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 Forum index » How-tos » Ambiophonic Sound Reproduction
Ambiophonic encoder - RACE algorithm
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bachus



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PostPosted: Wed Apr 02, 2008 5:57 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Inventor wrote:
Well the headphones were so that you could say something into the mic and hear the enhanced version much better. For actual use you would hook the inputs up to a stereo source and let it run out the speakers (=> dac;). I just set it up on the mic input for testing.


But with head phones there is no interaural cross talk to cancel so there is no way to test the cancellation, eh?

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PostPosted: Wed Apr 02, 2008 6:29 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

OK, then maybe try this one, it reads from a wav file, "Synth_Lab.wav". Change it to your filename near the end of the example. The wav file plays on the left side and you hear the effect on the right.


Ambiophonic2.ck
 Description:
This one reads from a wav file

Download
 Filename:  Ambiophonic2.ck
 Filesize:  1.2 KB
 Downloaded:  176 Time(s)


Synth_Lab.wav
 Description:
A guitar strum with reverb

Download
 Filename:  Synth_Lab.wav
 Filesize:  2 MB
 Downloaded:  444 Time(s)


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bachus



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PostPosted: Wed Apr 02, 2008 7:12 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

My questions are theoretical as I do not have chuck. NTL I do not think it is theoretically possible to hear Ambiophonic encoding on headphones.
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 07, 2008 3:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

I'm very sorry. Thanks to Bachus for pointing out that there was an error in the block diagram of the RACE encoder. I have updated the drawing and some of the text (added in bold) in the first post of this topic. Embarassed
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 07, 2008 3:43 pm    Post subject: Re: Ambiophonic encoder
Subject description: Anyone interested in coding this
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mosc wrote:
Ambiophonic stereo is a significantly better form of stereo than conventional placement of 60 degree speakers. There is already much literature about ambiophonic sound, see http://www.ambiophonics.org/ for starters. I have participated in many experiments with Robin Miller and I love the sound. You get a very much wider stereo field and no hole in the middle feeling.


I haven´t heard ambiophonic stereo. Yet.. but this is interesting stuff.

However, after reading the following section from http://www.ambiophonics.org/ I started to think. I marked some stuff red.


Quote:
The Ambiophonics method combines an exploitation of seldom applied, but well documented, psychoacoustic principles with the basic rules of good musical performance space design to create believable concert-hall sound fields in dedicated home listening rooms. Ambiophonics moves the listener into the same space as the performers, by accommodating to individual external ear and head characteristics, minimizing interaural correlation at the listening positions, abandoning the traditional stereo loudspeaker equilateral triangle, recreating early reflections and reverberant fields via computer, eliminating front-loudspeaker crosstalk, and reducing the home music theater wideband reverberation time to less than .2 seconds. The completion and testing of the first full-scale version of the Ambiophonics Home Concert Hall has demonstrated that the Ambiophonic sound reproducing technique is a worthy successor to both stereophonic or surround-sound listening configurations, for staged music, in that it can consistently generate a "You Are There" concert, opera or pop sound field even preferably from standard LPs, DVDs or CDs that the ear-brain system will accept as real.


So, this is an effect that is suitable for certain types of music recorded in a special way? Am I right? And AFAIK, these days very little music is recorded "properly" off the stage using the full acoustics of the stage.

Even recordings that initially might sound that it fits the bill would in fact have been recorded using close miking, multitracking,multiple takes, all sorts of processing with analog and digital means.. all in order to sound more like the real thing than the real thing does.

My question is simply if truly the ambiophonic system is really suitable for playback of all sorts of stereophonic recordings.

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bachus



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PostPosted: Mon Apr 07, 2008 5:48 pm    Post subject: Re: Ambiophonic encoder
Subject description: Anyone interested in coding this
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elektro80 wrote:

My question is simply if truly the ambiophonic system is really suitable for playback of all sorts of stereophonic recordings.


I have used the Carver C9 Sonic Holography device since it first came on the market. It is is very similar.* It is in general a great improvement over stereo on virtually all recordings. Basically both are just good Interaural Crosstalk Cancellation systems. Several of the Behringer processors include a rather bad one.

It is important to note that early reflections are ruinous to ICC so your speakers must be >28 inches from any wall or other sound reflective surface.

Edit:
*It is very similar in effect as far as I can tell comparing a non ideal ambiophonic setup in my studio with a near ideal C9 setup in my media room and never having heard an ambiophonic specific recording.

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PostPosted: Tue Apr 08, 2008 1:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

You don't need special recordings. Hearing electronic music on ambiophonic setups is very special. Panned mono sounds just great - better than stereo. In stereo, sound can't come beyond the width of the speakers. Also, if you concentrate you can hear that the sound comes from two speakers. In ambiophonic playback the sound stage can be much wider even though the speakers are quite close together. There is no sense of listening to two speakers. The sounds seem to stand on their own.

Some of the writeups on the ambiophonics.org site are misleading, IMHO, especially the part about adding convolution.

We are going to start an ambiophonics forum here very soon. I talked Robin Miller today and he's go for it.

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PostPosted: Tue Apr 08, 2008 4:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

mosc wrote:
... Also, if you concentrate you can hear that the sound comes from two speakers.
I assert that if you have a well damped listening room and good, relatively phase coherent, speakers properly positioned the center stage is quite solid. If, in my own system, I actively rotate my head while listening for it then I can tell that the sound is coming from two speakers, otherwise I cannot.

mosc wrote:
...In ambiophonic playback the sound stage can be much wider even though the speakers are quite close together. There is no sense of listening to two speakers. The sounds seem to stand on their own.


I would argue that is the essential character of good ICC on good speakers and not unique to ambiophonics.

mosc wrote:
... Some of the writeups on the ambiophonics.org site are misleading, IMHO, especially the part about adding convolution.


Synthetic ambience and ICC are two technically unrelated issues. However they share the common goal of creating an aesthetically valuable synthetic experience of sounds originating in a space essentially unrelated to the one in which the listener is located. Synthetic ambience is of great interest to me so I hope it will be welcome in the new sub-forum in spite of the fact that some (who will go unnamed coughhowardcough) believe that Synthetic ambience is inherently flawed Shocked

In any case I very much look forward to the new subform.

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PostPosted: Tue Apr 08, 2008 7:03 pm    Post subject: Re: Ambiophonic encoder
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elektro80 wrote:

My question is simply if truly the ambiophonic system is really suitable for playback of all sorts of stereophonic recordings.


Well, I can't talk about Ambiphonics with authority bit I did experiment with spatialisation and ChucK (basically just straightforward physics but with some optimisation tricks that are mine). I found that the same recording could sound right on speakers but completely wrong on headphones. Moving the virtual mics to line up with the actual speakers made the effect come back (at the price of re-rendering which meant "make coffee").

I'm not sure I believe in recordings that will sound like perfect 3d on arbitrary speaker setups, especially the distance between the speakers matters, in my experience. There is -of course- something like "the average living room" and to some degree you can compensate with delays, I suppose, but....

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PostPosted: Tue Apr 08, 2008 7:55 pm    Post subject: Re: Ambiophonic encoder
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Kassen wrote:

I'm not sure I believe in recordings that will sound like perfect 3d on arbitrary speaker setups, especially the distance between the speakers matters, in my experience. There is -of course- something like "the average living room" and to some degree you can compensate with delays, I suppose, but....


I too do not think "perfect 3D" is attainable by any of these techniques --only a vast improvement over stereo - a strong sense of being in the presence of the sounding instruments that makes it difficult to go back to plain old stereo. It's hard to over estimate the degradation to image caused by interaural crosstalk.

I have not heard an ambiophonic recording so I don't know what additionally I'm missing on that count, and I have to admit my real interest is in optimizing my experience of my current CD collection.

Until some way is developed to recreate the original sound field of a performance (real or synthetic) over an extended area perfection is out of the question. And in that respect all the current sound reproduction techniques can fairly be called tricks. It's a matter of deciding which set of tricks is both satisfying to you and consistent with your goals.

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PostPosted: Fri Apr 11, 2008 2:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Well, Bachus, being able to turn the head is pretty important. With ambiophonics, you can actually turn you head as an aid to localization. There problems with both stereo and ambiophonics when being off axis. Both degrade differently.

Kassen, you are right. Both stereo, and espically ambiophonics, require special speaker setups. Most home stereo setups I've seen when visiting friends and relatives are pathetic. Most people don't listen critically. Imaging and spatiality are unknown to them. Ambiophonics is really only for enthusiasts who are almost obsessed with trying to find the best possible listening experience.

I think ambiophonics would be good in laptops where the ability to separate the speakers is difficult. That's why I'd like to get an ambiophonic encoder for winamp or as a VST plugin.

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PostPosted: Fri Apr 11, 2008 2:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

mosc wrote:
Well, Bachus, being able to turn the head is pretty important.


What!? You mean everyone doesn't listen with their head tightly clamped in proper position. Such people are obviously not serious listeners. Wink

I think what I find most disheartening is how many serious listeners are obsessed with the fiddly bits and consider any processing at all as some kind of mortal sin Rolling Eyes

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PostPosted: Fri Apr 11, 2008 2:59 pm    Post subject: Re: Ambiophonic encoder
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bachus wrote:

Until some way is developed to recreate the original sound field of a performance (real or synthetic) over an extended area perfection is out of the question.


check this out

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PostPosted: Fri Apr 11, 2008 3:46 pm    Post subject: Re: Ambiophonic encoder
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seraph wrote:

check this out

Posted Image, might have been reduced in size. Click Image to view fullscreen.


Yeah, that kind of thing I could imagine ChucK support for.

ChucKists Perry Cook and Dan Trueman did some very interesting research on the directional nature of sound radiating from acoustical instruments (nbody project). The dome-ish shaped speakers that Plork uses, with multiple speakers around the body are based on that but it's not completely clear to me how (if) they are making use of that right now.

A very interesting idea and almost like a per-instrument approach to that mic array sending sound to a matching speaker array idea that proto wave-field synthesis used but less then practical for home listening.

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PostPosted: Fri Apr 11, 2008 4:34 pm    Post subject: Re: Ambiophonic encoder
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seraph wrote:
bachus wrote:

Until some way is developed to recreate the original sound field of a performance (real or synthetic) over an extended area perfection is out of the question.


check this out


It doesnt' meet the extended area criteria. It's a tool for ambisonic recording which captures only a single point in a sound field. The problems with this system are covered in Ralph Glasgal's Ambiophonics, 2nd Edition But again every system so far has its problems and limitations. Ya pays yer money and takes yer pick.

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Last edited by bachus on Fri Apr 11, 2008 4:39 pm; edited 1 time in total
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 11, 2008 4:38 pm    Post subject: Re: Ambiophonic encoder
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Kassen wrote:
A very interesting idea and almost like a per-instrument approach to that mic array sending sound to a matching speaker array idea that proto wave-field synthesis used but less then practical for home listening.


Kassen, I can't google a link to "proto wave-field synthesis" can you give me some direction?

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PostPosted: Fri Apr 11, 2008 5:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

I think that Kassen refers to the "acoustic curtain"

Quote:
The history of spatial sound reproduction began with
the concept of the acoustic curtain (many microphone
wired 1:1 with many loudspeakers) at the Bell Laboratories
[4].


source : ftp://ftp.tik.ee.ethz.ch/pub/people/haidw/bhht07a.pdf

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PostPosted: Fri Apr 11, 2008 5:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Blue Hell wrote:
I think that Kassen refers to the "acoustic curtain"
source : ftp://ftp.tik.ee.ethz.ch/pub/people/haidw/bhht07a.pdf


Way cool! I'll take one Laughing

BUt I guess that makes my CD collection out of date

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PostPosted: Sat Apr 12, 2008 1:31 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

This topic!! ..
ahhhhhhh my head!!
my head is like....

blank.
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Kassen
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 12, 2008 4:42 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Blue Hell wrote:
I think that Kassen refers to the "acoustic curtain"


Yeah, that's basically wave-field synthesis. I think what Perry&Dan did is the same idea but focussed on a single instrument and of course requiring a rather exotic speaker.

The thing Seraph posted is interesting as well but I think it's a naive approach if you really want to capture the directional nature of acoustical instruments where different angles focus on different frequencies.

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PostPosted: Sat Apr 12, 2008 4:46 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

kijjaz wrote:
This topic!! ..
ahhhhhhh my head!!
my head is like....

blank.


:¬)

It's really not that bad once you get your head 'round it. Just stick with it for a while and it'll click.

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PostPosted: Sat Apr 12, 2008 7:01 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Kassen wrote:

It's really not that bad once you get your head 'round it. Just stick with it for a while and it'll click.


If gyroscopic headphones make a noise and there is no one there to hear it, does it cause a tree to fall?

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PostPosted: Sat Apr 12, 2008 7:12 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Depends on the volume and the eigen-frequency of the tree.

Next question.

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PostPosted: Sat Apr 12, 2008 7:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Well, start out with turning the tree to 11?
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 12, 2008 7:22 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Kassen wrote:
Depends on the volume and the eigen-frequency of the tree.

the lowest eigenfrequency of a double bass is at 85 Hz.

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