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Out of speaker experience!
Old 15th May 2022
  #1
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Out of speaker experience!

What are the ways of recording audio that makes it stretch beyond and outside the confines of the speakers, I'm hoping that software is not the requirement? I would be interested in hearing from anyone who practises these techniques on a regular basis. I hear it on films soundtracks sometimes where the sound follows the action, but seldom hear it on classical recordings. It's a very striking thing to hear as the limits of left and right don't end with the speakers, they become audibly invisible.

I'm just interested. It wouldn't surprise me to learn that Alan Blumlein had already been here!

It is something of a rare experience, but the potential of being able to follow a certain techinique to achieve this, would be very helpful in making the sound stage real (I don't care for the word realistic!)

I hoping a lively discussion proceeds from this question!
Old 15th May 2022
  #2
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In a word...phase. Or rather you want to be taking sounds out of their usual phase relationships. For example, what you're describing in a movie soundtrack is a midside recording where the side component is pushed beyond equivalence with the mid signal (or course there could be a lot more involved here than simple M/S...such as Dolby Surround, Atmos, Soundfield, binaural and other proprietary ways of placing sounds outside the typical listening plane).

As for 'real'...when was the last time you heard the world around you without phase coherence (and you hadn't had several drinks under your belt) ? No thanks, I'll pass on the phase trickery....and it also probably doesn't sum in mono either !
Old 15th May 2022 | Show parent
  #3
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tourtelot's Avatar
 
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"and it also probably doesn't sum in mono either!"

Haha!

D.
Old 15th May 2022
  #4
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surflounge's Avatar
 
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it's a beautiful thing
Old 15th May 2022 | Show parent
  #5
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i'm using apf's to either align signals for max. correlation but they could also get used to achieve the opposite...
Old 15th May 2022
  #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Geoff Poulton ➡️
I hear it on films soundtracks sometimes where the sound follows the action, but seldom hear it on classical recordings. It's a very striking thing to hear as the limits of left and right don't end with the speakers, they become audibly invisible.
5.1?

Would be helpful to know some examples of what you're hearing... Music only, or are you talking about the full range of film sound?
Old 15th May 2022
  #7
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🎧 5 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Geoff Poulton ➡️
What are the ways of recording audio that makes it stretch beyond and outside the confines of the speakers, I'm hoping that software is not the requirement? I would be interested in hearing from anyone who practises these techniques on a regular basis. I hear it on films soundtracks sometimes where the sound follows the action, but seldom hear it on classical recordings. It's a very striking thing to hear as the limits of left and right don't end with the speakers, they become audibly invisible.

I'm just interested. It wouldn't surprise me to learn that Alan Blumlein had already been here!

It is something of a rare experience, but the potential of being able to follow a certain techinique to achieve this, would be very helpful in making the sound stage real (I don't care for the word realistic!)

I hoping a lively discussion proceeds from this question!
The best experience I've ever had of what you describe was Transaural reproduction of HRTF-style (dummy head, SASS, Jecklin/Schneider disc, KFM6, etc.; even ORTF) recordings - sounds clearly emanating from where there are no speakers.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Transaural

And see post #36 from this thread:
Optimal 3D perception IN STEREO - binaural Vs decoded ambisonic Vs something else?
Old 15th May 2022 | Show parent
  #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by adam miller ➡️
5.1?

Would be helpful to know some examples of what you're hearing... Music only, or are you talking about the full range of film sound?
It was something I heard today, which is what prompted me to write.
I'm not sure I could locate the recording again, it was a piano in an advert on youtube for something or other, you know those you have to listen to for 6 or 7 seconds before you can get to what you actually want to listen to!

I heard the sound beyond the right speaker on the computer (I'm using an elderly pair of dual concentric Tannoy monitors) and the sound came from far right of the right monitor. I thought that the sound was eminating from the radio in another room. I turned down the monitor to see if that was the case, it was a very odd and pronounced effect.

Quite a long time ago I recall the effect, on that occasion, being described as a product of certain miking techniques, I think it was in Studio Sound before the advent of computers, or digital recording.

Thinking about it now, I'm not sure it didn't involve something like ORTF style crossed hypercardiods at 120 degrees as one of the techniques being used. I could be out on that, but it rings a bell. By moving the array the right channel came in on the left mic's rear lobe, so I guess phase must have been involved as Studer says, but there were other miking techniques discussed at the time too with regard to the effect. It's so long ago I can't fully recall much of it now.

Last edited by Geoff Poulton; 16th May 2022 at 12:31 PM..
Old 15th May 2022
  #9
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I should have done more exploring on Google before asking the question here I think, I've found some of the information as attached. David Griesinger was one of the contributors to the article I think, but there were others too. This only touches on part of the information contained in the Studio Sound article, here it is the mention of the 120 degreee hypercardiods that formed part of the longer article.

I believe the effect I heard today goes beyond the effects of these mic techniques though.
Attached Files
File Type: doc primer.doc (1.07 MB, 16 views) File Type: doc primer.doc (1.07 MB, 11 views)

Last edited by Geoff Poulton; 16th May 2022 at 12:28 PM..
Old 16th May 2022
  #10
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🎧 15 years
My money’s on ‘just one of those psychoacoustic things’ localised to your particular set of factors involving recording+speakers+room reflections+head position+ears.

Most rooms (treated control rooms included) have strong reflections in the midrange-treble from hard surfaces that can almost appear to take precedence over the direct sound from the speakers. Normally they’re diffuse enough to not be perceived that way, but sometimes certain sounds just catch them and highlight the effect. Try slowly sweeping a moderately loud sine tone in your room whilst sat in the listening position - I’m sure the sound doesn’t stick perfectly symmetrically between the speakers.

I’ve not found any mic technique that reliably throws the sound outside of the speakers in a conventional stereo reproduction environment (without sounding crap and phasey). I do prefer spaced techniques in most scenarios though - bear in mind that a technique with precise localisation will inherently be freer of the phase relationships that give the impression of ‘spaciousness’ (with the awareness that the terms ‘localisation’ and ‘spaciousness’ are somewhat open to interpretation).

Reproduction on headphones is a whole other can of worms of course…
Old 16th May 2022 | Show parent
  #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by adam miller ➡️
Most rooms (treated control rooms included) have strong reflections in the midrange-treble from hard surfaces that can almost appear to take precedence over the direct sound from the speakers.
say what?! - maybe some diy rooms of folks who didn't know what they were doing but certainly none of the professionally designed studios which i came across in the last four decades...
Old 16th May 2022 | Show parent
  #12
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🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by deedeeyeah ➡️
say what?! - maybe some diy rooms of folks who didn't know what they were doing but certainly none of the professionally designed studios which i came across in the last four decades...
Ha, perhaps I overstate the effect, but mixing desks, computer monitors+tables, racks of outboard, doors, huge glass windows… Of course a well designed room takes all of these things into account and tries to minimise their impact, but impact-free they are not! Normally the effect of these is diffuse/distributed enough so as not to interfere with the work, but sometimes there’s a confluence of sound, environment and head position that generates these phantom positioning effects… normally moving one’s head a few inches is enough to resolve it.

It’s particularly a factor in surround mixing, where a sound can legitimately come from behind - I’ve been misled a few times about the true placement of shakers and high percussion by things as innocuous as the reflections off the score on a music stand next to me.
Old 16th May 2022 | Show parent
  #13
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of course one cannot fools physics but a proper acoustic design and sticking to its proper implementation can greatly reduce unwanted reflections - so yeah, imo it was a bit overstated...
Old 16th May 2022
  #14
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Darkside of the Moon still has amazing soundstage width and depth (in stereo)
Using Haffler phase and bleed from multitracks can be v effective.
Old 17th May 2022 | Show parent
  #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rolo 46 ➡️
Darkside of the Moon still has amazing soundstage width and depth (in stereo)
Using Haffler phase and bleed from multitracks can be v effective.
I anticipated a response from you, and thank you for this. I have been listening to Darkside of the Moon (not my usual interest) and hear the effect that's being discussed. I should say that the effect I heard was very pronounced and made the monitor disappear, I think it was an effect for its own sake.
Old 17th May 2022
  #16
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Apple Music has a preference for sound enhancer .
This uses Haffler to reveal out of phase ambience from the multiple tracks used in production
It can be very revealing and show hidden instruments and fades
I first heard it in the back of a crew transit in Paris
The DOP was playing his iPod through the truck with enhance fully cranked up
I knew the tracks well but not those versions…
Fascinating tool.
Old 17th May 2022
  #17
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Quite a few years back Earcatcher had a bit of fun using phase rotation to widen the sound stage (among many other adjustments) to a recording that someone posted:

How do you get that warm fuzzy sound?

If you read on in that thread you'll find a screen shot of the actual settings.
Old 17th May 2022 | Show parent
  #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bradh ➡️
Quite a few years back Earcatcher had a bit of fun using phase rotation to widen the sound stage (among many other adjustments) to a recording that someone posted:

How do you get that warm fuzzy sound?

If you read on in that thread you'll find a screen shot of the actual settings.
Very illuminating, Earcatcher makes some intelligent and knowledgeable comments in this thread, thanks for highlighting it.

It's not something I'd like to live with for long though!

It's the kind of feeling you get when your blood pressure is dropping!!! (He speaks from experience).
It has a sort of "spaced out" feeling to it, like misconnected monitors. but interesting nonetheless.

Last edited by Geoff Poulton; 17th May 2022 at 11:32 PM..
Old 3 weeks ago
  #19
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David Rick's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Ben Baur's stereo phase tricks

Sorry to show up so late, Geoff, but the use of out of anti-phase components to produce "beyond the speakers" phantom images has been known for many years. A classic treatment is given here:

Benjamin B. Bauer , "Phasor Analysis of Some Stereophonic Phenomena", The Journal of the Acoustical Society of America 33, 1536-1539 (1961) https://doi.org/10.1121/1.1908492

It's common for math-literate undergraduates to be asked to start with Bauer's "Stereophonic Law of Sines" and derive the localization curves for various coincident microphone pairs. I remember my delight, as a college freshman in Steven B. Fuller's audio engineering class, when I proved that (idealized) back-to-back hypercardioids would provide "perfect" source angle to image angle mapping over a complete 180 degree span. Polar narrowing makes the real-life version of this array not so convincing as the paper analysis, and it's difficult to create an ideal set-up with ordinary microphones. It's become easier now that some dual-diaphragm condensers offer separate capsule outputs. One such mic is the Austrian Audio OC818; its maker even offers a free "Stereo Creator" plug in that supports "single mic stereo" techniques with adjustable crossfeed to produce any desired patterns. If you can borrow one of these mics for a day, you might enjoy playing with it and hearing the results. I find the "out of bounds" image stability to be rather fragile, but it should be easily heard in a properly-designed control room.

David L. Rick
Seventh String Recording
Old 3 weeks ago
  #20
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Thanks David, I'm glad to see that I was remembering correctly about hypercardiods being involved. It's something I recall from a long time ago now, but couldn't remember the details.

I'll follow this information through and take a look at that particular microphone. Whenever I've heard the effect, it's always surprised me, and occasionally (don't laugh) had me looking over my shoulder on films to see from where an out of body sound has eminated!

The OC818 mic has a ceramic capsule which was an idea born at Microtech Gefell in their PM860 I believe, the capsule is not affected by changes in temperature.

Hearing speakers melt away and the sound come from beyond them is a great thing to hear, but it's fairly rare in my experience.

Thanks for giving of your knowledge, it's very much appreciated.

Last edited by Geoff Poulton; 3 weeks ago at 10:16 PM.. Reason: r
Old 3 weeks ago
  #21
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64gtoboy's Avatar
Opposite panned reverb and phase works for me.
Old 3 weeks ago
  #22
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That rings a bell too, the oppositely panned reverb, and it's easy enough to try that out on existing recordings. I can see I'm going to be busy!
Old 3 weeks ago
  #23
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I'm not sure I understand the question. With a properly set-up playback system and the listener seated at the center of the equilateral triangle, any well-made ORTF or NOS recording should produce a stereo image that goes beyond the edge of the speakers. Isn't that just normal stereo?
--scott
Old 3 weeks ago
  #24
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I think there are those who always hear two speakers, however much they try to ignore it, the sources of the sound are always apparent to them.
Old 3 weeks ago | Show parent
  #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kludgeaudio ➡️
I'm not sure I understand the question. With a properly set-up playback system and the listener seated at the center of the equilateral triangle, any well-made ORTF or NOS recording should produce a stereo image that goes beyond the edge of the speakers. Isn't that just normal stereo?
--scott
But there are sounds that were recorded with a single mic, with or without ambience , on some recordings (I am thinking Pink Floyd) where studio manipulation has created the illusion that a sound is coming from behind and far to the side of the listener with a simple stereo speaker set up.
Old 3 weeks ago | Show parent
  #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 64gtoboy ➡️
But there are sounds that were recorded with a single mic, with or without ambience , on some recordings (I am thinking Pink Floyd) where studio manipulation has created the illusion that a sound is coming from behind and far to the side of the listener with a simple stereo speaker set up.
Yes. This is "fake stereo" which is created by delays and equalization. As opposed to "pan potted stereo" or "intensity stereo" which relies entirely on amplitude differences between channels to provide position information.

Above around 500 Hz or so, most right-left imaging is a function of intensity differences between channels. Below 500 Hz or so, most right-left imaging is a function of phase differences between channels. Height and front-back localization is primarily a matter of equalization although the effects vary a lot from person to person.

But proper stereo miking in a proper environment can give you really spectacular imaging with no need to fake it. That might be proper stereo miking of a single instrument with the intention of it being layered into a mix of multiple stereo recordings. That might be proper stereo miking of a number of sound sources.
--scott
Old 3 weeks ago | Show parent
  #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kludgeaudio ➡️
Yes. This is "fake stereo" which is created by delays and equalization. As opposed to "pan potted stereo" or "intensity stereo" which relies entirely on amplitude differences between channels to provide position information.

Above around 500 Hz or so, most right-left imaging is a function of intensity differences between channels. Below 500 Hz or so, most right-left imaging is a function of phase differences between channels. Height and front-back localization is primarily a matter of equalization although the effects vary a lot from person to person.

But proper stereo miking in a proper environment can give you really spectacular imaging with no need to fake it. That might be proper stereo miking of a single instrument with the intention of it being layered into a mix of multiple stereo recordings. That might be proper stereo miking of a number of sound sources.
--scott
I quite agree. It's just that other effects are possible , even with sound sources recorded in completely different places. Let's face it, ADR and Foley rely on this.
Old 3 weeks ago | Show parent
  #28
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 64gtoboy ➡️
But there are sounds that were recorded with a single mic, with or without ambience , on some recordings (I am thinking Pink Floyd) where studio manipulation has created the illusion that a sound is coming from behind and far to the side of the listener with a simple stereo speaker set up.
You might be thinking of Q-Sound, which was used on Roger Waters/Floyd albums...as well as several others...plus for gaming soundtracks and effects.

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/QSound
Old 3 weeks ago
  #29
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surflounge's Avatar
 
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this works for spreading sound around
Eventide H9000
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