Live performances are always exciting. Seeing our favorite artists in concert allows us to disconnect from our daily routine. High-quality home cinema installations not only reproduce the full sonic impact of blockbuster hits, they also recreate the magic of live musical performances in our own home, allowing us to live incredible experiences every day. Try these three great examples of concert files on your surround sound equipment and see if your home theater setup is up to par or needs to be optimized for a true live feel.
John Mayer – Where The Light Is – Live in Los Angeles
Blu-ray Disc, play in Dolby TrueHD 96kHz/24bit
Free falling’ – acoustic version played with three guitars – John Mayer accompanied by Steve Jordan and Pino Palladino.
It starts with an incredible acoustic guitar solo, and then his iconic voice comes out. Let yourself be carried away by the environment. A little later, the other two guitars join in to complete the performance. The three musicians can be heard clearly and their position on the stage can be distinguished, as well as the characteristic way of playing that each of them has. Mayer’s voice is perfectly located in the center, even if your installation does not have a center speaker, but only left and right speakers for the front channels. The surround channels are used exclusively to create the ambience and reproduce the feel of the room in which the performance was recorded in 2007.
Kraftwerk – 3D Der Katalog – The Catalog
In 2017, the Blu-ray disc was released with the famous songs of the German progressive/electronic music band Kraftwerk. Recorded in 3D in various locations around the world, it is an extraordinary work of art. There are two songs that we recommend you play before enjoying the entire album.
The first topic, Autobahn, it is perfect for checking the synchronization between image and sound. At the first sound, the original Volkswagen Beetle appears on the screen. When the engine starts, the sound is louder than the actual car engine, but it has a solid and pleasant character, and when the car starts up and drives away, you can hear the sound following it across the screen. .
Theme number 4, The Man Machine, take advantage of the full potential of Dolby Atmos and place sound around you and even above your head. But it also offers a great experience even if there are no height channels in a standard 5.1 surround setup. This example is different from John Mayer’s, in which the surround channels are only used to reproduce the concert hall atmosphere. Kraftwerk actively uses the channels so that the electric sound beam arrives from all directions. The “distorted” computer voice creates a sound field that eventually stops to give way to crisp, precisely located electric notes. The deep bass that follows provides a test of the low-frequency capabilities of the front speakers and subwoofer. Everything must be fast and precise. Around the 3:30 mark, the sounds start moving around you and there shouldn’t be any lag when the audio goes from front to back and vice versa. This track is also good for checking the relationship you have with your neighbors, as it is best enjoyed at high volume.
Robbie Williams – Live at the Albert Hall
At the height of his career after Take That, Robbie gave a famous concert in 2001 in which he performed great swing songs.
On the Blu-ray disc, both a 2-channel stereo and DTS 5.1 mix can be found. When playing in 2-channel stereo direct mode without using any upmixer, you can check the correct position of the front speakers. Voices should sound exactly between these two speakers when one is seated in the stereo triangle. In this same optimal listening area it should be possible to obtain a wide sound scene, with good depth and height. In the 5.1 mix, a greater number of listeners should be able to enjoy the full effects, since there is more than one optimal listening area. The quality of the center speaker and the amplifier electronics is key so that Robbie’s attractive voice is reproduced in the living room with all his charm and charisma.
All this can be verified with many tracks on the album, but the most impressive is undoubtedly the interpretation of “My Way”, known from the version sung by Frank Sinatra.