Robert E. (Robin) Miller III

High Sonic Definition
Home media room where the listener is again immersed within the full sphere of live hearing (U.S.Pat.). 5.1-compatible using 10 speakers.

Backyard Railroading and the Toymaker of the Christmas City, Bethlehem, PA "Little Engines that Can and Toymakers who Create them"

Keywords: adiposity obesity fat diabetes BMI.   Read FREE DOWNLOAD with calculator "Accurate BDI to replace flawed BMI"

FREE SAMPLE of this reference paperback 'Better Sound from your Phonograph.'   1min VIDEO here!   Existing book owner UPDATES.

Live on-air experiences & pranks before automation.   Free sample of the ebook 'American Radio Then & Now: Local Radio in The Golden Age'

Main speakers may not deliver clean power at very low bass.   Free sample of the 16p technical paper

The most accurate, least expensive turntable aligner, INSTANT DOWNLOAD & print"

• VINTAGE SOUNDS: 'Make Straight the Way' 3:53 by Robin Miller, Nancy Desiderio, Bethlehem Progressive Ens. 1966, BBC2.

Conference papers presented to and published by Audio Engineering Society (AES), Society of Motion Picture & Television Engineers (SMPTE), Acoustical Society of America (ASA), Canadian Acoustical Association / Association Canadienne d'Acoustique Français (CAA), German Tonmeisters (VDT, Verband Deutscher Tonmeister); online white papers...

Title Published Abstract
Audiophile habitudes: Survey of influences regarding audio quality

by Robert E. (Robin) Miller III AES SMPTE BSEE ©2023

This white paper reports the methodology surveying more than 450 members of 29 groups on social media self-identifying as audiophiles. Ranking six descriptors met the author's hypothesis, with one exception. In contrast to the audio enthusiasts' hobby that began in the 1950s, audiophiles today are dissimilar to those of the earlier era and to each other. Interpreting survey results reveals diverse opinions regarding audio quality that imply surgical marketing communication.
Universal Phonograph Alignment Protractor (UPAP)

USER GUIDE by Robert E. (Robin) Miller III AES SMPTE BSEE ©2022

The Universal Phonograph Alignment Protractor (UPAP) is the most practical & precise tool available for adjusting any turntable for lowest distortion, lowest stylus wear, and lowest permanent groove damage. "Universal" because it facilitates easy, recurring setup when changing cartridges\headshells or styli in tonearms from shortest to transcription length. Unlike paper protractors, the stylus is viewed from underneath.
Accurate BDI to replace flawed BMI

WhitePaper by Robert E (Robin) Miller III ©2021 editors: Yehia Y Mishriki MD and G H Aykroyd BSEE

BMI is distorted for most individuals, giving identical results for individuals of the same weight and height regardless of which is flabby and which is lean. A more precise measure of body density improves clinicians prescribing drug dosage and giving guidance for weight control while avoiding patient anxiety. Should BMI be superseded? This paper introduces BDI, body density index, using a biomedical engineering model for body volume from six measurements, and an online calculation method. As BDIn, this optimized body fat index is normalized within entrenched BMI categories.
Cook Binaural Archiving Project

WhitePaper by Robert E. (Robin) Miller III BSEE AES SMPTE

Recognizing the contributions of Emory Cook for being first, in 1952, to commercialize successful stereo recordings on phonograph disks, four of 49 extant were restored using described techniques, with good quality of both the spatial effect and location-recorded music. Two tonearms simultaneously for the separate bands or each channel reduced dynamic inter-channel timing\phase anomalies due to instantaneous turntable speed variations, cf. grosser errors from separate transfers using a single arm. Knowledge gained from this experiment can serve as a basis for further archiving, or even commercial re-mastering to contemporary standards & tastes, of Cook Binaural records.
Subwoofer Camp: needed for good sound, or not?

WhitePaper by Robin Miller

2-page predecessor to 16-page technical paper "Subwoofer Camp 2" above. Can we know what we need when we haven't heard it? Low Bass, consisting of very low frequency sound, is the hardest to hear, and the hardest to convey with purest tone color, the holy grail of high-fidelity. Yet for perceiving low bass, fully half the perceived dynamic range in SPL is inaudible. Higher frequency natural harmonics, harmonic distortion artifacts, and intermodulation products may be louder than lower frequency fundamentals, skew tone color, and be equivalent to high percentages of distortion. Tasked to deliver very low frequencies at very high SPL but at very low distortion, subwoofers have the hardest job in audio reproduction, and require more critical consideration by audiophiles and studio designers. Discover why the most satisfying listening to music, movies, & games calls for using subwoofer(s).
5.1 surround and 3D (full sphere with height) reproduction
for interactive gaming and training simulation

AES 121st Int'l Conv 10/2006 San Francisco

Immersive sound for gaming and simulation, perhaps more than for music and movies, requires preserving spatial directionality of direct sounds, both fixed and moving, and acoustical reflections dynamically coloring those sounds. Conventionally (as with popular music), sources are close-microphone mono panned signals or synthesized sounds; the presentation pretends “They are here,” where spatiality is largely that of the listening environment. Convolution with room impulse responses can contribute diffuse ambience but not “real” spatiality and tone color. These issues pertain not only to 5.1 where reproduction is a 2D horizontal circle of speakers, but to 3D interactive reproduction, where the listener perceives the experience at the center of a full sphere of natural hearing. Production techniques are introduced that satisfy both 3D and compatible 2D 5.1. Independent measurement and more than 600 subjective demonstrations confirm that the system preserves directionality and reproduces life-like spatiality and tone color continuously in the 3D perception sphere.
Physiological and content considerations for a second low frequency channel for bass management, subwoofers, and LFE

ASA/CAA 49th Int'l Conf. 5/2005 Vancouver

AES 119th Int'l Conv 10/2005 NYC

VDT 23rd Tonmeisters 11/2004 Leipzig

By convention, "frequencies below 90Hz produce no interaural cues useful for spatial sound or localization." Yet some claim they are able to hear a difference between a single subwoofer channel (whether or not to more than one subwoofer) and two ("stereo bass"). Reported research supports the Jeffress model of interaural time difference (ITD) determination in brain structures, and extending the accepted lower frequency limit of interaural phase difference (IPD). Meanwhile, uncorrelated very low frequencies (VLF <100Hz) exist in nearly all existing multi-channel music and movie content. The audibility, recording, and reproduction of uncorrelated VLF are explored in theory and experiments.
Spatial Definition and the PanAmbiophone microphone array for 2D surround & 3D fully periphonic recording AES 117th Int'l Conv 10/2004 San Francisco Higher sampling rates are necessary for high spectral resolution, but it is high angular resolution and precision that preserves source directionality and therefore high tonal/timbral quality of that source, given that spectrum. Tonality in acoustic spaces that are extensions of musical instruments, voice boxes, and sources of atmospheric sound effects (as for movies) is a major contributor to lifelike perception, but in audio reproduction tonality is limited by the recording system. A surround microphone has been developed both for more precise PanorAmbiophonic 2D surround ("PanAmbio"), compatible with ITU 5.1, and "PerAmbio" 3D (with height) for the ultimate in tonal reality, distributable in ordinary 6-channel media for either decoderless 2D replay or 3D with decoder and five additional speakers.
Scalable Tri-play Recording for Stereo, ITU 5.1/6.1 2D, and Periphonic 3D (with Height) Compatible Surround Sound Reproduction AES 115th Int'l Conv 10/2003 NYC Objectives: Take the next step toward reproducing human hearing AND make better recordings in 5.1. In life, we hear sources we see – but also reflections and reverberation we don't see. Each sonic arrival is individually direction-stamped by our unique HRTF, including height, tonally colored by our pinna. Preserving 3D directionality is key to life-like hearing. A practical, scalable approach is presented (pat.pend.) – a way to “transform” 3D (full sphere) recordings for uncompromised 2D reproduction in stereo or 5.1/6.1 without any decoding. By adding a decoder and speakers, full 3D is losslessly “reconstituted” from 6-channel media. Experimental “tri-play” 6-channel “PerAmbio 3D/2D” recordings have been made and demonstrations presented (AES 114th Amsterdam 3/2003 & AES 24th Banff 6/2003) with praised results.
Transforming Ambiophonic + Ambisonic 3D Surround Sound to & from ITU 5.1/6.1 AES 114 Int'l Conv 3/2003 Amsterdam ITU 6.1 with six discrete full-range audio channels, implemented in DVD-A, SACD, and DTS-ES Discrete, provide the means to deliver full sphere periphonic 3D surround sound. For compatible distribution, the channels are transformed for 5.1/6.1 reproduction, but can still be fully recovered for "PerAmbio" reproduction – an Ambisonic + Ambiophonic hybrid approach, described in a prior paper, that maximizes 3D envelopment along with front stage imaging and spaciousness, while economizing the number of channels and speakers. To clarify that fewer media channels "r" are required than speakers "s" the use of MCN - multichannel numbering, in the form "r.lfe.s" is proposed. Experimental "PerAmbio 6.1.10" (10 speakers or more + subwoofer) recordings test six encoding variations applicable in home theater, virtual reality, and music-only production.
Compatible PanAmbiophonic 4.1 and PerAmbiophonic 6.1 Surround Sound for Advanced Television – Beyond ITU 5.1 SMPTE 144th Int'l Conv 10/2002 Pasadena ITU 5.1 – the multichannel speaker standard for Advanced Television and home cinema – is not extensible to periphony – the entire, spherical wavefield of natural human hearing. Psychoacoustic theory and experimental recordings explore future-proof capturing, critical monitoring, and compatible production to help sound engineers today achieve more realistic multichannel television and cinema.
Contrasting ITU 5.1 and Panor-ambiophonic 4.1 Surround Sound Recording Using OCT and Sphere Microphones AES112th Int'l Conv 5/2002 Munich Two multi-channel microphone techniques for natural music and sound effects reproduction are experimentally compared. Simultaneous surround sound recordings of several genres of music and ambience are made in concert hall, studio, and outdoors. Trained listeners subjectively evaluate the abilities and tradeoffs of each system to recreate accurate panoramic localization and spatial impression of opera, bluegrass with audience participating, flute quartet, brass quintet, marching bands with surrounding crowd and building echoes, and 360? "Walkabout" azimuth test. Differing speaker layouts for 5.1 and "Panor-ambiophonic" Surround are shown to satisfy two distinct listening audiences, which are further divided into home, automotive, and PC markets. An approach to recording level-setting, compatible production, and delivery formats are introduced to satisfy these diverse end uses.

AES 28th International Conference Piteå, Sweden, 4/2006 (not presented)

Much 5.1/6.1 content, like stereo, is sourced by panning close microphone signals. The presentation pretends the "sound sources are here," where spatiality is that of the listening room and thus non-varying. However, realistic, immersive, compelling reproduction of music, movie atmospheres, and gaming effects requires preserving spatiality and directionality-dependent tone color of both direct sounds and acoustic reflections. The extent to which convolution with room impulse responses can contribute not just diffuse ambience but "realistic" tone color is considered. New recording techniques are explored, applicable compatibly to 5.1/6.1 where reproduction is a 2D horizontal circle of speakers, to stereo (including personal devices using earphones e.g. iPod), and to future 3D, where the listener is again at the center of the sphere of natural hearing.

Expand your space; Put color in your life?

AES Parma, Italy 11/2007 (rev10/2010)

Human perception of sources of sound, as characterized by their tone color (timbre) and the space they are in (spatiality), is the end result of a chain of events, described in five familiar steps, but spoiled by degrees where audio reproduction is imposed. Practical, compatible formats are introduced that result in naturally uncorrelated ear signals and preserved directionality - important to achieving realism, and for meeting increasing demand in a 3D world for compelling audio for music, movies, & games.
AES Italia 2007 - demonstrations

Casa della Musica, U. of Parma, Italy 11/23/2007

Four forms of the Ambiophonics "family" were demonstrated in a 17-loudspeaker listening room for attendees of AES Italia 2007. Recordings by Robin Miller were played in Ambiophonics 2.0, PanAmbio 4.1 surround, TriAmbio 6.1, and full-sphere HSD-3D. (Permanent demonstration in USA at FilmakerTechnology,
True-to-life Sound Reproduction using Recursive Ambiophonic Crosstalk Elimination (RACE)

Ralph Glasgal and Robin Miller11/2006 (rev 7/2007)

Over the last century, the world of stereo matured - in recordings, movies, radio & TV, and personal players. If in the new century you want lifelike realism from your collection of music, movies, and games, then consider the advantages of Ambiophonics as a "stereo decoder." What is Ambiophonics and how does it work? This is your introduction and guide to Ambiophonic 2-channel or Pan-Ambiophonic surround sound in your home or studio.

Ambiophonics Terminology: The language of stereo-and-5.1-compatible loudspeaker-binaural

Robert E. (Robin) Miller III AES SMPTE BSEE 7/31/2009

A reference when delving into and implementing an Ambiophonics audio system. Includes simple but highly relevant psychoacoustic theory, and Ambiophonic solutions for most audio recording formats, including 2-channel stereo (or binaural), 5.1/7.1-channel surround, and full-sphere High Sonic Definition-3D.
What to expect to hear with Ambiophonics: Observations of an audio engineer that anyone can appreciate

Robert E. (Robin) Miller III AES SMPTE BSEE 12/04/2008

Ambiophonics is a big step toward hearing realism in stereo recordings, namely: A) correct tone color (timbre), B) immersive spatiality, and C) temporal clarity. However, audio reproduction of life-like tone color, spatiality, and clarity is the perceptual destination of a tortuous journey, beginning with performers and their instruments plus recording engineers and their microphones in the recording space, and ending with listeners and their ear-brains in the listening space. Results using Ambiphonics are described by a long-time audio, broadcast, and recording engineer.
Evaluating Loudspeakers: Subjectivity using non-sentimental sound-makers

Robert E. (Robin) Miller III AES SMPTE BSEE 6/25/2009

Floyd Toole has determined that, for monitoring during production of audio content as well as for critical listening, use the best loudspeaker available. Even when making production decisions for the broader population who may have "average to poor" speakers, these average out to a pretty good speaker - and decisions made on so-called "cheap" speakers are only valid for that speaker, not all the other cheap speakers! So several professional audio engineers assembled five pairs of monitor-quality and "high-end" loudspeakers for a "shoot-out" and evaluated them not using music, which elicits emotional reactions, but using "non-sentimental" yet revealing sound sources, with surprising results.
How Good Can Stereo Be? - Try Ambiophonics and See (speaker stereo v. speaker binaural)

Robert E. (Robin) Miller III AES SMPTE BSEE 7/20/2008

We're not fooled; recordings aren't real. With two speakers spaced 60° in front of us - let's call that "speaker stereo" - the three most key qualities of audio reproduction are distorted. Defects are due not only to your listening equipment or acoustics, but simply to the positional relationship of the speakers and your ears. Unless that relationship is corrected to produce no acoustic artifacts, correct localization, spatiality, and tone color remain imprisoned in much of your collection of music, movies or games. Even 5.1 surround is often just 60° stereo in front plus two side-rear speakers to provide envelopment, but still we do not experience being "transported" to the concert hall or movie or game scene, where captured auditory events are unlocked, and our speakers and listening space "disappear."
One Key to Ambiophonic crosstalk cancellation - ITDspkr: Inter-aural time difference from a loudspeaker

Robert E. (Robin) Miller III AES SMPTE BSEE 12/15/2008 rev 2/18/2009

Unlike listening using headphones, when listening to stereo speakers, crosstalk is heard by either ear from the speaker opposite. If signals to the speakers are similar or identical (think of a centered soloist, or on-screen dialogue), delay-caused cancellations at both ears (comb-filtering) render the reproduction harsh. Also these important center-stage sounds jump to the nearer speaker if the listener is off-center. The measurable Inter-aural time delay between speakers (ITDspkr) is the basis for introducing crosstalk-cancellation in order to breathe new life playing stereo recordings.
LEV and the "Money Seat" of Stereo or Surround Sound: Spatiality research models listener preference

Robert E. (Robin) Miller III AES SMPTE BSEE 4/28/2009

Along with faithful tone color (timbre), spatial audio reproduction that localizes sounds and conveys "listener envelopment" is prized not just by audiophiles and audio professionals, but by the listening public, whether they know what to call it or not. Inter-aural cross-correlation (IACC) between ear signals measures this pleasing effect, whether in the live concert hall or home media room, and gives clues as to why LEV improves greatly going from monaural to stereo to Ambiophonics to 2D surround (5.1/7.1), and ultimately to listener immersion in full-sphere 3D.
Stereo Made Whole – Do You Need It?
Ambiophonics and the path to immersive reality

Robert E. (Robin) Miller III AES SMPTE BSEE 1/13/2009

Determine whether it might be worth your time to study and try Ambiophonics audio technology by answering these 3-questions: 1. I don’t have a lot of money, but would like a more realistic, immersive experience from my stereo, laptop audio, or home theater – and my ears work; 2. I have a lot of money and would do anything to get back the spark I once felt from my CD/vinyl collection – and the performance of my system; 3. I am a scientist/engineer, moderately skilled DIYer (do-it-yourselfer), or open-minded audiophile who enjoys experimenting – and good results. If you identify with two of the above, you’ll risk little to read on and discover Ambiophonics.

Tuning phonograph reproduction
by proper capacitive loading and channel balancing

WhitePaper by Robert E. (Robin) Miller III AES SMPTE BAS BSEE 9/30/2014

Setting up a turntable, tone-arm, pickup, & preamplifier must be attended to by users in order to realize good performance from their phonograph systems for enjoying and restoring 78, 45, and 33? rpm disc recordings. Two crucial issues are often ignored that diminish sound quality: 1) proper capacitive loading of moving magnet/moving iron (MM/MI) cartridges for best resulting frequency, phase, and transient response; and 2) proper balance for best stereo "soundstage," and for monaural reproduction to cancel not-recorded vertical distortions. Both are addressed, and implemented in an inexpensive ($30 less case & power supply) "audiophile phono stage."
Economical audio attenuator: Linear to log pot mod

WhitePaper by Robert E. (Robin) Miller III AES SMPTE BAS BSEE 4/3/2015

Audio level (volume) controls in analog circuitry use mostly simple variable resistors termed potentiometers. In entertainment technology, they have been the most important control with which humans interface. So their operation, performance, and “feel” are of significance for amateur audiophiles and audio professionals. However whether in the form of rotating knobs or linear faders, during operation these can feel differently from the sound they are making. And be troublesome, mistracking between channels and thus altering stereo balance, actually panning sounds erratically when fading up or down. The purpose of this paper is to reveal that a simple, cheap solution is “at hand!”"
RCA-guy's wiki for understanding the dB (decibel)

Robin Miller (aka RCA guy)

With a down-to-earth explanation and a little practice, the decibel (dB) is useful. Like the mechanical analog computers that engineers once used to add or subtract the lengths of two sticks for a quick result, the dB allows multiplying and dividing by simply adding and subtracting. (The joke about the slide-rule was that you could discern its answer if you already knew it.) Useful, because human perception, e.g. audio-visual stuff, is naturally exponential (logarithmic). Especially for audio, this brief seeks to make dB understandable, and handy.
Special instructions for A310 RIAA phono stage

WhitePaper by Robert E. (Robin) Miller III AES SMPTE BAS BSEE 3/31/2016

Specific instructions for installing the $30 modified A310 phono stage PCB in "Tuning phonograph reproduction by proper capacitive loading and channel balancing" above.
SteamPunk 12in transcription tonearm - How you too can make a low-end but high-performing 12in (305mm) phonograph arm

WhitePaper by Robert E. (Robin) Miller III BSEE AES SMPTE BAS 12/3/2016

A quick solution, intended only for evaluating a rehabilitated 1940s 16in turntable, was made with ordinary hardware. However the resulting low mass 12in (305mm) tonearm worked and sounded much better than expected, tracking as low as 1g. It led to appreciating the evolution over more than a century and a half of the analog phonograph, which is enjoying a comeback. For audiophiles, instructions for making the arm as a DIY project for near $0 can be rewarding.
Phonograph styli close-up Micro-photography posters; illustrations of sound quality

WhitePaper by Robert E. (Robin) Miller III BSEE AES SMPTE BAS 2017

Vinyl is making a comeback from obsolescence. Along with shellac 78rpm discs, this analog audio-only medium is a treasure of more than a century of musical and spoken history. The phonograph has been surpassed in technical quality, first by magnetic tape, then by digital sampling. But records surpass these in sound quality delivered to the consumer, especially compared to data-reduced ( compressed ) streaming, and over-processed mixing (e.g. level compression; squashing dynamics to sound louder). Market response in the 21st century is that used and new-released discs are gaining revenue to the same degree that digital downloads are losing it. New generations are re-discovering the perceived warmth of sound on records. Some add effort to equip turntables with properly aligned tone-arms, electrically matching cartridges with preamplifiers, and selecting low-distortion elliptical and line-contact styli. These are explored in microphotographs in order to evaluate them for purchase, and for monitoring ongoing wear. For many users, the inconvenience of playing discs is offset by the serviceability of robustly manufactured equipment and the romance of gently inserting a gem stylus within a mile-long spiral groove.

Engineering & research unit of Robin Miller, Filmaker Inc. ©1996~present - email