[LAU] more than 4 channels for listening? Really?

Martin Leese martin.leese at stanfordalumni.org
Fri Feb 26 11:12:25 EST 2010

On Thu, 2010-02-25, Bearcat M. Sandor wrote:
> Couldn't one create the sound of a fly moving through out a room simply
> by adjusting the balance of 4 speakers?

One could do this, and it was how things were
done back in the quadraphonic era.  What you
are seeking to do is to create phantom images
between pairs of speakers, and for this you
need a mixing style.  "[A]djusting the balance"
is called pair-wise mixing and, unfortunately,
this doesn't work with surround sound.

You can hear this for yourself by performing
the very simple experiment described on my
website at:

Pair-wise mixing is also discussed in the
Ambisonic Surround Sound FAQ at:

> If so why do we need more than 4 speakers?

If you use an appropriate mixing style, such as
Ambisonics, then you don't need more than
four speakers (although more is helpful).

Martin J Leese
E-mail: martin.leese  stanfordalumni.org
Web: http://members.tripod.com/martin_leese/

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