system is wired, the format in which you have grown accustomed to listening to music (which is behind this wiring) and how you listen to music (ie.: the whole experience or dividing and savoring the relationship among the different instruments, which is more noticeable in surround and also has to do with how you are 'wired'). This is probably one of the reasons why the survey carried out in the UK shows a large drop in interest in surround among middle-aged people (down to 26% from 66% among people in their early 20s). BTW some of the results of this survey were published in High Fidelity Review some time ago. Here's the link:
  13. RickH

    RickH Senior Member

    Raleigh, NC
    An interesting experiment in reverse would be to get a 5.1 new release of music you'd never heard before and listen to it for a couple months or so ONLY in 5.1. Then, after experiencing that music in 5.1 for a while - the only way you know it, put on a stereo version of the same thing and see if you don't find it much less interesting. I think I'll have to try this.
  14. dwmann

    dwmann Well-Known Member

    Houston TX
    I did not intend to belittle anyone, nor was I engaging in eliteism. If you will re-read my post you will see that I was expaining the development in my own tastes. I think about this whenever I hear one of the gimicky stereo mixes I used to love in the 60s/70s, esp Sgt. Pepper and MMT, because these LPs had an incredible impact on me in stereo, prompting me to work and buy a then-expensive component setup when all my friends had little flip-open record players. As the years have passed, I HAVE found these mixes more of a distraction than a pleasure, and I DO prefer the mono mixes. This has been a source of speculation for me for a long time. I DO sometimes think you have to be young or very stoned to appreciate radical stereo mixes. Or that I would have to be, anyway. At other times I wonder if my change in taste has more to do with equipment changes, because my listening habits HAVE changed radically as a result of moving to large full-range floorstanders as opposed to the smaller bookshelf models I listened to for years. For most of the time I ran smaller speakers I ran 2 sets (front and rear) and kept the volume in back low enough that it fleshed out the size of the sound, but individual instruments were not obvious (ambience). This was a big expense for me in the 70s especially, because it required TWO recievers to get the levels right - a big expense for a teenager. Now, I have rear channel speakers (and a surround sound setup) and almost never turn them on, because the rears interfere with the incredible sense of you are there I get from the mains. However, in my 2nd system (used primarily for movies), which consists of bookshelfs, I ALWAYS use the rears. So it may be speaker setup has a lot to do with it, I don't know. Anyway, I wonder about all this whenever I listen to MMT, which is not infrequently.

    Although I did not provide the same amount of detail in my first post as I did here, even re-reading my first post again I wonder how you could have thought I was belittling YOU PERSONALLY. I even closed mypost with the statement:

    "With all that said, if they can fit a 5.1 mix in and still provide both the mono and stereo versions, you've got something for everybody. That's what I PERSONALLY would like to see - and let everyone enjoy this great music as they see fit."

    I thought this was a very inclusive statement, and much more lenient on the subject than some of our more hard-core Beatle purists have been.

    If I had simply posted the statement "I think you have to be young or very stoned to appreciate radical stereo mixes" with no other discussion or context, THAT would have been an unfriendly statement you might have had reason to take offense at. However, if you will re-read my post, you will see there are a lot of other paragraphs before and after that statement that place that statement in context with something else. I don't like (most) 5.1, but I respect your right to do so.

    If you or ANYONE ELSE felt you were being belittled by my previous post I apologize. This is a friendly forum, and I did not intend to offend anyone. I notice you have not posted much; perhaps you haven't spent as much time here as some. If that is the case I hope you will visit more often, and perhaps realize what a friendly place this really IS. People here may have strong opinions, and may make statements at times that might sound judgmental or offensive, but I think very few are ever meant that way, and the few real squabbles I've seen occur here have started with one person taking offense at what they perceived as a slight by someone else when no slight was meant or intended, and most could have been avoided altogether. So next time you read a statement you take offense at, from myself or anyone else, please re-read that post, and preferably the whole thread, and try to take whatever statement you took offense at in context, before resorting to your own attack. I could have easily reacted emotionally to YOUR post and taken IT personally - it was obviously meant that way. But that isn't what the SH forum is about. This is a community of friends.

    Anyway, keep posting, and keep coming back.
  15. JonUrban

    JonUrban SHF Member #497

    Well, at least all of this "5.1" debate is really happening in a thread that is "on topic".

    dwmann is a respected member and has always stated his preference for stereo over surround, while he has never IMHO belittled anyone else for their liking of it. One thing we have to remember is that there are many different people who frequent here, with varying tastes and preferences.

    We all get along pretty damn well (can I say that? :D) considering. It is most impressive that we keep things civil most of the time, and when someone gets "heated up" there is usually a follow up post where things are "taken back" a bit.

    This shows the class and quality of our membership.

    A post like this can get emotional, so it's best to remember NOT to make it personal, and stay on track. If you think 5.1 sucks, you can say it that way, but you can also say it in a way that won't fire up anyone. If you think 5.1 is the ultimate, you can also say that without insinuating that anyone who does not think this way is stuck in the past. (These are generalizations)

    At any rate, you all know what I mean. Opinions are very hard to change.

    However, they can also be interesting to read when presented properly. I think that happens quite a bit here at SH, and I am pleased that it does.

  16. Steve G

    Steve G Forum Resident

    los angeles
    5.1 is much better for classical music or for recordings of things that were sampled to reproduce a real physical placement of a three-dimensional sound - i.e., a "snapshot" of an actual audio event

    If you were recording a new record, you'd be well served to use micing and so forth to capture the waves (e.g. acoustic guitar) that get lost anywhere but 5.1

    however, for old recordings, the mix usually sounds best if it's what the artist was thinking of at the time of the recording. Mono Pet Sounds, mixed by Brian, sounds better than stereo or 5.1 mixed by others. Mono Kinks, mono Who, etc., can be total gems. When the artists were already thinking of stereo, the stereo tends to be best.

    It seems like a waste - IN GENERAL - to remix old pop records in 5.1. That having been said, if you had a good bebop session with micing that pretty much mirrored the placement of 5.1, you could have some real magic happen in between your speakers.

    it all depends.

  17. ACK!

    ACK! Forum Resident

    New Hampshire
    Why?? Why ask why?? I think surround is great and when a mix is well done (say, Gaucho or any Eliot Scheiner surround mix), it's like hearing the music again for the first time. You hear elements previously buried and panning effects can be used to great effect.

    I'm not saying everything should be in surround - there's some music that's better left in either its original mono or stereo - I somehow doubt The Ramones would benefit from surround, given how basic their sound, but that's just me.

    I say, Yes! 5.1!! Hopefully it will be around for a while - I just hope the apparent stalling of DVD-A and SACD won't hinder any future remixes of classic albums.
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