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Apple Music announces Spatial Audio with Dolby Atmos; will bring Lossless Audio to entire catalog
Old 1 week ago | Show parent
  #91
Quote:
Originally Posted by nightjar ➡️
My conclusion is somewhat the opposite.

Apple Music's new lossless streaming option is mostly a marketing buzz needed to keep up with consumer expectations. And the hi-rez in excess of 24/48 is just playing that game to a higher degree.

On the other hand, Spatial Audio is the leading edge of new era of music consumption.

We are at an inflection point as 1958 was for stereo.
Who really wants to listen to their lifelong favourite classic tracks mangled by "spatial" prossesing?
Old 1 week ago | Show parent
  #92
Gear Maniac
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by TheHanes ➡️
Every Atmos mix is required to have the binaural modes set and is "required" to have been monitored in binaural by the mix engineer.

All Atmos mixes are therefor ready for binaural headphone playback.
Ah this is great info I didn't know. Thanks for this
Old 1 week ago | Show parent
  #93
Gear Maniac
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by TheHanes ➡️
At the decode end, where you are listening, your decoder will know if you are listening on headphones and decode and dowmix to binaural with the specified settings, or know if you are listening on a multichannel speaker system where is will decode and send beds and objects to the speakers available to it. So if you have a 5.1 speaker system, the decoder will know and playback to the appropriate speakers. If you have a 9.2.6 speaker system, it will also know that and will playback.

.
Just on this part I've quoted, how does Apple Music app on my iMac know whether I'm using non-Apple headphones or 2-channel speakers?

There is nowhere for me to specify this in Apple Music app

So is the binaural mode playing over stereo speakers or the 2.0 stereo speaker downmix is playing to non-Apple headphones?
Old 1 week ago | Show parent
  #94
Lives for gear
 
TheHanes's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by louderjamz ➡️
Just on this part I've quoted, how does Apple Music app on my iMac know whether I'm using non-Apple headphones or 2-channel speakers?

There is nowhere for me to specify this in Apple Music app

So is the binaural mode playing over stereo speakers or the 2.0 stereo speaker downmix is playing to non-Apple headphones?
I'm not exactly certain. My guess is that the Apple OS will feed the binaural downmix to anything that doesn't identify itself as "full atmos capable" which would only be their AirPod Pro, and maybe HomePod, etc.

Other apps in the system, such as Sonos, Tidal, Amazon, etc. would know their own ecosystem hardware available and choose to playback the appropriate method.

This would probably be the reason to have the "dont use atmos" selection in settings.
Old 1 week ago | Show parent
  #95
Gear Maniac
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by TheHanes ➡️
I'm not exactly certain. My guess is that the Apple OS will feed the binaural downmix to anything that doesn't identify itself as "full atmos capable" which would only be their AirPod Pro, and maybe HomePod, etc.

Other apps in the system, such as Sonos, Tidal, Amazon, etc. would know their own ecosystem hardware available and choose to playback the appropriate method.

This would probably be the reason to have the "dont use atmos" selection in settings.
If you play Arian Positions or your Taylor Atmos mixes on non-Apple headphones and then on just stereo speakers, is it obvious to you what Apple's Atmos decoding is doing?

With "Always use Atmos" enabled.

Or very subtle and difficult to tell if it is binaural mode?

Ideally there would be an option in Apple Music app to just say if it's headphones (non-Apple) or stereo speakers being used

Maybe you could pass on the feedback to any contacts that could reach Apple

Ultimately I want to hear your work and all Atmos work in the best way, on all types of setups including non-Apple headphones
Old 1 week ago
  #96
Gear Maniac
 
This was also the gist of my earlier comment about "Made for headphones" , playback that is optimised for non-Apple headphones

Maybe some of the comments here by some not liking Atmos mixes is because maybe they are getting the binaural mix over stereo speakers with Apple Music Atmos content ?

Or maybe they are getting stereo speaker downmix to non-Apple headphones?

Either of these would be the 'sub-optimal' experience

And if you mixed it in Atmos (like Ariana , Taylor mixes) and you can't say for certain what Apple Music app Atmos decoding is doing, then this could be an explanation why some guys here are not feeling Atmos mixes at the playback side.

Would love to know what is happening here at the playback side but if I contact Apple Support that will be a hopeless dead end

Hope one of you Atmos mix guys have contacts that can get back to Apple
Old 1 week ago
  #97
Here for the gear
 
Somafunk's Avatar
 
TheHanes - thanks for dropping into the thread to offer your knowledge and experience, much appreciated
Old 1 week ago | Show parent
  #98
Lives for gear
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Somafunk ➡️
TheHanes - thanks for dropping into the thread to offer your knowledge and experience, much appreciated
+1 from me @ TheHanes
Old 1 week ago | Show parent
  #99
Gear Addict
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jules ➡️
Who really wants to listen to their lifelong favourite classic tracks mangled by "spatial" prossesing?
The Stones/Beatles songs in the Apple Music Spatial Audio playlist were a lot of fun to hear.

And Spatial Audio remixes of back catalogues may help some classic tracks get discovered by a whole new audience.
Old 1 week ago | Show parent
  #100
In my journey to test this

I found somehow I had a stupid eq engaged in Apple music
Switched that off and started again.
Found the Doors "riders of the Storm" sounded "wider"
Found not much in hi res (on its way Apple Says). But what I found sounded as good / the same as Qobuz.
Switching on "alway on" for Atmos - gives me no joy on the Stones Atmos tracks. Gives me a crazy treble eq on Sheryl Crowe's track? And Iggy Pop's The Passenger sounds rotten. (But OK when switched back lossless)

I still think spatial is a gimmick to distract while Apple puts right thier way overdue lack of lossless streaming (that Tidal and Qobuz, Amazon Music HD and to some extent Deezer, have been doing for a long time.)

The 'gimmick' must sound better with airpods than with my $1.5k iems and $200 24bit /192k dac. Sure is a confusing pain what to switch on and off in the settings.

Back to Qobuz's hires catalog for me. I have 3 more months in the trial so I will check in again on it. I will see what my eldest son thinks of it, he has airpods.
Old 1 week ago | Show parent
  #101
Lossless Apple Music and Qobuz = both fantastic and (hires)
Apple music Atmos (switched to always on) = terrible sounding!

(Big album art image is Qobuz)

The DAC running from the lightning port confirms hires output from iPhone.
Attached Thumbnails
Apple Music announces Spatial Audio with Dolby Atmos; will bring Lossless Audio to entire catalog-ff6fcda3-9971-4d0a-a76e-f30042f589de.jpg   Apple Music announces Spatial Audio with Dolby Atmos; will bring Lossless Audio to entire catalog-a3f41362-a10d-4aa5-9cfb-d0030091468a.jpg   Apple Music announces Spatial Audio with Dolby Atmos; will bring Lossless Audio to entire catalog-451cbf59-81d1-4ae6-9c76-b04619aecf28.jpg   Apple Music announces Spatial Audio with Dolby Atmos; will bring Lossless Audio to entire catalog-6548f36c-40de-412d-8b92-142a6f3fd60b.jpg  
Old 1 week ago
  #102
Gear Maniac
 
Yikes, listen to Grovers sax from 3 minutes on this classic

This is not good listening with non-Apple headphones.

Butchered a classic.

Definitely achieves 'depth' - except it sounds 100 ft away

This can't be binaural mode?
Attached Thumbnails
Apple Music announces Spatial Audio with Dolby Atmos; will bring Lossless Audio to entire catalog-screen-shot-2021-06-11-6.46.36-pm.png  
Old 1 week ago | Show parent
  #103
Gear Addict
 
🎧 15 years
AES Learning Event - Immersive Audio

AES has a learning event June 17 on mixing in Immersive Audio.

Here's some info:

The AES Immersive Audio Academy program of events offers a varied schedule of presentations aimed at offering a well-rounded educational event that will spark further innovation within the industry. In the session “Preserving the Artistic Intent in Immersive Music,” panelists Wilfried Van Baelen, Frank Filipetti Darcy Proper, and Thomas Walravens will discuss their approach to immersive audio productions and their most effective workflow solutions. Expanding further on the capabilities of immersive audio, the panel discussion “Getting Higher Quality in Immersive Audio” will include Andres Mayo, George Massenburg, Eric Schilling and Ceri Thomas addressing the issue of how to get high quality sound when you go 360, and offering audio examples as part of the presentation. The session “Immersive in Classical Music” will further take a look into one of the most popular genres for immersive audio in an informative panel moderated by Darcy Proper with special guests Malgorzata Albinska-Frank, Kseniya Kawko and Ulrike Schwarz.

The day’s sessions will culminate in a 3.5-hour hands-on Master Class, “Mixing Music in Immersive,” hosted by Ronald Prent. Over the past 30 years, Prent has established himself as a specialist in immersive audio, not only pioneering in the field of multichannel mixing, but also playing a key role in the conceptualization and development of new technology needed to meet the demands of working in 5.1 and other progressive high-resolution multi-channel formats.


https://www.aes.org/blog/2021/6/aes-...academy-series
Old 1 week ago | Show parent
  #104
Lives for gear
 
spaceman's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jules ➡️
Who really wants to listen to their lifelong favourite classic tracks mangled by "spatial" prossesing?
The future generations maybe ? Just like when Stereo was introduced, I’m sure lots of people thought “ Who really wants to listen to their lifelong favourite MONO classic tracks mangled by "STEREO” prossesing?
Then , music started being thought and created specifically for Stereo. Engineers who were used to mix and make things sound good only in mono had to learn how to make things sound good in stereo.

Maybe now, engineers and artists have to learn how to conceptualize music specifically for immersive formats like Atmos. If it sounds bad, blame the engineers, not the format. You can’t apply the same old recipes from one format to another.

Anyway, Surround sound formats will benefit some genres of music immensely, and not much for others. Just like Stereo and Mono.
Old 1 week ago | Show parent
  #105
Lives for gear
 
spaceman's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Concerning the questions above about how your device knows what version it should send you…. It has no real way of knowing. See my answer previously posted about it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by spaceman ➡️
Actually, it works with any headphones, not just with Apple’s H1 chip enabled. AppleMusic basically just streams a binaural Atmos version of the album if you set it to Automatic or Always. No decoding is happening in the headphones.

The confusion comes from the fact that they probably don’t want to have droves of people suddenly complaining that their device or the streaming service sounds “broken” , because they forgot to set Atmos to Off when their device is plugged into regular stereo speakers. In fact, when you switch it to Always, you get each time a warning reminding you that Atmos will not work on regular speakers.

As the device has no way of knowing if it has wired headphones or wired speakers plugged into it , the only way they have to avoid this is the Automatic setting by default, which detects if an Airpod is being used ( in that case it will play the Atmos version), and if not, it will play a stereo version, unless you manually switch to Always.

So, basically you can use any non-Apple wired or bluetooth headphones you want, as long as you set it to Always, and remember to set it to Off if you’re plugging stereo speakers.
Old 1 week ago | Show parent
  #106
Gear Maniac
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by spaceman ➡️
Concerning the questions above about how your device knows what version it should send you…. It has no real way of knowing. See my answer previously posted about it.
Yes of course there's no way to know which model passive headphones I have connected to my interface.

But there should be a tick box in Apple Music to select Headphones, to get the binaural mode mix, with non-Apple headphones.

When I listen to that Grover Washington track above, I can't imagine that is the binaural mode version playing
Old 1 week ago | Show parent
  #107
Lives for gear
 
spaceman's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by louderjamz ➡️
Yes of course there's no way to know which model passive headphones I have connected to my interface.

But there should be a tick box in Apple Music to select Headphones, to get the binaural mode mix, with non-Apple headphones.

When I listen to that Grover Washington track above, I can't imagine that is the binaural mode version playing
But there is ! I mentionned it in my post : it’s the “Always” setting in iOS.
I’ve just plugged in a Focal Spirit Pro headphones in the phone jack of my iPad, and i can very distinctly hear the difference between the Stereo “Off” version and the Binaural Atmos “Always” of the Grover track.
And yes the Sax sounds a bit further away in the Atmos version, but not 100ft though…Maybe that perception is due to the fact that the Atmos versions are quieter ( someone mentionned -18 lufs ) , and so they feel less present. You’ll have to raise the volume manually everytime to switch to the Atmos.

I’m not sure why some people are not hearing the effect on non-Apple headphones ( unless they didn’t switch it on manually). I’ve tried it with Focal Spirit, Akg N700, and Sennheiser Hd800, all in wired mode of course, and actually the Spatialisation effect sounded far better on the Focal and Sennheisers than on Apple’s Airpods Max !

Last edited by spaceman; 1 week ago at 01:55 PM..
Old 1 week ago | Show parent
  #108
Gear Maniac
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by spaceman ➡️
But there is ! I mentionned it in my post : it’s the “Always” setting in iOS.
I’ve just plugged in a Focal Spirit Pro headphones in the phone jack of my iPad, and i can very distinctly hear the difference between the Stereo “Off” version and the Binaural Atmos “Always” of the Grover track.
And yes the Sax sounds a bit further away in the Atmos version, but not 100ft though…Maybe that perception is due to the fact that the Atmos versions are quieter ( someone mentionned -18 lufs ) , and so they feel less present. You’ll have to raise the volume manually everytime to switch to the Atmos.

I’m not sure why some people are not hearing the effect on non-Apple headphones ( unless they didn’t switch it on manually). I’ve tried it with Focal Spirit, Akg N700, and Sennheiser Hd800, all in wired mode of course, and actually the Spatialisation effect sounded far better on the Focal and Sennheisers than on Apple’s Airpods Max !
"Always on" just enables Atmos...

Have a look at TheHanes posts - even he is not certain if Apple Music is serving the binaural mode or stereo downmix, and he mixed some of the best stuff in Atmos...

How do you know which version Apple is serving to your non-Apple headphones.

I think you were talking about something different.

I am able to play Atmos to my non-Apple headphones - that is simple, "Always on" as you say. But that's not what I was discussing.

Binaural mode played to stereo speakers is a sub-optimal experience.

Stereo downmix to headphones is also sub-optimal (compared to binaural to headphones).

As already mentioned a few times, there is no way to select headphones in Apple Music. So who knows which mode you are getting on non-Apple headphones?
Old 1 week ago | Show parent
  #109
Gear Maniac
Quote:
Originally Posted by louderjamz ➡️
As already mentioned a few times, there is no way to select headphones in Apple Music. So who knows which mode you are getting on non-Apple headphones?
I couldnt say for sure what mix is being used but without AirPods Pro/Max with head tracking turned on it would make no sense to do anything but binaural. Even with head tracking with AirPods Pro/Max not sure it makes sense to do anything but binaural with headphones.

The fact that they say any headphones to me means its just binaural. Come Fall when ios 15 is out there probably will be more information.
Old 1 week ago | Show parent
  #110
Lives for gear
 
spaceman's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by louderjamz ➡️

Binaural mode played to stereo speakers is a sub-optimal experience.

Stereo downmix to headphones is also sub-optimal (compared to binaural to headphones).

As already mentioned a few times, there is no way to select headphones in Apple Music. So who knows which mode you are getting on non-Apple headphones?
Unless I completely misunderstood him, that's not what THeHanes is saying at all.

Binaural mode played to stereo speakers is not just a sub-optimal experience. It's a completely wrong experience. I think TheHanes said it multiple times : Binaural is made for Headphones Only

Binaural uses psychoacoustic effects to fool the brain in thinking that things are positionned further than it physically perceives. This can ONLY work if you're feeding the sound from each channel ( Left/Right) directly to each ear. Binaural played on Stereo speakers completely destroys the experience and just sounds weird. Binaural was never meant for stereo speakers. It's like feeding Stereo to a Mono speaker and wondering why it's not working.

When Thehanes said
Quote:
"I'm not exactly certain. My guess is that the Apple OS will feed the binaural downmix to anything that doesn't identify itself as "full atmos capable" which would only be their AirPod Pro, and maybe HomePod, etc.
Other apps in the system, such as Sonos, Tidal, Amazon, etc. would know their own ecosystem hardware available and choose to playback the appropriate method.
This would probably be the reason to have the "dont use atmos" selection in settings.
unless I misunderstand him, he meant this :

Atmos can be played on a surround sound set of speakers ( at least 4 speakers ), or as a 2 channel BINAURAL headphones downmix ( not a regular stereo downmix) meaning the version that is sent on 2 channels ( left and right ) but uses the psychoacoustic effects to fool the brain into thinking it's listening to multiple speakers spread over a bigger distance.

However, TheHanes said he is not sure what is happening when there are not Surround speakers used, and in fact Im' not even sure there is a "mutiple set of speakers" version of Atmos available on AppleMusic, only a Binaural version for headphones. Unlike the AppleTv for example, which is capable of feeding a Dolby 5.1, 7.1 , or Atmos version of a film to a multiple set of speakers through the HDMI output going into a an AV amp capable of having 4 or more speakers plugged in. Or communicating to 4 or more set of Bluetohth speakers set for surround sound.

It really is a complex and confusing subject, and I don't blame Apple one bit for pushing people into using only their H1 equipped headphones for "better experience" as they say. If even experienced people on Gearspace are getting confused about it, imagine what it can be for regular John/Jane Doe !!

In other words there are only these cases here :

1- You are using stereo speakers : AppleMusic will send you the Stereo version if set to "No" or "Automatic". If you set it to Always, it will warn you, and still play the Binaural Headphone version and it will sound very weird on your speakers.

2- You are using Apple Bluetooth Headphones with H1 chip : AppleMusic will detect them and send you the BINAURAL Atmos mix, if you set it to Automatic or Always.

3- You are using non-Apple headphones ( wired or not ) : AppleMusic will send you the Binaural Atmos version only if you set it to "Always". Otherwise it will send you the regular stereo version.

There is a last case which remains a bit mysterious : what about an AppleTV or a Mac using an interface/amp capable of handling a multiple speaker set for Atmos ? I don't know ( and this is what Thehanes was refering to I think ). Not even sure there is a regular Atmos for multiple speakers version in Apple Music right now.

Apple does have Dolby Atmos for multiple speakers on its iTunes FILM section ( as well as Dolby 5.1 and 7.1 surround versions ), but Atmos version for multiple speakers in AppleMusic ? I could be wrong but I don't think they have that right now.

Last edited by spaceman; 1 week ago at 02:59 PM..
Old 1 week ago | Show parent
  #111
How are lossless sample rates managed on Desktop / laptop Apple devices? Do you have to mess around with the Audio Midi for every sample rate change? (I need to investigate)
Old 1 week ago | Show parent
  #112
Reviews Editor
 
Diogo C's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jules ➡️
How are lossless sample rates managed on Desktop / laptop Apple devices? Do you have to mess around with the Audio Midi for every sample rate change? (I need to investigate)
I'm about to give that a try on Apple Music/iTunes desktop - first I need to upgrade to Big Sur as lossless is not available on Catalina/Mojave and under...
Old 1 week ago | Show parent
  #113
Conclusions

(Apple)

1) Just use our headphones and it won't be so confusing.
2) Wait while we figure out how to transmit hires to them. It's on your phone but we haven't organised for you to hear it yet.
3) meanwhile enjoy the new wider sound we put on some tracks ourselves and some tracks a handful of people mixed specially for.

Prediction

Apple will use the M1 or M2 chips for a new proprietary Bluetooth (or local LAN) transmission system capable of getting up to 192k 24bit hires audio to wireless headphones. This will require purchase of new "hires" headphones (and perhaps new phones also.)
Old 1 week ago
  #114
Lives for gear
 
clearwave's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
What’s going with the classic recordings in spatial audio? (Allman bros. Jackson 5, Tom petty etc.) Are they going thru a default atmos processor (that sounds like a midiverb 3) or are they remixed by someone who sucks at mixing?

Or am I listening wrong? Regular Sony headphones plugged in to iPhone.
Old 1 week ago | Show parent
  #115
If we just park spatial and Atmos for the moment, here is a nice explainer video about where Apple is with delivering lossless audio to is users ears (nowhere)


Old 1 week ago | Show parent
  #116
Lives for gear
 
spaceman's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by doom64 ➡️
Yep.

Ironically, I don't know anyone who owns a Dolby Atmos setup. I do know many who own 4K TVs though...but hey, if that kind of music sells than who am I to judge?
Actually , this is why I think Binaural Dolby Atmos for headphones is going to be huge, especially for movies . I don't know a single person either that has any kind of surround ( 5.1 / 7.1 /or Atmos ) setup for their HD TV.

It's not just out of interest for sound quality in general ( there is that too of course ), but at least in Europe and Asia, most people in cities live in small appartments , not houses, where it's not just practical to have precious space eaten by such a setup. In Paris where I live , you could buy an entire 3 floor house with a garden in many places for the price of a tiny 40 Sq/M appartment here.

I'm already shocked when I find someone with a correctly set Stereo setup ( you would be amazed how few people don't know that you have to be sitting in the middle between speakers to get real stereo ), but properly setting 4, 5 or more speakers around your living room, is just out of question for most people, especially families with kids.

Add to that the complaining neighbors if you're watching Star Wars at night on your 7.1 setup ...

A few years ago i bought this , and it completely changed the way I watch movies : the Sony WH-L600


There are surprisingly few devices like this on the market. In fact I only know of 2 , this $300 Sony and the $4000 Smyth Realizer

Basically what it does, is the support base has software that takes HDMI or Optical input from your DVD/Blu-Ray or AppleTV ( or similar ) device, and if your DVD/Blu-Ray/iTunes/etc film is encoded in Dolby 5.1 or 7.1( but not Atmos) for a Surround speaker set, it will create on-the-fly a Binaural version and stream it to its wireless headphone ( which uses radiowave, not Bluetooth ).

And it works brilliantly and very convincigly most of the time. Maybe not as convincingly as a real well set-up film theater, but I heard far worse in some average theaters.

Once you get used to hearing spaceships flying all around you in the room at full volume while watching a Blu-Ray in the middle of the night without triggering a riot from your neighbors, it's hard to go back to regular stereo from your speakers, or worse, from your TV.

Apple devices are now capable of streaming Binaural versions of Dolby Atmos encoded films to their own headphones only ( not to be confused with how AppleMusic Atmos is streamed to any kind of headphone ), but you can bet once this will become popular due to their marketing power, you will see other systems like the Sony and the sMYTH coming up from every manufacturer for watching Dolby Atmos films/shows, especially multi-heaphones setups from only one transmitter to each member of the family.
Beats having to setup 7 speakers around your living room and only using it during the day.

Last edited by spaceman; 1 week ago at 05:35 PM..
Old 1 week ago | Show parent
  #117
Gear Head
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by spaceman ➡️
Unless I completely misunderstood him, that's not what THeHanes is saying at all.

Binaural mode played to stereo speakers is not just a sub-optimal experience. It's a completely wrong experience. I think TheHanes said it multiple times : Binaural is made for Headphones Only

Binaural uses psychoacoustic effects to fool the brain in thinking that things are positionned further than it physically perceives. This can ONLY work if you're feeding the sound from each channel ( Left/Right) directly to each ear. Binaural played on Stereo speakers completely destroys the experience and just sounds weird. Binaural was never meant for stereo speakers. It's like feeding Stereo to a Mono speaker and wondering why it's not working.

When Thehanes said

unless I misunderstand him, he meant this :

Atmos can be played on a surround sound set of speakers ( at least 4 speakers ), or as a 2 channel BINAURAL headphones downmix ( not a regular stereo downmix) meaning the version that is sent on 2 channels ( left and right ) but uses the psychoacoustic effects to fool the brain into thinking it's listening to multiple speakers spread over a bigger distance.

However, TheHanes said he is not sure what is happening when there are not Surround speakers used, and in fact Im' not even sure there is a "mutiple set of speakers" version of Atmos available on AppleMusic, only a Binaural version for headphones. Unlike the AppleTv for example, which is capable of feeding a Dolby 5.1, 7.1 , or Atmos version of a film to a multiple set of speakers through the HDMI output going into a an AV amp capable of having 4 or more speakers plugged in. Or communicating to 4 or more set of Bluetohth speakers set for surround sound.

It really is a complex and confusing subject, and I don't blame Apple one bit for pushing people into using only their H1 equipped headphones for "better experience" as they say. If even experienced people on Gearspace are getting confused about it, imagine what it can be for regular John/Jane Doe !!

In other words there are only these cases here :

1- You are using stereo speakers : AppleMusic will send you the Stereo version if set to "No" or "Automatic". If you set it to Always, it will warn you, and still play the Binaural Headphone version and it will sound very weird on your speakers.

2- You are using Apple Bluetooth Headphones with H1 chip : AppleMusic will detect them and send you the BINAURAL Atmos mix, if you set it to Automatic or Always.

3- You are using non-Apple headphones ( wired or not ) : AppleMusic will send you the Binaural Atmos version only if you set it to "Always". Otherwise it will send you the regular stereo version.

There is a last case which remains a bit mysterious : what about an AppleTV or a Mac using an interface/amp capable of handling a multiple speaker set for Atmos ? I don't know ( and this is what Thehanes was refering to I think ). Not even sure there is a regular Atmos for multiple speakers version in Apple Music right now.

Apple does have Dolby Atmos for multiple speakers on its iTunes FILM section ( as well as Dolby 5.1 and 7.1 surround versions ), but Atmos version for multiple speakers in AppleMusic ? I could be wrong but I don't think they have that right now.
To get the benefit of Dolby Atmos you really need a 5.1.2 or a 5.1.4 speaker set as a minimum requirement. The additional .2 or .4 being ceiling speakers to add the Atmos height channels which are the game changer here.

Kanye’s Black Skinhead and Latch by Disclosure both sound stunning on a full fat Atmos system, it’s a very different sounding presentation than the headphone based Spacial effect.
Old 1 week ago
  #118
Gear Addict
 
MatzeMillion's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Spent a few hours listening through the Dolby Atmos features playlist. With the iPhone its possible to switch between 3D audio and stereo (lossless) pretty easy.

I must say, 99% is such a crap, I’m totally shocked that somebody even approved that! The definition and fidelity is totally gone and everything is masked with this super cheap sounding room. The spatialization is a joke compared to other 3D audio solutions I recently tried.

But the worst is the use of the 3D space in most of the mixes, it’s sounds more like automated up-mixes than creative decisions.
And in many tracks there is a weird pumping, like from a very bad noise reduction circuit.

Sub bass definition is non existent.

Hopefully this will change as soon as the tools are available to a wider producer-base.

I experimented a lot with an immersive mixing solution recently and had convincing results with binaural and transaural submixes within a stereo mix. Asking myself if it would have been better to just release a stereo and a headphone enhanced version instead of this fake Dolby Atmos BS crammed into stereo files.

Just my 2ct… sorry.
Old 1 week ago | Show parent
  #119
Lives for gear
 
spaceman's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by MatzeMillion ➡️
Spent a few hours listening through the Dolby Atmos features playlist. With the iPhone its possible to switch between 3D audio and stereo (lossless) pretty easy.

I must say, 99% is such a crap, I’m totally shocked that somebody even approved that! The definition and fidelity is totally gone and everything is masked with this super cheap sounding room. The spatialization is a joke compared to other 3D audio solutions I recently tried.

But the worst is the use of the 3D space in most of the mixes, it’s sounds more like automated up-mixes than creative decisions.
And in many tracks there is a weird pumping, like from a very bad noise reduction circuit.

Sub bass definition is non existent.

Hopefully this will change as soon as the tools are available to a wider producer-base.

I experimented a lot with an immersive mixing solution recently and had convincing results with binaural and transaural submixes within a stereo mix. Asking myself if it would have been better to just release a stereo and a headphone enhanced version instead of this fake Dolby Atmos BS crammed into stereo files.

Just my 2ct… sorry.
( boy…I’m sure posting a lot in this thread…but Space is the Place… )

I totally know what you mean. I’ve experimented a bit with non-dolby binaural mixes myself.
But i think the problem is a marketing issue even more than a technical issue. It’s the eternal problem of “ convenience beats quality ” or a “ 1000 mp3 songs in your pocket instead of 10 Hi-Res songs in your pocket “
Here is an example of the latest Jean-Michel Jarre album mixed in Binaural version ( not Atmos) . It beats the crap out of most of what is in the Apple’s playlist, with a few exceptions.

https://youtu.be/8fpnPv3hDD0



You can manually fine-tune a Non-Dolby binaural version to perfection, but :
- you will have to release 2 albums for each release, the Stereo-Only, and the Binaural For Headphones.
- you have no way of making sure that despite adding “Binaural Audio- For Headphones Only “ in bold in the title of your album ( like the Jarre release ) , people are still going to play this version , maybe inadvertently, on Stereo Speakers and then complain it sounds like crap.

In contrast, the Dolby Atmos allows you to :

- release only 1 version that contains : the Stereo-Only version, the Dolby Atmos Multi-Speakers version, and the Binaural For Headphones version.
- in the case of an Apple Music release, the Automatic setting in iOS along with H1-equipped headphones will make sure you’re getting the Binaural version, otherwise it will send the Stereo version ( unless you switch it manually ) . This should take care of most “Why the music sounds so weird on my speakers ?? “ problem.

Basically Dolby Atmos Binaural brings Surround Sound to the masses. But not necessarily the best you can do in the Binaural surround format. Just like mp3 or AAC compression did for the dissemination of music digital distribution.

Hopefully @ TheHanes will weigh on this, but i think once you setup the multi-speaker version in the Atmos plugin, the Renderer will also render a Binaural version automatically for you, but with limited manual fine-tuning for it ( ? ). It’s standardized.

With Non-Dolby binaural tools, you pretty much can do what you want and fine-tune exactly as you like, but you can’t make a surround version for multi-speakers as well, plus all the issues mentionned earlier.

Concerning the Dolby Atmos mixes and considering that maybe only 1% of your audience will own a Dolby setup of Speakers, i guess you could just completely optimize the mix for headphones Binaural , even if this means the Multi-speaker version will not be as good.

Maybe @ TheHanes could comment on this …
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Quote:
Originally Posted by spaceman ➡️
( boy…I’m sure posting a lot in this thread…but Space is the Place… )

I totally know what you mean. I’ve experimented a bit with binaural mixes myself.
But i think the problem is a marketing issue even more than a technical issue. It’s the eternal problem of “ convenience beats quality ” or a “ 1000 mp3 songs in your pocket instead of 10 Hi-Res songs in your pocket “
Here is an example of the latest Jean-Michel Jarre album mixed in Binaural version ( not Atmos) . It beats the crap out of most of what is in the Apple’s playlist, with a few exceptions.

https://youtu.be/8fpnPv3hDD0



You can manually fine-tune a Non-Dolby binaural version to perfection, but :
- you will have to release 2 albums for each release, the Stereo-Only, and the Binaural For Headphones.
- you have no way of making sure that despite adding “Binaural Audio- For Headphones Only “ in bold in the title of your album ( like the Jarre release ) , people are still going to play this version , maybe inadvertently, on Stereo Speakers and then complain it sounds like crap.

In contrast, the Dolby Atmos allows you to :

- release only 1 version that contains : the Stereo-Only version, the Dolby Atmos Multi-Speakers version, and the Binaural For Headphones version.
- in the case of an Apple Music release, the Automatic setting in iOS along with H1-equipped headphones will make sure you’re getting the Binaural version, otherwise it will send the Stereo version ( unless you switch it manually ) . This should take care of most “Why the music sounds so weird on my speakers ?? “ problem.

Basically Dolby Atmos Binaural brings Surround Sound to the masses. But not necessarily the best you can do in the Binaural surround format. Just like mp3 or AAC compression did for the dissemination of digital distribution.

Hopefully @ TheHanes will weigh on this, but i think once you setup the multi-speaker version in the Atmos plugin, the Renderer will also render a Binaural version automatically for you, but with limited manual fine-tuning for it ( ? ). It’s standardized.

With Non-Dolby binaural tools, you pretty much can do what you want and fine-tune exactly as you like, but you can’t make a surround version for multi-speakers as well, plus all the issues mentionned earlier.

Concerning the Dolby Atmos mixes and considering that maybe only 1% of your audience will own a Dolby setup of Speakers, i guess you could just completely optimize the mix for headphones Binaural , even if this means the Multi-speaker version will not be as good.

Maybe @ TheHanes could comment on this …
so much to comment on, I've not been able to keep up.

Here is my thinking on this; I am aiming to make my binaural mix not weird. I am pretty much turning off binaural mode for L,C,R, and that is where most of my drums, bass, vocals are still going (actually not using C much at all).

I'm doing this because I don't like that extra space, flam, flange, verb, whatever thing that it does to the main body of the mix.

Now I was experimenting with it a bit more before settling this, so some of my earlier Atmos mixes may be outliers in this theory.

So my binaural mix will sound pretty close to the stereo mix. That might be disappointing because you're not getting the "wow this is amazing" factor, but I am a surgeon here and my oath says "first do no harm".

Now, when you get a chance to hear an Atmos mix in a multi-speaker room setup, or on an Amazon Echo studio (decent spatialization), or if head tracking comes to music files, I hope that you would be won over.
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