A true feasibility study of the problems which must be overcome in the development of four-channel home music systems has not been published. Some of the elements which must be seriously studied include psychoacoustic factors and marketing methods. This paper gives some assumptions for the feasibility study: 1) Music reproduction in the home via loudspeakers; 2) Cost must be proportional to the number of channels; 3) Music from the concert hall, from recording studios, and from electronic synthesizers must be considered separately. A distinction is made between the number of loudspeaker systems employed and the number of transmission channels. The 1933 Symposium on Auditory Perspective is discussed as a background for the problems involved in playback in the home rather than in a large auditorium. The use of two channels is shown to be optimum for bringing music from the concert hall to the living room. The use of four channels for studio recorded music has both musical and marketing problems to overcome. The promise of the future is the use of four channels to better reproduce music from electronic synthesizers in our living rooms.
This paper costs $33 for non-members and is free for AES members and E-Library subscribers.