The physical laws governing the production of sound have been known to us for millennia. Pythagoras needed only a one-string monochord to discover the harmonics of a given note. The skill with which the master builders of the ancient world solved problems of acoustics amazes us even today when we stand in the topmost rows of a Greek amphitheatre and clearly hear words spoken on stage without any amplification whatever. Novelties like whispering galleries clearly excited much interest in the Baroque era, and as early as 1598, Giovanni della Porta attempted to capture echoes in lead pipes. Technical advances at the end of the 19th century finally made it possible to make recordings of sounds which could be replayed at will.
The pioneers of sound recording were subject to the limitations of its rudimentary technology. We have all seen pictures of musicians crouched over acoustic recording horns. Mechanical recording on wax cylinders and discs was a revolutionary advance - but the standard of gramophone recording, even when magnetic tape was invented in the 1930s, was still that of one-dimensional reproduction in mono.
That changed with the discovery of stereophony in the 1940s, opening up the space between the two loudspeakers. The prevailing standard of audio reproduction remains the CD with 2-channel stereo sound. Technical innovations notwithstanding, there is still only one good place to hear the recording (at the peak of the isosceles triangle based on the speakers). This "sweet spot" gives fascinating stereophony both in width and depth. You have a box seat in the comfort of your own home, and can listen to events in the concert hall as if directly through a horizontal aperture.
Cinema and video audiences are now familiar with the 5.1 "surround sound" system to reproduce environmental sounds and acoustic effects. 5.1 enhances normal stereo by adding an additional speaker centrally in front of and two further speakers behind the listener. This five-speaker configuration (5-) is augmented by a subwoofer (-.1) located at any point in the listening room and serving only to relieve the main speakers of the loud and dramatic sound effects commonly encountered in films. While surround reproduction broadens the horizontal perspective, the sound retains the two-dimensional image of stereophony.
However, the human ear has keen directional sensors that perceive sound not only from side to side, but above and below. The reflection of even the subtlest sounds from ceiling and floor will reliably tell us how large a room we are in. And at a concert, we naturally hear the orchestral brass sounding from a higher platform, with the choir behind them and the organ in a gallery further above ...Three-dimensional portrayal of sound is thus an important step forward and in fact an absolute prerequisite in the quest for natural music reproduction at home.
are fulfilled by our 2+2+2 recording technique, which makes amazingly simple
use of the six sound channels provided for DVD Audio and SACD. The entire listening
area enjoys natural-sounding three-dimensional sound transporting you straight
to the recording location. And you will discover that our sound world really
is not a flat surface.
"Breakthrough into a new dimension" (FONOFORUM)
"With his plans for three-dimensional music reproduction on six channels, Werner Dabringhaus might revolutionize DVD Audio before it has even taken off ... At the moment, though, when the remaining channels cut in, what opens up to us is nothing less than a new world of sound." (STEREO)
"Anyone who was lucky enough to be present at the MDG demonstration experienced a moment of history - like being the first to hear stereo recording, decades ago. The most impressive thing was ... it sounded sensational." (HIFI Image)
"A new dimension of music ... the two upper speakers not only convey information about the upper part of the room but deepen the virtual auditorium. If you switch off the upper channels, the music is flat, as before. The recordings impressively recreate the acoustics of the concert hall and are only capable of realization with DVD-Audio ..." (AV Review, Japan)
"First impression: much more natural, with absolute de-luxe sound, absolutely realistic, as if you were listening to live orchestral music from the best seat in the house ... Whereas 5.1 can 'only' represent 360 degrees, 2+2+2 is true 3D with left-to-right, front-to-back and up-and-down orientation and that makes it relatively simple to implement" (Gramophone, Japan)
"2+2+2 - absolute benchmark recordings" (Stereo Review, Japan)
DVD Audio can only be reproduced on a DVD Audio player, with the options of reproduction
1) in high-quality stereo,
2) in 5.1 surround sound or
3) in three-dimensional realization, if the disc was recorded using the MDG 2+2+2 system.