the last installment, we talked about how to pan your inputs into the
Surround soundfield. There are some parameters that we can use to define
the general soundfield itself, and this will be our topic here.
Setting the Size of the Soundstage
When you are pushing that sound around the room with the joystick,
just how does the joystick location relate to the sound location? Turns
out that you can define the relationship between the joystick position
and the sound position.
In Mx51, the adjustment is found by right-clicking on the Surround panner.
When you select this, you get a slider control:
This slider adjusts the panning algorithm. It is defined as setting
how the center soundfield volume compares to the corner soundfield volume.
When you move the slider to "1", the volume for a sound panned to the
center of the soundfield is the same as the volume if you panned the
sound to a corner speaker. Sonically, this has the effect of making
the corner speakers prominent compared to the center, and tends to "pull
them in" and make them sound close to the listener.
When you push the slider up to "4", a sound panned to the center now
has 4 times the sonic power as the same sound panned to the corner.
This makes the corners sound more distant.
In effect, then, this control sets the size of your soundstage!!!
This is a very important parameter for the overall listening experience,
and one you will want to play with in order to get a good feel for it.
You can set all Surround panners to the same soundstage size by setting
the default value for the Surround Center control, in the Options menu
under "Surround defaults." But you can also set this level independently
for each Surround panner. Once again, the best thing to do is experiment.
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