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post #1 of 65 Old 09-14-2017, 01:14 PM - Thread Starter
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R.E.M. - Automatic For The People 25th Anniv. BD in Dolby Atmos

The blu-ray included in R.E.M.'s Automatic For The People 4 disc 25th Anniversary Deluxe Edition will be the first album ever remixed in Dolby Atmos.

http://www.remhq.com/news/read-the-p...ft-recordings/

http://investor.dolby.com/releasedet...easeID=1040457
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post #2 of 65 Old 09-14-2017, 03:38 PM
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Kraftwerk's Catalog has already been released with an Atmos mix. And the Beatles Sgt Pepper was mixed for Atmos theatrically, but it isn't Atmos on the blu-ray. I guess you could argue that the Kraftwerk album is a video, which it sorta is. And Sgt Pepper wasn't Atmos on the blu-ray release.
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post #3 of 65 Old 09-15-2017, 05:46 PM
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Great News! Great album. Can't wait to hear it.
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post #4 of 65 Old 11-09-2017, 06:49 PM
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I'm debating between the 2 CD set, or the 3 CD + Blu-ray. I would love to hear some impressions.

Is this the first REM album to get a surround mix?

Here's a new "NPR All Songs Considered" interview with Michael Stipe about the album
http://www.npr.org/sections/allsong...for-the-people

Last edited by meli; 11-09-2017 at 07:33 PM.
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post #5 of 65 Old 11-10-2017, 07:42 AM
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Is this the first REM album to get a surround mix?
No. Both Automatic for the People and In Time: The Best of R.E.M. 1988-2003 were released on DVD-Audio. Automatic was 48 kHz, 24-bit, both stereo and 5.1. In Time as 192 kHz, 24-bit stereo and 96 kHz, 24-bit, 5.1 surround.

And Out of Time was released on Blu-Ray with 96 kHz, 24-bit, both stereo and 5.1 surround.

Mike
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post #6 of 65 Old 11-11-2017, 04:22 PM
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Just ordered this for the Atmos mix. Should be good from the interviews and such I've read.

REM not a favorite band of mine, but I feel like I need to support these Atmos mixes with some sales .
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post #7 of 65 Old 11-11-2017, 05:53 PM
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I'm double-posting this. Apologies in advance.

ArsTechnica article about mixing music in Atmos
I was going to post this in the R.E.M. thread, but I figured more people would want to read it. Although, I doubt anyone here will learn much from the article, and in fact, may be frustrated by the article.

http://arstechnica.com/gaming/2017/...-since-stereo/
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post #8 of 65 Old 11-14-2017, 05:01 PM
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This disc really exceeded my expectations. I really hope more mixes are done in Atmos, the experience is a level above any 5.1 SACD I've ever heard.

Its a fantastic example of what can be be accomplished with music mixed natively in Atmos. Really outstanding. I was never really a huge fan of REM, lol, but this mix elevates their music to another level.

Recommendation: BUY!
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post #9 of 65 Old 11-15-2017, 09:46 AM
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This disc really exceeded my expectations. I really hope more mixes are done in Atmos, the experience is a level above any 5.1 SACD I've ever heard.

Its a fantastic example of what can be be accomplished with music mixed natively in Atmos. Really outstanding. I was never really a huge fan of REM, lol, but this mix elevates their music to another level.

Recommendation: BUY!

I like the encouraging review. As someone who has just recently set up an Atmos system (7.1.4) I'm really hankering for content, but damn, another expensive box set. Hopefully it comes down in price a bit.

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post #10 of 65 Old 11-15-2017, 03:00 PM
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I like the encouraging review. As someone who has just recently set up an Atmos system (7.1.4) I'm really hankering for content, but damn, another expensive box set. Hopefully it comes down in price a bit.
If they don't get an award for this album re-mix I'll be shocked. It's an experience that is so fundamentally better than the stereo mix it isn't even funny.

I just listened through the entire album when I got home from work and, without trying to sound like too much hyperbole, I have never had a more satisfying musical experience. It's that good.
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post #11 of 65 Old 11-15-2017, 03:14 PM
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Originally Posted by Gooddoc View Post
If they don't get an award for this album re-mix I'll be shocked. It's an experience that is so fundamentally better than the stereo mix it isn't even funny.

I just listened through the entire album when I got home from work and, without trying to sound like too much hyperbole, I have never had a more satisfying musical experience. It's that good.
I do have the DVDA which is a solid listen, however, you make a good case and solid argument for the ATMOS release. ImportCD's has this for $60 with a additional TAKE10 10% off. Resistance may be futile at this point...
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post #12 of 65 Old 11-15-2017, 03:41 PM
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I do have the DVDA which is a solid listen, however, you make a good case and solid argument for the ATMOS release. ImportCD's has this for $60 with a additional TAKE10 10% off. Resistance may be futile at this point...
I've never heard the DVD-A, so can't speak to any differences. All I can say is that the experience of the Atmos mix is simply impossible to recreate with just bed level speakers, and this disc is, overall, simply the best studio album experience I've ever owned or heard.

And btw, I'm not talking about the musicianship - which is good - or the music itself even - which is good too. I'm talking about the mix that puts the musical elements and musicianship into the best possible presentation to be enjoyed as a fantastic experience. Like Pink Floyd's 5.1 SACD's, it is as much about the experience as it is about the music. You don't just listen, you "experience" it .

This mix is more of an extension of the stereo presentation than the Pink Floyd mixes though, and that makes it far better IMO. There is less need to rely on the side surrounds with Atmos, and that is a huge advantage.

It's more "massively enhanced stereo" than "surround sound".

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post #13 of 65 Old 11-15-2017, 07:19 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Michael Sargent View Post
No. Both Automatic for the People and In Time: The Best of R.E.M. 1988-2003 were released on DVD-Audio. Automatic was 48 kHz, 24-bit, both stereo and 5.1. In Time as 192 kHz, 24-bit stereo and 96 kHz, 24-bit, 5.1 surround.

And Out of Time was released on Blu-Ray with 96 kHz, 24-bit, both stereo and 5.1 surround.

Mike

I can't seem to find any reviews on AVS of last years 25th Anniversary "Out of Time" surround mix. Maybe I'm not searching correctly? (the periods in "R.E.M." seem to mess-up some search engines")
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post #14 of 65 Old 11-16-2017, 10:25 AM
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Originally Posted by meli View Post
I can't seem to find any reviews on AVS of last years 25th Anniversary "Out of Time" surround mix. Maybe I'm not searching correctly? (the periods in "R.E.M." seem to mess-up some search engines")
This might help: http://www.allmusic.com/album/out-of-time-mw0000690984
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post #15 of 65 Old 11-16-2017, 10:37 AM
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This mix is more of an extension of the stereo presentation than the Pink Floyd mixes though, and that makes it far better IMO. There is less need to rely on the side surrounds with Atmos, and that is a huge advantage.

It's more "massively enhanced stereo" than "surround sound".
To each his own, but I am not a fan of "surround" releases that are more "big stereo" than "true surround." I own several releases that fall into that category, and although there is usually an improvement in fidelity, they don't sound much different than my receiver playing the CD versions in PL IIx. More surround music fans prefer the Alan Parsons quad mix of Dark Side of the Moon to James Guthrie's 5.1 SACD mix. In my opinion, Guthrie did a better job on his 5.1 mix for Wish You Were Here.

I prefer surround mixes of the type that Steven Wilson does, with some discreteness but without gimmicks. I'm excited about these new Atmos mixes, but I'll be disappointed if Automatic for the People leans more toward the big stereo sound.
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post #16 of 65 Old 11-16-2017, 11:08 AM
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To each his own, but I am not a fan of "surround" releases that are more "big stereo" than "true surround." I own several releases that fall into that category, and although there is usually an improvement in fidelity, they don't sound much different than my receiver playing the CD versions in PL IIx. More surround music fans prefer the Alan Parsons quad mix of Dark Side of the Moon to James Guthrie's 5.1 SACD mix. In my opinion, Guthrie did a better job on his 5.1 mix for Wish You Were Here.

I prefer surround mixes of the type that Steven Wilson does, with some discreteness but without gimmicks. I'm excited about these new Atmos mixes, but I'll be disappointed if Automatic for the People leans more toward the big stereo sound.
Atmos is a game changer IMO. If you're looking at it from the lens of the current format limitations, my description may not make so much sense, and maybe even contradictory. It's definitely surround sound, but also big stereo, all at the same time. It's what 5.1 wants to be, but just can't.

The current formats are significantly limited compared to Atmos.
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post #17 of 65 Old 11-18-2017, 06:56 PM
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Out of curiosity I turned off my mains and isolated the bed level surrounds and ceiling speakers.

There is a tremendous amount of content in the ceiling speakers. In fact, the whole album can be listened to with just those speakers active. All main instrumentals and vocals are in the ceiling speakers, so it's kind of like listening to the album in stereo on the ceiling, lol. It's not great since it's not meant ot be listened to in isolation, but it's not too bad, sorta like a bad car stereo kind of presentation, haha.

This explains why the sound is so "big". Part of the job of the ceiling speakers is to expand the front soundstage, so when the mains are active that content no longer sounds like it's coming from the ceiling, it just sounds like the mains are taller and the soundstage is much bigger. But there are also elements of objects up there and of course those are heard distinctly in space wherever they're placed.

The amount of content up there was a bit surprising to me, particularly the vocals. Folks that have put up ceiling speakers with the thought that it's only ambient sounds and effects up there may have a very different experience than those with timbre matched speakers.
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post #18 of 65 Old 11-19-2017, 05:34 PM
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Lots of people seem to misunderstand what immersive sound is[ even some reviewers] and they often think it's just more speakers and this time on the ceiling. Nope! Atmos treats everything differently as it's no longer a channel based system. It is object based which can be anything including vocals and instruments. It's goal is to create a true 3D sound field that has height not just depth, and in it create a precise location of the objects within this "dome" shaped space. While some of this can be achieved with traditional stereo/surround set ups with a careful positioning, it simply can't compete since the variations and possibilities are almost endless of what can be encoded this way. Of course just like any other tool it can be abused or underused, so the end product will still reflect the talent of the mixer/engineers and sound designers as there always be a learning curve. I would love to pick this title up if it was just surround BD, as I just don't care for expensive box sets. Hopefully more titles will be released with Atmos and not just part of some box sets.
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post #19 of 65 Old 11-19-2017, 05:37 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gooddoc View Post
If they don't get an award for this album re-mix I'll be shocked. It's an experience that is so fundamentally better than the stereo mix it isn't even funny.

I just listened through the entire album when I got home from work and, without trying to sound like too much hyperbole, I have never had a more satisfying musical experience. It's that good.
They probably gonna give it to the Beatles's Sargent Pepper... which is not even available to the public in Atmos, and was mostly "screened" to industry insiders via private events.

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post #20 of 65 Old 11-19-2017, 09:18 PM
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Originally Posted by Gooddoc View Post
I've never heard the DVD-A, so can't speak to any differences. All I can say is that the experience of the Atmos mix is simply impossible to recreate with just bed level speakers, and this disc is, overall, simply the best studio album experience I've ever owned or heard.

And btw, I'm not talking about the musicianship - which is good - or the music itself even - which is good too. I'm talking about the mix that puts the musical elements and musicianship into the best possible presentation to be enjoyed as a fantastic experience. Like Pink Floyd's 5.1 SACD's, it is as much about the experience as it is about the music. You don't just listen, you "experience" it .

This mix is more of an extension of the stereo presentation than the Pink Floyd mixes though, and that makes it far better IMO. There is less need to rely on the side surrounds with Atmos, and that is a huge advantage.

It's more "massively enhanced stereo" than "surround sound".
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post #21 of 65 Old 11-20-2017, 12:25 AM
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Ordering ASAP. I can’t wait to hear this with my 11.4.6 Trinnov setup. I’m in lust with the Hans Zimmer Live in Prague Atmos release....so I hope this starts a trend. Paging Steve Wilson 😊 ....
Yeah, I've got some concert/"hall" type Atmos stuff and it's great how Atmos is used in those instances to recreate the space.

I understand that Automatic for the People was released as a DVD-A and it is apparently pretty good too. But Atmos advances multichannel SOTA for sure.

Looking forward to your impressions. The fact that Atmos will simply scale to your system is awesome.

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post #22 of 65 Old 11-20-2017, 12:34 AM
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I would love to pick this title up if it was just surround BD, as I just don't care for expensive box sets. Hopefully more titles will be released with Atmos and not just part of some box sets.
Yeah, that part sucks. It's just part of being an early adopter. Eventually, they will sell the Atmos discs separately.
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Here are some impressions from a listening party at Dolby London. Quoted there and elsewhere, Michael Stipe called the new Atmos mix "breathtaking."

http://www.techradar.com/news/dolby-...t-of-listening

And here's another review of the Atmos mix.

http://referencehometheater.com/rev...n-dolby-atmos/
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post #24 of 65 Old 11-20-2017, 10:07 AM
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Here are some impressions from a listening party at Dolby London. Quoted there and elsewhere, Michael Stipe called the new Atmos mix "breathtaking."

http://www.techradar.com/news/dolby-...t-of-listening

And here's another review of the Atmos mix.

http://referencehometheater.com/rev...n-dolby-atmos/
Quote:
The gold standard for surround sound audio discs, in my opinion, is Beck’s Sea Change, which on Blu-ray Pure Audio offers supreme clarity and detail. This Dolby Atmos release is as good in my opinion, offering an improvement over an album that was already a classic.
I guess his impressions align with mine. I don't own the Beck Blu-ray, but I don't have a more engaging disc in my collection.
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post #25 of 65 Old 11-20-2017, 10:44 AM
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Here are some impressions from a listening party at Dolby London. Quoted there and elsewhere, Michael Stipe called the new Atmos mix "breathtaking."

http://www.techradar.com/news/dolby-...t-of-listening

I read that review...looks like we need to convince the band to join AVS and get educated on what you can do for an Atmos room for a relatively small amount of $ .

I like this quote (Mills also states he has a 5.1 room):
"As Mills notes, the Dolby Atmos owners’ club is a relatively exclusive one at the moment – it’s a pricey, audiophile grade investment, one that would require some remodelling to your ceiling in order to take advantage of its superior overhead set-up. "


Many AVSers on the Dolby Atmos thread would beg to differ....and while as a contingency, Dolby AE speakers aren't recommended as a best practice by many here, as a simple intro to Atmos they can be worth it if you buy a high quality manufacturer's AE speaker (PSB, Klipsch, Triad). Someone get Mike a Denon X6400 and two pairs of Dolby AEs if he's not ready to do the ceiling or high wall mounted heights.

Anyway, I should have the Atmos goodness just in time for the extended holiday weekend. Good listening ahead...
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post #26 of 65 Old 11-20-2017, 08:14 PM
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Anyway, I should have the Atmos goodness just in time for the extended holiday weekend. Good listening ahead...
Cool man, should be a good weekend for you
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post #27 of 65 Old 11-23-2017, 08:21 PM
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Did I mention how stupid good this Atmos mix is?

Why am I seemingly one of only like 3 people on the planet that has heard this disc outside of the mixing studio?

Come on peeps, don't be so tight with the cash .
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post #28 of 65 Old 11-23-2017, 09:18 PM
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Did I mention how stupid good this Atmos mix is?

Why am I seemingly one of only like 3 people on the planet that has heard this disc outside of the mixing studio?

Come on peeps, don't be so tight with the cash .
Make that 4 people . I got the disc yesterday, and had a chance to listen to about the album tonight between Thanksgiving activities with the Altitude. For reference, I have a 9.4.6 system, and played the disc without the Trinnov 3D remapping on. That's 7.1+wides, an extra pair of surrounds, and three pairs of heights.

First reaction: anybody that complains that Atmos doesn't use wides enough or that the heights aren't getting used enough will be ecstatic how active this mix is. Essentially wides and all three pairs of heights in my setup (top front, top middle, top rear) are apparently always active, as was my second pair of side surrounds dedicated to be "side surround 1" on the Altitude's Dolby Atmos configuration setting. "Side surround 1" is at about 70-75 degrees in my room, slightly in front of the sofa we have as MLP, while the bed side surround is at 105-110, slightly behind the critical listening area.

Normally that extra side surround pair is used for object passthrough or the same sound of the bed side surrounds at a reduced level (think Hunger Games: Catching Fire as an example of the latter). But here, it had distinct content that wasn't in my bed side surrounds. Case in point: the guitar on "Imagineland" that would otherwise be in a bed side surround on my 7.1.4 preset (I keep that around for testing purposes, just beds and top front and rears) got moved to that side surround 1 position, with percussion left in the "bed". It was more different than anything else, but I thought an improvement in how the guitar was heard by the listener over just going to the bed channel.

The mix is expansive, and every detail you could dream about wanting to be distinct stands out: muscular bass at times, strings on "Everybody Hurts" or "Sidewinder" become a lead instrument, the electric piano on "New Orleans Instrumental Number 1" is solidly heard in the front and sides in my room, giving it extra resonance, and the same with the vocals by Michael Stipe and in particular Bill Berry's background vocals in the center and top fronts. If you really want to get a feel for how a multitrack sounds before it gets mixed down to stereo, you've come to the right place.

However.....if anything that might be too much of a good thing, as we don't listen in a mixing studio. At times, the heights were louder than the mains, especially one something like "Nightswimming". It's almost like when they were mixing the Atmos content, they thought the heights were where front content might be. LOL.

While the revealed detail blows away the stereo version I'm more familiar with, I don't know how much I really enjoy the general mix choices that were made . To me, even being familiar with DVD-Audio and upmixed content, it just sounds weird to have the vocals and guitar sound like they're coming from the ceiling on "Drive", or the acoustic piano and vocals on "Nightswimming", or for one guitar to be in the left surround (side surround 1) and another to be in the right mains speaker on "Man on the Moon". It's almost like they took the existing DVD-Audio 5.1 mix and just elevated vocals and the instruments of floor speakers into heights.

To be honest, even though I'm a fan of REM (albeit more in the Out of Time or even the Monster period), I would have preferred a mix that sounded more like a band playing together in the studio, with the guitars more across the front and passing through to the wides, and not in a side surround and top middle of the room as much as it was. And certainly none of the diagonal guitar-across-the-room thing.

Still, just to hear all of the intent of the songs brought to life, this is a worthy BluRay to pick up. And I agree that done with a little more restraint, and less of surround imagery as a curiosity, the heights and object passthrough will make Atmos a standard to follow in the future of surround sound music.
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Last edited by sdrucker; 11-23-2017 at 09:25 PM.
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post #29 of 65 Old 11-23-2017, 10:47 PM
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Make that 4 people . I got the disc yesterday, and had a chance to listen to about the album tonight between Thanksgiving activities with the Altitude. For reference, I have a 9.4.6 system, and played the disc without the Trinnov 3D remapping on. That's 7.1+wides, an extra pair of surrounds, and three pairs of heights.

First reaction: anybody that complains that Atmos doesn't use wides enough or that the heights aren't getting used enough will be ecstatic how active this mix is. Essentially wides and all three pairs of heights in my setup (top front, top middle, top rear) are apparently always active, as was my second pair of side surrounds dedicated to be "side surround 1" on the Altitude's Dolby Atmos configuration setting. "Side surround 1" is at about 70-75 degrees in my room, slightly in front of the sofa we have as MLP, while the bed side surround is at 105-110, slightly behind the critical listening area.

Normally that extra side surround pair is used for object passthrough or the same sound of the bed side surrounds at a reduced level (think Hunger Games: Catching Fire as an example of the latter). But here, it had distinct content that wasn't in my bed side surrounds. Case in point: the guitar on "Imagineland" that would otherwise be in a bed side surround on my 7.1.4 preset (I keep that around for testing purposes, just beds and top front and rears) got moved to that side surround 1 position, with percussion left in the "bed". It was more different than anything else, but I thought an improvement in how the guitar was heard by the listener over just going to the bed channel.

The mix is expansive, and every detail you could dream about wanting to be distinct stands out: muscular bass at times, strings on "Everybody Hurts" or "Sidewinder" become a lead instrument, the electric piano on "New Orleans Instrumental Number 1" is solidly heard in the front and sides in my room, giving it extra resonance, and the same with the vocals by Michael Stipe and in particular Bill Berry's background vocals in the center and top fronts. If you really want to get a feel for how a multitrack sounds before it gets mixed down to stereo, you've come to the right place.

However.....if anything that might be too much of a good thing, as we don't listen in a mixing studio. At times, the heights were louder than the mains, especially one something like "Nightswimming". It's almost like when they were mixing the Atmos content, they thought the heights were where front content might be. LOL.

While the revealed detail blows away the stereo version I'm more familiar with, I don't know how much I really enjoy the general mix choices that were made . To me, even being familiar with DVD-Audio and upmixed content, it just sounds weird to have the vocals and guitar sound like they're coming from the ceiling on "Drive", or the acoustic piano and vocals on "Nightswimming", or for one guitar to be in the left surround (side surround 1) and another to be in the right mains speaker on "Man on the Moon". It's almost like they took the existing DVD-Audio 5.1 mix and just elevated vocals and the instruments of floor speakers into heights.

To be honest, even though I'm a fan of REM (albeit more in the Out of Time or even the Monster period), I would have preferred a mix that sounded more like a band playing together in the studio, with the guitars more across the front and passing through to the wides, and not in a side surround and top middle of the room as much as it was. And certainly none of the diagonal guitar-across-the-room thing.

Still, just to hear all of the intent of the songs brought to life, this is a worthy BluRay to pick up. And I agree that done with a little more restraint, and less of surround imagery as a curiosity, the heights and object passthrough will make Atmos a standard to follow in the future of surround sound music.
Interesting. It sounds to me like your ceiling speakers are hot compared to mine. Of course, there is no way to be sure which is correct, although I suspect that the intent of the mixers was not to have vocals and guitar coming from the ceiling. They do not on my system.

This is something that I thought could be a problem with Atmos. If the ceiling calibration levels are higher than the mixers room, then things that should simply be pulled up in the front soundstage, and sound larger, will appear to come from the ceiling. I know that many folks run their ceiling speakers a few dB hot, and they will experience the same thing.

I'm curious what your impressions would be if you dialed back the ceiling levels a bit until that Drive track doesn't sound like it's coming from the ceiling. Because I'm fairly confident that it shouldn't. That would rebalance all the other tracks as well.

Did you perhaps dial up the ceilings a bit for movie soundtracks?
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post #30 of 65 Old 11-24-2017, 12:06 PM
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Interesting. It sounds to me like your ceiling speakers are hot compared to mine. Of course, there is no way to be sure which is correct, although I suspect that the intent of the mixers was not to have vocals and guitar coming from the ceiling. They do not on my system.

This is something that I thought could be a problem with Atmos. If the ceiling calibration levels are higher than the mixers room, then things that should simply be pulled up in the front soundstage, and sound larger, will appear to come from the ceiling. I know that many folks run their ceiling speakers a few dB hot, and they will experience the same thing.

I'm curious what your impressions would be if you dialed back the ceiling levels a bit until that Drive track doesn't sound like it's coming from the ceiling. Because I'm fairly confident that it shouldn't. That would rebalance all the other tracks as well.

Did you perhaps dial up the ceilings a bit for movie soundtracks?
Actually no. My speakers were all calibrated to play at the same db level (85 db) after calibration, using external pink noise from REW and taking bass management into account. Further, I ran solo channel feeds because I wondered the same thing you did, and there's apparently more vocals at times coming from my top front than the main. I'll also run a screenshot of the inputs to track max db per channel, but anecdotally I saw the same thing there.

OTOH you could be right...they may have assumed that listeners may have the heights generally calibrated lower than mains, so dialing down the top fronts may help in this case. Regardless I haven't noticed this on other content, either from listening or watching the Altitude input meters. Go figure...

Audio Gear: Trinnov Altitude 32 (24 channel), NAD M27 amps (3)
Video: JVC RS600, Seymour 100" UF Screen, Lumagen Radiance Pro 4444 (coming soon)
Speakers: PSB Imagine T3 LCR, Imagine T Wides/Side Surround 1, T2 Side Surrounds, Imagine XB rears, Image B6 screens, PSB CS1000 ceilings (6), HSU ULS-15 Mk 2 subs (4) - 13.4.6
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