Testing your surround enveloping experience
Assembled your 5.1 or 7.1 channel system? Why not put it through it's paces and see if you have built the HT system of your dreams, and more importantly, is it in the right place?
The litmus test is whether you wish to and can, create a path for say, a bullet that whizzes past your ear from front to back.
Movies are more than just bass (not base). So where you place the surround speakers will influence how the movie experience is enhanced by such ambient effects.
- Band of brothers episode 2 - the attack on the 108mm guns - listen for how the bullets travel from side to side and front to back
- Pacific - episode 1 - the Japs assault the machine gun positions in the night - again try and see if the flight path of the bullets is convincing
- "9" - listen to the start of the movie, and all the little ambient noises, the clink of the metal of "9" as he awakes, then the bass which is palpable as he sees his maker lying on the floor. Then see if your centre speaker can reproduce the male baritone narration
- Tron Legacy - the entry into the arena for "games" - there is a lot of effects coming from all 7 channels (it's a 7.1 movie) and do all the sounds integrate well and give you a feeling you are the boy, walking into the arena. Also when his games suit is being assembled, the noise floor is very low, so if you hear too much distracting noise from outside your HT room, you will know.
Often in the demo room in the shops, all you get is bass and more bass. But picking out such ambient foley effects take more effort and noise isolation.