FAQ

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May 2021

This prompt is completely up to your own interpretation. All that we ask is that you have creative intention behind your interpretation and explain it in your application.

QUARK is based on the 1970s Sansui QS Regular Matrix format. We based most of our work on the 1974 AES whitepaper. There are many popular releases mostly from the 1970s. This website has a pretty complete list. The ones that are relevant to this format of quad are labeled “QS” on this page. Some of these releases also have alternate stereo mixes but many were only released in QS. The beauty of the format is you don’t NEED to have separate mixes.

One of the QUARK developers recently produced the first quadraphonic vinyl release in 30 years with Suzanne Ciani’s LIVE Quadraphonic. Work on that record is what lead to the development of QUARK. Impulse Records famously exclusively used the QS format for a period of time. The sad thing is most of these releases aren’t properly labeled. For instance there is a beautiful piece by Michael White in this format.

Pink Floyd’s “Dark Side of the Moon” is an example of a recording that had both a stereo and a quad mix. To further confuse things, it was done in the competing SQ format. Someone re-encoded the song “Money” in the QS format.

In addition to vintage and modern hardware decoders, you can listen to these songs in quad using the “decode” function of QUARK by routing the audio from your playback browsers through your DAW using an application like Loopback (or similar).

Please see our Instructional Videos.

The QUARK software plugin is used in Digital Audio Workstations (DAWs) and similar platforms to encode four channels of discrete audio into two channels (standard stereo) audio then back four channels again, allowing the distribution of four-channel spatial recordings via widely accessible two-channel formats such as vinyl, radio, streaming video such as YouTube and music services such as iTunes and Spotify. QUARK enables musicians, filmmakers and engineers to make spatial sound work via two channel distribution formats in the Regular Matrix format then monitor audio at the pre-encode, encode and decode phases so that these creatives may mix and master spatial sound work for distribution. QUARK is based on the 1970s Sansui QS Regular Matrix format. We based most of our work on this 1974 AES whitepaper. One of the QUARK developers recently produced the first quadraphonic vinyl release in 30 years with Suzanne Ciani’s “LIVE Quadraphonic”. Work on that record is what lead to the development of QUARK. After years of research, the QS format was the best performing matrixed spacial audio format, having a strong balance between spatial accuracy both when listening to the decoded quad audio and when listening in standard two channel playback. There is also a strong community of quadraphonic enthusiasts who prefer the QS format; one of the “LIVE Quadraphonic” collaborators Involve Audio even produces an incredible modern hardware decoder called the Surround Master. One of the most surprising discoveries is that the Dolby Pro Logic II (DLP2) format is very closely modeled after the Regular Matrix format.  DLP2 is nearly universally installed in nearly every surround sound capable receiver/processor since 2001.

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