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Re: Octophonic sound system

"James Hines" <jth3@webtv.net> put forth:

>      As a recording medium, however, I would limit myself to either good
> old stereo - or at most - a five channel surround system.

Bingo, James - remember however that while the technology for DVD Audio is
with us, there's no content out there to speak of, and therefore no
awareness nor demand.  I was at DVD Europe a few months ago (as cartoonist
for Medialine News, my sole paying job) and got a chance to talk to a load
of people in this biz.  There's still a lot of debate on the value of DVD
Audio, but it's primarily because the manufacturers/distributors over here
want to concentrate on the video content, as if to not distract the 
and collapse the market.  Yeah, typical paranoia - but most folks still do
think that DVD means "Digital Video Disk", when the "V" is actually for

Audio Source Tracks for DVD: Notes for Producers

Making the Most of Audio Source Tracks for DVD

The above are from Dolby's "Tech" page at http://www.dolby.com/tech/

But wait!  There's more!

>        In all reality, unless you listen to music sitting in the third
> point of an equilateral triangle with two stereo speakers, you are still
> better off listening to music in MONO.

Ugh, I disagree, Homeboy!  Even in a car one can tell the difference 
mono and stereo.  Have you ever investigated the idea of three-channel?
Brian Eno put the setup for such a thing in the liner notes for "On Land",
which alas are in storage with my vinyl in LA - but essentially it's such
that you have a single speaker that's lower-impedance than your pair of
other speakers, connected up so that one terminal is on the Left -, and the
other on Right +.  What one gets out of that speaker is a "subtracted"
sound, as he put it.  In combination with two speakers however, this
produces a more "3D" result.  Eno wasn't the first to exploit this, though.
The original release of Alice Cooper's "Welcome to My Nightmare" concert
film in a select few theaters (before it hit the midnight circuit) used 
same setup, with the third speaker in the back.  It was quite cheap to
implement, and only required a third speaker and amp, and the wires to hook
it up.

>        But if you MUST have more than stereo, many people ( Maybe a full
> 5% of the population ?) in this country are now able to listen to music
> back on a five channel surround system.

Just about everyone who has a DVD player that's more than a PlayStation 2
has it hooked up to a Surround-capable stereo system.  That would be nearly
30% according to several folks I talked to at DVD Europe.  This is called 
embryonic market, but as they all do, this will grow.  Warner Bros. 
record company) just released a bunch of stuff on DVD Audio for the first
time.  I think DVD Audio may well make for a richer listening experience,
and provide a number of us on this list with some real money once it kicks
in.  It's not just positive thinking to say "it's just a matter of time",
and not much time at that.

In closing it should also be remembered that both AC3 and 5.1 Surround are
also playable on PCs for very little money, and that it's mainly the
encoding right now that is expensive.  Someone's going to figure out how to
make it cheaper, because I think a lot of producers and musicians really
want to exploit this medium, for home AND theater use (and that includes
Soundtracks too).

Stephen Goodman
http://www.earthlight.net/Gallery_Front.html - Cartoons & Illustrations
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