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 Forum index » How-tos » Ambiophonic Sound Reproduction
AmbiophonicDSP VST Plugin Now Available
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rmiller



Joined: Feb 03, 2003
Posts: 40
Location: Bethlehem PA 18018 USA

PostPosted: Wed Nov 11, 2009 2:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Dear eurasian:
Glad the LRC test was what you needed. The electro-statics ought to be tried - you'll discover a few bonuses. Any full-range, single-driver speaker (no nasty crossover) helps immensely. Tall electro-statics are line sources, obeying 1/r, not 1/r^2 (inverse square law) of a conventional point-source electro-dynamic speaker (i.e. approaching cylindrical dispersion, not spherical), enhancing the already good widening of the Ambiophonic DSP plug-in. The number of listeners you can line up on the median can increase (from say 2+ to 4+). It also will be a bit more immune to larger angles of head turning, altho conventional speakers in good acoustics allow (unlike headphones) quite generous head-turning, so the wide front stage stays fixed in space. You mentioned that the horizontal figure-8 dispersion pattern reduces acoustical interference with the Ambiophonic DSP plug-in - add that the line source means vertical reflections (ceiling/floor) are also attenuated. For novel effect, you can even stand behind the dipoles, where you will get the same Ambio result except reversed left-to-right. BTW, being limited in excursion, if you experience overloading in the low-bass when 16deg apart, separate them to 20deg (Delay=88us+) ~25deg (Delay=110us+.)

Dear janderclander14:
AudioMulch is a particularly good (professional-grade) audio host, and no exception using the Ambiophonic DSP plug-in, as you've found. I will endeavor to post an .amh layout, but it's really pretty simple (and you've already done it, it seems). After adding AmbioDSP to AudioMulch's VST list, just patch SoundIn or any AuxIn contraption to the plug-in, and then on to either SoundOut or any AuxOut. Double-click the plug-in in the patch-view window to reveal AmbioDSP's panel and controls, which AudioMulch remembers. SoundIn has a check-box for playing files rather than a live (player, TV, stereo) input. And multiple instances of the DSP may be used with a second pair of speakers in back to do great 360deg surround sound in the form I have dubbed PanAmbio 4.x, which is 5.x-compatible - don't forget either a) to tell your player "No Center" so it is mixed into the fronts - or b) configure in AudioMulch another AuxIn to mix the Center (one side) into both inputs of the front AmbioDSP plug-in. (The more AmbioDSP takes off, we'd be encouraged to do a full-featured 5.1 surround version for any multi-channel host.)

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shitso



Joined: Nov 05, 2009
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Location: wiesbaden, germany

PostPosted: Thu Nov 12, 2009 1:43 pm    Post subject: Re: player to vsthost Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

janderclander14 wrote:


Hi! I'm also using audiomulch as vst host to process multichannel audio applying ambio+DRC. I'm very interested on how have you configured and routed signals in audiomulch. Currently, I'm applying ambio correction for every pair of speaker combinations using several instances of the VST plugin. Could you post your audiomulch layout? Thanks


Hi janderclander,
because i use single drivers with sub for front and single drivers w/o sub for rear ambiopoles it´s a simple layout:
http://img260.imageshack.us/img260/23/amulch.jpg
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shitso



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PostPosted: Thu Nov 12, 2009 2:17 pm    Post subject: Re: player to vsthost Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

durwood wrote:


From what I have heard, that is the one of the only ways to do it with the RME cards although I thought someone on DIYAudio.com had mentioned RME had internal routing?? Can you link spdif out with spdif in without the cable? Seems like conflicting information and I think how you are routing your signal is how you have to do it with that card.

Examples are listed here for a couple RME cards.

http://www.diyaudio.com/forums/multi-way/63078-how-pc-xo.html
http://www.thuneau.com/forum/topic-19.html

Using jackaudio
http://www.thuneau.com/forum/topic-168.html


Hi durwood,

RME mixer allows rerouting from any input to any output and from any output to any other output but not from an output to an input. I use RME´s mixer to reroute ADAT to SPDIF out and keep the SPDIF cable.

My quick check with virtual cable in conjunction with ASIO4all was not successful because of ASIO conflicts. Audiomulch settings fail when using same outs or ins like in software player. I guess it would work with DS or KS and with ASIO i´ll try again later.
Thanks for your help
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rmiller



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PostPosted: Fri Nov 13, 2009 9:46 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Quick comments re using modest loudpeakers, even single-driver units, with the Ambiophonic DSP plug-in:

Many so-called "full-range" single-driver (or multiple in a line array) systems work amazingly well with AmbioDSP because Left-to-Right differences are minimized by eliminating crossover phase anomalies, limiting frequency extremes where crosstalk cancellation is not beneficial, and because they approach a true point source (or line soure). We tested using the 3in Aurasound NS3-193-8A (perpetually out-of-stock at www.madisound.com) - and 32'd make a great 8ft tall line source with an amplifier that can drive 1/4 Ohm! Most Bose and similar sat/sub systems also work quite well (if you don't mind the missing octave 90~200Hz), as do big Dell laptops with 4x1in drivers on each side forming horizontal mini-line arrays.

The reason even modest loudspeakers work with Ambiophonic DSP is because getting the psycho-acoustics right, as is Ambiophonics' objective, trumps speaker quality to a first approximation. Of course better speakers will improve things from there. I've written previously about electrostatic line radiators, but for most of us, a 2-way bookshelf is the most common box. We developed Ambio DSP and get superb results using JBL LSR4328P powered monitors with room correction and twin subs (along mid side-walls, as in my papers on the subject of binaural Very Low Frequency at AES and ASA/CAA). Howard and I and others posting on this forum have found that, once you use Ambiophonic DSP, it's the only way you want to listen.

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janderclander14



Joined: Dec 02, 2008
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PostPosted: Fri Nov 13, 2009 2:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

rmiller wrote:

Dear janderclander14:
AudioMulch is a particularly good (professional-grade) audio host, and no exception using the Ambiophonic DSP plug-in, as you've found. I will endeavor to post an .amh layout, but it's really pretty simple (and you've already done it, it seems). After adding AmbioDSP to AudioMulch's VST list, just patch SoundIn or any AuxIn contraption to the plug-in, and then on to either SoundOut or any AuxOut. Double-click the plug-in in the patch-view window to reveal AmbioDSP's panel and controls, which AudioMulch remembers. SoundIn has a check-box for playing files rather than a live (player, TV, stereo) input. And multiple instances of the DSP may be used with a second pair of speakers in back to do great 360deg surround sound in the form I have dubbed PanAmbio 4.x, which is 5.x-compatible - don't forget either a) to tell your player "No Center" so it is mixed into the fronts - or b) configure in AudioMulch another AuxIn to mix the Center (one side) into both inputs of the front AmbioDSP plug-in. (The more AmbioDSP takes off, we'd be encouraged to do a full-featured 5.1 surround version for any multi-channel host.)


Thanks again rmiller for your answers. A fully multichannel ambiophonic plugin would be awesome! From what I've tested in the past (both hardware and software), only multichannel DRC arrives at the same level of dramatic sound improvement.

Previously, in my 6.1 setup, I used audiomulch and several ambioVST instances for EACH pair of speakers, all with all (i.e. FL & CEN, FL & FR, FL & SL, FL & SR, FL & BS; CEN & FR, CEN & SL and so on) (see the attachement "full 6.1. ambiophonics"). My idea was to use all the speakers at the same time but cancelling the crosstalk between ALL of them.

If I understood correctly, in order to implement ambiophonics over a 5.1/6.1/7.1 input, the center channel should be mixed in both front left and right channels (with half the volume on each one, I suppose) and the center speaker is no more needed. The same goes for the Back surround channel (I removed it since is was matrixed from surrounds). Is this true even in a non-ideal 16 angle separation setup (i.e. 30-40 degrees)? I'm a little reluctant to remove the relatively expensive center speaker... Wink

I attach a capture of the current audiomulch setup for this configuration ("4.1 ambio"): FL and FR channels go to the input of an ambioVST instance, each one mixed with an attenuated copy (-3 db) of the center channel. SL and SR channels go to another ambioVST instance. Each output (in conjunction with the original LFE signal) goes to the corresponding input of a multichannel convolver for DRC correction.

You can see that I modified the delay and Zentrum parameters for both instances from the default values in the "Pop" present. However, the problem is that when I save the layout and re-open audiomulch, the Zentrum value (3) is properly loaded, but the delay value is resetted to the original value (71 us). The same problem appears for "global" parameters such as balance but not for "local" ones such as recursion or space. Is anybody experiencing this problem?

Regards


full_ambio.jpg
 Description:
Full 6.1 ambio. Crosstalk cancellation for all speaker pairs
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41ambio.jpg
 Description:
5.1 to 4.1 ambio setup
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41ambio.jpg



reload.jpg
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Setup after reloading. Delay value is lost.
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reload.jpg


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shitso



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PostPosted: Sat Nov 14, 2009 3:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

janderclander14 wrote:
[ However, the problem is that when I save the layout and re-open audiomulch, the Zentrum value (3) is properly loaded, but the delay value is resetted to the original value (71 us). The same problem appears for "global" parameters such as balance but not for "local" ones such as recursion or space. Is anybody experiencing this problem?

Regards


This was a conscious design decision. The thinking was that when you adjusted the delay, balance, and volume, these should stay. It's annoying to find the correct delay and then change presets and it goes back to something else.

We can reconsider this for a future update. I think that something can be done to accommodate both situations.

Keep those cards and letters coming... Smile

As for Audiomulch not restoring presets... I believe that if you save the layout, it will save the knob and preset values. This is that way most VST hosts work.

[mosc-- I aplogize, I accidentally clobbered this post hitting edit button that admins have instead of the quote button. Happens to all of us admins sometimes. Sorry--
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mosc
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PostPosted: Sat Nov 14, 2009 10:59 pm    Post subject: Re: player to vsthost Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

durwood wrote:
[... I thought someone on DIYAudio.com had mentioned RME had internal routing?? Can you link spdif out with spdif in without the cable? Seems like conflicting information and I think how you are routing your signal is how you have to do it with that card.

Examples are listed here for a couple RME cards.

http://www.diyaudio.com/forums/multi-way/63078-how-pc-xo.html
http://www.thuneau.com/forum/topic-19.html

Using jackaudio
http://www.thuneau.com/forum/topic-168.html


This may be of general interest, so I have posted a new topic about RME internal loop back here:

http://electro-music.com/forum/topic-38091.html

It explains how the RME loop back works.

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janderclander14



Joined: Dec 02, 2008
Posts: 28
Location: France

PostPosted: Sun Nov 15, 2009 1:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

shitso wrote:
janderclander14 wrote:
[ However, the problem is that when I save the layout and re-open audiomulch, the Zentrum value (3) is properly loaded, but the delay value is resetted to the original value (71 us). The same problem appears for "global" parameters such as balance but not for "local" ones such as recursion or space. Is anybody experiencing this problem?

Regards


This was a conscious design decision. The thinking was that when you adjusted the delay, balance, and volume, these should stay. It's annoying to find the correct delay and then change presets and it goes back to something else.

We can reconsider this for a future update. I think that something can be done to accommodate both situations.

Keep those cards and letters coming... Smile

As for Audiomulch not restoring presets... I believe that if you save the layout, it will save the knob and preset values. This is that way most VST hosts work.


Hi!

I agree on the behaviour regarding parameters which are common to any present such as delay or balance. The problem is that as far as I've tested (I've used audiomulch v1 and v2.03) they are not properly re-loaded after saving the layout.

I assume that this may be a problem concrete to my configuration or maybe I'm doing something wrong. So, it could be great if someone can confirm if those setting are properly loaded by audiomulch when modified.

Regards
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mosc
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PostPosted: Sun Nov 15, 2009 9:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

janderclander14 wrote:

I assume that this may be a problem concrete to my configuration or maybe I'm doing something wrong. So, it could be great if someone can confirm if those setting are properly loaded by audiomulch when modified.


I have tested this with Ableton Live which is perhaps the gold standard for VST hosts. I can recreate your problem. Every time I restart the "global" parameters are reset. It's not a problem with your set up. We need to rethink this decision to separate these functions from the presets.

Robin and I usually get together on Tuesdays. We'll discuss this and come up with a fix. Thanks for the feedback.

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rmiller



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PostPosted: Tue Nov 17, 2009 9:34 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Dear janderclander14 and others interested in Ambiophonic DSP for 5.1...

I believe that janderclander14's 5.1/6.1 "multi-pairwise approach," showing 15 instances of DSP, goes beyond what is necessary, and may have unintended consequences, generating audible artifacts.

Regarding the need: In normal hearing (live or reproduced) we use small, unconscious head movements to confirm localization, usually horizontally on the order of a few degrees, but up to about 45deg max if a bus is about to hit you from behind. Headphone listening thwarts this, but Ambiophonics allows it to occur naturally. (Ambio could be called "virtual headphone," without the discomfort or in-head sounds, or "speaker binaural.") Since our ears are on the sides of our head, we'd need to be turned uncomfortably beyond 45deg up to fully 90deg on either side to hear binaural between side pairs (in 5.1 terms, between L and SL or between R and SR). In any case, most commercial 5.1 recordings have irrelevant HRTF-binaural information between side pairs, as surround mics are typically many meters from front mics, or surround signals are generated artificially.

Furthermore, Ambio DSP between Center and SL or SR has little meaning. Note that most commercial 5.1 music recordings and movies only pan spot mic signals to C, and so contain no binaural information, and therefore C is not paired spatially with any other channel. (Distances are too great for HRTF-binaural in the case of movie music typically using Decca Tree L-C-R mics; OCT 5.1 micing works, but hasn't gained the traction it deserves.)

Add the unintended consequences: In the multi-pairwise approach there is the artifact of crosstalk-cancellation (XTC) signals introduced, say for the FL-SL pair, into the FL speaker that are not canceled in FR, and similarly for any other partner of a pair either in front or in back, where within normal head-turning range, binaural perception IS at work.

My advice for using Ambiophonic DSP for 5.1 surround as I do is to keep it simple and only use two instances of Ambiophonic DSP, similar to your simpler diagram above (except you need only one control and therefore one instance of MGain for Center signals as the output can be wired to both channel inputs of the following ambio2_FL_FR_CEN contraption). The result is artifact-free 5.1 reproduction within a reasonable range of head-turning.

.

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janderclander14



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PostPosted: Tue Nov 17, 2009 2:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

rmiller wrote:
Dear janderclander14 and others interested in Ambiophonic DSP for 5.1...

I believe that janderclander14's 5.1/6.1 "multi-pairwise approach," showing 15 instances of DSP, goes beyond what is necessary, and may have unintended consequences, generating audible artifacts.

Regarding the need: In normal hearing (live or reproduced) we use small, unconscious head movements to confirm localization, usually horizontally on the order of a few degrees, but up to about 45deg max if a bus is about to hit you from behind. Headphone listening thwarts this, but Ambiophonics allows it to occur naturally. (Ambio could be called "virtual headphone," without the discomfort or in-head sounds, or "speaker binaural.") Since our ears are on the sides of our head, we'd need to be turned uncomfortably beyond 45deg up to fully 90deg on either side to hear binaural between side pairs (in 5.1 terms, between L and SL or between R and SR). In any case, most commercial 5.1 recordings have irrelevant HRTF-binaural information between side pairs, as surround mics are typically many meters from front mics, or surround signals are generated artificially.

Furthermore, Ambio DSP between Center and SL or SR has little meaning. Note that most commercial 5.1 music recordings and movies only pan spot mic signals to C, and so contain no binaural information, and therefore C is not paired spatially with any other channel. (Distances are too great for HRTF-binaural in the case of movie music typically using Decca Tree L-C-R mics; OCT 5.1 micing works, but hasn't gained the traction it deserves.)

Add the unintended consequences: In the multi-pairwise approach there is the artifact of crosstalk-cancellation (XTC) signals introduced, say for the FL-SL pair, into the FL speaker that are not canceled in FR, and similarly for any other partner of a pair either in front or in back, where within normal head-turning range, binaural perception IS at work.

My advice for using Ambiophonic DSP for 5.1 surround as I do is to keep it simple and only use two instances of Ambiophonic DSP, similar to your simpler diagram above (except you need only one control and therefore one instance of MGain for Center signals as the output can be wired to both channel inputs of the following ambio2_FL_FR_CEN contraption). The result is artifact-free 5.1 reproduction within a reasonable range of head-turning.

.


Thanks again, rmiller, for the very informative answer.

I can confirm that the simpler two pairs ambio setup is prefferable and more natural. I've been enjoying it all the day providing a seamless integration of the expanded front stage and the widen surrounds (wider than even using a 7.1 speaker configuration with 4 surrounds).

A final question: currently I'm using as back ambio speakers a pair of dipoles. As those speakers use a diffuse radiating pattern, do you think they may affect the ambio principle and it would be better to use monopoles?

Regards,
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rmiller



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PostPosted: Tue Nov 17, 2009 3:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Quote:
A final question: currently I'm using as back ambio speakers a pair of dipoles. As those speakers use a diffuse radiating pattern, do you think they may affect the ambio principle and it would be better to use monopoles?


Hi again janderclander14 - and anyone else with dipole speakers...

If you're talking electrostatic dipoles, see my post of 11/11/09 above encouraging eurasian to try them as the front pair. Modest speakers work also with Ambiophonic DSP, as in my post above of 11/13.

But from your question, you're probably talking about electrodynamic drivers on opposite sides of the box, not facing the listener (usually "washing" back & side walls)? These are not ideal, as they play off wall reflections, the timing of which can interfere with crosstalk-cancellation. However, if you're reproducing "staged" music with mostly diffuse ambience in back (classical, opera, acoustic jazz, popular with reverb in back), no doubt they sound quite satisfying. It's when there are direct sounds in back (applause, middle-of-the-band-recordings, antiphonal choir/organ, movie fly-over effects) that you'd perceive that back and front speaker-pairs are not identical. Perhaps plan that for a future upgrade of your system; meanwhile we're thrilled for you and anyone enjoying success with the AmbioDSP setup you have...

Quote:
I can confirm that the simpler two pairs ambio setup is preferable and more natural. I've been enjoying it all the day providing a seamless integration of the expanded front stage and the widen surrounds (wider than even using a 7.1 speaker configuration with 4 surrounds).

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durwood



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PostPosted: Wed Nov 18, 2009 5:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

rmiller wrote:
Quick comments re using modest loudpeakers, even single-driver units, with the Ambiophonic DSP plug-in:

Many so-called "full-range" single-driver (or multiple in a line array) systems work amazingly well with AmbioDSP because Left-to-Right differences are minimized by eliminating crossover phase anomalies, limiting frequency extremes where crosstalk cancellation is not beneficial, and because they approach a true point source (or line soure). We tested using the 3in Aurasound NS3-193-8A (perpetually out-of-stock at www.madisound.com) - and 32'd make a great 8ft tall line source with an amplifier that can drive 1/4 Ohm! Most Bose and similar sat/sub systems also work quite well (if you don't mind the missing octave 90~200Hz), as do big Dell laptops with 4x1in drivers on each side forming horizontal mini-line arrays.


A similar driver is now available.
http://www.parts-express.com/pe/showdetl.cfm?Partnumber=290-210

For complex music, I find that fullrange drivers need a little help in the upper octaves. I am hooked on the line array approach myself and am slowly gathering the necessary parts. I've got the amplification, midrange, and active crossover with ambiophonics ready(PC), the tweeters are the last piece along with a better room.

Sorry for the OT discussion,
Do you prefer line sources over point/monopole sources for ambiophonics?

Have you tested ambiophonics with an off-center seating position and if so any plans to implement a way to adjust/account for this to a point? I had some ideas and brief testing seemed to show promise but I lack the capability to make it happen at the moment. Sad
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rmiller



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PostPosted: Thu Nov 19, 2009 12:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

durwood writes...

Quote:
A similar driver is now available. http://www.parts-express.com/pe/showdetl.cfm?Partnumber=290-210...I've got the amplification, midrange, and active crossover with ambiophonics ready(PC), the tweeters are the last piece along with a better room.


Despite being advertised as a "Direct replacement for Aura NS3" and looking and costing the same, most of the Dayton's specs are not, e.g. the Ambiophonically-critical "Xmax" displacement of only 4mm compared to 9.5 of the Aura NS3, which I've tested and have found no equal when used singly (piling a dozen or so in a line array should compensate for this). Did you try simply EQing the high end instead of a separate tweeter and active (less troublesome than passive) crossover? I agree that acoustically improving the room is the greatest challenge of all.

Quote:

Do you prefer line sources over point/monopole sources for ambiophonics?


At nearly $20,000 a pair and 9ft high, Soundlab Majestic 945 electrostatics (virtual line sources) are the best I've heard Ambiophonics, or nearly anything else! However, for us with more down-to-earth loudspeakers (mostly monopole/virtual point-sources), getting the perceptual (psycho-acoustic) stuff right as with Ambiophonic DSP gets you about $15,000 of the way there!

Quote:
Have you tested ambiophonics with an off-center seating position and if so any plans to implement a way to adjust/account for this to a point?


Returning to the AmbioDSP topic: Any crosstalk-cancellation solution requires precise positioning on the median plane between speakers - no problem for listening at your computer, game pod, or the "owner's seat" of a home theater. You can skew the plane toward one side and sit there if you add delay to the near speaker (equivalent to moving it back), but there is no possibility of a second plane simultaneously - all you've done is rotated the setup. Increasing AmbioDSP's Delay control up to 50% will add up to half head-width leeway to the "sweet-spot" (or if your head is wider than the "Blauert equivalent" used to calculate the Table in the AmbioDSP User Guide), but if you invite friends, they'll have to sit one behind the other.

Is listening on the median plane a trade-off? The inexpensive Ambiophonic DSP plug-in available on this site is a critical listening enhancement to your setup that results in much greater realism and satisfaction with your collection of music, games, and movies than is possible with any conventional stereo speaker layout, where sitting OFF the median "relocates" central voices to the nearer speaker box, and sitting ON the median causes those central voices to be harshly comb filtered. When you hear the proof, you won't want to go back. (Hear a pre-processed demonstration at http://www.filmaker.com/products.htm).

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durwood



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PostPosted: Fri Nov 20, 2009 9:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Sorry to continue some of the OT in this thread.

rmiller wrote:

Despite being advertised as a "Direct replacement for Aura NS3" and looking and costing the same, most of the Dayton's specs are not, e.g. the Ambiophonically-critical "Xmax" displacement of only 4mm compared to 9.5 of the Aura NS3, which I've tested and have found no equal when used singly (piling a dozen or so in a line array should compensate for this).


I have a pair of the ns3's so I'd have to agree no 3 has this xmax but aura lists their's at 9.5 p-p, dayton at one way so really 9.5 vs 8mm. Their response is a little more ragged so I have to wonder if aura used smoothing or the dayton is that ragged in comparison. However, I do believe a rather crude measurement shows they are capable and he found them to be about 10mm p-p capable with 10% 3rd harmonic distortion at 50Hz.

http://www.trueaudio.com/array/MCLA_single_drvr_tests.htm

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Did you try simply EQing the high end instead of a separate tweeter and active (less troublesome than passive) crossover? I agree that acoustically improving the room is the greatest challenge of all.


It just doesn't compare. I think the fullrange driver is an aquired taste. (I have tried many full/widerange drivers and have a pile of them in my closet). I need my top end otherwise it I can sound rather dull. With rock music is where the problems start to arise. I think this is partly why I prefer planar type drivers.


Quote:


Returning to the AmbioDSP topic: Any crosstalk-cancellation solution requires precise positioning on the median plane between speakers - no problem for listening at your computer, game pod, or the "owner's seat" of a home theater. You can skew the plane toward one side and sit there if you add delay to the near speaker (equivalent to moving it back), but there is no possibility of a second plane simultaneously - all you've done is rotated the setup.


I have found while a single delay can create a shift, it is not correct still since we have the two spaced ears and not a simple central point in the head model. You need two delays, one for the direct path, one for the crosstalk path. This is needed for azimuth/vector correction. However as you have noted it creates more of a rotated stage vs a shifted stage from when I tried implementing it. I did a crude test by implementing mosc's simple model and adjusted both delays.

I was hoping there was a good model either for expanding the listening sweet spot or "bubble" as I think of it, or a way of shifting that includes both a depth/speaker to listener length adjustment combined with the dual time shift/azimuth control.

I have tried experiments with ambiophonics first, but am now trying some of the ambisonic tools to compare and contrast. Nothing scientific, merely for my understanding. The ambisonic has some type of distance adjustments that expand the sweet spot at the expense of a sharper image, however I have not fully wrapped my head around it. I think it expands the ambiance by adjusting direct to reflected information in the recording but I'm not 100% sure or even 50% sure. Similar to moving forward or backwards in a concert hall?

I understand most are probably happy enough with a critical listening setup however maybe it would make for a good effects plugin (not sure "Effects" is the right terminology) if it had further adjustability? Perhaps this should be a topic on it's own if there was interest?
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rmiller



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PostPosted: Wed Nov 25, 2009 3:08 pm    Post subject: An invitation... Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

In the interests of most readers of this topic, Howard and I are available for questions/issues relating to your success using Ambiophonic DSP. And readers who might be considering the VST plug-in would appreciate your helpful indications of what they might ultimately expect, and how you got it (perhaps with a little tweak elsewhere in your system, listening acoustics, etc.?). So far we've heard enthusiastic response directly from our personal acquaintances, but of course the forum audience is global, and therefore far more helpful to all. Thanks...
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rmiller



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PostPosted: Fri Nov 27, 2009 11:32 am    Post subject: Using Ambiophonic DSP with headphones?? Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

I'm glad that there are new Ambiophonic DSP users who, instead of being trampled in Black Friday sales, installed their plug-in, and then contacted me with questions/results. I'm posting on this forum my somewhat technical response to one, a scientist from Oregon, because it might save others some derailment. He was listening to AmbioDSP on headphones...

"FYI, AmbioDSP is intended to substitute for headphones by creating “loudspeaker-binaural” (or “virtual headphones”) for enjoying the binaural cues that exist in many recordings. In major part, it accomplishes this by canceling the acoustic crosstalk, avoided with headphones, that occurs because sound from any one speaker reaches both ears. For important central sounds (e.g. soloists) which in stereo is a “phantom” created by the same signal emanating from both speakers, the delay between arrivals at either ear causes harsh-sounding frequency-dependent cancellations/reinforcements, called “comb-filtering.” Add that the brain is confused when the directional cues it receives from the ears do not match the phantom illusion because the speakers are not actually in front. AmbioDSP resolves these conditions when speakers are relocated close together in front, with imaging turned “inside-out” (up to 120deg+ outside the speakers instead of confined to 60deg between them, as with conventional stereo placement). The result is not only a headphone-wide stage with much greater clarity of individual instruments, but undistorted central sounds with no pinna confusion. With your PC speakers relatively close together, these pluses should be evident in the demonstration recording [at http://www.filmaker.com/products.htm]. Compared to headphones, speakers can be better quality, have no wearing discomfort, and you are able to rotate your head naturally by minute degrees to help localize sounds, which stay stationary. So you see that using AmbioDSP (or the pre-processed demo) with headphones is redundant." - Robin

Let me add that iPhone/iPod and other typically headphone-based players are usable via a dock as a sound source in a home/studio stereo system that is enhanced with AmbioDSP.

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janderclander14



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PostPosted: Sat Nov 28, 2009 7:20 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Hi,

So far I've been enjoying AmbioDSP for both stereo music (using a vst bridge for foobar) and 5.1 movie soundtracks via the audiomulch setup posted above (two pairs of ambio front-back).

A part from the little anoyance to re-set the configuration delay (as stated above) which I suppose it can be easily fixed in a new revision of the plugin, I can confirm that the listening experience is highly improved. For movies I found that, even using dipolar speakers, the fact that they have been DRC corrected supposes a quite satisfying integration with the expanded front stage, but providing a wide and diffuse soundfield which actually came from the room, not confined to the speakers. The only consequence is that surround sounds are harder to localize that front ones, but I found this quite desirable. The result is an amazing almost 360º sound envelop.

Now I am interested on trying the bi-ambio setup stated previously for stereo music (i.e. using also the back speaker pair). If I understood correctely, I have to replicate the stereo front signal, attenuatte it (6 db) and feed it to back speakers (FL-> SL; FR->SR?) through a new ambio dsp instantance. I'm attaching the audiomulch audio layout fo this setup. Could you please confirm if it is correct?

Another question: in order to apply a multichannel ambio currently I use a VST host and a virtual audio cable application which, in conjunction with ASIO drivers, redirect the sound from the player's output to the host (to apply DSPs) and from that, to the soundcard's outputs (my soundcard does not support rewire or native re-routing). Even though this procedure works, I experience some sound drop-outs (no matter which asio buffer I use or how much I increase the latency and process priority) and I have to manually set the vst host every time.

In this sense, a directshow sound filter which could be loaded directly on the player (like ffdshow audio filter) will provide a much better integration with the application and a greater reliability. Do you think it could be possible to offer a directshow version of the dsp for multichannel audio (similarly to the multichannel convolver I'm using which offers VST and directshow versions in the same package http://convolver.sourceforge.net/)?

Regards,


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mosc
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PostPosted: Sun Nov 29, 2009 11:51 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

janderclander14 wrote:
Do you think it could be possible to offer a directshow version of the dsp for multichannel audio (similarly to the multichannel convolver I'm using which offers VST and directshow versions in the same package http://convolver.sourceforge.net/)?


Sorry, there aren't any plans at the moment for a DirectShow version. I have used Virtual Audio Cable myself and unfortunately those drop outs and clicks are apparently par for the course. I'm looking into using Jack for windows and if I come up with good results I'll post it.

If you are doing a lot of experimenting with multichannel sound using various processors, I can not recommend highly enough the RME products. You may balk at the apparently high prices, but IMHO the price is a bargain because of the profoundly useful routing and mixing capabilities. I got it for the high quality sound and reliable hardware. After I realized how powerful the software is, the hardware just seems like a nice aside. They just came out with a USB 2 version. One of those in my future.

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shitso



Joined: Nov 05, 2009
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PostPosted: Sun Nov 29, 2009 3:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

janderclander14 wrote:
I experience some sound drop-outs (no matter which asio buffer I use or how much I increase the latency


When using ASIO my system showed drop-outs regardless of latency settings. I got rid of them by setting the cpu affinity from my vst host (audiomulch) to only one cpu (i use a 4 kernel cpu). You can try this with windows task manager but the setting is not persistent until next time starting the application. Therefore you need (free) software like process lasso.

Regards
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 30, 2009 2:43 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Mosc:
Thanks for your answer. Trying Jack instead of Virtual Audio Cable is a possibility I considered but I'm affraid it was too complex for me Sad . If you find the settings to made it work in Windows, please post them.
RME are interesting cards but too expensive for me. Moreover I'm currently using a heavily modified auzentech x-meridian (recapped, discrete output) which provides very good 7.1 sound quality even though driver support is weak. I might consider other cards which also implement native re-routing possibilities like audiotrack ones (http://www.audiotrak.net/products/prodigy71hifi/). If anybody is aware of any other high quality soundcard with re-routing drivers, please advise!

Shitso:
Thanks for the suggestion. I will try it the next days!

Regards,
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rmiller



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PostPosted: Mon Nov 30, 2009 9:12 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Quoting janderclander14 above:
Quote:
...trying the bi-ambio setup stated previously for stereo music (i.e. using also the back speaker pair). If I understood correctely, I have to replicate the stereo front signal, attenuatte it (6 db) and feed it to back speakers (FL-> SL; FR->SR?)...

Correct, including your Mulch patch (tho you could simplify using stereo gain contraption "SGain" instead of two "MGain"). Attenuation for the back speakers may be -10dB depending upon how sensitive you are to the illusion that the direct sounds (sources "on-stage") aren't still in front.

BTW, the reason for duplicating the front signals in back is to further widen the front stage. It works because the brain figures that even though the added speakers are behind, say the FL and BL emit identical signals, which could only exist in the middle of your head, or on your left side. To paraphrase Sherlock Holmes, when you've eliminated all but one possibility, the last remaining illusion confirms the front has widened further, extending perception typically from up to 120deg for front-only speakers to 150deg (increasing from 2x to 2.5x the width of conventional stereo!), so even further into regions of maximum Listener Envelopment. The downside is that now in addition to a side-to-side limitation with a front-only pair for critical listening along the "sweet-listening line" that can accommodate 3~4 listeners max (depending on the dimensions of your layout), you now have (for given back level and delay settings) a front-to-back limitation as well, making it a true "sweet spot" (point) for just 1~2 listeners in a large layout (>12ft between speaker pairs). This is no problem for an electronic music composer and a guest, and the benefit is taking Ambiophonic DSP from astounding to unbelievable.

Just for others' info, you don't need to buy the second instance of Ambiophonic DSP, just open a second instance of it in AudioMulch or other multi-channel-capable host. (Or if you sit directly at the center of four identical speakers, just use one instance and attenuate from the AmbioDSP output to the host's back outputs, or in a still simpler case use a single instance within a 2-channel host and attenuate the power amplifier driving the back pair.) Eventually, you'll use the back pair for full, 5.1-compatible PanAmbio surround using four speakers (none interfering with your display), as discussed a page earlier on this forum!

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rudypoochris



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PostPosted: Mon Nov 30, 2009 7:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

I am interested in buying this VST... I was wondering though, can someone link me to some before and after sounds? Thanks! =]
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 01, 2009 1:11 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

rmiller wrote:

Correct, including your Mulch patch (tho you could simplify using stereo gain contraption "SGain" instead of two "MGain"). Attenuation for the back speakers may be -10dB depending upon how sensitive you are to the illusion that the direct sounds (sources "on-stage") aren't still in front.


Thanks rmiller. As you said, the stereo separation is even more wide. I also have the illusion that the ambience of the recording is actually coming from behind meanwhile the soundstage is dispersed in the front. Very nice! I found that -10db of attenuation is better than -6db which makes the effect too obvious and a little distracting.

Another question: I'm currently using a 4.1 setup in which the four main speakers are monitors with low frequency content (below 80hz) redirected to a subwoofer (via the bass management of the soundcard driver). However, I was wondering, if bass content is typically mono an present in both stereo channels, when this signal is passed through the ambio plugin, it will create the cancellation assuming that it will be played through a pair of speakers. As the signal is redirected to the subwoofer, at the end, it will be forced to play the original signal and also the inverted one and may be producing a undesired cancellation.

Do you think it will be prefereable that, in a setup like this, to separate the bass content from the stereo signal with a crossover (with a vst component), to bypass the ambio dsp and to feed directly the subwoofer (much like the LFE signal in the 5.1 setup posted above) meanwhile the main speakers a feed with the ambio signal above 80hz?

And finally, considering that now a have some channels available in the soundcard, do you think it would be beneficial to add another subwoofer (I have a spare non-identical one) as an additional sound channel and to create a new "ambio stereo pair" with two subwoofers only for the bass content?

Regards,
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 01, 2009 9:05 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

janderclander14 wrote:
... do you think it would be beneficial to add another subwoofer (I have a spare non-identical one) as an additional sound channel and to create a new "ambio stereo pair" with two subwoofers only for the bass content?


Absolutely, a second sub woofer will help. Robin and I have done quite a bit of experimentation with that. Two is better than one. If you look around the forum you'll find some information about that. Dr. Bose, was right, you can't really hear directionality in the low end, but he was wrong, two subs will sound much better than one. Directionality is only one aspect of the sound. There is spatiality, transparency, depth, realism, and something Robin and I call, "Je ne sais pas" - it just sounds better.

I suggest you don't use another AmbiophonicDSP for the bass; use the one for the front pair. If if you do use a dedicated AmbiophonicDSP, try using the bypass position. Keep it simple. Keep it clean. Keep it controllable.

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