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Multi-Channel Audio - is there a magic number?

Speakers, amplifiers, headphones, multi-channel audio, reverb units, mixers, wiring, ...

Re: Multi-Channel Audio - is there a magic number?

Postby Eric Sagmuller » Sat Sep 10, 2016 8:25 pm

I'm using 3 pairs in the front at present along with a pair of subs and monitors for the pedals. I've been thinking I should do this to my rear surround speakers too as they actually play as loud or louder than my fronts due to their placement. I'm also thinking about adding two more subs in the rear. At present everything mixes down to two monitors, including the pedal pipes. I've slowly been collecting more HR824's as I can get them for a good price. Biggest problem I have is that unless the original boxes are with the monitors, they tend to get damaged in corners. Most people don't realize how well they need to be packed to arrive safely.

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Re: Multi-Channel Audio - is there a magic number?

Postby deftech » Mon Nov 21, 2016 10:49 pm

I have eight DT 8020s, two 8040s, and two 8060s running. I'm still experimenting when I get time away from my engineering career and two babies (2 year old and 11 month old). I have the potential of 28 channels with my Focusrite Thunderbolt interfaces and I'm looking forward to getting there. My basement allows room for the speakers, amplifiers and other equipment. My wife would have put a stop to the expansion long ago if it were in the living room. :) So far, each additional pair of speakers gives an improvement.
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Re: Multi-Channel Audio - is there a magic number?

Postby engrssc » Tue Nov 22, 2016 4:33 am

Could you expand on what you hear as improvements? Sometimes that "certain" sound (effect) is hard to define.

Rgds,
Ed
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Re: Multi-Channel Audio - is there a magic number?

Postby Grant_Youngman » Tue Nov 22, 2016 2:22 pm

What happened to Leo Christopherson's oft referenced (a long time ago now) spreadsheets regarding tone distribution under various distribution options and number of speakers? Maybe they're still in the message archive ...
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Re: Multi-Channel Audio - is there a magic number?

Postby magnaton » Tue Nov 22, 2016 4:17 pm

Grant_Youngman wrote:What happened to Leo Christopherson's oft referenced (a long time ago now) spreadsheets regarding tone distribution under various distribution options and number of speakers? Maybe they're still in the message archive ...

The multi-channel, algorhythm defined, Excel sheet was only from his website if memory serves. There was other good information on there as well. Hopefully that is archived somewhere. I have a copy of the Excel sheet and could place it on a public server if need be. He also had 70+ studio monitors and other amplification equipment. I wonder what became of all that?
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Re: Multi-Channel Audio - is there a magic number?

Postby deftech » Wed Nov 23, 2016 12:45 am

To my ears, adding speakers to the audio system is similar to adding violins to a string section in an orchestra. The sound is more complex in that it comes from multiple locations and the sources are slightly out of tune and celeste with each other. I have my manual speakers set up so I can switch between stereo pairs or two groups in monaural. I can use the 8060s as a pair or two monos, and the same way with my 8040s for the pedals.

I can use the cyclic algorithms with my manual speakers since I have eight of each, but to my ears it is more consistent note to note with more clarity to have the ranks divided out to groups with single stereo pairs. Four stereo pairs in Tone Mode 1 sounds good to me for hymn playing. I want to add another group of four pairs for reeds and celeste. I don't use those together typically so they can use the same speakers. To my ears, having a Celeste and its normally tuned companion stop in different channels gives a much more thrilling undulating effect.

The sample sets I have seem to pan everything to the center when loaded in stereo, so I have been experimenting some with monaural groups. With these I enjoy the tone modes because the major and minor thirds in chords are played by different speakers than the first and fifths. Two me, the pitch beats are more pleasant forming in the air. I really enjoy having a Celeste stop on one side of the room and the companion normally tuned stop on the other side.

For a single stop, the cycle within octave, octaves cycled works wonderfully well for the eight speakers in monaural. However, when a few stops are cycled there are thirds piled into the same speakers as the firsts and fifths. That sounds harsh to me.

I would like to try six mono speakers per stop for manual voices in both cycling and tone mode for my next experiment. I could do four groups of six with my current interface and have four channels for pedal ranks.
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Re: Multi-Channel Audio - is there a magic number?

Postby johnstump_organist » Wed Nov 23, 2016 2:54 pm

I recently made the switch from an echo audio fire 12 to A RME 800 interfaz and the difference is notable. Much more detail in the sound of the RME. The importance of the audio interface cannot be overlooked,imho. The more channels the better, but I would suggest sacrificing a channel pair or two in order to go with best interface you can buy, if budget is a question. Of course if you are talking 20 channel pairs, budget probably isn't an issue.
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Re: Multi-Channel Audio - is there a magic number?

Postby deftech » Fri Dec 16, 2016 11:45 am

I vote for 28 channels as a sweet spot. This number facilitates twelve stereo pairs in an audio group which maximizes any one group in any of the algorithms plus a pair for bass through a subwoofer or two full range speakers. Last but not least there is a couple of channels for a big reed stop. I look forward to hearing everyone's thoughts on a magic number.
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Re: Multi-Channel Audio - is there a magic number?

Postby Eric Sagmuller » Fri Dec 16, 2016 2:09 pm

johnstump_organist wrote:I recently made the switch from an echo audio fire 12 to A RME 800 interfaz and the difference is notable. Much more detail in the sound of the RME. The importance of the audio interface cannot be overlooked,imho. The more channels the better, but I would suggest sacrificing a channel pair or two in order to go with best interface you can buy, if budget is a question. Of course if you are talking 20 channel pairs, budget probably isn't an issue.
John


This is good to know. I'm using an AF12 at the limit and would like to expand. I wish RME had more with just analog out though. I know one can add D to A converters to get more channels, but this defeats the reason to use RME, unless it's theirs. I do seem to remember they have top of the line units though with alot of analog outs, but very expensive.

Just curious John, which interface did you get? I see some have 12 analog out, but 4 of those are unbalanced front panel outputs for headphones. Not sure if they could be configured as additional outputs to monitors.

I wonder if anyone has compared RME to the MOTU 24aO?

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