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5.1 Surround sound mixes?


Razberi
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Well, I have a nice crisp 5.1 surround sound set-up for my PC which has fast become my PC's favourite asset. I did a quick Google and there is a real lack of good Surround sound music (if this claim is false, please point me in the right direction), and I see really opportunity in it for music.

Some of the remixes here are the most played music in my playlist. Having it surrounding me could only ever make it better. Personally I could never do as good as some of the mixers here do.

I wonder how hard it would be for someone to try and compose something that completely races around my room, and if anyone would actually pull it off...

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From what I remember from my audio course several years ago, encoding/recording music in 5.1 is actually quite a bit more difficult that just normal stereo. If you're recording live instruments and/or singers, you have to have either multiple mics (and they ain't cheap) or one of those super fancy multi-directional mics (which are even more expensive).

If you're using synths or electronic music, then you have to fiddle around with it to create each channel the way you want. You can't just blast it out equally in each speaker (then it's just mono pumped out in different directions, and not really 5.1).

I think the real issue, though, is file size. That's more data to put in a file, raising the size a lot.

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I know of only one person who's ever done surround remixes, and he hasn't been posted on the site. You can check them out in his WIP thread here - http://www.ocremix.org/forums/showthread.php?t=15308

I personally haven't listened to them because I haven't gone through the trouble of burning them to CD so I can play it on my surround setup. So they might suck, I dunno. I wouldn't suggest using WinAmp, as apparently it won't play correctly and could potentitally damage your speakers.

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Mixing in 5.1 is also really expensive, IIRC only the top of the line programs (Nuendo, ProTools, maybe Logic) have decent 5.1 support. There's also the fact that the majority of the people you show your mixes to here (in the wip forums or on the judges panel) are either listening on headphones or on studio monitors, so there's really not that much sense in putting a lot of effort and money in a 5.1 mix while only a few people will be hearing it in it's full glory.

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Listening to a 5.1 surround sound mix would be awesome, but as Tensei-San mentioned your looking at some big $$$.

The sound quality would be incomparable.

Definitely would be awesome, most of your audience however would miss out. Me for example. :)

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5.1/7.1 will slowly become the new standard. It has a while yet, but hopefully someday we can move up to that level.

I don't know. For film it's already the standard. For music... maybe it'll become the new standard, and maybe it won't. It's not just a format or bandwidth problem, it's also a music production problem AND more problematically a problem of physical logistics. You've got tons of cars, headphones, etc. out there - infrastructure that has a way of staying around longer than you might think - and you'd be combating that.

Furthermore... does it even make sense? 5.1, 7.1 etc. were developed AFAIK to enhance film/video specifically, adding realism to spatial effects. While that added dimensionality certainly CAN be applied to music, it's a little less intuitive as to what goes where when you're talking about a pop song. In most concert/live scenarios, the only things going on to your direct right and left or behind you are people smoking reefer or some obnoxious drunk frat assholes getting into a fight... personally, I'd rather filter that out, not go to great lengths to add it back in.

Call me crazy, but I don't see 5.1+ becoming the standard for pure audio purposes - and by standard I mean the most common release format and listening hardware - for a very, very long time. From a certain perspective, it never needs to happen, and may never...

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I know that Ryan (Random Hero) put together a WIP 5.1 mix of Battle of the Hylian Hero, but I don't know if he ever finished it. I might have a copy of it backed up somewhere, let me check around.

EDIT: No luck. The only backup I can find from that period only has a rough version of his Bad Fur Day remix from vgmix 2, and nothing newer. Unless Ryan still has a copy of it burned to a CD or something, I think it's lost for good.

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i'm not that concerned with listening to surround sound music as I am with listening to mixes that are in better than CD audio quality. No matter what you think of NIN's THE SLIP album, the variety and quality of the formats available were, IMO, definitely a step in the right direction...

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i'm not that concerned with listening to surround sound music as I am with listening to mixes that are in better than CD audio quality. No matter what you think of NIN's THE SLIP album, the variety and quality of the formats available were, IMO, definitely a step in the right direction...

I always rip the music I buy lossless WAV now. Means it gets more beautiful the louder it gets, though I have used 240/250GB of my hard drive now. =[

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I agree, I don't see 5.1 becoming the standard. Music listening has really gone downhill in terms of consumer setups and care for fidelity. We saw a move from vinyl to cassette to CD, with CD being (more or less) the pinnacle of fidelity for the average consumer. Then it went downhill with MP3, ringtones, lo-fi computer speakers and earbuds. It seems to me that people are listening to music on fancy home stereo systems less, not more, and they prefer the portability of music over maximum fidelity.

Before we worry about surround I would say we should worry about getting "listening standards" back up to where they were before.

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