A high-quality 5-2-5 matrix encoder and decoder system offers the prospect of inexpensive compatible media for multichannel sound. The advantages to the consumer, music and film producers, and broadcasters, are obvious. This paper reports on a system which offers excellent 5-2-5 codec performance, while preserving or improving the balance, frontal perspective, and spaciousness of standard stereo recordings. The decoder provides two or four independent rear outputs, which are capable of complete separation from the other outputs for a single steered sound effect, and which preserve full left/right separation during music. Decorrelated signals such as music can be panned forward and back with full left/right separation. Frontal perspective and balance between center material such as dialog and vocals and other material is preserved through careful control of the center channel level as a function of the center content of the input signal. This paper will present a mathematical description of the matrix elements of the new decoder, and discuss some of the psychoacoustic data on which it is based.
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