Why don't more recordings have soundstage outside of speakers


I always enjoy it when the recording has mixing that the instruments are well outside of the speakers.  I think it's really cool and what justifying spending extra dollars for the sound.  I just wish more recordings would do that.  Most of them would just have the sound from in between the speakers.

What are some of your favorite recordings that have an enveloping soundstage well outside of the speakers?
andy2
@simonmoon, I certainly agree about the gimmicks however I have learned that instruments themselves should not come from beyond the speakers which is what you would expect if you think about it. I use to occasionally hear some instruments on certain recordings come from beyond the speakers. I have been using dipoles exclusively for 40 years and I use to never put any sound absorption behind the speakers and I always put my speakers near corners. So, sound would bounce off the front wall then off the side wall to the listening position. It is no surprise then that sounds would appear to come from beyond the speakers. Back then I felt the sound had more "air" to it that way and I really did not appreciate what it was doing to the image. I now use 4" acoustic tile behind the speakers and at first things did sound more closed in on a relative basis but the specificity of the image increased very noticeably.
Now only gimmicks come from beyond the speakers but, now close your eyes and the speakers disappear. Even instruments that are panned hard left or right do not appear to be coming from the loudspeakers, they just hang in space. You could walk around them (if you could walk through walls).  
My intent is not to brag but to help others achieve the same results. No system images well out of the box, it is a virtual impossibility and that goes for my system also. You get the standard 2 dimensional blurry image that most of us think is the cats meow, until you hear a system that really images. I have been talking about the need to synchronize the frequency response of the main speakers for years. That need became even more obvious with the Sound Labs speakers as they are capable of a better image than my old Acoustats. This synchronization and control of the room's acoustics are the two most important considerations if you want your system to image at it's best. I am convinced that this applies to regular dynamic loudspeakers also and not just to big dipoles. I hope to prove this to myself with my friend's new S7s.  
millercarbon9,311 posts05-26-2021 5:12pmThere's actually a very prosaic answer to this question. When we listen closely we tend to look in that direction. Ears on each side of the head, duh. When we record we do the same. Maybe there are groups the performers occupy different locations around the room at random. Not many, is my guess. From intimate solo singer to full orchestra to U2 extravaganza the performance always occupies a relatively small area in front of us.

Anything way off to the sides is therefore much more a gimmick or effect than music.  

There. Done. And on to the next question. ....  


Seriously? That's a very myopic statement.

If that qualifies as your definitive answer to recording, you're demonstrating that you don't know very much about recording.

 however I have learned that instruments themselves should not come from beyond the speakers which is what you would expect if you think about it. I use to occasionally hear some instruments on certain recordings come from beyond the speakers.

I will have to completely disagree with you on this.

A symphony orchestra is set up with violins stage far right, double basses are far left. The main mics are, usually, setup in a Decca Tree config (which is used almost exclusively for orchestral recordings), the 2 mics used to capture stereo, are omnidirectional, and they are usually fairly close to each other. So, they are definitely capturing information from well beyond their outer 'edges'. There are also "outrigger" mics to capture a bit more ambience. 

On a decent classical recording, there is plenty of information from beyond the outer edges of the mics, and if the speakers (and room) are relatively good, those violins stage right, and basses stage left, will come from beyond the outer edges of the speakers. And it's not a gimmick, it's on the recording. 

Maybe if the information that was coming from past the outside edges of the speakers was of instruments that aren't supposed to be to the far left or far right, like clarinets or some other instrument from the closer to the center of the orchestra. If a clarinet seemed like it was coming from beyond the edges of my speakers, that I could see blaming on artifacts of a poor room. But the fact that the instruments that always seem like they are coming from past the edges of my speakers, are only those at stage right or left, seems like a bit too much of a coincidence. 

I've got great diffusion behind the speakers, absorption on the side wall and ceiling. 

Not to mention, I've heard a large pair of Wilson Alexandria speakers in a room so large and well treated, that I would be surprised if the side walls came into play at all. And again, tons of very natural sounding orchestral instruments coming from past the outer edges of the speakers. 
There's actually a very prosaic answer to this question. When we listen closely we tend to look in that direction. Ears on each side of the head, duh. When we record we do the same. Maybe there are groups the performers occupy different locations around the room at random. Not many, is my guess. From intimate solo singer to full orchestra to U2 extravaganza the performance always occupies a relatively small area in front of us.

Anything way off to the sides is therefore much more a gimmick or effect than music.  

There. Done. And on to the next question. ....  

Once again, the mic techniques used for classical recordings are specifically designed to capture information from well beyond a 'relatively small area'. Not just side to side, but deep too. 

Google something like the following "Decca tree recoding an orchestra" or "how to set up mics for recording an orchestra", or similar verbiage.

Take a look at this diagram below and let me know why this mic placement for the San Francisco Orchestra, will only produce a soundstage that 'occupies a relatively small area'. 

http://www.linkwitzlab.com/Audio_production/sf_symphony.htm

Why am I getting the idea that many people here, have not spent a lot of time listening to classical recordings on a good system?

My system, in my relatively small room, consistently produces a soundstage of an orchestra, that sounds about at the same scale as if I was about 20 rows back at Disney Hall. Not trickery, no gimmicks, no false large soundstage created by early reflections, etc. Simply the soundstage captured on the recording by tried and true recording methods. 
I certainly agree about the gimmicks however I have learned that instruments themselves should not come from beyond the speakers which is what you would expect if you think about it.
You are completely wrong and perhaps you must reconsider your way to use electronic equalization instead of room control...Your description demonstrate the inability where you are to recreate a great sonic field in the room..

It is way more important to adjust the room large bandwith/timbre  response to the speakers than the opposite which is  adjusting  the speakers narrow frequency response to the room ....

 There a 2 stages of manifestation in acoustic control ( it is for sure recording quality dependant):

 --In the beginning with some selected especially good recording the orchestra is IN your room and you listen to it  external to the orchestra...You are happy because you enjoy anyway an imaging which can be good....

--After a complete acoustic control, for many well recorded albums  you may be among the instruments and with them on the scene in some case...The listener is enveloped by music and no more external to it....Listener envelopment factor (LEV).

If i read your description you have never lived through this experience with any recording then your room and acoustic control are lacking....

This post of yours  confirm my opinion that electronic equalization is a secondary tool helpful to fine tune the speakers/ room relation but cannot replace neither passive material treatment nor  even less replacing ACTIVE acoustic control....