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-   -   DSD (SACD) kicks arse! (https://www.gearslutz.com/board/high-end/7300-dsd-sacd-kicks-arse.html)

jazzius II 27th September 2003 01:14 PM

DSD (SACD) kicks arse!
 
I'm doing my first mastering from a DSD source today (stereo - Sony K1326 DA converter).....and comparing it to the 96k safety has been a real eye (ear) opener........man, the difference is not even remotely subtle......the DSD source sounds so much better then the 96k (Lavry blue ADDA) source it's untrue..........depth, width and most of all, transient response is incredible....and this DSD DA is about 5 years old!.........anyone mixing on hi-end analogue owes it to themselves to check out a DSD ADDA (Emmlabs ADC8 in this case) converter for themselves......back to work!

Neve Sucks! 27th September 2003 11:19 PM

Interesting!
I wonder if DSD will replace the stereo 1/2" as master recorder?
or other analog master recorder for that matter.....

/Slim Jim

jazzius II 28th September 2003 12:04 AM

maybe 1"?

Ruphus 28th September 2003 12:21 AM

Should I ever see a pair of shoes I could like they have them either in 48 or in 38. When I finally decide to buy stockings the market collapses. Now I just ordered a Lavry 4496 on Monday.
Tell me more please ...
shiee
>sigh<

jazzius II 28th September 2003 01:01 PM

Quote:

Originally posted by Ruphus
. Now I just ordered a Lavry 4496 on Monday.
Tell me more please ...
shiee
>sigh<

The Lavry's are very very good converters.....this is about something else....the difference was like that between 16bit 44.1 and a really good vinyl.....except minus the problems associated with vinyl.......the Lavrys will do you right.

Ruphus 28th September 2003 01:34 PM

Thanks for explaining.
I wasn´t too serious ( am nonetheless in bursting excitement about the new box to come and blow me away jummpp ), it was more to emphasize my respect about a new technology that ought to be even better.

A very technical friend on DUC had told me about him approaching to DSD almost a year ago, but I imagined the difference to good common technique would be rather subtle.

Do you know what basically is the difference in the technique?

jazzius II 28th September 2003 01:45 PM

DSD looks at the analogue waveform 2.8 million times per second......each it time it looks, it asks "did the voltage go up or down since i last looked"......if it went up it writes a "1" to the harddisk......if it went down it writes a "0"......so you get a stream of 1's and 0's that represents the analogue signal in a very "analogue" way.....there's a lot more to it then that, but that's it in a nutshell....

Ruphus 28th September 2003 01:52 PM

" ...2.8 million times per second ..."

Jeez, that alone sounds unbelievable!
Thanks howdy

jazzius II 28th September 2003 01:57 PM

well check this out.....a new standard of DSD was recently announced where they've doubled the samplerate to 5.6mhz!!!

...so anyone who bought into the first wave of DSD...you're gear is already obsolete!.mezed .....the digital merry-go-round continues!

Ruphus 28th September 2003 02:16 PM

Oh man, these poor guys must be biting into their own knees - as we say in Germany -.

5,6 mHz ...

I used to watch the discussions where people tried to explain in a scientific way that higher samplerates than 48 kHz couldn´t bring any improvement and I as total layman of physics knew this to be not right.

Higher resolution must be progressive approach to analog waves. Now that you say 2.8 million steps per second this seems to come into the range of magnetic tape, respectively the resolution you have with molecular magnets in it.
... Might even pass it ... probably will, if not right now some time later. Sounds just logical to me.

Guess this will also "shift" the digital over and make digital domain just as and even better then tape distortion. The guys here would hunt me for saying so, but I bet there will be indeed no practical use left for tape soon. Not that I would want it, but I estimate so .... again as a layman.

hollywood_steve 28th September 2003 03:06 PM

I've been waiting for some other folks around here to start shouting about DSD (I joined the DSD team back in May).

But I wouldn't worry about the new"standard" making the 2.8mHz machines obsolete any time soon. And even when the new sample rate does become more than theory, my Genex GX9000 will just require a new DSD card. In a machine that cost nearly $6k by the time all the options were added on, the DSD card is a little $800 item that can be quickly swapped out. The PCM (24b/192kHz) and analog cards won't be affected, nor will any of the other important components (two 15k rpm hard drives, onboard mixer, extremely comprehensive I/O section, power supply, front panel controls, large LED display, etc.) I tend to buy things for life (I'm 44 and I've owned a total of 3 cars) and I plan on using the GX9000 for the rest of my career.

Personally, I gotta believe we are gonna run up against the law of diminishing returns real soon - it'll be interesting to see how many folks can consistently hear a difference between 2.8 and 5.6mHz.

Ruphus 28th September 2003 03:52 PM

Had to take a look at it.
http://www.dcsltd.co.uk/902x904.jpg

Quote:

Extensive use is made of programmable logic, allowing performance enhancements and new features to be added by PC download via the rear panel RS 232 port, or by a ROM chip change. This extends the products' useful service life and reduces the overall ownership cost.
I´m glad your knees are alright then.heh

How is it when you monitor `conventional´tracks now after being used to this technique, does it sound cheap to you after a while?

jazzius II 28th September 2003 05:43 PM

yeah steve, FWIW i agree with you 100%....i was just going for a bit of shock value!

e-cue 28th September 2003 06:05 PM

I'm very seriously considering DSD for my next project from start to finish. I've used the Genex stuff in the past and almost **** a brick of pleasure when I used it. It didn't sound 'more like analog' to me: it sounded exactly like my 2 mix. The Emmlabs stuff seems more popular for SACD releases though, so I'm trying to sess through all my options right now.

If anyone has gone down this road already (or not) and has any advice, please let me know what to look out for. I'm specifically conserned about DSD to PCM conversion which I regard as a saftey net. It looks like I'll use it like a tape machine, unless someone can point me in the direction of a DAW that I could competantly jump onto from a mostly Pro Tools / Logic background.

Also, if anyone knows of any studio project(s) already done completely in DSD, please let me know. I've asked around and everyone keeps telling me they've never heard anyone in the studio do it yet, which seems odd to me.

jazzius 28th September 2003 06:23 PM

What i meant was it has all the good things about top-draw analogue without all the usual annoyances...i don't mean it sounds like vinyl or tape or anything.......

........i was speaking to the guys from polyhymnia the other day and they were telling me that in the 48 track version, the Genex machine is not functioning perfectly......i think these guys are the worlds no.1 authority on all things DSD so you could do worse then shoot them a few questions........but take them with a pinch of salt.......they were at our studio the other day......they brought their own power supply! (they didn't trust ours)...they used a laser to set up their speakers!!!...they wouldn't let any of their audio near our 9k ("not good enough"!).....totally over the top audiophile-nut-cases......but still, they know their eggs...

e-cue 29th September 2003 03:20 PM

Quote:

Originally posted by jazzius
What i meant was it has all the good things about top-draw analogue without all the usual annoyances...i don't mean it sounds like vinyl or tape or anything.......
Gotcha.kfhkh

I was thinking about adding some signature hidden aural-easter eggs (subliminal messages, sort of) in the up-upper frequencies. I have the perfect project in mind, but damn if they can't get their ish together.

Doing a blind taste test at 5.6mhz should be... man, pointless. I wish I could say I heard a big difference spatially, openly, low volumely, rise timely, whateverly between DSD (2.8) and my 2 mix from a console, but I could not.

Pro tools and Logic should be in an arm race trying to get their first. Then again, maybe Sony will suprise me and dominate the playing field before both.

Jack the Bear 29th September 2003 04:17 PM

Quote:

Originally posted by jazzius II
The Lavry's are very very good converters....the Lavrys will do you right.
kfhkh kfhkh kfhkh Jazzius is spot on!!!
You'll be delighted with them picked up 2 last week and it's been the best money I've spent in the last year. We'll see if the IBIS takes the title this Christmas / New Year,

Cheers,

Tony Mantz.
Glorified Tape Copy Boy and Audio Janitor.

7rojo7 29th September 2003 05:12 PM

With Pyramix you'll have a 16tk+ DAW, with Sony Sonoma only 8 for now, Genex makes the sexiest thing right now 48tk recorder that for now could satisfy some classical demands or in a smaller configuration some jazz or quality pop demands as a recorder/ playback device, Prism makes converters that will do DSD converting and reconvert to any PCM format £££ all of it. EMMLabs puts all of the parts of their products through a process in a cryogenic chamber for 36 hours (I'm not sure if they're already assembled or not at this phase (realignment of the crystalline structure of the materia)) if that gets you hot then you should get the Meitner, it already does 5.656MHz, but it doesn't do 192 kHz PCM. He (Ed Meitner) is one of the chief architects behind this whole movement and I guess one should follow the leader in some instances.
There's BluRayDisc on the horizon and I believe that bit space on fixed mediums won't be much of an issue soon, besides the price of SolidState Ram eventually dropping and the already available broad bandwidth connections, what's the point? Pro has upped but the consumer can choose his resolution and mix at the selling point and include it in his personal library how he wants. Produce your product in the highest possible resolution and the end user pays for his level of use, MPn, 44.1 16bit (will probably disappear when the last of the CD players break soon), DSD, etc...
Keep your favorite material on your media player, archive it on BluRayDisc and you can go merrily on your way for thousands of years compiling your own personal entertainment programs. But where are the Artists?
So, right now if you want recording, editing, mixing, mastering in one package it would be Pyramix, only recording Genex, only editing, mastering Sony SADIE Sonic Solutions, convertors Meitner $$$$$, Prism£££, Lavrey££££, Genex$$$.
If the Genex 9000 unit would work as a stand alone 192kHz for ProTools, without a digital unit inbetween, as well as for Pyramix, I'd own one already. Now I'm investigating the Prism unit ADA8 with a DSD front and back end (from there PCM is only math) and the ProToolsHD cards to see if I can have the best of both worlds.
Glad to finally see a serious discussion here on this. I've been trying now for a year.
I had a demo of DSD last year at the Pyramix HQ, at the very end of the demo I heard the Chick sessions track for track and having recorded some of the players at one time or another it was easy to tell that this is the superior format. Besides that, at AES in Amsterdam I attended the SACD listening sessions in a fairly well treated room with B+W monsters. I had the sensation of actually being in a nice mix room and listening off of the multitracks directly from the board (the rear speakers always bother me though) nice. On the other hand at AES, there were exhibition rooms and setups that were clearly not calibrated well. They won't get my business.
DSD might be around for a while but I doubt SACD will last for long, that being said, I have invested in DSD and the eventual products that can now be exploited in this medium (Convertors kik some serious butt).
The end product will be subject to personal preferences and limitations. Click here to download your selection now.

Ruphus 29th September 2003 05:32 PM

Quote:

Originally posted by Jack the Bear
kfhkh kfhkh kfhkh Jazzius is spot on!!!
You'll be delighted with them picked up 2 last week and it's been the best money I've spent in the last year. We'll see if the IBIS takes the title this Christmas / New Year,

Cheers,

Tony Mantz.
Glorified Tape Copy Boy and Audio Janitor.

I am behaving already like pregnant including seeing the stuff to come in my dreams, only thing I havn´t done yet is starting to eat gherkins with chocolate. ... But there are a couple of days left over until delivery, so who knows ... heh

Great and interesting thread!
The format / resolution idea on consumers choice sounds not even too fantastic to me.
Times they are a changing

DaveJes1979 30th September 2003 09:48 PM

What's the point of using the DSD format for A/D, D/A, and end product (SACD) if you have to do non-linear editing, insert plug-ins, etc. in the PCM realm (I think the Pyramix makes this conversion for editing)??

I still find it hard to believe that (good-quality) 24/192khz can be significantly approved on.

I could be wrong - I still haven't got my hands on any DSD material to listen to.

jazzius II 30th September 2003 09:57 PM

Quote:

Originally posted by DaveJes1979
What's the point of using the DSD format for A/D, D/A, and end product (SACD) if you have to do non-linear editing, insert plug-ins, etc. in the PCM realm (I think the Pyramix makes this conversion for editing)??


Analogue outboard...it's the future, baby!

Fred 30th September 2003 10:57 PM

We are using the EMM Labs converters on either side of an 8 track Genex for recording some really great live bluegrass and jazz acoustic music. We mixdown through a DC coupled Class A JFET console of our own design to 1/2" 2-track and to Sonic Solutions through 2 channels of EMM Labs A-D in PCM mode.

For me it (DSD via the EMM Labs converters,) has been making really, REALLY good sounding recordings of some very demanding live mandolin duo music that we've been doing lately. I haven't heard anything on any of the recordings that we have done on DSD leads me to question its sonic quality.

I've never been able to say that about PCM even at 96k. I don't expect 192k to match what I've heard with DSD, but I'll be giving that a listen sometime in the future as well.


DSD and high quality analog mixing, it sure works for me. YMMV.

Fred Forssell

Bob Olhsson 1st October 2003 04:13 AM

Quote:

Originally posted by jazzius II
Analogue outboard...it's the future, baby!
DIGITALLY controlled analog outboard.

Quiet as it's kept, it's the future of computers too. Using only binary math is utterly absurd with modern analog technology being available. Of course scads of legacy and public domain code makes binary digital really cheap even though it is s-l-o-w and primitive.

e-cue 1st October 2003 04:25 AM

I'd be very interested on your thoughts of DSD in the mastering realm Bob. Pro, Cons. Format delivery. Etc...

Also if anyone knows, do any of the DSD DAW's software come with EQ and or Compression processing?

Bob Olhsson 1st October 2003 03:19 PM

I just did my first project that was mixed to DSD, in this case using the Tascam DA-98 2 track system. There is only one machine in Nashville at 17 Grand studio in their 5.1 room. Sadly there had been some problems with the console and the monitors in the studio on the East Coast where it was recorded so this was only a tantalizing taste. The resolution was good enough to be a real test of signal processing quality, especially the cymbals.

The hybrid SACD system offers enough major advantages security-wise to labels, that I expect to see it universally adopted after enough pressing plants have been built in around five years. Thankfully it can sound really great. I discount all of the theoretical pros and cons because I think we've reached the point that analog stages are more important than digital formats, assuming they are properly clocked and are using first rate filters.

Brad Blackwood 1st October 2003 03:27 PM

Quote:

Originally posted by Bob Olhsson
I discount all of the theoretical pros and cons because I think we've reached the point that analog stages are more important than digital formats, assuming they are properly clocked and are using first rate filters.
AMEN!

e-cue 1st October 2003 03:33 PM

Do you anticipate the same "clock wars" with the DSD format like I do? (Aardsync, Appogee, Hedd, etc)

blackcatdigi 1st October 2003 04:36 PM

It appears that DSD will be a great delivery format.

Possibly very cool to mix to as E-cue alludes;
(Although from a few conversations I've had, possibly NO advantages to mixing to DSD vs. PCM: because of the need to do several conversions at mastering to and from PCM, thus potentially degrading audio more than what would've occured by just mixing to PCM)...

But (more importantly) at this point, (and excuse me if I blinked and missed it), DSD is totally unacceptable for production work.

I can be as hardcore 'traditional' as almost anyone, but a format where you CANNOT PUNCH IN or OUT is so far from usable it's absurd. Fine for live remotes or mixing, or possibly classical, but unacceptable for studio work.

Am I the only one? I can't fathom trying to do a 'modern' production w/o punching!... No edit, no mixing, fine. But NO PUNCHES???

Fred 1st October 2003 05:04 PM

Quote:

DIGITALLY controlled analog outboard.
I totally agree with Bob on this.

I've been wanting to digitally control our analog equipment designs for some time. The problem in doing this lays in finding a good method of making digital controlled attenuators that can be used in place of pots or switched resistors within the existing analog circuit topologies.

I haven't liked the sound of VCA's for something like 25 years, and I still don't. And besides, they can't be used is many of the topologies that I use for my EQ designs. So that kind of leaves JFETs or CMOS analog switches of various types. Most of these are kind of limited by the max voltage swing that they are able to handle, but in recent years some promising parts have become available.

So where my task now takes me is to study the sonic impact of these various devices. That's my winter project. Lots of listening to these various parts being used in various parts of an existing analog circuit to see what they sound like. I have high hopes.

In the meantime, we use moving fader and mute automation on our consoles (Martech Flying Faders) and hope to expand recall/automation to other parts of our console design and to our outboard equipment designs sometime in the future. We'll see.

I still think that sonically, it is worth the effort.

Fred Forssell
Forssell Technologies

Bob Olhsson 2nd October 2003 01:46 AM

I realize this is theory but I can't think of a bigger insult to a converter designer than to say an external clock sounds better than the internal. I realize this IS the case with many converters but the real solution is better converters and not the clock of the month club.