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Experience with Gain-Ranging Converters (Stagetec)
Old 26th June 2020
  #1
Experience with Gain-Ranging Converters (Stagetec)

I am intrigued by the Stagetec "TrueMatch" microphone interfaces in their Nexus system.

They use 4 A/D chips to cover a broader range of sound amplitude, and in so doing claim 150db+ of dynamic range. While this isn't going to make them sound "better" by itself, the interesting statement is that there is no need for microphone amplifiers as a result. The capsule signal is directly digitized and then it is only the microphone self-noise which is amplified in the digital domain. There is no "mic pre" to have a sound, make noise, etc.

The Nexus system and this module are associated with very high-end digital broadcast consoles. But the Nexus rack can be used standalone, with a Dante card, for example, as a very high quality stage box.

I can't seem to find much in the way of practical "I used it" information on YouTube, or here. This isn't overly surprising because I think their consoles mostly go to very high end sports, TV, and radio stations and that isn't this forum's market.

Have any of the classical folk here used these mic interfaces? I have a Sonosax SX-R4+, which uses two A/D chips to get a dynamic range of 135dB or so, and while I may not have a practical requirement for the range, I can say with confidence that the mic pre's and conversion are first rate (a sentiment shared by other here).

Is the conversion extra special? Are the preamps? I'm certain it is relatively expensive, but that doesn't answer the "goodness" question.
Old 26th June 2020
  #2
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Originally Posted by niversen View Post
I am intrigued by the Stagetec "TrueMatch" microphone interfaces in their Nexus system.

They use 4 A/D chips to cover a broader range of sound amplitude, and in so doing claim 150db+ of dynamic range. While this isn't going to make them sound "better" by itself, the interesting statement is that there is no need for microphone amplifiers as a result. The capsule signal is directly digitized and then it is only the microphone self-noise which is amplified in the digital domain. There is no "mic pre" to have a sound, make noise, etc.

The Nexus system and this module are associated with very high-end digital broadcast consoles. But the Nexus rack can be used standalone, with a Dante card, for example, as a very high quality stage box.

I can't seem to find much in the way of practical "I used it" information on YouTube, or here. This isn't overly surprising because I think their consoles mostly go to very high end sports, TV, and radio stations and that isn't this forum's market.

Have any of the classical folk here used these mic interfaces? I have a Sonosax SX-R4+, which uses two A/D chips to get a dynamic range of 135dB or so, and while I may not have a practical requirement for the range, I can say with confidence that the mic pre's and conversion are first rate (a sentiment shared by other here).

Is the conversion extra special? Are the preamps? I'm certain it is relatively expensive, but that doesn't answer the "goodness" question.
They make a good point in their literature about the additive, cumulative noise floor of multiple open mics in a typical orchestral concert or session...so this must be an intended usage context for the approach:

"Applications with a High Number of Simultaneously Open Microphones:
In situations with a large number of simultaneously open microphones, such as orchestra recordings, a disturbing noise carpet quickly adds up from the basic noise of the microphone preamplifiers and the quantization noise of the digital converters. This phenomenon does not occur when using the XMIC+ card, because in these situations it shines with its very low noise level, which is lower than that of conventional microphones and thus leaves room for even the smallest levels. In addition, the excellent common mode rejection ensures an excellent reduction of interference such as that of lighting systems, which are usually installed in the immediate vicinity of the stage and thus of the microphone sections"

I wonder though whether the typical noise floor of a large room (even non concert) wouldn't swamp the contribution of mic amplifier noise or digital converter quantization noise...particularly if there's an audience present, or even a small amount of intrusive HVAC or environmental noise from outside ?

https://stagetec.com/en/products/aud...s/xmic-en.html

I remain open minded about the claimed potential improvements, and interested whether its akin to the old audiophile adage of 'removing a hitherto never-noticed veil of noise-floor across the entire soundfield'

Plush..this sounds like your terrain of expenditure and endeavour....report please !
Old 26th June 2020
  #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by niversen View Post
I am intrigued by the Stagetec "TrueMatch" microphone interfaces in their Nexus system.

They use 4 A/D chips to cover a broader range of sound amplitude, and in so doing claim 150db+ of dynamic range. While this isn't going to make them sound "better" by itself, the interesting statement is that there is no need for microphone amplifiers as a result. The capsule signal is directly digitized and then it is only the microphone self-noise which is amplified in the digital domain. There is no "mic pre" to have a sound, make noise, etc.

The Nexus system and this module are associated with very high-end digital broadcast consoles. But the Nexus rack can be used standalone, with a Dante card, for example, as a very high quality stage box.

I can't seem to find much in the way of practical "I used it" information on YouTube, or here. This isn't overly surprising because I think their consoles mostly go to very high end sports, TV, and radio stations and that isn't this forum's market.

Have any of the classical folk here used these mic interfaces? I have a Sonosax SX-R4+, which uses two A/D chips to get a dynamic range of 135dB or so, and while I may not have a practical requirement for the range, I can say with confidence that the mic pre's and conversion are first rate (a sentiment shared by other here).

Is the conversion extra special? Are the preamps? I'm certain it is relatively expensive, but that doesn't answer the "goodness" question.
the truematch interfaces have been around for quite some time; i got the chance to use them on several occasions albeit never in situations with huge channel counts so i cannot report on potential advantages in terms of noise.

i'm pretty sure though they would work extremely well as i remember the conversion to be very transparent yet without a sense of exaggerated hf presence which imo plagues many more modern designs!

i stopped investigating any further as they can hardly ever be found for 'affordable' prices on the used market and the desks (up until the avatus) did not appeal to me or worse, seemed to have severe issues, leading to multiple theatres and broadcast trucks around here to abandon the platform...

(i therefore settled for studer vista desks, using their more conventional d23m i/o systems - ain't bad either i can confirm)
Old 26th June 2020
  #4
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Yes, I used to be interested in TrueMatch when they appeared in the 1990's. They offered a so-called 28 bit converter.

The Germans ignored the sentiment at the time that so-called "gain ranging" converters were a bad idea. Gain ranging was frowned upon because technically there was an "un smooth" transition between the 2 or more converters while they switched gain stages. Now, these days, there are new techniques to ameliorate these problems. (Sonosax, Merging).

Truematch sold a stand alone box where you could buy blocks of 8 converters and build up a custom stand alone mic pre / converter system.

The cost was astronomical--as I recall nearly $2000-$3000 per channel.

The system never took off but is still sold today.

The nonsense StageTec writes about the TrueMatch getting rid of mic noise is just marketing speak. Sometimes with their system one would be recording a MAXIMUM LEVEL of -30dBFS. Then one boosted that level to a working level in post. Whether one adds in any noise at the beginning of the recording or at the end, in post, the result is the same amount of noise.
Old 26th June 2020
  #5
Thank you everyone. I appreciate the perspective. Plush, you always have useful insight on the things that claim to be truly high-end. I've had such good experience with the Sonosax, I was just wondering if they had taken the same idea further.
Old 26th June 2020
  #6
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i have to disagree with plush: the system DID take off quite a bit (it got sold to dozens of theaters, broadcast facilities mainly in the german speaking area) and is in use in countless high-profile installations.

also, he must be referring to the initial system: pls note it has been revised since its inception - moreover, there IS a difference in terms of noise whether the signal is amplified in analogue and then converted to digital (at line level) or whether the conversion is already done at mic level (and then amplified digitally).

if you don't believe this, you might want to check out the 'digital' microphones from neumann and specifically check them in terms of noise - or the newer version of the stagetec converters...
Old 26th June 2020
  #7
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I looked at the site. It is CRAZY expensive, as one would expect. It also seems, if I read correctly, that it uses a stand -alone network solution.

I like the Merging stuff a whole lot on paper (and I've heard it in the hands of otrhers) but I am waiting for Merging to embrace the Dante network in addition to Ravenna (and not holding my breath). Please don't mention AES67 to me. Less clunky to carry the bits between systems in a water bottle.

So until TrueMatch has a Dante card, it's a non starter for me.

D.
Old 26th June 2020
  #8
Well, they have a Dante card.

I am in the same position with Merging. I don't want Ravenna - everything else I have is Dante. And all the vendors say that AES67 is an interconnect right now and lacks much of the elegance of each "closed" system. I'm in a Dante world right now.

I haven't called the US distributor yet, so I don't know about pricing. But I had picked up from general comments that it is VERY expensive. Perhaps prohibitively so. I have not heard it yet.
Old 26th June 2020
  #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tourtelot View Post
I looked at the site. It is CRAZY expensive, as one would expect. It also seems, if I read correctly, that it uses a stand -alone network solution.

I like the Merging stuff a whole lot on paper (and I've heard it in the hands of otrhers) but I am waiting for Merging to embrace the Dante network in addition to Ravenna (and not holding my breath). Please don't mention AES67 to me. Less clunky to carry the bits between systems in a water bottle.

So until TrueMatch has a Dante card, it's a non starter for me.

D.
indeed CRAZY expensive...

may i ask you if you're seriously interested in getting a merging system (provided they'll get dante going...) and if so, is it to replace your grace system? or am i on the wrong track and you're using something completely different?
Old 27th June 2020
  #10
When we say "crazy expensive", what is the order of magnitude? If we take something like the DAD AX32/Avid MTRX or the Merging Horus, that seems to be a pretty decent take on "high end" for a modular, multi-format converter/preamp combination with Ethernet audio capabilities. In both of those systems the chassis is about $5k USD give-or-take and then an 8ch pre+AD card is about $3k USD. The base chassis for these systems have matrix routing and other features that seem to need to be added card by card in the Stagetec system.

The Stagetec system is multiples of this cost? I suppose national level broadcasts would not be sensitive to the price in the way that recordists would be. But multiples of the DAD, Merging, Sonosax price would certainly be the land of "diminishing returns"...
Old 27th June 2020
  #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by deedeeyeah View Post
indeed CRAZY expensive...

may i ask you if you're seriously interested in getting a merging system (provided they'll get dante going...) and if so, is it to replace your grace system? or am i on the wrong track and you're using something completely different?
That's a reasonable question. At this point, I really love my Grace m108s and I might consider getting a fourth unit, making what I would consider a reasonable limit of 32 tracks at 24/96.

I am sorta thinking about how DSD plays into this classical music scene and whether I have any use or need to explore it. DSD would make for a big upset in my very stable set up but if DSD could be transported over Dante somehow, and the change could be made (damn the learning curve) from Pro Tools to Pyramix, would this be something to consider?

All hypothetical right now, although I am still considering purchases even if I'm not recording anything. But those purchases would be of the microphone type and, truthfully, I'm not in much of a hurry to buy them unless they come up in my face. Anyone have a 4006-TL for sale?

D.
Old 27th June 2020
  #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tourtelot View Post
That's a reasonable question. At this point, I really love my Grace m108s and I might consider getting a fourth unit, making what I would consider a reasonable limit of 32 tracks at 24/96.

I am sorta thinking about how DSD plays into this classical music scene and whether I have any use or need to explore it. DSD would make for a big upset in my very stable set up but if DSD could be transported over Dante somehow, and the change could be made (damn the learning curve) from Pro Tools to Pyramix, would this be something to consider?

All hypothetical right now, although I am still considering purchases even if I'm not recording anything. But those purchases would be of the microphone type and, truthfully, I'm not in much of a hurry to buy them unless they come up in my face. Anyone have a 4006-TL for sale?

D.
i see...

well, i can't comment much on dsd anymore: the price tag (with some meitner converters) it came with many years ago wasn't fun either but of course newer options not only got less expensive but also clearly better than the original dsd64.

[i did provide dsd recordings to a small group of enthusiasts for quite sometime; now most of them got very old, don't hear well anymore or died so the remaining rest decided to dissolve our group - it was fun and absolutely worthwhile; not necessarily from a financial point of view though.

if you're not into label work which supports dsd, imo it ain't worth the pain: pcm hi-sampling has been catching up and as a storage format, dsd has not kept its promises so personally, i'm done with the format and (also) for this reason, i sold my last pieces of analog gear recently - could well be that other folks feel vastly different about it...]

when recording in pcm, i prefer the grace converters over those from merging, especially with higher channel count so personally i wouldn't wanna change gear if i'd own the grace pres/converters!

Last edited by deedeeyeah; 27th June 2020 at 03:55 PM.. Reason: edited
Old 27th June 2020
  #13
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Yes, that's interesting. I am super happy with the Graces. They do everything that I could possibly want in a network connected mic preamp/converter. Their sound is exceptional.

The DSD "thing" was more about helping a client sell their material to a different audience. With, perhaps, some financial reward. There are, as you know, a group of folks who will buy nearly anything if it has the "correct" lettering on the "jewel-box". Just a passing thought about being able to offer that service, and not in any hurry to realize that thought. The Merging stuff, if easily connected to my Dante network, might be able to accomplish DSD. I am not even certain it would work, I certainly don't think the Merging preamps sound better than the Graces, and yes, I have experience with both.

I am personally, a really happy camper at 24/96 and my ears tell me that is the sweet spot. Me, and my ears. Not starting a discussion here

D.
Old 27th June 2020
  #14
DAH
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tourtelot View Post
Yes, that's interesting. I am super happy with the Graces. They do everything that I could possibly want in a network connected mic preamp/converter. Their sound is exceptional.

The DSD "thing" was more about helping a client sell their material to a different audience. With, perhaps, some financial reward. There are, as you know, a group of folks who will buy nearly anything if it has the "correct" lettering on the "jewel-box". Just a passing thought about being able to offer that service, and not in any hurry to realize that thought. The Merging stuff, if easily connected to my Dante network, might be able to accomplish DSD. I am not even certain it would work, I certainly don't think the Merging preamps sound better than the Graces, and yes, I have experience with both.

I am personally, a really happy camper at 24/96 and my ears tell me that is the sweet spot. Me, and my ears. Not starting a discussion here

D.
any experience with DSD?
Old 27th June 2020
  #15
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Originally Posted by DAH View Post
any experience with DSD?
Indeed, seems like you'll have a barrel o' laughs editing the thing....https://sound.stackexchange.com/ques...oftware-no-pcm
Old 27th June 2020
  #16
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None!

But it must be editable. I do know (I think I do know) that unless you have the Merging Masscore, you have to edit in PCM, right?

Like I said, I am in no hurry to add this to my work-flow. Just cogitating about what the future might look like.

I am pretty certain that the engineer from Seattle Symphony has no trouble editing DSD, and he could be a source of answers about practicality as would the engineer for Seattle Music.

The one thing I do know is unless it connects seamlessly into my Dante network, any thing else will be a non-starter.

A friend of mine who spends time on this blog is very familiar with DSD. His label puts out two final products of their artists; DSD256 (I think) and two-track analog recorded straight to a souped-up Nagra IVS. Particular clients for their stuff. Actually, three. Vinyl. But I'm not sure what format is actually cut. It's all still a bit out of my scope of knowledge and I am easily confused in general.

Jim?

D.
Old 27th June 2020
  #17
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Duplicate post. Sorry.

D.
Old 27th June 2020
  #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tourtelot View Post
None!

But it must be editable. I do know (I think I do know) that unless you have the Merging Masscore, you have to edit in PCM, right?

Like I said, I am in no hurry to add this to my work-flow. Just cogitating about what the future might look like.

I am pretty certain that the engineer from Seattle Symphony has no trouble editing DSD, and he could be a source of answers about practicality as would the engineer for Seattle Music.

The one thing I do know is unless it connects seamlessly into my Dante network, any thing else will be a non-starter.

A friend of mine who spends time on this blog is very familiar with DSD. His label puts out two final products of their artists; DSD256 (I think) and two-track analog recorded straight to a souped-up Nagra IVS. Particular clients for their stuff. Actually, three. Vinyl. But I'm not sure what format is actually cut. It's all still a bit out of my scope of knowledge and I am easily confused in general.

Jim?

D.
Pyramix (from v12) (both Masscore and Native versions) is capable of crossfades and level change without PCM conversion at the native DSD sample rate (64, 128 or 256).
Old 28th June 2020
  #19
DAH
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Wide DSD editing preserves the depth, at least in AudioGate. Though i found the fade-ins and fade-outs when joining clips do not eliminate clicks.
Old 28th June 2020
  #20
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I twice failed with DSD. In the 1990's no one would pay the premium required to buy the expensive dCS converters. I bought them anyway. No one requested DSD. The DSD recording capability at my place did not attract any new clients. Then I sold them.

In 2000-2010, DSD failed again as all but one SACD pressing plant closed its doors, Deutsche Grammophon's technical dept. tested DSD and hi-res PCM and found no difference in sound. DG then abandoned DSD. dCS stopped making pro converters, and DSD went down market as KORG released a $499 DSD recorder.

Now we see DSD as a niche product and very big in high end hi-fi streaming.

DSD can sound good and I still believe that SACD is a premium release format.

But I would never invest any money in buying any new DSD equipment.

I already have a Merging Pyramix that will edit DSD. Does not get used here.

Salvation for DSD acolyte recordists is to record with an analog console in DSD and release unedited chamber music or orchestral recordings direct onto a streaming service. Charge a very high price because in the high end hi-fi business, very high price (vulgar) denotes highest quality.
Old 28th June 2020
  #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Plush View Post
I twice failed with DSD. In the 1990's no one would pay the premium required to buy the expensive dCS converters. I bought them anyway. No one requested DSD. The DSD recording capability at my place did not attract any new clients. Then I sold them.

In 2000-2010, DSD failed again as all but one SACD pressing plant closed its doors, Deutsche Grammophon's technical dept. tested DSD and hi-res PCM and found no difference in sound. DG then abandoned DSD. dCS stopped making pro converters, and DSD went down market as KORG released a $499 DSD recorder.

Now we see DSD as a niche product and very big in high end hi-fi streaming.

DSD can sound good and I still believe that SACD is a premium release format.

But I would never invest any money in buying any new DSD equipment.

I already have a Merging Pyramix that will edit DSD. Does not get used here.

Salvation for DSD acolyte recordists is to record with an analog console in DSD and release unedited chamber music or orchestral recordings direct onto a streaming service. Charge a very high price because in the high end hi-fi business, very high price (vulgar) denotes highest quality.
Yep, gonna do that as soon as the LIF/ZIF cable is delivered off aliexpress to accomodate the newer HDD replacement for my new old Korg MR-1000.
Old 28th June 2020
  #22
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Originally Posted by Plush View Post
But I would never invest any money in buying any new DSD equipment.
You do every time you purchase any A/D converter made in the last 15 years. All A/D converters made since then are front-ended with Sigma-Delta Modulators that produce a Pulse Density Modulation (PDM) bitstream, typically multi-bit. Those parallel bitstreams are then either quantized (remodulated) to a 1-bit DSD bitstream for output, OR, decimate filtered to the chosen PCM sampling rate.

The converse is true for the vast majority of available DAC's which are all Sigma-Delta modulator rear ended as the D/A element. All PCM formated data streams are required to be converted to PDM for playout.

Today, the only reason for PCM's existence as a format, with its inherent lossy conversions from and to PDM, is the lack of efficient editing and post processing tools to process content.

Stay tuned

Tom
Old 28th June 2020
  #23
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Originally Posted by tailspn View Post
You do every time you purchase any A/D converter made in the last 15 years. All A/D converters made since then are front-ended with Sigma-Delta Modulators that produce a Pulse Density Modulation (PDM) bitstream, typically multi-bit. Those parallel bitstreams are then either quantized (remodulated) to a 1-bit DSD bitstream for output, OR, decimate filtered to the chosen PCM sampling rate.

The converse is true for the vast majority of available DAC's which are all Sigma-Delta modulator rear ended as the D/A element. All PCM formated data streams are required to be converted to PDM for playout.

Today, the only reason for PCM's existence as a format, with its inherent lossy conversions from and to PDM, is the lack of efficient editing and post processing tools to process content.

Stay tuned

Tom
Sorry, but that does not apply to the DSD gear I bought in 1998. Nor in the 2nd. time around for me in 2005. Now I use Sonosax adc and dac. The ultimate sound.
Old 28th June 2020
  #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Plush View Post
Sorry, but that does not apply to the DSD gear I bought in 1998. Nor in the 2nd. time around for me in 2005. Now I use Sonosax adc and dac. The ultimate sound.
Sure it does, they were/are all Sigma-Delta Modulator/PDM based. Go ask Sonosax about their design, and components they use. It's how the bit depth of the resulting PCM was able to be increased over the practical limit of 14 bits with direct A/D conversion encoding.

But that's not my point, which is PCM will ultimately be phased out over time as processing software catches up with the hardware advances of the last decade. I'm just offering a counter argument brought up here that DSD is dying/dead, and not worth consideration. It's the highest available quality of conversion of analog signals to a digital form today that's storable and deliverable. Particularly DSD256, which has enough gap between the highest audio frequencies of interest, and the beginning (>-100dB) of the inherent modulation noise (the carrier), to make it a viable processing format.

It just requires the professional market interest to support suppliers like Merging to invest in the the conversion of Pyramix functions to direct DSD bitrate processing.

And Hudson, what criteria and equipment do you think the DG engineers used when they came to their "no difference" conclusion? Too bad it wasn't DSD256, for that's easily discernible.
Old 28th June 2020
  #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tailspn View Post
Sure it does, they were/are all Sigma-Delta Modulator/PDM based. Go ask Sonosax about their design, and components they use. It's how the bit depth of the resulting PCM was able to be increased over the practical limit of 14 bits with direct A/D conversion encoding.

But that's not my point, which is PCM will ultimately be phased out over time as processing software catches up with the hardware advances of the last decade. I'm just offering a counter argument brought up here that DSD is dying/dead, and not worth consideration. It's the highest available quality of conversion of analog signals to a digital form today that's storable and deliverable. Particularly DSD256, which has enough gap between the highest audio frequencies of interest, and the beginning (>-100dB) of the inherent modulation noise (the carrier), to make it a viable processing format.

It just requires the professional market interest to support suppliers like Merging to invest in the the conversion of Pyramix functions to direct DSD bitrate processing.

And Hudson, what criteria and equipment do you think the DG engineers used when they came to their "no difference" conclusion? Too bad it wasn't DSD256, for that's easily discernible.
IME 128 is already quite indistinguishable from the source.
Old 28th June 2020
  #26
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I already know about all that you talk about. And NO, dCS did not use Sigma-Delta in 1998. Sonosax is way out of the time period I am speaking about.

I don't argue that DSD is dying or dead or not a viable alternative. But it is a ghetto-ized format and working system. Walled off and used by a certain group of listeners and recordists.

But my point is that I have already purchased the most sophisticated DSD gear available more than 20 years ago and it did not generate enthusiasm or demand. I still experiment with current systems but it is not my production format and I do not need it to get really excellent sound.

I will now leave it to other intrepid recordists to use it for their productions.

DG made the judgement with all of their top top people gathered around. They decided that DSD did not bring special things to the table.

I side with Lip****z and Vanderkooy who proved that DSD could not be properly dithered and that it had way too much high freq. garbage in the signal to be viable. Furthermore it is not a 100kHz. capable format.

Response at 192kHz. on Sonosax R4+ is over 90kHz. DSD comes no where close. It is all noise at higher frequencies. DSD cannot be used in post production.

You cannot do anything at all with a 1 bit signal.

We should get back on topic about gain-ranging here.

Start your own thread (for the 500th time) about DSD.
Old 29th June 2020
  #27
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Originally Posted by Plush View Post
Start your own thread (for the 500th time) about DSD.
Thanks Hudson. I'm hoping that folks reading here that have not had a good earlier experience with DSD recording, have no experience with it other than misconceptions, or are judging it at its DSD64 bitrate, will take a look at DSD recording as new DSD capable hardware is introduced. The Premium Anubis (four channels of gain-ranging A/D converters to stay on topic) is an example. It's DSD256 and DXD capable, comparatively cheap, and enables the opportunity to sell their, or their customers recorded products to more markets. For acoustic music, especially classical with its included spatial and complex harmonic components, it's also noticeably truer sounding compared to any derived sampling rate PCM.

Tom

Last edited by tailspn; 29th June 2020 at 01:41 AM..
Old 29th June 2020
  #28
Quote:
Originally Posted by Plush View Post

We should get back on topic about gain-ranging here.
Yes please. I have no intention to buy DSD equipment.

I believe the Sonosax converters do this gain-ranging, as well as the Merging ones (but I am not as sure there). Given the excellence of these companies, it seems to be an approach being taken at the very high end. That was what triggered the question about Stagetech's stuff since they seem to have taken it to an extreme.

Are there any other notable implementations of this, or is it as niche as it seems to be?
Old 29th June 2020
  #29
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Originally Posted by niversen View Post
Yes please. I have no intention to buy DSD equipment.

I believe the Sonosax converters do this gain-ranging, as well as the Merging ones (but I am not as sure there). Given the excellence of these companies, it seems to be an approach being taken at the very high end. That was what triggered the question about Stagetech's stuff since they seem to have taken it to an extreme.

Are there any other notable implementations of this, or is it as niche as it seems to be?
The Zoom F6 (which I own) does gain-ranging with 2 ADCs, and the Sound Devices MixPre-II series does it with 3 ADCs. Both of those implementations pair gain-ranging ADCs with 32-bit float point recording format, which is a little different than how Sonosax and StageTec do it.

Based on my experience with the F6, this setup makes life much easier for someone like me who is often recording and performing in a concert. I effectively never need to set levels or use safety tracks. You are only limited by the max level of the mic input stage and the analog noise floor of the mic preamps. Anywhere within that, you have the full dynamic range available, and can shift everything up and down in post with no added noise.

There has been some active discussion on Taperssection about this.
https://taperssection.com/index.php?topic=192100.0
https://taperssection.com/index.php?topic=192112.0
Old 29th June 2020
  #30
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I would like to know how these multiple ADC 32bit output systems manage dither. Does anyone know? Is each individual ADC dithered then the combination dithered again?

Two bits of flat dither? Noise-shaping?

In past times of gain-switching 16bit ADCs there were issues of the transfer characteristic around the gear-change between ADC being like the hind leg of a donkey, and there was noise-modulation at the gear-change.
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