The Alan Parsons Project – Stereotomy

19 Jul

Ambisonic UHJ

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6 Responses to “The Alan Parsons Project – Stereotomy”

  1. Greg August 1, 2018 at 03:15 #

    First and foremost, thank you for making this available, as I do own the first CD, but was only able to hear it decoded in Ambisonics only once before this.

    Was curious to hear if you had any thoughts on the UHJ format, and could the process offer the more precise separation of its counterparts? Have heard a lot of conflicting information on UHJ over the years, so I honestly don’t know its full capabilities or restrictions.

    • oxforddickie August 1, 2018 at 11:14 #

      Thoughts on UHJ? Well, the first is that it should have been fully taken up by the BBC, after all they’ve spent years and god knows how much public money on ‘testing’ Ambisonics since the early 1980’s. I would imagine that the record companies would have followed and we’d be living in a more of a surround sound world.

      As to more preicise imaging and increased separation, those two things are hard to improve when using Ambisonic C (UHJ). The problem lies in the need to matrix the three Ambisonic B streams W, X &Y into a stereo compatible signal.

      If Ambisonics was taken up as the standard for home surround, we could possibly get into a situation where it would be possible to download the raw Ambisonic B streams, much like it’s now possible to download high quality 24/192 versions of albums now, which would give an unadulterated version of the surround album, which would be exactly as it was mixed.

      Unfortunately, there’s a lot spoken about ‘surround’ sound, from Quad to Ambisonics, mostly from those who have no real knowledge of what they speak about, but for whatever reason, people listen to them.

      Of course, i’m sure there are many who would put me in that group, so it’s hard to tell who knows what. I suppose the best thing i could suggest to anyone is to search out the official sources and take it from there.

      • Steven Southerden Dive September 14, 2018 at 13:02 #

        Sorry, this is a few months late chipping in and thought it worth mentioning ambisonics G-format. G-format is a pre decoded form for loudspeaker feeds in something like an ITU layout, which is pre decoded from B-format and from which B-format can, in principle, be recovered in full without phase errors.

        I’m pretty sure there are plug-ins (VSTs?) available to do this conversion, though my short search didn’t find them. The UHJ 2-channel matrixed version means there will always be some direction related phase errors, as there are for all 2 channel recordings, matrixed or not. The 3-channel version of UHJ was never put into use but would have, in effect, corrected the phase errors. The Beeb’s experiments included listener feedback and some people found the phasiness of UHJ unacceptable when stereo playback was used. From discussion on the Surround mailing list a while back (list hosted at Virginia Tech.) the experiments included several different phase shifts until the most acceptable, or least unnacceptable, was found.

        It;s a pity things have come to a halt in ambisonics development for general listening, especially as we now have multi channel widely available at reasonable prices. It’s very much in use in the VR world, where higher order ambisonics is used with HRTFs in head/earphone listening.

  2. admsh July 22, 2018 at 20:55 #

    Thank you so much for this release, OD. Not Alan Parson’s greatest moment, it’s kind of amazing how little there is here after the previous triumphs. But the quad mix is REALLY GOOD and this transfer is so clean and clear. So much so, it makes it bearable to spin it a few times and see if my opinion on this album changes at all.

    • oxforddickie July 22, 2018 at 21:05 #

      For those interested, this was sourced from the original cd release. All versions released afterwards have been corrupted by the heavy handed use of unnecessary eq-ing.

  3. zaphod2359 July 20, 2018 at 01:02 #

    Many thanks!!

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