Encompass Sound Intentions – Steve Pavlina

In November I did a 30-day problem relating to ideation, sharing progress updates within the CGC boards as I went alongside. My model of the problem was to generate 100+ divergent concepts per day for every day of November. My intention was to stimulate some pondering in new instructions.

Many of the concepts I generated weren’t helpful. Nevertheless, some notable concepts did result in fascinating outcomes, as I shared in CGC alongside the way in which. One I’ll share right here is that I ended up diving into the rabbit gap of determining the best way to arrange a good house theater system, which is a undertaking I’ve needed to do for some time however at all times discovered intimidating up to now. It looks like there are limitless rabbits in there with so many choices and combos to think about.

I started by watching plenty of YouTube movies about house theater techniques and elements, beginning in late November. That was fairly the academic expertise. There was a lot I didn’t know. I discovered extra about audio system, amps, subwoofers, and different audio tech up to now month than I ever knew earlier than.

Inside a couple of weeks, I gained sufficient information and abilities to place collectively a really good new 7.2.4 Dolby Atmos system that works nice. This consists of Focal Chora audio system, a Yamaha Aventage RX-A8A receiver / amplifier, and twin SVS PB-3000 subwoofers.

I even discovered the best way to make speaker cables, so I made all of the cables for the brand new system myself.

Right here’s a pic of some speaker cables I made:

Right here was my meeting house for the cables:

Whereas I might have purchased off-the-shelf cables, those I made are larger high quality than most (attributable to utilizing 12 gauge copper spouse). This additionally made the expertise extra personally significant, and it’s good to choose up an fascinating new ability that I by no means had earlier than. I like that I could make cables for no matter size I want.

Inviting Actuality to Fund the Mission

All-in the brand new house theater system was about $15K. Now I might have simply purchased all the things outright, however that will have been boring, proper? So I additionally used the November ideation problem to give you an thought to totally fund the undertaking with an additional earnings supply.

Partly I figured that actuality might set the finances primarily based on how nicely that earnings thought labored. I wasn’t actually connected to how a lot to spend on the house theater undertaking, particularly since nearly any enchancment was going to be a significant improve.

So in late November I did a bit income-generating undertaking, which introduced in additional than sufficient to cowl the entire price of the improve. This concerned doing a Black Friday supply only for publication subscribers, which I’d by no means finished earlier than. That introduced in additional than $21K further in lower than every week. It’s additionally good to know that individuals favored it, so this was a really good win-win thought.

Though this house theater undertaking might seem to be a very private endeavor, I’ve so usually discovered that once I discover these rabbit holes which can be personally significant for me, and maybe nobody else will care about or profit from my exploration, that’s so not often the case. Such private pursuits just about at all times tend to loop round into new insights, concepts, and inspirations that do create optimistic ripples for others too. That’s one motive I like to offer myself a variety of leeway to do these sorts of experiments.

I need to say that it felt like actuality offered a beneficiant quantity of assist for this endeavor. Every thing I wanted felt into place fairly properly.

Alongside the way in which I spotted that the house theater undertaking is a good metaphor for being extra intentional. As an alternative of setting monophonic intentions, this transformation to my house will function a relentless reminder to set immersive “encompass sound” intentions.

Listed here are some ideas on the best way to join the completely different elements of a house theater system with several types of intentions.


The tv shows the shifting image of what you’re seeing and experiencing. That is your portal into the current actuality of what’s occurring proper right here, proper now, proper in entrance of you.

The TV reminds you to maintain setting current second intentions, at the same time as you’re taking motion. Face and cope with what’s proper in entrance of you, and make clear your intentions for what sort of expertise you wish to have.

Do your greatest to convey intentionality to every second. Alter your intentions as you act out your story scene by scene. Take part instantly within the motion circulate of life.

Receiver / Amp

The receiver / amplifier takes supply indicators as enter, processes and amplifies them, and transmits them to the audio system to create sound.

The receiver reminds you to tune in and obtain inspiration. Invite inspiration with intentionality. Ask life or actuality to ship you some impressed concepts, both typically or in a particular path.

Don’t restrict your self to plain vanilla, apparent objectives. Notice that you would be able to stream impressed concepts from quite a lot of sources. Try a couple of completely different streams, after which determine which streams to discover with higher intentionality.

Do your greatest to remain attuned to the circulate of inspiration. Maintain refreshing your alignment along with your favourite supply indicators. Don’t get caught up in watching uninspired programming.

Entrance Mains

The left and proper entrance mains outline the boundaries of middle stage. They maintain the house for the entrance and middle motion, music, and dialogue. The mains anchor the story instantly in entrance of you.

Notice that your intentions have some width to them. You at all times have choices for the best way to proceed subsequent. Typically you might proceed straight forward as you anticipated, whereas different instances you might have to pan a bit left or proper to advance the scene.

Good mains create a large and immersive soundstage whereby the audio system basically disappear, and you can’t localize the sound as coming from anybody speaker. Good intentions provide you with path whereas granting entry to an array of choices for development, so that you’re not overly constrained. Simply as you don’t wish to fixate on only one or two audio system, it’s clever to keep away from fixating on just one or two methods by which your objectives can manifest. Let your soundstage on intentionality open up extra.

Set intentions to open an expansive discipline of exploration in entrance of you. Don’t restrict your self to a slim, overly linear and predictable path as a result of that will create boring (and demotivating) story. Invite development in a worthy path whereas giving your self loads of alternative to swerve left or proper as wanted.

Give your intentionality cheap boundaries, so you continue to have a reasonably clear path at the same time as you discover. Dive into the story that’s unfolding in entrance of you, however don’t give your self a lot leeway that you simply abandon the story altogether and lose your connection to the soundstage of motivation.


That is the front-and-center a part of the soundstage. A key objective of the middle channel is to offer crisp and clear dialogue.

The middle channel is a reminder to interactively dialogue with life. Hearken to life’s suggestions, converse with life to deepen your understanding, and preserve speaking your intentions and your suggestions with life as you go. You at all times have a direct line of communication with life, so preserve the dialogue channel open.

Converse your intentions aloud. Put your intentions entrance and middle in your life. Ensure that they’re at all times proper in entrance of you, so you possibly can’t lose sight of them. Make your intentions crisp, clear, and ever-present. Don’t preserve your intentions locked away in some distant nook of your thoughts.

Aspect Surrounds

The facet surrounds assist to envelope you in a sound discipline from the perimeters. Additionally they present a way of motion as sounds circulate from entrance to again or vice versa. They aid you really feel aligned with the timing of a scene.

Simply as sounds are likely to traverse by the facet fields as a substitute of lingering there, this can be a reminder to permit occasions and circumstances to go by your experiential discipline as a substitute of protecting them caught. Permit no matter is misaligned to circulate previous you, so you possibly can launch it. Invite aligned experiences to circulate in direction of middle stage, so you possibly can absolutely expertise them.

Do not forget that the soundscape of your life is at all times in flux. It’s essential to launch the misaligned to permit house for the aligned to circulate by. Don’t be clingy with the misaligned. Maintain the facet channels open, and do your greatest to forestall and clear pile-ups of caught vitality.

The facet surrounds remind you to set intentions for releasing, not only for including. What should be shed or dropped so as to create house for the brand new?

The soundscape of your life is just so large. You can not pack all the things into it suddenly with out making a cacophonous mess. It’s necessary to waft of a scene, permitting some components to recede so others can take middle stage. The facet surrounds remind you that so as to achieve the brand new, you need to even be prepared to launch the outdated. No scene will get to carry middle stage eternally.

Rear Audio system

The rear audio system present presence from behind you. They outline the again of the sound discipline.

The rears remind you to ask actuality to again you up. Invite assist from others. Invite no matter form of backup you want or want.

You wouldn’t have to go it alone. Life is right here to assist you. Invite all of the assist you could possibly ever need on the stage of intentionality.

Even if you start with essentially the most egocentric intentions, additionally contemplate the framing that makes your intentions good for others and good for all times. Improve your solo intentions into win-win intentions that create optimistic ripples on the planet. Give life and different folks worthy causes to again you up.

Bear in mind on the very least that no matter you achieve for your self may be become a win for others just by instructing folks what you’ve discovered or by sharing what you’ve skilled alongside the way in which.

Overheads / Heights

Overhead or peak audio system add three-dimensionality to a soundscape, just like the sound of a helicopter flying above. They free you of the boundaries of two-dimensional sound and create the expertise of being absolutely inside an immersive sound bubble.

What’s the higher stage of your intentionality house? What intentions really feel like they’re flying overhead, however you possibly can’t essentially grasp them proper now?

The overhead audio system remind you to set high-level intentions, not simply on the floor stage. Attain for the sky, and stretch past the aircraft of practicality and accessibility. What points of your intentions are so excessive up that you simply can not presently attain them, even in the event you stretch your arms as excessive as you possibly can?

Don’t chain your self to what appears sensible. Be aspirational too. Be prepared to achieve for the unreasonable. Do not forget that extra is feasible.

Even intentions that you simply can not attain can present worth by including to the general immersive impact. It’s necessary for some a part of your intentionality to achieve past your grasp. Bear in mind you possibly can set intentions far past the aircraft of accessibility. Ensure that a few of your intentions are excessive above the bottom stage, so you possibly can hear what’s flying overhead.


That is the deep bass of the system. It provides richness and element to deep voices and sounds. It supplies the frequencies that the opposite audio system can not generate.

The subwoofer additionally creates the booming sounds and LFEs (low-frequency results) like these stimulating chest-pounding strain waves. It provides vibes of energy and explosiveness. It’s the biggest and heaviest speaker within the system.

A subwoofer provides liveliness and enjoyable. It retains you awake. It could possibly rattle the partitions and shake the home when cranked up excessive sufficient. If turned up too excessive, it should disturb the neighbors and generate undesirable unwanted effects. However utilized in a measured approach, it will possibly add a variety of richness and additional stimulation.

The subwoofer blows up your outdated actuality, demolishing what doesn’t belong. It thrives within the area of the boldest and most intense motion. It invitations you to just accept that some folks will doubtless resist the fullest exploration of your intentionality, and you may merely allow them to whine whilst you get pleasure from your self anyway. In case you crank the subs up loud sufficient, you gained’t even hear anybody banging in your door anymore.

Consider the subwoofer as infusing your intentions with uncooked energy and explosiveness. This can be a reminder to make your intentions enjoyable, partaking, immersive, and edgy. Be prepared to ask extra danger, leaning into the house of doubtless disturbing or upsetting different folks. Invite disruption of the established order. In case you’re not notably keen on the established order, demolish it. Taking part in is secure on a regular basis is weak.

To set an excellent subwoofer intention, entry the a part of you that feels daring, brave, and disruptive. Entry the a part of you that’s able to set the misaligned ablaze. Let go of the necessity to fulfill different folks’s expectations, and incorporate what you discover most stimulating. You’ll be able to nonetheless watch out to not overdo it when a measured response appears clever, however give your self sufficient room to throw warning to the wind and crank up the ability when that looks like essentially the most viable solution to get the job finished.

What do you assume?

I nonetheless have a couple of extra tweaks to do to the brand new system, similar to utilizing the Room EQ Wizard app to tweak the EQ, however I actually prefer it up to now. It’s an enormous improve over what we had earlier than. I like the readability and element of the Focal audio system, particularly mixed with the deep bass extension of the twin subs. The receiver supplies ample energy for all channels with no need any further amps.

I’m glad we reside in a home with well-insulated partitions and double-paned home windows. We completely couldn’t run this technique if we had been in an condo or apartment.

Our earlier system was primarily only a TV and a pair of HomePods, so principally a 2.0 system. I really feel like we skipped forward a number of ranges by advancing to a 7.2.4 Atmos setup, however I do are usually all-in-or-nothing in a lot of my explorations. I discover it enjoyable to enter full immersion mode and actually improve my information and abilities. I discovered a lot that I knew nothing about earlier than. I spent hours simply studying concerning the distinction between ported and sealed subs, for example.

What I discovered most difficult about this undertaking was not having an excellent native outlet for with the ability to pattern all of the completely different prospects with my ears earlier than deciding what to get. I relied rather a lot on different folks’s evaluations and opinions. That may be fairly subjective, however when I discovered constant impressions shared by completely different sources, that helped me make respectable choices. I additionally reminded myself that there’s an undo button for all the things since I might return or trade something that didn’t work out. Now that I can hear the outcomes, I’m fairly happy with the particular selections I made.

I additionally discovered one thing fascinating about Rachelle alongside the way in which, particularly that she’s fairly the basshead. I had thought the twin PB-3000 subs could be a bit overkill if we cranked them up, however I needed to have that extra headroom for actually good bass element. Rachelle, nonetheless, actually enjoys the highly effective bass slam that may be felt, not simply heard. The Witcher’s season 2 finale was actually over-the-top in that regard. With twin subs you actually can’t localize the bass, so it sounds prefer it’s coming from throughout, making it really feel like there are monsters stomping and chomping in the identical room with you. It’s downright scary at instances.

This improve additionally confirmed me how a lot I’ve been lacking. Rewatching outdated reveals with an immersive sound discipline utterly adjustments the expertise. As an alternative of feeling like I’m watching a film, I really feel like I’m inside it. The expertise is much more emotional. Watching The Witcher or The Wheel of Time or The Expanse turns into is a lot extra intense now. Any Avengers film is fairly superior too.

Much more subdued reveals feels extra partaking too… like if a present is cozy, it feels even cozier once I can hear rainfall or birds coming from behind me and off to the perimeters.

I discovered this improve to be a pleasant reminder that actuality is prepared to supply us richer ranges of engagement if we’re prepared to achieve out and invite it. place to start is by setting encompass sound intentions. In case you’re going to ask a change, then actually invite it. Don’t half-ass your intentionality with overly slim mono or stereo variations. Open up your intentionality soundstage, and invite the complete sensuality and emotionality of your needs. Intend what you should shift proper now. Intend long-term adjustments. Intend to launch what you’ll absolutely have to launch. Intend the assist you’ll want. Intend to totally immersive your self in a brand new way of life. Intend optimistic ripples past your self.

After upgrading the house theater system, I additionally went a bit additional by upgrading my house workplace sound system, together with a brand new amp and audio system and a few monitoring headphones to make use of for audio and video modifying. I usually discover it clever to maintain flowing with this improve vitality whereas it lasts since it may be environment friendly to let it cascade into associated upgrades as nicely.

Moreover, Rachelle and I offered our outdated sofa and upgraded to a a lot nicer one. I’ve been sitting on it whereas penning this weblog put up, good and comfortable by the fireside. So with all the upgrades we did up to now 30 days, cost-wise it just about added as much as the additional earnings manifested from the Black Friday thought. Evidently, I’m actually glad I did that ideation problem – past what I’ve shared right here, there have been a bunch of different optimistic unwanted effects from that problem as nicely. It was a good way to interrupt by some outdated psychological constraints.

One tip right here is that in the event you’ve ever gotten caught making an attempt to manifest cash, attempt manifesting it in reference to a enjoyable undertaking, such that the cash will instantly fund the undertaking. I feel actuality will get tired of vanilla requests for cash, similar to to pay lease. See if you can also make the request extra playful. My expertise is that actuality completely loves playful requests. It additionally likes to reward exploration.

I discover it particularly necessary to concentrate to no matter types of inspiration preserve knocking on my thoughts, particularly these concepts that I preserve dismissing however which preserve circling again to me, like they’re taunting me to lastly give them some critical consideration. This house theater undertaking has been knocking on my thoughts for years, and it feels actually good to have lastly invested in it. I like that this undertaking improves my relationship with part of actuality that I recognize, similar to having fun with films with Rachelle.

Merry Christmas! 😊

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