Ambiophonics, you have to try it

Discussion in 'Ambiophonics' started by Arok, Jun 26, 2017.

  1. Arok

    Arok Rando

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    Hello guys. Have you ever heard of ambiophonics? Basically it's a different technology to reproduce the real ambience present in recordings and recreating a real soundstage, much better than stereophony can do.

    You can read a better explanation here http://www.ambiophonics.org/Tutorials/HowGood_1.html and here http://www.ambiophonics.org/Tutorials/UnderstandingAmbiophonics.html . It's a lot to read but it pays off.

    I have bought a b&w zeppelin wireless for the bedroom, which doesn't have a good acoustic for sure. I didn't want something big because i already have too much cables around, and had read good reviews about it. I thought that for audiophile listening i already had my headphone rig, so why not. Then, having read in the past about ambio, and given that the sterephony of those all in one small wireless speaker is notoriously bad (but their speaker arrangement with small spacing is ideal for ambio), i decided to give it a try.

    Well, i encourage you all to try with your system. I'm enjoying a 6-7 meter sound stage out of a 60 cm box basically. Clarity is increased. Instruments are super separated. The voices and music are almost real. The system sound really awesome and has almost headphone clarity. I can't imagine how this will sound on a serious listening system.

    All you need is the ambio one plugin on your pc or use neutron music player if you stream from android. No need to buy other fancy gear, and if you setup it correctly it will probably be one of the biggest upgrades to the sound of your system, for free.

    I would love to hear your impressions.
     
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  2. LFF

    LFF Friend

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    This has been around for quite sometime, and when properly implemented, can produce amazing results. That said, a lot of engineers tend to overuse it and the recordings loose their natural qualities.

    As a user-end DSP, it can be fun to play with, but IMHO, only really helps with lo-fi equipment. I have yet to hear it produce a great result on a high-end system.

    As far as ambiophones, they are ok. Much prefer actual binaural, single points, or spaced omni's.
     
  3. Arok

    Arok Rando

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    Are you sure we are talking about the same thing? There are some thing with similar name like ambisonics, but what i'm talking about is a technique of sound reproduction. Nothing to do with the engineers end of things.

    Basically, if you have a singer singing in front of you, the sound emanates from a single source and the sound waves come to you straight. If you reproduce the same singer in stereo, you now have two sound sources with interacting waveform that combine to recereate the sound. This combining of sound waves cause inaccuracies in the frequency response and smearing of the stereo field.

    This dsp basically mixes a phase inverted signal of the left channel in the right channel and a phase inverted signal of the right and the left, basically eliminating the stereo crosstalk.

    In the real world this produces better soundstage and separation, and i can attest that the results are nothing short of amazing. It works on every recording with stereo information. No need to use or create special content. As the problems are inherent in the usual stereo sound reproduction and not in the speakers, and that even hi fi equipment used in normal stereo has for the law of physics to suffer the same problems of not so hi-fi equipment, even pricey equipment can benefit. I suppose you have confused this with ambisonics, which is indeed a recording technique and therefore has the potential of being overused.
     
  4. Thad E Ginathom

    Thad E Ginathom Friend

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    Yes, I thought you meant Ambisonics.
     
  5. Arok

    Arok Rando

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    Give it a spin, all it takes is changing the speakers positioning and finding the right settings for your room in the dsp. I assure you you will like it ;)
     
  6. TheIceman93

    TheIceman93 El pato-zorro

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    I'm almost bored enough to try the sound barrier method just for kicks. Is the whole point of this just to eliminate crosstalk?

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  7. Arok

    Arok Rando

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    That should work :) the dsp is more "convenient" though. But yes,what the dsp processing do is essentially to replicate the sound barrier.
     
  8. LFF

    LFF Friend

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    Yeah...we are talking about the same thing. I've played with this stuff myself.
     
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  9. Thad E Ginathom

    Thad E Ginathom Friend

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    Oh, yes. Never tried it. Read a whole load of posts on another forum by a fan. Started off deeply sceptical and doubtful, but I kept reading and began to see that me might have a point. I guess I should be more open-minded.
     
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  10. Dino

    Dino Friend

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    Ambiophonics sounds like it is based on the same concept as the Carver Sonic Hologram Generator. I bought one of those in the early 80s. Here is the owner's manual of the Carver C-9 - Sonic Hologram Generator I had. Once I had my speaker/seating placement just so to properly reproduce the desired effect, I was initially impressed with the soundstage differences. As I remember, it got a bit wider and was much more distinct in the placement of individual instruments. (I even remember the 1st LP I played after setup - 'T. Rex - Slider'. I don't know why I remember the stuff that I do. :))

    I thought this was really cool at first. (That lasted about 4 days.) Then the downsides started to become apparent. It didn't sound natural to me. It was fatiguing. And I could only move my head a few inches left or right before I was out of the sweet spot for this effect and the soundstage sounded really weird unless I stayed locked in. From sitting on the other side of the love seat, it really sounded bad.

    That's my Sonic Hologram experience. Maybe Ambiophonics doesn't have these drawbacks.
     
  11. STC

    STC Rando

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    Hi,

    STC here. I am using Ambiophonics for a long time.

    Let me explain about the barrier that was mentioned earlier. The barrier was used to demonstrate what actually happens when you isolate the left/right channel. It would show that the average stereo sound already contained 3D information. The physical barrier is showing that you don't need any kind of DSP to enhance to 3D sound.

    The earlier attempt to replace the barrier by Carver and others were all based on analogue domain and did not fare well. In any case, it is paramount that the speakers are closely spaced. In my case, they are separated by only about one inch. The earlier methods did not emphasis on the speakers placements.

    I have never tried Carver, but with the $10 AMTRA or AmbiophonicsDSP with JRiver, I can move, nod or turn my head more than stereo without the corrupting the 3D image. In fact, the freedom of head movement compared to stereo is bigger in A PROPERLY implemented Ambiophonics system. I emphasis the word properly because if you do it wrongly then it is going to disappoint you.

    For beginners, it is important that you select proper stereo ( or multi channel ) materials before moving on to normal
    Studio recordings where the stereo is mostly pseudo stereo or mono fixed to left or right. It takes time to understand the various setting when playing with different materials and select the optimum setting for your system.

    It is not an hour or day to understand Ambio. You have to take your time to understand the settings. The other problem is make sure you disable any kind of sound enhancer in your system. Also take note, some boutique amplifiers may use phase manipulation in their product to give a sense of bigger soundstage which will distort Ambiophonics. Now days, it is hard to listen to pure non dsp sound. Even the standards browsers sound is already preprocessed for better soundstage so things like these might affect your overall experience.

    Thanx.
     
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  12. DigMe

    DigMe Needs a baby bottle

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    Now where did I put those keys again?

    DigMe here. That made me chuckle.
     
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  13. purr1n

    purr1n Finding his inner redneck

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    Mixing a phase inverted signal of the left channel in the right channel and a phase inverted signal of the right and the left, basically eliminating the crosstalk.

    This stuff is nothing new. In fact, it's actually unnecessary or even harmful to soundstage on properly set up speaker systems. QSound back in the early 90s exploited this technique to get some instruments to sound way off to the side of the soundstage. In other words, sound engineers can elect to use this technique during mixing and mastering.

    With headphones I actually prefer crosstalk since I dislike wide images and like depth.
     
    Last edited: Jun 26, 2017
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  14. STC

    STC Rando

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    As I previously mentioned the non DSP method is to use physical barrier. You can compare the DSP and the physical barrier and there would be no SQ difference between the two method.

    It is possible that you may like some crosstalk with headphones so that you will feel the inside your head sound effect less. Anyway, Ambiophonics will not work with headphones. But you can still experience the 3D hidden information with Smyth realiser headphones which I think will be the future considering the shrinking of domestic space for proper loudspeakers setup.
     
    Last edited: Jun 27, 2017
  15. powermatic

    powermatic Friend

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    Wut?
     
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  16. Dino

    Dino Friend

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    Are you affiliated with Ambiophonics, @STC ?
     
  17. Arok

    Arok Rando

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    I also like crossfeed with headphones. Problem with speakers is you have two separate sound sources reproducing the sound of one ex. the voice of a singer in front of you. This cause innatural spatial reproduction.

    Also:

    "At the time of this writing, there are several commercial products that have spatial enhancement features implemented in different but also similar approaches. For example: products from Dolby Labs, QSound Labs, and Harman make use of generalized HRTFs. [20][3][6] Products from DTS (formerly SRS Lab), on the other hand, use frequencyand amplitude-dependent processing. Specifically, the side signal is filtered by a curve in the shape of average rear HRTFs. [17] Lastly, the BACCH filter introduced by Princeton University is an optimal crosstalk cancellation filter that creates a flat frequency response at the loudspeakers. Without involving generalized HRTFs, it uses actual impulse responses measured from a dummy head or listener’s ear canals. [7]
    All of the above mentioned technologies use either analyzed or measured HRTFs to enhance immersion. As noted, HRTFs are very individualized, so none of the generalized HRTFs can compete with a listener’s own. Listening with someone else’s “ear” can cause spatial distortion resulting degraded sound localization. Furthermore, since the HRTFs have fixed angles, a listener needs to stay at the same fixed position as the HRTFs to get the benefit of the XTC. If a listener moves away from the sweet spot, which accordingly changes the HRTFs necessary to cancel the crosstalk, the image collapses. [4]

    Introduced by Ralph Glasgal in the 1980s, Ambiophonics is an HRTF-free method taking advantage of psychoacoustic principles to project an existing stereo file up to a 180° stage by two closely spaced (10-20°) frontal speakers and a XTC filter. Ambiophonics is driven by a Recursive Ambiophonic Crosstalk Eliminator (RACE) algorithm, which cancels the crosstalk signal from the opposite speaker recursively. See [12][13] for a detailed theory of Ambiophonics. Techniques based on Ambiophonics have several advantages. Foremost, there is no 30°speaker at each side, so there is no possibility to make the sound more like two point sources at the speakers. Also, the ideal listening area is wider and more robust with respect to the listener’s head movement not only because the two loudspeakers are placed close to each other [25], but also because there is no synthesized/measured HRTFs involved. Hence, it allows listeners to listen with their own ears. Since the separation angle of laptop internal speakers is always smaller than the traditional 60° listening triangle, the laptop configuration is well suited for the application of the Ambiophonics techniques."

    Aniway, Imho it's better you guys spend the half hour it takes to setup it and try it (without spending money in either gear or software).

    Marvey, if you like depth, you will like this. It changed the sound of my speakers in an amazing way. Aside from creating a holographic soundstage with perceivable height, width and depth, it increased detail to the point that a 500 $ speaker sound more revealing than my $1000+ headphone setup. I could almost see the fingers of the musician moving on the keys on a piano piece. Drums sound amazing, you can differentiate the where the musician hit them. Sometimes a sound effect come and i have to look around in the room to see if it was coming from something real.

    If this description don't make you guys curious, i don't know what could. Please read the papers for the details, this thing is really cool.
     
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  18. purr1n

    purr1n Finding his inner redneck

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    I'll try it tonight, but I think that is where the disconnect is. It seems like the proper application would be one of those soundbars that go under a TV. This might not be a proper use case for me. I am usually running speakers at 50-60°.

    I call bullshit on the increased detail.
     
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  19. Ringingears

    Ringingears Honorary BFF

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    You go first Marv. My speakers weigh 190 lbs each. I'll need to get my neighbor to help me with this experiment, depending on the results of yours.

    I still have my Carver pre-amp with the holographic generator. I remember it took two of us to get the speaker placement perfect. I think they had to be 6 feet apart and toed in just so. First album was Abbey Road. Blew my mind. All the instruments and vocals were in their own space. But it just sounded weird on a lot of recordings. We had New Years party a few days later and I had to move the speakers into another room. Never could get them set up correctly again, only got some holographic effects. It was cool at the time, but more of a toy really and I just turned off the effect finally.

    Edit: my wife just reminded me why I had to move them. I had to put the speakers in the middle of the living room to get the effect to work. Not exactly practical, but hey you have to sacrifice for the hobby sometimes.
     
    Last edited: Jun 27, 2017
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  20. Vansen

    Vansen Gear Master (retiring)

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    Okay, this thread just feels weird to me. I feel like one or more people in this thread are MOT for Ambiophonics that have yet to disclose their affiliation.
     

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