Ever Played a Dolby Atmos Movie with all but overhead speakers muted?

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sl4y3r

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My Pioneer AVR mobile app lets me mute individual channels, so (to test) I often play my 5.1.4 setup with just the .4 active and have noticed how much the non-atmos speakers can trick our ears to perceive overhead effects as coming from the atmos channels. To give you an example, I heard Mad Max to be one of the reference movies for Atmos. However, I found it almost dead when I muted all but Atmos channels. (This also could be my rip). Gravity, albeit better than Mad Max, overhead effects are very frequent. BvS was another one where I felt this same level of disappointment.

Jupiter Ascending is one I found very good in my test. Ready Player One too.. and of course Dolby reference trailers. BladeRunner 2049 is great, but it's a lot of score from the Atmos channels as opposed to effects.

Curious if you guys have ever done this test and found the same. Let me know if i need another copy of Mad Max
 

Gvtpraj

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Hi,

I had watched this YouTube video a couple of months back and did similar tests. Even I feel that, there is very little happening from the height channels with Atmos mix.


Unfortunately it’s a German video but really interesting one, I’d recommend you to watch it, you can ignore what he explains.

Basically he turned off all the ear level speakers and enabled only height channels.
At 4:00 he disabled ear level speakers and played an original DTS:X mix scene from Fast and Furious 8. There is very little happening in the height channels, even thought it’s an original DTS:X mix. Later at 6:55 he turned on Auro 3D up-mixer, I found the up-mixer from Auro 3D to be really good.
At 9:00 he played Need for speed with different up-mixers, DTS Neural:X and Auro up-mixer gave good results. At 18:00 he tried another movie and found the results similar to Need for Speed.
So, I mostly use Auro 3D up-mixer for movies and some times for music too. I found it to be very good, sometimes better than the original Atmos mix.
 

sl4y3r

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Hi,

I had watched this YouTube video a couple of months back and did similar tests. Even I feel that, there is very little happening from the height channels with Atmos mix.


Unfortunately it’s a German video but really interesting one, I’d recommend you to watch it, you can ignore what he explains.

Basically he turned off all the ear level speakers and enabled only height channels.
At 4:00 he disabled ear level speakers and played an original DTS:X mix scene from Fast and Furious 8. There is very little happening in the height channels, even thought it’s an original DTS:X mix. Later at 6:55 he turned on Auro 3D up-mixer, I found the up-mixer from Auro 3D to be really good.
At 9:00 he played Need for speed with different up-mixers, DTS Neural:X and Auro up-mixer gave good results. At 18:00 he tried another movie and found the results similar to Need for Speed.
So, I mostly use Auro 3D up-mixer for movies and some times for music too. I found it to be very good, sometimes better than the original Atmos mix.
Thanks for your reply. Sadly my AVR does not have Auro 3D
 

ankitbhargava

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My Pioneer AVR mobile app lets me mute individual channels, so (to test) I often play my 5.1.4 setup with just the .4 active and have noticed how much the non-atmos speakers can trick our ears to perceive overhead effects as coming from the atmos channels. To give you an example, I heard Mad Max to be one of the reference movies for Atmos. However, I found it almost dead when I muted all but Atmos channels. (This also could be my rip). Gravity, albeit better than Mad Max, overhead effects are very frequent. BvS was another one where I felt this same level of disappointment.

Jupiter Ascending is one I found very good in my test. Ready Player One too.. and of course Dolby reference trailers. BladeRunner 2049 is great, but it's a lot of score from the Atmos channels as opposed to effects.

Curious if you guys have ever done this test and found the same. Let me know if i need another copy of Mad Max

This is an interesting watch

One of the scenes I like for spatial cues is from Mockingjay when those Hovercrafts are shown.

For true object oriented effects involving overhead channels specially, I believe the content developers/mixing engineers need to work more harder.
Dolby Atmos setup at Home is getting common everyday.
 

sl4y3r

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This is an interesting watch

One of the scenes I like for spatial cues is from Mockingjay when those Hovercrafts are shown.

For true object oriented effects involving overhead channels specially, I believe the content developers/mixing engineers need to work more harder.
Dolby Atmos setup at Home is getting common everyday.
Have watched this video before, thanks for sharing, nonetheless. I have wanted to get Atmos for over 4 years..sad to see how little impact most movies have.
 

spirovious

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Usually Center ch in movies is the busiest Speaker than rest. Unless there is much happening overhead in the scene, atmos speakers will be silent only.In our routine, we hardly have anything happening overhead other than a plane moving or similar. If movies scene doesn't have anything overhead, nothing will happen other than simply Birds flying overhead like in reality :).
 

buzzaro

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Going by this thread, would it make more sense to go for 7.1 instead of 5.1.2? I wish I had researched about this more before building my HT. I thought ATMOS is the current holy grail of movie HT and I had to get it anyhow. Now, I'm going to keep glancing at my ceiling speakers disappointedly while watching movies.
 

sl4y3r

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Usually Center ch in movies is the busiest Speaker than rest. Unless there is much happening overhead in the scene, atmos speakers will be silent only.In our routine, we hardly have anything happening overhead other than a plane moving or similar. If movies scene doesn't have anything overhead, nothing will happen other than simply Birds flying overhead like in reality :).
In BvS when they are in the desert and those creatures with wings are flying above, Atmos channels could have really been useful there but there was nothing at all. In black hawk down, certain scenes from inside the helicopter you can hear the rotor sound, and other scenes you don't. As @ankitbhargava mentioned above, it's down to the skills and or budget of the sound engineers/ Audio department.
 

sl4y3r

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Going by this thread, would it make more sense to go for 7.1 instead of 5.1.2? I wish I had researched about this more before building my HT. I thought ATMOS is the current holy grail of movie HT and I had to get it anyhow. Now, I'm going to keep glancing at my ceiling speakers disappointedly while watching movies.
Yes, sadly my current apartment does not allow 7.1 placement, hence went with 5.1.4. Also, many people (on HFV and outside) said moving from 5.1.2 to 5.1.4 is a big jump.
 

buzzaro

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Yes, sadly my current apartment does not allow 7.1 placement, hence went with 5.1.4. Also, many people (on HFV and outside) said moving from 5.1.2 to 5.1.4 is a big jump.

If the ceiling speakers are unused in most scenes due to not being included in sound designing of the movie, how will adding two extra speakers on top help the sound stage?
 

sl4y3r

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If the ceiling speakers are unused in most scenes due to not being included in sound designing of the movie, how will adding two extra speakers on top help the sound stage?
Those were 2 different statements, I should have been clearer.
 

RajithKumar

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Considering the thread title ,U may need to try the opposite ,that is only overhead speakers needs to be played by muting the bed layer speakers.
In this way u can able to differentiate it.

IMO Atmos ,dts X offers features /tool which provides the sound designers ,mixers more flexibility to place the overhead sound effects. Or in other terms it's their skill , how efficiently creating immersive sound tracks which wrap-up the listener in a sound Bubble.

Normal scenes don't requires overhead effects but imagine a bird /aircraft flying ,bees buzzing ,rustling of leaves etc..requires good over head effects.
Adding to these over head speakers can also mimic the base layer speakers sound based on scenes requirement.

But sadly only few of Atmos /dtsX movies mixes utilises the full potential of the technology..

Having said that,4 overhead speakers provides good panning effects in the height channels comparitively.

Auro3d on the other hand uses only channel based approach of mixing creates vertical Stereo imaging to create immersive mixes.For movies -HT environment , the end results are almost same between Atmos and Auro3d but different approach is utlised to create it.
But Auro 3d music ability is better than Atmos IMO.Also their Auromatic upmixers are very good , absolutely stunning .
 

sl4y3r

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Considering the thread title ,U may need to try the opposite ,that is only overhead speakers needs to be played by muting the bed layer speakers.
In this way u can able to differentiate it.

IMO Atmos ,dts X offers features /tool which provides the sound designers ,mixers more flexibility to place the overhead sound effects. Or in other terms it's their skill , how efficiently creating immersive sound tracks which wrap-up the listener in a sound Bubble.

Normal scenes don't requires overhead effects but imagine a bird /aircraft flying ,bees buzzing ,rustling of leaves etc..requires good over head effects.
Adding to these over head speakers can also mimic the base layer speakers sound based on scenes requirement.

But sadly only few of Atmos /dtsX movies mixes utilises the full potential of the technology..

Having said that,4 overhead speakers provides good panning effects in the height channels comparitively.

Auro3d on the other hand uses only channel based approach of mixing creates vertical Stereo imaging to create immersive mixes.For movies -HT environment , the end results are almost same between Atmos and Auro3d but different approach is utlised to create it.
But Auro 3d music ability is better than Atmos IMO.Also their Auromatic upmixers are very good , absolutely stunning .
Thanks for your reply. That is exactly what I have been doing, muting all speakers except overhead ones

My Pioneer AVR does not have Auro 3D support, sadly.
 

liverpool_for_life

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Something to try instead: Turn off the overheads that seemingly contribute so little.
What happens with respect to where sounds image in the room? If there’s a difference, is it significant?
 

sl4y3r

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Something to try instead: Turn off the overheads that seemingly contribute so little.
What happens with respect to where sounds image in the room? If there’s a difference, is it significant?
Yes, these speakers so often tend to give the impression of overhead effects, only to make us think what a waste our investment in Atmos hardware has been
 

liverpool_for_life

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Yes, these speakers so often tend to give the impression of overhead effects, only to make us think what a waste our investment in Atmos hardware has been

That may well be true, but the experiment I suggested was the exact opposite of what you tried. Please try turning off your overheads instead. The results may be revealing (or not).
 

liverpool_for_life

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IMO Atmos ,dts X offers features /tool which provides the sound designers ,mixers more flexibility to place the overhead sound effects. Or in other terms it's their skill , how efficiently creating immersive sound tracks which wrap-up the listener in a sound Bubble.

Agree with most of this. There's two components to this, IMO:

1. The ability to create a bubble of sound around the listener. The greater the number of speakers, the closer to a completely immersive bubble of sound one gets. From reading feedback of Atmos adopters, it is my impression that folks are undoubtedly getting immersion/envelopment with Atmos mixes.

2. Overhead "special" effects. Mixers haven't been aggressive/creative enough with this and that has caused Atmos adopters a lot of consternation. Hence, the oft seen recommendation that you don't really need much of a speaker for overheads because the titles that actually have these are few and far between.

Ultimately, whether Atmos is worth it is likely to be a subjective preference based on how much you value (1). Especially in relation to 5.1 or 7.1.
 

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I had 2 speakers lying around, so on a whim I updated my receiver to Auro 3d. No day and night difference between the two except that for music, DTS heavily uses the center channel but Auro 3d uses the front left / right and front height speakers thus making music sound better.

I have to do a bit more movie watching to see the differences for movies but at the outset, I did not find much difference.
 

sl4y3r

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Agree with most of this. There's two components to this, IMO:

1. The ability to create a bubble of sound around the listener. The greater the number of speakers, the closer to a completely immersive bubble of sound one gets. From reading feedback of Atmos adopters, it is my impression that folks are undoubtedly getting immersion/envelopment with Atmos mixes.

2. Overhead "special" effects. Mixers haven't been aggressive/creative enough with this and that has caused Atmos adopters a lot of consternation. Hence, the oft seen recommendation that you don't really need much of a speaker for overheads because the titles that actually have these are few and far between.

Ultimately, whether Atmos is worth it is likely to be a subjective preference based on how much you value (1). Especially in relation to 5.1 or 7.1.

My problem is if there is no/little signal to the height channels, 1 or 2 will not be achieved. Also, I don't know what to make of your earlier comment about turning overheads off, it goes to prove my earlier point, that someone with a 5.1 system is going to be unable to distinguish the soundstage between a 5.1.4 setup. Sorry if i have got the wrong end of the stick here. But to you suggestion, I do often toggle the heights on/off to see the impact they are making.
 
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