[linux-audio-dev] Info required: FLAC on W*****S

Joern Nettingsmeier nettings at folkwang-hochschule.de
Thu May 20 09:59:21 UTC 2004

Jens M Andreasen wrote:
> Hi Alfons!
> I went to ambisonic and read the FAQ. I do not agree with them when they
> say that 2-channel stereo is only good for imaging between the speakers.
> It is possible by using phase differences (and the assumption that
> people are not living in sound-dead laboratories) to project sounds
> outside of the stereo-field.
> I did not find anything either to support that 4-channel is superior to
> 7-channel ... Maybe I was not looking hard enough ??
> /jens

not superior, but equivalent, less snake-oil-infested, cheaper, more 
general and more elegant. ahem, yes, superior :-D

you can express any spatial sound with just 4 channels, where one is 
the mono component, and 3 are the x, y, and z-axis difference 
signals (similar to m/s stereo).
you can then render it to any speaker layout you want.

imnsho all those n.1 surround techniques (where n is defined as the 
number of speakers you have or want to afford plus any positive 
integer greater than one) are money-making schemes. anything above 
5.1 in one plane is plain stupid (even the center is not necessary 
in theory, although it makes the job for the mix engineer a lot easier).
and the mutually incompatible encoding formats are not helping either...

and as to encoding anything outside the line between the speakers in 
stereo, well, it just does not work very well. it's ok for the 
occasional "wow, cool" effect, but for not much else. all those 
nifty little tricks have very small sweet spots and fall apart as 
soon as you move just a little, and those oh-so-cool 3d phasing 
effects completely and utterly wreck the low end in practice.

Jörn Nettingsmeier
Lortzingstr. 11, 45128 Essen, Germany
http://spunk.dnsalias.org (my server)
http://www.linuxaudiodev.org (Linux Audio Developers)

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