SME Posted June 29, 2018 Author Report Share Posted June 29, 2018 It time for me to update things here. Following on the "hidden resonances" insight I had, I developed a novel and vastly superior room and speaker EQ algorithm. This took a long time and is still a work in progress. However, I recently reached a substantial milestone, having implemented and fine-tuned the latest iteration on all 5.1 channels. I had to develop and code some custom algorithms to get to the point I'm at now. I've been having a lot of fun, doing real, serious math for the first time in a while. Previously, I was relying on estimates of first arrival response using FDW applied to measurements at different spatial locations, as inspired by Dr. Toole and Harman's work on polar, anechoic chamber measurements of speakers. My new approach is totally different and all but abandons use of FDW entirely. It's not that FDW was a poor choice of approach. It actually worked very well for me compared to other room EQ systems I've heard. It offered a theoretically compelling solution to the problem of choosing an optimal target curve to fit frequency response to. However, my new method sounds so much better. My recent experiences have totally changed the way I understand audio in terms of frequency response, whether in-room or "on the wire". My new approach is based on a completely new theory of audio perception, one which I developed to try to reconcile my accumulated knowledge and experience with sound. There's a lot of stuff that seemed weird before that now makes a lot more sense. In any case, I spent some time today reviewing a number of movies to find out how they sound now. I watched several scenes from both "Wonder Woman" and "Star Trek", both movies that I attempted to "re-master" and posted tentative re-EQ for. Needless to say, I didn't even bother trying to apply any re-EQ, and both films sounded *excellent*. That's not to say that they are perfect. In fact, I can definitely still hear the increased emphasis on bass and/or treble in most of these mixes compared to most music. However, in my recent viewings, these imbalances were *far less objectionable*. What was happening before is that the broadband accentuation of bass and/or treble on the tracks was accentuating nasty resonances in my playback system in those ranges. It was not the overall level of low frequency sound in the dialog but rather the finer-scale resonances in the low frequencies that were causing the upward masking / mud. Likewise, much of the ear discomfort and downward masking apparently caused by the excess of high frequencies was actually caused by finer-scale resonances there as well. Because my new EQ approach minimizes those degrading resonances, there is nothing for the broadband bass and treble boosts to accentuate. This mostly eliminates the masking problems I was having, and I can hear the mid-range quite clearly throughout. As such, I have much less personal motivation to re-master cinema tracks in the first place. In a way, that's unfortunate because I still think that good re-EQ would help the tracks to sound better on a wider variety of systems. At the same time, I can see the extra bass and/or treble as being preferred, for those whose systems can rendering it cleanly enough to not kill the mid-range. There is also the philosophical question of director's intent. Chances are very high that my presentation of e.g. "Wonder Woman" sounded better in my home theater than it did on the dub stage, but the director has never heard my system. Would she approve? I mean, her intent for a highly bass-focused and physical sound presentation is discussed in the articles linked above. IIRC, her mixer also talks about getting the most bass out, given the constraints of a 120 dB SPL (informal?) budget. My system as configured probably blew way past that. I'd have to either measure (using a better mic than I own) or analyze the soundtrack data to determine where I peaked, but I don't doubt I pushed near 130 dB SPL. If the director had 130 dB SPL instead of 120 dB SPL to work with, would she have used it? Would the presentation be closer to my own? I'd certainly like to think so. Anyway, I will be viewing a lot of movies over the next few weeks / months and may decide to try to re-master stuff at that point, but it's definitely not a priority for me anymore. It probably makes more sense for me to focus on developing my speaker/room EQ tech further because that made all the difference in the world. Quote Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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