Understanding urrSound Sound Systems

Understanding urrSound Sound Systems

Understanding Surround Sound Systems
Surround sound is​ the​ concept of​ expanding the​ spatial imaging of​ audio playback from 1 dimension (mono/Left-Right) to​ two or​ three dimensions .​
It is​ often employed for​ a​ more realistic audio environment, actively implemented in​ cinema sound systems, technical theatre, home entertainment, video arcades, computer gaming, and​ a​ growing number of​ other applications .​
Many popular surround sound formats have evolved over the​ years .​
They include ambisonics, quadraphonic, Dolby 5.1 Surround sound, DTS, and​ MP3 Surround.
Surround sound can be created using several methods .​
The simplest to​ understand uses several speakers around the​ listener to​ play audio coming from different directions .​
Another approach involves processing the​ audio using psychoacoustic sound localization methods to​ simulate a​ 3D sound field using headphones .​
The third approach, wave field synthesis, uses a​ very large number of​ speakers to​ generate the​ audio hologram of​ the​ original audio in​ the​ whole room (as of​ 2004 the​ only commercial implementation of​ this is​ Iosono) .​
Surround sound is​ not limited to​ placement of​ speakers along a​ flat (2-dimensional) plane .​
Vertically-located audio sources can be considered.
Dolby Digital (DD) uses the​ AC-3 file format, which any Dolby Digital Decoder can decode to​ produce 5.1 audio .​
Dolby Digital is​ the​ technical name for​ Dolby's multi-channel digital sound coding technique, more commonly referred to​ as​ Dolby 5.1 .​
a​ six-channel sound coding process originally created by Dolby for​ theaters, AC-3 was subsequently adapted for​ home use and​ is​ now steadily becoming the​ most common sound format for​ DVD.
Six discrete audio channels:
•3 for​ speakers at​ the​ front - left (L), center (C), and​ right (R)
•2 for​ surround speakers at​ the​ side or​ rear - surround left (SL) and​ surround right (SR)
•1 low-frequency effects (LFE) channel carries supporting deep bass sound effects, ranging from 10 Hz to​ 120 Hz, which can for​ example be used by a​ subwoofer .​
(This is​ the​ '.1' in​ '5.1'.)
DTS is​ an​ encode/decode process that delivers 5.1 channels of​ master quality audio on CD, CD-R, and​ DVD .​
Each DTS encoded disc represents a​ sonic clone of​ the​ original film soundtrack.
The difference between Dolby Digital (AC-3) and​ DTS is:
•DTS provides a​ deeper and​ tighter low frequency presence
•DTS allows the​ sound to​ breath - transparency
•AC-3 leaves the​ impression that something is​ missing from the​ mix
•At lower bit-rate AC-3 starts to​ sound like MP3's encoded at​ a​ low-quality 96kbps
DTS is​ more three dimensional .​
the​ sound actually moved forward from the​ individual speakers to​ sound more full .​
This fullness was most apparent with the​ music .​
Instead of​ simply coming from the​ speakers, the​ DTS filled the​ front soundstage not only side to​ side, but with more depth as​ well .​
Bass reproduction was also more defined in​ the​ DTS version, leaving the​ DD edition sounding muddy .​
Dolby Digital incorporates dialog normalization, which alters the​ decoded level of​ the​ soundtrack .​
The typical setting reduces level by 4 dB; other reduction levels are possible .​
In most decoders, this leads to​ a​ reduction in​ signal-to-noise and​ dynamic range .​
Dolby Digital also provides a​ stereo down mixing feature as​ a​ substitute for​ a​ dedicated stereo mix .​
However, many production engineers have admitted that they often have to​ modify the​ original 5.1 mixes in​ order to​ attain acceptable stereo down mixes .​
Therefore, the​ 5.1 mix on many Dolby Digital DVDs may differ from the​ original master.
5.1 Surround Sound Headphones:
While the​ traditional method of​ surround sound described above uses numerous speakers to​ produce the​ entire sound field, the​ surround sound mix is​ limited to​ a​ two-channel stereo mix when using headphones .​
That is​ why recent developments in​ surround sound technology include 5.1 surround sound headphones, to​ allow you to​ have the​ same sound quality and​ surround sound experience without waking the​ neighbors or​ disturbing roommates.

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