I remembered you you were strictly 2-channel music producer?
No, I do what my client‘s request.
That reaches from music to motion picture.
Privatly, after a longer period of delving into speaker related multi channel I’ve returned to traditional stereo.
My surround system is still there, but even for motion picture there are few convincing examples that justify the effort IMO.
“Der Untergang” by Oliver Hirschbiegel is one one them, but only in the cinema / DVD version.
When broadcasted the sound is neutered by the TV stations to fit into TV sets, disappointing on capable speakers.
LFE-channel, or 0.1 channel, is discrete special-channel in multichannel sound formats. Are we talking about same thing? It´s not synonym for low frequency content of normal audio channels, and has nothing to do with stereo.
LFE-channel is not recommended to be used in music-only -productions at all. It´s quite exclusively the thing of video- and game -audio.
There’s no “rule” existing what to with the LFE- / .1- channel in production.
Basically it’s meant as an effect channel only, that’s true.
But the situation at the homes of the average listener is complicated.
Tiny speakers sets with additional subwoofers are widespread, almost the norm for 5.1 / 7.1 sound systems.
In most cases the LFE channel is routed to the subwoofer only.
But the sub is low-pass filtered to fit the main speakers, often between 50-80 Hz.
The LFE-channel runs up to 120 Hz, and is NOT intended to be filtered again in playback - this leads to a conflicting situation:
LFE and subwoofer channels are not the same, but are handled as such.
LFE-effects are filtered in playback and can sound like strange rumble as a result.
Then people at home most of the time push up their LFE-channel AND their subwoofer level too much to beef up their tiny speaker’s sound, making the alienizing of the LFE-effects even more obvious.
All this confusion lead to the result that audio engineers use LFE very carefully, and feed an amount of “normal” bass into it.
And even the other way round, the LFE effects are routed to the main channels too, to avoid them being completely lost.
As usual, as audio engineer you have to balance idealism and reality.
In music production there’s usually nothing that can serve as “LFE-Effect”.
Every sheet-music-note has it’s place in the composition.
So common practice is, to feed a little amount of the lower instruments, bass, bassdrum etc. into LFE, to avoid the subwoofer (again this collision LFE-subwoofer) being dead at the customers home systems.
In an ideal world the LFE channel wouldn’t exist, and the LFE effects would be replayed on capable systems as integral part of the mix, bass management would just be used to optimize subwoofer integration.