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Surround Sound Levels

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marcus.reeves

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Surround Sound Levels

PostSun Jan 17, 2021 9:08 am

I’ve recently made the leap from stereo to surround sound using HW6. I’ve managed to get everything configured with front and rear channels properly routed. I’m using two Behringer Truth monitors for my front speakers and a pair of Cambridge Audio hifi speakers connected to a Denon RCD-M39 for my rear speakers (probably not ideal but it’s what I’ve got right now). The rear speakers are located about a metre behind me.

I’m wondering how best to balance the sound? Is there a tried and tested method, or is it just a case of personal taste? I was expecting to hear more of the sound decaying in the building, but if I turn up the rear speakers too much, it feels like I hear more of the direct sound coming from the rear.

Does anyone have any advice or thoughts?
Best wishes,
Marcus
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micdev

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Re: Surround Sound Levels

PostSun Jan 17, 2021 11:04 am

Hello Marcus,

I would say that is it a matter of personal taste, but ideally you want to reproduce the effect you get in a church with reverb. I usually say to my clients... "turn up the rear speakers volume until you can detect that the sound is coming from the rear speakers then lower it a bit until this effect disappears.

That way you won't detect that sound is coming from the back but it will fill the space and remove the "in your face" sound when using only front speakers. To check the differences once you set your rear speakers correctly, simply mute the rear, you should find that you aren't "as surrounded" by sound as when the rear speakers are on.
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François

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marcus.reeves

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Re: Surround Sound Levels

PostSun Jan 17, 2021 12:35 pm

Hello François,

Thank you, that makes perfect sense. I guess in an ideal world, you’d have four identical speakers (in my case four of the Behringers) all set to the same volume as a starting point (0dB), with the same level from Hauptwerk going to each pair. That way you would at least hear a bit closer to the sample set producer’s intention. You could then adjust the level according to your distance from the speakers when at the console. It’s kinda difficult when you’ve got an different amplifier in the mix as well.

I guess the rear speakers should ideally be positioned at the same height as the front speakers? Mine are currently on a desk so I’ll need to get some suitable desktop stands to raise them up.

Thanks very much for your help.
Best wishes,
Marcus

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