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  • In movies, there is the mention of 'immersive' surround sound. Instead of having audio pumped at you through mono/stereo sources, you'll get sound that positionally immerses you in the movie's aural landscape.

    However, many movies - even the blockbuster ones - they fail to make full advantage of the various audio channels. You'll get the occasional foley sound from the rear, as if to remind you that there's a birthday surprise beyond the movie's frame. Sometimes, parts of music would come out the extra channels. Don't believe me? Put in a Blu-ray or something that has 5.1 audio, then mute all the other channels while you're watching.

    More often than not, the viewer would not really miss anything when the sound inevitably gets downmixed to stereo, probably because they're watching Netflix over their phone or flat-screen TV, and they've got headphones on. And there's an increasing aversion towards attending an actual theatre for the visceral experience, with COVID worries, a dislike of obnoxious people in the audience, and plus, you could just as well watch it from the comforts of your own home.

    Also, Eraserhead had such a good way of immersing you into its world through its sound.. and it's recorded in mono!

    This was an idea I had back around 2014. Instead of attempting to simulate "immersive" sound, you have the audio split into the various channels:

    The major advantage of this is modularity. How many times would a dabbler want to make a fandub of a scene, rescore the scene to different music, or change the sound effects entirely? Then they encounter the hassle of trying to reconstruct the rest of the sound layers when they put their changes in..

    As well, the viewer will have the option of adjusting the various 'layers' of the soundtrack, in case they can't hear the dialogue or if they want to appreciate the individual elements.

    Also, audio engineers, during the mixing of the movie's audio, would often worry whether mixing the music, gunshots, foley, dialogue and whatnot together would end up peaking the audio meter (which means it's blowing out the audio channel with so much noise). With this way of using surround sound audio, this is a problem solved.