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Mind Blown! Yello (Point) - Dolby Atmos Music


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Not sure where to post this so I'll copy it to both AV and Music forums.

 

Last night I had the first mind blown musical experience in over a decade I would say. For a while, one of our UK reviewers Patrick Cleasby (see his recent interview with Steven Wilson on this topic here), has been banging on about Atmos music. Well, I can say he was absolutely right.

 

Playing Yello's Point album (info on the mixing here), through the AV system rather than the 2ch config of my dual purpose system was absolutely sensational. Hearing a recording that was from the outset, designed to take advantage of all speakers, and in particular the overheads was, dare I say the overused buzzword, 'immersive'

 

It was so much so, it was 11PM and I asked my wife to come and have a demo. She appreciates this hobby, is a casual music lover, and knows good sound, but she was just as impressed as I was and she's not easily impressed!

 

My advice if you have Atmos, you need to experience this for yourself. I never thought music had a place in any more than 2 channels, and never quite got the surround and multi-channel 'music' concept until now. 

 

Titles are tough to find right now especially locally. I could only find it on Amazon US priced at nearly $100! 

https://www.amazon.com/Point-Dolby-Atmos-Yello/dp/B08NVGHFD1

 

Beatles' Abbey Road in Atmos is also another good one and the best version of anything Beatles I have heard to date (2-ch or surround).

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It needs it's own sub-forum...  🙄

 

I've never heard of it before, thanks for the heads-up, I'll know what I'm looking at if I come across some titles.

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Hey @Marc I’ve been experimenting with atmos music too.

 

I’ve found an accessible method for me is via tidal on my Sony TV sending Dolby atmos tracks to my AVR via eARC.

 

Requirements for atmos via tidal are a

1) tidal hifi account,

2) a suitable playback source that can output atmos (eg android devices such as certain Sony TVs, Apple TV 4K, fire TV cube, fire stick ),

3) eARC handy too (required if using Sony TV as source)

as for the music - yes definitely a different experience!!!

 

When comparing all streaming and listening formats I think the critical part is the mixing and production of the track. That alone can make more difference, all other factors taken into account.

 

With that in mind I can see Dolby atmos music has real potential if the track is mixed to take in the full potential of atmos. For example the imaging should be able to be controlled so much more precisely - vocals not just project centrally - but actually come from a centre speaker. So the front soundstage and separation of instruments could potentially be widened and cleaned up. A good example is Norah Jones - “Come away with me” atmos vs stereo - the vocals are just so focussed and central on the atmos. However this also highlights how mastering can affect everything as the song sounds completely different as they have cleared up the percussion (that back ground brushes on cymbals is prominent on 2ch and almost absent on atmos)

 

As for music moving around you from above and front and back - I guess that is going to be a more personal taste - but it’s something that could be used to good effect and does give a cinema feel to it(eg John Williams last Jedi Atmos album)


The Weekend “can’t feel my face” atmos mix really sounds quite incredible with vocals coming from all around and it doesn’t sound too gimicky but rather feels like a nice effect that enhances the experience.  The rest of the weekend atmos playlist exhibits a truly enveloping soundstage that can’t be replicated on 2ch.

 

So I think the potential of atmos music is there - it’s up to the quality of the music released on it to take advantage of this.

 

would love to hear other people’s thoughts on atmos music!!

 

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Imaging any good?

Last thing I need is to have to go and buy another 6 speakers and wiring/powering them, so hopefully there is a downside to this somewhere 🙂

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On 26/02/2021 at 9:00 AM, Marc said:

My advice if you have Atmos, you need to experience this for yourself. I never thought music had a place in any more than 2 channels, and never quite got the surround and multi-channel 'music' concept until now. 

Welcome...

 

For too long, multi channel music has been treated as a poor, distant cousin on the forum that no one wanted to know.  

 

On 26/02/2021 at 9:11 AM, Kaynin said:

It needs it's own sub-forum...  🙄

+1

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8 hours ago, tripitaka said:

Imaging any good?

 

 

Superb, rock solid. Mileage varies across available releases so far, but as I mentioned earlier, those albums that have been written and mastered from the outset for Atmos are spectacular. Post release upmixes, not so much. I guess its very early days but the future looks bright immersive!

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I think years of rubbish 5.1 DVDs put most of us off.  

 

I have been entertained recently by the various remix / remaster efforts that Steve Wilson has done on the XTC and Dukes Of Stratosphere discography though. The BluRay discs have a surround version that was made from the stems of the mixing tapes up and tastefully given some movement by Steve.  Oranges & Lemons is particularly great sounding.

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8 minutes ago, BugPowderDust said:

I think years of rubbish 5.1 DVDs put most of us off.  

 

 

I think you are right - this is exactly the reason. Even some of the more recent post-release upmixes (Inxs, for example), are just meh.

But Yello, next level. 

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2 hours ago, BugPowderDust said:

I think years of rubbish 5.1 DVDs put most of us off. 

 

I presume you're referring to DVD as opposed to DVD-Audio.

So when was music ever released on DVD exclusively?

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Just now, Satanica said:

 

I presume you're referring to DVD as opposed to DVD-Audio.

So when was music ever released on DVD exclusively?

yeah DVD-Audio. Was everywhere for a while and all of the content was very disposable.

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Just now, BugPowderDust said:

Was everywhere for a while and all of the content was very disposable.

 

Meh...

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Yeah I just heard about it ( Dolby Atmos Music)recently. But haven't found 1 yet, but my Samsung Phone it's has a Dolby Atmos mode, I'm wondering what does it do....

Screenshot_20210303-170932_One UI Home.jpg

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I don't recommend Atmos on phones/headphones for a true Atmos music experience - but if you're open minded then nothing to lose. TIDAL has some Atmos music I believe.

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I have been playing a few  Atmos tracks on Tidal with Nvidia Shield pro. Some of the tracks do sound amazing in Atmos. More fun than critical listening I suppose . I think Live albums would sound really great in Atmos.

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Stuffed if I know how to get atmos music on tidal to output in atmos format! I've got the app on my apple tv 4k, which is connected to my avr via hdmi, and avr out to tv via hdmi, but it says the output is PCM 2.0. Bloody technology grrr.

 

I'm thinking the tv may be the spanner in the works, but it could be my avr, which has caused frustration at times.

 

I'm going to try my usual tidal app on ipad/avr.. a more direct route.

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9 minutes ago, Esoterica said:

Stuffed if I know how to get atmos music on tidal to output in atmos format! I've got the app on my apple tv 4k, which is connected to my avr via hdmi, and avr out to tv via hdmi, but it says the output is PCM 2.0. Bloody technology grrr.


Have you got a tidal Hifi account? Need this to stream atmos.

 

also I have read updating the Apple TV, delete tidal app then reinstall sometimes works.

 

HDMI cables can sometimes make a difference too.

 

finally it could be the handshake between AVR and Apple TV.

 

I’m streaming via tidal app on a compatible Sony tv using eARC to AVR. Took a few days and lots of frustration before finding the right combination of settings to make it work - good luck!!

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33 minutes ago, kev88 said:


Have you got a tidal Hifi account? Need this to stream atmos.

 

also I have read updating the Apple TV, delete tidal app then reinstall sometimes works.

 

HDMI cables can sometimes make a difference too.

 

finally it could be the handshake between AVR and Apple TV.

 

I’m streaming via tidal app on a compatible Sony tv using eARC to AVR. Took a few days and lots of frustration before finding the right combination of settings to make it work - good luck!!


Yeah I have Tidal Hifi. Just about to google the issue to see if it's to do with the ATV4K. I tried playing over airplay, but Atmos doesn't show on AVR so it's still in DD mode and when I press info on Onkyo RZ-730, it only shows on lcd, not on TV as it's not video, and doesn't tell you the incoming info. When using Tidal app on ATV4K, and playing one of the Dolby atmos tracks, info says input pcm 2.0, output 7.1.2, so it's upmixing, which is no good. My fronts are sent from avr pre outs, but that shouldn't affect it. According to the info the ATV is sending PCM. I've checked all settings, particularly audio and it should work. It means either it's the hdmi cable, or tvOS and/or app meeds updating.
 

Don't get me started on hdmi cables! I'm bloody sick of trying to get all my gear working harmoniously. LOL

 

Edit: It works! Updating tvOS did the trick. It's set to update automatically, but hadn't downloaded the latest version. Ah well at least something worked for a change.

 

Listening to Prince - When Doves Cry (atmos mix). Not amazing, but I'm sat in a terrible spot for it.  

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Interested to hear anyone's thoughts on the INXS Atmos disc? I've got it, but waiting for the house to be built to try it out!!

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12 hours ago, Joe Lighty said:

Interested to hear anyone's thoughts on the INXS Atmos disc? I've got it, but waiting for the house to be built to try it out!!

 

It's OK. Only feels like an upmixed stereo recording though, nothing special.

I also went through most of the Atmos music on TIDAL last night and had similar thoughts.

 

So far the two standouts are Yello Point, and Steven Wilson Future Bites. It's very obvious these two were written to take advantage of all channels from the start. Not a post-mix.

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2 hours ago, Marc said:

 

It's OK. Only feels like an upmixed stereo recording though, nothing special.

I also went through most of the Atmos music on TIDAL last night and had similar thoughts.

 

So far the two standouts are Yello Point, and Steven Wilson Future Bites. It's very obvious these two were written to take advantage of all channels from the start. Not a post-mix.

Good mixes 👍

Crap music 👎

 

I actually bought Booka Shades Dear Future Self but after listening on Tidal it will remain unopened for the same reason as above 😒

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4 hours ago, Marc said:

It's OK. Only feels like an upmixed stereo recording though, nothing special.

I also went through most of the Atmos music on TIDAL last night and had similar thoughts.

Unfortunately, a lot of Tidal's multi channel music (MCH) are poor and not good introduction. :hmm: 

 

4 hours ago, Marc said:

So far the two standouts are Yello Point, and Steven Wilson Future Bites. It's very obvious these two were written to take advantage of all channels from the start. Not a post-mix.

Steve Wilson is the guru for post mixes and he has many good ones in the QQ poll.  I have using that poll to guide my buying.  Yes, there are many releases in the poll out of print, but  there are now more new releases than a few years ago, Unfortunately, many people are not aware of the poll, buy all and sundry MCH and get turned off. 

 

Suggest getting Santana Santana & Abraxas, any Pink Floyd MCH album and any Steve Wilson mixes, including Yes, Rush.  An old favourite is Dire Straits Brothers in Arms 20th Anniversary, excellent MCH but stereo not as good as MFSL version. 

 

Have you tried the 2L test bench?  My favourite 2L album is Arnesen: Magnificat.  Was originally released with Auro 3D but was told that there is an Atmos version on Native DSD (but suggest you verify before buying).  Also 2L sampler and Grammy nominated albums.  Note that 2L classical music is not for the traditionalist and they were recorded as MCH with instruments all round.

 

Added ***

Grammy award immersive nominations and winners

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Grammy_Award_for_Best_Immersive_Audio_Album

Roger Waters : The Wall BD has Atmos

Edited by Snoopy8
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I have to wonder if people have ever really put the effort into multichannel representations of albums.
 

It’s so often I’ll be watching a movie on my HT setup and a multichannel version of a song you know (or maybe something in the soundtrack) grabs you by the ears and you think, “that sounds nice”.

 

it is exceedingly rare that I’ve ever had that effect from multichannel media that I’ve bought. It has to be with them remixing and remastering the audio from the original stems and laying it out for multichannel.
 

not being afraid to use all three front channels judiciously I think is the most important first step.
 

I think too much multichannel audio still has one foot in 2 channel land and just doesn’t want to let go.

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9 minutes ago, BugPowderDust said:

I have to wonder if people have ever really put the effort into multichannel representations of albums.

....

I think too much multichannel audio still has one foot in 2 channel land and just doesn’t want to let go.

Agreed, hence, get music listed in the QQ poll.  Mixing to multi channels is not easy. It took 10 days to mix Queen's: Bohemian Rhapsody in 5.1.  Talk of the ideal song for multi channel !

https://www.soundonsound.com/people/queen-night-opera

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1 minute ago, Snoopy8 said:

Agreed, hence, get music listed in the QQ poll.  Mixing to multi channels is not easy. It took 10 days to mix Queen's: Bohemian Rhapsody in 5.1.  Talk of the ideal song for multi channel !

https://www.soundonsound.com/people/queen-night-opera

I had a look at that poll. It was good to see all the XTC stuff I had in there.

 

I need to check out the new Tears For Fears (for Woman In Chains), but to be honest, much of the stuff on there is "old man" music that never did it for me first time around.

 

While I can appreciate the Pink Floyd's, Genesis etc, I've always preferred far edgier music. However, I think it's unlikely we'll get an Atmos remix of McLusky Do Dallas, Loveless (that would be epic) or Spiderland any time soon ;)  

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2 minutes ago, BugPowderDust said:

I need to check out the new Tears For Fears (for Woman In Chains), but to be honest, much of the stuff on there is "old man" music that never did it for me first time around.

 

While I can appreciate the Pink Floyd's, Genesis etc, I've always preferred far edgier music. However, I think it's unlikely we'll get an Atmos remix of McLusky Do Dallas, Loveless (that would be epic) or Spiderland any time soon ;)  

Old man music!  🤣   But they are the ones with the money and willing to shell it out for good multi channel music re-releases.

 

Edgier music = younger set who grew up on ripped MP3s.  I wonder whether there is any market demand ? And willing to pay the hefty premium?  Yello Atmos is not cheap, so wonder how many people here actually bought it?

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haha I think I'm younger than a lot of people one here but I still grew up surrounded by a lot of music before the time of Mp3 (encoding MP3s only really started as a possibility in my third year of uni in 1995). Everything that can be lossless, is in this house. 

 

That said, you can have edgier music without it having to be on Mp3s. I still think the most edgy and fertile period of music EVER is the post punk period from 1979 to about 1983.  So much unique music with no real definition getting released and bought happened in that time. My favourite music listening period for sure.

 

If you ever get a moment, this is a great read on the topic: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/272642.Rip_it_Up_and_Start_Again 

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This is a very interesting topic and I've wondered for a while why it doesn't get talked about more and why there isn't more music produced for atmos or in the very least 5.1 as so many people have that these days.

 

Can anyone tell me how important the quality of the surround and top speakers are for immersive music. I know for cinema anything beyond the front two is generally given lower budget and consideration, I was wondering if this affects listening to these albums?

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2 hours ago, jonooo said:

This is a very interesting topic and I've wondered for a while why it doesn't get talked about more and why there isn't more music produced for atmos or in the very least 5.1 as so many people have that these days.

 

Can anyone tell me how important the quality of the surround and top speakers are for immersive music. I know for cinema anything beyond the front two is generally given lower budget and consideration, I was wondering if this affects listening to these albums?

 

"for cinema anything beyond the front two is generally given lower budget and consideration"

This is old school way of thinking.

 

Having all identical speakers will improve the experience significantly. In fact even for HT Dolby recommends running all identical and full range speakers.

My HT had Mordaunt Short towers for L&R, MS standmounts for C and Surrounds and MS 4.5" bookshelf for rear surround and Atmos, all apart from the centre were from the same series and the surrounds were identical drivers and tweeters to the L&R towers.

I then replaced them all with 11 of the 4.5" bookshelfs and the improvement was amazing. The soundfield was so much more cohesive and seamless and speakers just disappeared. Of course it didn't go as loud but I fixed that by replacing all the MS with Wharfedale Pro PA speakers :)

 

I listen to a lot of electrnoic ambient music and live concert vids, all upmixed to Atmos (or DTS Neural X) and it is just amazing how good it sounds and how good a job the upmixers do.  And the real Atmos mixes are even better again.

 

So even though it is not necessary to match your speakers, the closer you can get to identical the better it will sound.

Edited by niterida
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  • 2 weeks later...

@niterida Thank you for taking the time to reply.

It's good to see some forward thinking in the audio community and it definitely provides some food for thought around upgrading in future.  

I am wondering a couple things if you don't mind answering.

1. Some speakers have a narrower listening field while some are larger is narrower better for accuracy and atmos?

2.  Why P.A. speakers aren't they normally loudness over accuracy?

3. What are you using to upmix is it just your AVR or is there some specialty equipment for that?

 

Thanks again,

Jono

 

P.S. Have you listened to the new bicep album? 

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On 14/03/2021 at 8:08 PM, jonooo said:

Can anyone tell me how important the quality of the surround and top speakers are for immersive music. I know for cinema anything beyond the front two is generally given lower budget and consideration, I was wondering if this affects listening to these albums?

I agree with niterida, as old thinking went with surround sound going back to dolby prologic days.. where surround speakers were for ambience and effects...

 

some folks havent changed their paradigm of thinking but with current object based formats and even with the upmixing possible these days the WHOLE speaker set is now being used to steer sound around the room to create a 3D sound field... no longer are speakers just for effects... and more speakers help with joining the dots and more accurately placing in space ...speakers will usually still only be crossed over at 80hz or so...so not essential to have big massive driver speakers in the ceilings in my opinion. 6" speakers are fine... but still important is the quality of these ...

 

good news is most brands have in ceiling speakers now to match and in different price points. and if cant match then there are good quality reasonably neutral sounding brands like krix which will match in with most things :) 

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6 hours ago, jonooo said:

@niterida Thank you for taking the time to reply.

It's good to see some forward thinking in the audio community and it definitely provides some food for thought around upgrading in future.  

I am wondering a couple things if you don't mind answering.

1. Some speakers have a narrower listening field while some are larger is narrower better for accuracy and atmos?

2.  Why P.A. speakers aren't they normally loudness over accuracy?

3. What are you using to upmix is it just your AVR or is there some specialty equipment for that?

 

Thanks again,

Jono

 

P.S. Have you listened to the new bicep album? 

1. Narrower or wider isn't the issue - its how far off-axis any listener is and then whether the speakers off-axis response is any good. In other words if the farthest listener is 30deg off-axis and your speaker has good response to 45deg then it will sound good, but if the speaker only has good response to 20deg then it won't sound good. If your farthest listener is only 15deg off-axis will narrow dispersion speakers sound better than wide dispersion ? That I can't answer as I have no experience to compare to. Might make an interesting google search or discussion topic though :)

 

2. AFAIK PA speakers are loud and vocally accurate - which is 2 things you want in a HT. All I know is they sound great in my room.

 

3. Upmixing from 2.0 or 5.1 to Atmos ? Any AVR that has Atmos also has DSU - Dolby Surround Upmixer.

 

P.S. Haven't heard of, or heard, the Bicep album - I assume it is in Atmos ? Is it on Tidal - might have to get a 30 day trial and have a listen if it is.

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@betty boop Thank you for this it really is fascinating what they are able to do with sound these days

 

@niterida Thank you for the response I am new into the audiophile world and until recently hadn't given much thought about anything more than 2.1 and have only recently installed rear speakers but I find this discussion fascinating and it will definitely help guide my future purchasing decisions.

 

As for bicep no its not Atmos its minimalist tech house(?) which I would think would lend itself well to upmixing

ttps://youtube.com/playlist?list=PL0EBaf8V4eTQUrh1Hq4s5ESj_k-sVWUl1

 

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  • 3 weeks later...

New JM Jarre Amazonia album had been released in various formats including binaural for headphones and 5.1. I’ve only heard a few snippets off you tube , so can’t comment on the music itself.

 

Fairly detailed  review here

 

https://magicvinyldigital.net/2021/04/11/jean-michel-jarre-amazonia-review/

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