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 Forum index » How-tos » Surround and Sound Reinforcement
The 4C concept
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Sam_Zen



Joined: Mar 08, 2008
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 15, 2008 11:43 pm    Post subject: The 4C concept Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

I like to introduce my "4C" concept, made up in 1975 :
http://www.xs4all.nl/~samzen/4c/quad.html
So far, there's a complete document in Dutch, but in Engish just a short description.
I'm planning to make a complete translation as well.

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W.T.



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PostPosted: Thu Oct 02, 2008 10:34 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

good be interesting for my 4 speaker system.
going to read it soon.
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Sam_Zen



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PostPosted: Tue Oct 07, 2008 9:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Missed this post before reading your PM about this.
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Muied Lumens
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 14, 2009 9:24 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

I think this is a most interesting concept! I too have my little problems with the "standard" 5.1 speaker setup, which is completely film oriented and too dependent on visual clues. I have to admit that I must have completely missed the point of that 'centre' speaker in the front!

Anyway, I hope to be able to give this a go in the future, if at all practical in a normal room. Is there an ideal height that you have found? Also, how does it work for music mixing? I don't read Dutch, so I don't know if you have explained this.

Edit: Just realised the date of this thread, but I am still interested...

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Sam_Zen



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PostPosted: Thu Aug 20, 2009 6:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Yep, I noticed the date too, so I am pleasantly surprised by your reaction.

A very coincidence, because yesterday I installed some extra pc-hardware to be able to play 4C again.
After some years when my system couldn't handle it, due to windoze and sync problems.

So I was breeding lately about the idea of translating those pages once and for all.
And, after all those years, checking for silly nonsense.

Regarding being practical in a normal room :
If you've already chosen to put your stereo-system at one wall, L and R, then, apart from placing hooks or shelves, it's easier to place the second stereo-set higher up the same wall.
Than looking for surround positions in the room with all kinds of obstacles like doors or furniture.

The ideal height is of course dependent on the actual width of the speaker set Down.
Most rooms are not square cubes, so in practice the dimensions of a wall in a living room will be like a widescreen monitor, about 12 : 9.
To get a good reproduction it's important that speakers 3 and 4 are not tiny satellites, but qualified hiq speakers with the same power as the ones down on the floor. At least as close as it can.

Music mixing into 4 channels is another aspect.
Depends on the available equipment of course. Maybe two stereo-mixers, or one mixer, using a send out line for channel 3 and 4.

Mixing sounds in 4C has in fact a much stronger link with visuals than the surround thing.
Because it's filling a 'screen' in front of you with every sound at a certain X-Y position. Imagination.
Like in 2C, stereo, the 'imaginary' position of the source is dependent of its volume in each channel.

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Muied Lumens
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 21, 2009 4:45 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

If I ever get a gig where I am free to choose the speaker setup, I would go for 8C no doubt.

However, for the moment I am not able to experiment even with 4 speakers, let alone two. I will start with this the moment I get my normal studio space back and get two additional speakers. It has long been in my plans to get at least a quad setup.

My biggest problem will be corners. I am not too keen on placing a speaker near the ceiling, and in a corner too. When the time comes I will have to take a close look at what my options are. The room is not too tall, but I am sure I will be able to find a reasonable work-around.

It would be very interesting to read your thoughts on the subject if you decide to do the translation. Smile

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Sam_Zen



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PostPosted: Fri Aug 21, 2009 5:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Sure it does. 8C is the final setup. Would love to have that in my studio too..

Of course speakers under the ceiling are somewhat difficult to place, but that's what 4C is about.
On the road to 8C it's the step to choose for Up first instead of for Back.

The concept includes counting the dimensions according to physical laws, so in binary order.
Any other number of speakers, outside 1-2-4 or 8, is doomed to be a temporary experiment.

8 speakers in the 8 corners are enough to reproduce any sound at any virtual position in a room.

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DES



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PostPosted: Fri Aug 28, 2009 8:32 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Hello!
Just came across this thread - very interesting indeed! Years ago I played around with quad for live performance and it was kind of cool. However your thoughts about vertical displacement add another 'dimension' Smile to the equation. Tomita had started to play around with a similar concept called Pyramid sound...basically a 5 channel setup in the shape of a Pyramid with speakers at each of the corners. I would think that to maintain the left-right positioning you could probably do it with 6 channels, putting two speakers in the ceilings. It would not be as accurate for placing sounds as 8C would be - but might be a bit more economical.

With regards to a mixing sytem to do this - I would suggest looking at RML Labs Software Audio Console software. This software puts a rather comprehensive digital mixer into your PC (Windows software only though you can run it on MACS that are running Windows). It does have a surround panning system built in. You can read about it and download a demo here:
http://www.softwareaudioconsole.com

I have not incorporated the surround sound mode recently but have started looking at it again. The new tools that are out make it easier to do.

Dave

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Sam_Zen



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PostPosted: Sun Aug 30, 2009 6:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

I understand your example of Tomita, adding a vertical element, but the problem with a lot of these multple speaker ideas is the fact, that they are not 'compatible' for default use.
Such settings are more part of the composition(s), than just a reproduction system.

The RML software looks nice, as the 4C panning, but I'm afraid my PC is not powerful enough for this.
I'm quite happy with my multitrack editor though.

Of course the idea of 'corners' doesn't have to be taken that strict, as with 'ceiling'.
Sometimes it isn't possible for various reasons, obstacles, doors, windows, etc.
The width and height of the 4C set should stay in proportion, seen from the hotspot.
For a quick monitoring I use a small speaker setup around my monitor, width 70 cm, height 50 cm.

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Sam_Zen



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PostPosted: Fri Mar 26, 2010 9:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Bump.
I have updated the pages.
http://www.xs4all.nl/~samzen/4c/quad.html

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electri-fire



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PostPosted: Thu May 27, 2010 4:32 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

I've recently had the pleasure of hearing Sam's 4C system at his place, and it definitely sounds (excusez le mot) THE SHIT.

It is way more practical and enjoyable than the front-back system, less sensitive to listener's position, and very much enhances the clarity of sound by reducing frequency masking and intermodulation distortion.

It is truly a pity the industry has omitted 4C as the next and obvious step in expanding the spacial production of sound after going from mono to stereo.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Auditory_masking
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Intermodulation
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