Upmixing... where are we at now?

dlaloum

Active Member
So, in the early days of surround, I had a Lexicon DC1 and then an MC1...

These used Logic7 which did a fantastic job of upmixing stereo Dolby Surround to 5.1 or 7.1 channels...

Then there was Dolby's own PLII - variable, but frequently OK ... varied dramatically with different implementations by different vendors

Now Dolby has deleted PLII, and released a new "Dolby Surround"

Meanwhile we have Harman with Logic16 replacing the old Lexicon Logic7, DTS with Neural surround upmixing

And there is a buzz around Auro 3D as an upmixer

So where are we at? What sounds good/best today?

What works best for Music (stereo)?

What works best for Movies (stereo to 5.1, or 7.2.4.... 5.1 to 7.2.4)?
 

dante01

Distinguished Member
Current upmixers try create pseudo object base 3D effects similar to Dolby Atmos or DTS's DTS:X. AV receiversthat that are Atmos enabled come with an upmixing mode entitled Dolby Surround Upmixing (DSU):

Dolby Surround Upmixer
When you invest in a Dolby Atmos home theater, you expect to get full use of all the components, even when the content you are playing is not mixed in Dolby Atmos. This includes taking advantage of overhead and Dolby Atmos enabled speakers to further enhance the playback experience.

Included in the Dolby Atmos technology bundle is a new advanced upmixer designed to be compatible with traditional channel-based as well as Dolby Atmos speaker systems. The Dolby surround upmixer expands the audio of channel-based content, including native stereo, 5.1, and 7.1 content, for playback through a Dolby Atmos system-regardless of speaker number or placement-while simultaneously honoring and maintaining the artist’s intent for the mix.

The Dolby surround upmixer analyzes and processes multiple perceptually spaced frequency bands, accurately steering each individually. The result is a surround playback experience characterized by precisely located audio elements and a more spacious ambience.

In a Dolby Atmos system, the channel-based mix is fully honored. Dolby Atmos enabled speakers and overhead speakers are employed to lend a sense of atmospherics or room effect to the listening experience. This new technology will process and upmix channel- based content to as many as 17 speaker locations at listener level and to 10 Dolby Atmos enabled or overhead speakers. Note: To maintain an accurate frontal audio image, the upmixer will not send upmixed audio to the left wide and right wide speakers or any speakers that are located between the left, center, and right speakers. Audio is not upmixed to the center surround speaker.

A center spread on/off control enables you to spread the center image across a wider front soundstage. This optional feature is ideally suited for playback of two-channel music content or playback of channel-based content in a home theater design that employs a wider screen configuration than typical installations.

DTS also include a similar mode with DTS:X called Neural:X.

The models that include DSU tend not to now also include any incarnation of Dolby Pro Logic. Models that include Neural:X do however usually still include the more linear DTS NEO:6 upmixing mode.
 
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exm

Active Member
In my opinion, my system is 5.2.7, Auro 3D works best for upmixing. It gives me 5.2.6, it’s a bit more geared toward the front floor speakers but it really utilizes those beautifully. Small bass bump also. Like you, I use to own and loved Logic 7. Finally I found a worthy replacement in Lyngdorf Auro 3D.
 

dlaloum

Active Member
In my opinion, my system is 5.2.7, Auro 3D works best for upmixing. It gives me 5.2.6, it’s a bit more geared toward the front floor speakers but it really utilizes those beautifully. Small bass bump also. Like you, I use to own and loved Logic 7. Finally I found a worthy replacement in Lyngdorf Auro 3D.
That's a LOT of Height speakers !?
 

Mr Wolf

Well-known Member
Personally I haven't yet heard any of the latest generation of upmixers (still running PLIIx upmixer for 7.2 on an older AVR) but I've read/watched a lot of reviews about it and DTS Neural X seems to get a lot of love for use on movies as it makes the most aggressive use of the additional speakers.

You might find this article interesting - note the vote results at the end.


The article's well out of date though as Dolby subsequently relaxed its restriction on cross-upmixing plus the DSU has been updated so it will now upmix to front wide channels (in D&M models at least) whereas originally it wouldn't.
 

exm

Active Member
Personally I haven't yet heard any of the latest generation of upmixers (still running PLIIx upmixer for 7.2 on an older AVR) but I've read/watched a lot of reviews about it and DTS Neural X seems to get a lot of love for use on movies as it makes the most aggressive use of the additional speakers.

You might find this article interesting - note the vote results at the end.


The article's well out of date though as Dolby subsequently relaxed its restriction on cross-upmixing plus the DSU has been updated so it will now upmix to front wide channels (in D&M models at least) whereas originally it wouldn't.

I have been playing around with surround modes for a while, and this is my take:
  • DSU is my least favorite. I used it for my XBOX for Atmos only.
  • DTS:X (hopefully Pro soon after a firmware update) works great for movies
  • Auro 3D works great for 2-channel music

Jury is still out there is Auro 3D is better for movies than DTS:X. However, Auro doesn't support the FHC in my speaker configuration so that's why I'm leaning DTS.



That's a LOT of Height speakers !?

FHL, FHC, FHR, SHL, SHR, RHL, RHR
 

dante01

Distinguished Member
I have been playing around with surround modes for a while, and this is my take:
  • DSU is my least favorite. I used it for my XBOX for Atmos only.
  • DTS:X (hopefully Pro soon after a firmware update) works great for movies
  • Auro 3D works great for 2-channel music

Jury is still out there is Auro 3D is better for movies than DTS:X. However, Auro doesn't support the FHC in my speaker configuration so that's why I'm leaning DTS.





FHL, FHC, FHR, SHL, SHR, RHL, RHR


You don't need to engage DSU in order to play Atmos.If an AV receiver detects Atmos metadata then it would negate the DSU processing. DSU creates pseudo Atmos from sources not inclusive of Atmos metadata. You'd get Atmos even if in a PURE DIRECT mode if the source is inclusive of Atmos metadata. You wont however get Atmos if NEURAL:X or non Dolby upmixing modes are in effect. The AV receiver would ignore the Atmos metadata and apply the NEURAL:X upmixing to the channel based DD+. TrueHD or multichannel PCM if Dolby MAT is being used. Atmos metadata overrides DSU processing.

Auro 3D depends upon heights as opposed to ceiling or upward firing speakers. The only time you'd have a ceiling speaker is if including a Voice of God Speaker towards the front of the room. You basically need 4 height speakers, 2 at the front and 2 at the rear of the room. THe other speakers would be as used in a 5.1 setup. Auro 3D is also channel based and not object based as is the case with Atmos and DTS:X. After saying this, I believe the theatre version of Auro 3D is object based?

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Auro's upmixer is called Auro-Matic. Many say that this is particularly good with music sources. Auro 3D is a format, not one you'll see used often in the west though.
 
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jsl20

Active Member
Not all Atmos tracks are made equal and sometimes I'd rather switch off the Atmos metadata and run with the TrueHD/DD+ mix and add the Dolby Surround upmixer to get something out of my ceiling speakers. Do any AVRs allow you to "ignore" the metadata?
 

dante01

Distinguished Member
Not all Atmos tracks are made equal and sometimes I'd rather switch off the Atmos metadata and run with the TrueHD/DD+ mix and add the Dolby Surround upmixer to get something out of my ceiling speakers. Do any AVRs allow you to "ignore" the metadata?


Set the player to do the decoding and this will result in it streaming multichannel PCM to your AVR devoid of the Atmos metadata.
 

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