Glastonbury - only in stereo?

Just come home from being away and tuned into Glastonbury on BBC iPlayer via the 4k firestick and am very surprised to find my AV amp is telling me the sound is stereo.

I am surprised, am I missing something here as I can’t help thinking this is one of those things that would be so much better in 5.1.

Anybody managing to get a surround feed? I have a 4k Freesat box too that I could try I suppose.


To me, stereo is better for music. I strongly feel you don’t really need to hear the audience behind you, which is what most of the additional channels would give.


If the feed was from the mixing desk then wouldn’t it just be stereo? Other mics could be used for surround audience noises from behind, maybe for a film of the event rather than watching a performance, and .1 only needed if your speakers aren’t full range?

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Even stereo is too good for most of it.
I’ll get my coat. :cold_sweat:


Jesus, Mary Peters though - what an angel! Been following her for a few months and this girl is going to be a superstar!


Do you mean Maisie Peters, if so then yes, she is great and was hoping she would make it big some day. Ed Sheeran helped her with her hit Psycho.

Ha! Yes sorry - silly me but had a late night last night!

She’s one of those rare brilliantly talented artists who comes along and is one of the most impressive I have seen in a long time - composes her own material, sings well, plays guitar and piano and lets just say she certainly has the looks and stagecraft to make a big impact.

I reckon she could very well be as big as Avril Lavigne and Taylor Swift soon…

My daughter (aged 18) has similar aspirations and is similar in that she composes, plays guitar and keys and has a great voice. I think (although I accept I am her Dad) she has the potential to make it too if she has the dedication, focus and confidence to start getting her music out there. The problem we face is that she lacks confidence and I’m not sure she believes in herself enough. She can be quite secretive and protective of her music even being reluctant to play it to us sometimes. Now and again though she has really shocked me both with her voice and some of her compositions.

We’re trying to figure out where we go from here beyond her taking a gap year after A level to work on her music and work her cafe job. It’s so tough to know if it’s even worth going to university given her aspirations for a life in music. Will a performing arts or music production degree move her as far forward as 3 years spent trying to develop her music? On the other hand if it didn’t come to anything a degree could be a useful fallback.

Really tough to know quite what to do right now. Great to see a girl from a normal family in the UK making it though.

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Some of the non-stage link shows are broadcast in 5.1 but iplayer stage feed is limited to stereo even the uhd 4k pyramid cast.

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University may be the thing that gives her the confidence, not to mention a backup career if needed


I have about 2500 Music Concert and Video DVD and BluRay Discs nearly all of which have LPCM or Dolby Digital stereo and Dolby Digital, DTS or DTS HD Master Audio 5.1 sound tracks.
I don’t rate any of the 5.1 tracks at all, not even the recent Pink Floyd Animals 5.1 2018 Re-Mixes, LPCM stereo is so much better for music and especially the Hi-Res tracks on Pure Audio BluRay discs and some Hi-Res on regular BluRay discs.
Leave 5.1 and more channels for the movies.

Interesting difference of opinions here on stereo v surround for music. I haven’t invested in surround music for audio e.g. SACD/DVD-A but I must confess I do think surround when done well for live concert videos e.g. bluray gives you a much better sense of the acoustic space and of being there.

I think it’s all a question of how well done the mix is and how good your surround and sub speakers are. For me though if I’m watching a live concert performance I would take a good surround mix everytime. As an example the DTS HD MSTR Audio mix on Deacon Blue’s “Live at Glasgow Barrowlands” is superb…

I should also add that I was bown away by the Dolby Atmos mixes of Elton John, the Beatles etc that I heard at PMC’s London studio on a huge 18.8.4 system in the mixing room - in fact let me go further and say that it was the best sound system I have ever heard. The Beatles “Something” Atmos mix quite literally reduced me to tears it was so overwhelming which I was embarrassed by. The engineer there told me that he’d seen many, many people react the same way.

I love Naim because it emotionally moves me like little else. That system and its Atmos mixes had the same effect x 10!! The thing is whenever we hear live music we hear it in a fully 3D space even if it’s just a guy strumming an acoustic guitar in a church or a room. Stereo was never ideal for presenting that, it was just the best we could do with available technology 70 years ago. In my view Atmos done right takes things to a whole new level of immersion and emotional impact.

Given Tidal now makes available Atmos surround mixes essentially for free, I would love to see Naim’s next generation of streamers include the ability to decode those mixes and send them on to an AV amplifier in Atmos rather than just outputting a stereo downmix.


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If you are at a live concert and the sound is coming normally from a stage directly in front of you, which is where the best sound quality would come from, what sound exactly are you hearing coming from the rear of your listening position or even the sides of your listening position that would enhance the overall sound of the music being played?
I can see that some people might like the ambient sound of just being there in the general surroundings of the venue but the music is coming in stereo normally from the front via a PA system, but I accept small venues might be acoustic only from the stage in front.
I doubt there will be too many people investing huge sums of money in dedicated home theatres to get the maximum benefit from surround music, most home systems will be optimised for movie sound tracks.

Why “reduced”? It emotionally connected with you and the emotion stirred you deeply enough to induce tears, but how is that reducing? Surely the deep effect is a positive one, not negative as “reducing” implies. Tears in such circumstances are not a sign of weakness, but simply a sign that you can be deeply emotionally touched, however “strong” or in controlled you are normally in life. There should be no embarrassment about it (and the engineer’s observation reinforces this). I learnt this when I had my opera epiphany, tears streaming down my face in public, for the first time since before my teens. That was a liberating experience, all the more so seeing signs of the same on several other faces - we were the ones most deeply reached by the performance. For me that experience removed my own negative feelings about allowing any outward sign of it being possible to be stirred enough to bring tears to my eyes, and it has repeated many time since, most often in live opera performances, but also listening at home, and I am happy for it to happen.

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I have been reading about a couple of sphere venues being built, one in las vegas and another planned for london. These will offer a 360 degree sound and lighting rig for artists and sound engineers to play with. It could be an improvement on the current ‘distributed stereo’ mix most venues offer but equally may be odd to have one instrument behind you and another elsewhere in the sound-space etc if taken to the extreme.

It’s a common figure of speech. From your post, I suspect you might have preferred ‘moved me to tears’, but that doesn’t mean the original form of words was wrongly chosen.

Reduced, in this figure of speech, I would say just refers to being reduced in capacity rather than reduced as a human being. ‘I was reduced to [being unable to do anything other than produce] tears’. In this meaning, it carries no suggestion of weakness; rather, it suggests the power of the original stimulus was such that it carried extreme emotional weight.

Gosh, the things we discuss, eh?



Sorry I meant to comment on this and as you say Ebor it was merely a commonplace figure of speech. I don’t disagree Innocent Bystander, it’s an odd phrase I guess and not entirely appropriate. I love the fact that music can be so moving and I’ve certainly been tearful at live shows and when listening to my own system. There’s something embarrassing about doing it in broad daylight in front of people though as a bloke. I guess that’s just social conditioning though.


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