Ambiophonics - An experiment and a How to using foobar2000.
To give you the basic idea, ambiophonics aims at "fixing" what is wrong with stereophonic sound-i.e. removing acoustic crosstalk and opening up the 'sweet spot' and giving you that sense of "you are there". It's based on research about human hearing, concert halls, and recording methods that combines the best aspects of binaural listening+ambiosonics+monophonic.
It's hard to really sum it up, especially since I'm still researching it myself, but I wanted to share the opportunity with others on how you can try it, since some of us are concerned with realistic music reproduction.
For more info: www.ambiophonics.org
Now on to the experiment for you to try out.
A little experiment - First Try this. I'm not going to go into any details on what this is. I suggest you first just try the experiment, then go back and read about it. But if you must know what this is all about it's all here:
What you need
-Pair of stereo speakers
-2 channel amp/receiver
-computer connected to receiver/amplifier or burn the pre-processed files to CD
Place your speakers at a distance of 50cm apart from each other. Your listening position should be about 2m back from them so that they form ~+/-20deg angle between the line straight in front of you and the speaker.
Like this (but without the barrier)
Then listen to the “left right width test” from this link and find the spot at which you notice the widest stage width. For more setup info:
I suggest you also listen to the other music files also on that page after you get good results with the width test.
Setup & Calibration
Ambiophonics is optimized for one or two listeners on the medial plane of a pair of front speakers separated only about 50~75cm positioned at ear level about 2~3m from the listener(s). Choueiri CXC is optimized for separation of 49.5 cm positioned 1.9 m from the listener(s). Speakers should be matched pairs, known to have good phase response through any crossover networks. Correct speaker positioning, avoiding acoustical interference, and calibrating levels and timing are essential for successful crosstalk cancellation.
Your ears are the ultimate instruments of perceived quality. But first, calibrate speaker SPL using an SPL meter ($30 at Radio Shack) and this link to band-limited pink noise. Burn this file, the Left-Right Width Test, and any desired demonstration files above to an audio CD. With no crosstalk cancellation processing, the player set for loop repeat of the pink noise, and SPL meter fixed at the listening position, adjust each channel individually using level controls at the power amplifier inputs so that the signal (-18dB below digital Full Scale) produces precisely 85dB SPL from each speaker individually.
Still with no crosstalk cancellation processing, play pre-cancelled music excerpts above to verify speaker and listener positioning. Now with crosstalk cancellation processing, play pink noise through only the left input of the system and, if necessary, adjust speaker separation slightly relative to a fixed listening position so that at the listening position the sound is perceived at the extreme left only. Repeat iteratively using the right input only (for extreme right perception) until the widest stage width is achieved, up to 120° - double stereo's 60° - but with none of stereo's "hole in the middle" or distortion of tone color, especially for important central sounds.
Now I will list what you need to try it with all sorts of music.
Part II - Process stereo files into ambiophonic sound in real-time
Part II - How to do this in real-time to any music you already listen to.(setup without pictures)
removed because they don't work right. Stick with the audiomulch instructions on their page for now.
EDIT: Update 3/5/09 - How to use it with winamp. Loading VST plugins into Foobar is similar.
Things You Need
-Computer with soundcard
-Pair of speakers, and amp
-VST Plugin Bridge
-MOSC MAP ambiophonics VST plugin
-Left/Right width track
Setup your speakers so they are approximately 15-30cm apart. As shown here:
1) Install Winamp
2) Install VST Bridge
3) Extract Mosc's VST plugin into any folder-or just put it into winamp's folder for easy retrival
4) Open Winamp, goto options, preferences and select DSP plugin from plugins section.
5) Select VST bridge plugin
6) Click Configure Active plugin
7) Click in VST plugin box and "load dll"
8) Next browse to wherever you extracted the Mosc MAP VST.dll and select it
9) Make sure the Ambiophonic button is green and enjoy any music now processed ambiophonically.
10) Sit back about 1-2m away. You can use a Left/Right width test track also available in the electro-music thread to find optimal listening position. Notice how you can move your head around without a severe loss of the sweetspot.