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james_bond

I want to understand what Virtual surround is

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Posted · Original PosterOP

I want to understand what Virtual surround is.

 

Is it possible to create Virtual surround sound using 2 channels ? (I don't have a 5.1 speaker setup. I use Creative SBS 2.1)

 

To achieve Virtual surround is it mandatory to have a 6 channels source ? I mean the file that is used as the source ?

 

Lastly, I use Linux. No Windows here. Is it possible to achieve Virtual surround under Linux ?

 

 

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you have two ears, so you need two speakers. that's the concept behind virtual surround.

 

in essence, it attempts to create the effect of being surrounded by speakers, by applying small effects to the two speakers of a normal pair of headphones.

 

in my opinion it's a "fun" effect, but if it's not generated by the actual source (for example, a game) it doesnt necessarily add to the experience.

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Posted · Original PosterOP
5 minutes ago, manikyath said:

you have two ears, so you need two speakers. that's the concept behind virtual surround.

 

in essence, it attempts to create the effect of being surrounded by speakers, by applying small effects to the two speakers of a normal pair of headphones.

 

in my opinion it's a "fun" effect, but if it's not generated by the actual source (for example, a game) it doesnt necessarily add to the experience.

You specifically mentioned headphones. So it works only with headphones ?

It doesn't work with stereo speakers ?

Can you tell me which software player can do this ?

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6 minutes ago, james_bond said:

You specifically mentioned headphones. So it works only with headphones ?

It doesn't work with stereo speakers ?

Can you tell me which software player can do this ?

it's an effect used to make people who are wearing headphones feel like they are in a room surrounded by many speakers in many directions.

Sort of like this:

(this demonstrates the idea but is not entirely correct.


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Just went and copied this from some of my previous answers,

"We tend to not recommend 'true' 7.1 headsets here because in real life humans only hear in stereo, two ears creating a binaural 3D image using the minuscule delay between ears (due to the speed of sound) and spectral pinnae cues to localise the audio. The much smaller, multiple, drivers in true surround headphones are each less accurate than the two single drivers in stereo headphones while driving up cost for no benefit in applications with binaural stereo (and given Windows sonic can turn any 7.1 source into binaural audio, many applications don't even need that)."
"Humans hear binaural stereo and can use spectral pinnae cues as well as the minute differences in time between a sound source hitting each ear to localise that audio. Virtualised surround sound emulates that process quite well and can enhance a listening experience greatly given the source material supports the format. Almost every surround sound headset out there is really just a stereo headset, the reason you don't notice a difference in movies is likely because the file you're viewing only contains stereo audio and the fancy software can't magically create more channels to serve you."

In short 'virtual surround' is actually more true to life (at least as far as headphones go) as 'true' surround sound.


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2 minutes ago, Mad153 said:

So it works only with headphones

sort of yes. The illusion falls apart without headphones 

2 minutes ago, Mad153 said:

Can you tell me which software player can do this ?

not sure what you mean. it's incorporated into windows 10: right click the sound icon in the tray and "Spatial Sound". Then "Sonic for headphones". Windows will then add this effect to any audio coming out of the speakers..


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1 minute ago, Mad153 said:

it's an effect used to make people who are wearing headphones feel like they are in a room surrounded by many speakers in many directions.

Sort of like this:

 

I hate those videos, dumping a perfectly good mix into a DAW and running Sennheiser Ambeo Orbit automating the thing around in a circle, it's just dumb and it ruins the song, and then they try and monetise the video???? Nah, 

Sorry for the rant, I JUST HATE THOSE VIDEOS.


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1 minute ago, The Flying Sloth said:

Sorry for the rant, I JUST HATE THOSE VIDEOS

Np. I don't like them either but they are the simplest demonstration to find.


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Posted · Original PosterOP
2 minutes ago, Mad153 said:

sort of yes. The illusion falls apart without headphones 

not sure what you mean. it's incorporated into windows 10: right click the sound icon in the tray and "Spatial Sound". Then "Sonic for headphones". Windows will then add this effect to any audio coming out of the speakers..

I don't use Windows. I use Linux. Under Linux I use VLC, Smplayer (with mpv backend), Audacious. Do you know a way to do this under Linux ?

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3 minutes ago, james_bond said:

Do you know a way to do this under Linux ?

not done it myself but 

https://help.ubuntu.com/community/SurroundSound

(i know there are many flavours of Linux tho so not sure if this will work in your case)


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1 minute ago, james_bond said:

I don't use Windows. I use Linux. Under Linux I use VLC, Smplayer (with mpv backend), Audacious. Do you know a way to do this under Linux ?

Maybe this could help for Linux:

https://forum.manjaro.org/t/howto-setting-up-virtual-surround-sound-for-headphones/55918

 

But unless the source (e.g. video) already includes spatial information for a sound source, I don't think you'll get much use out of it.

Quote

I want to understand what Virtual surround is.

As @manikyath said, you have only two ears. The way your brain perceives direction is from small cues like the difference in time it takes a sound to reach either of your ears. Also the shape of your ears, e.g. the same noise will sound different when the source is in front of you as opposed to behind you.

 

Virtual surround tries to emulate this by e.g. delaying sound in the left or right speaker slightly or distorting it to make it sound as if coming from behind. This doesn't work perfectly as the shape of a person's ears is very individual.

 

It doesn't really work with speakers because you don't know how far the person listening is from those speakers, which way they're oriented etc. With a headset you can be more or less certain the speakers are right next to a person's ears.


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just found a Tq on the subject in case you're still confused:

 


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So, the best results come from headphones, because left and right sides are isolated. When you do this type of processing on speakers, you have to do the additional step of canceling out the crosstalk, which is hard to do well. However, yes, it does exist. You can see it on soundbars iirc.

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On 5/21/2020 at 6:01 AM, Mad153 said:

just found a Tq on the subject in case you're still confused:

 

This video isn't great. Upward firing speakers will bounce sounds off the ceiling for the height channels in  3d audio playback, but those aren't what people are referring to as virtual surround sound. Virtual surround sound is when you use binaural audio to stuff in directional information that otherwise can't be gotten through speaker placement alone.

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