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BIS doesn't own a DSD recording capability anymore; too expensive, Robert says.

 

To elaborate a bit, I don't think Robert's complaint was the cost of the DSD recorder itself. It was that his existing multi-channel mixing hardware does not support DSD.

 

Question for Ted: DSD does not easily lend itself to multi-channel mixing, since there is no simple algorithm for scaling (to adjust relative gain of different mic feeds) and summing multiple 1-bit signals. Are there DSD mixing consoles that do this without converting DSD to PCM? Which labels mix DSD this way?

 

Blue Coast circumvents this issue by doing all recording and mixing in the analog domain, then converting to DSD only at the final mastering stage.


Mac Mini (2012 i7) > HQPlayer or Audirvana > exaSound e32 > Parasound JC-1 > Thiel 3.7

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Bob,

Although a DSD diehard, I admit to not getting technical enough yet with it. My understanding is that the Sonoma workstation will mix and master within DSD, no PCM off-shoring required. Gus Skinas is the man behind Sonoma. I know Ray Kimber's Isomike stuff is mixed that way, (and I think) as was Telarc's Grammy winning surround stuff by Michael Bishop. Tom (tailspn) can add credence here, but Jared Sacks and Channel Classics mix in DSD, too, I think. Good question though...

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No, the Pyramix for for the SACD mastering. BIS doesn't own a DSD recording capability anymore; too expenisve, Robert says.

 

I personally feel that BIS are being less than honest in their SACD product, as converting a 44.1 file, or more recently in some cases 96k, to DSD is putting a high end label on a rather ordinary product. Obviously they want to sell to the SACD crowd without paying the premium to produce a true DSD SACD product, but my view is that if you can't or won't make the investment, you have no business being in the market.

 

Nonetheless, it will all sort itself out in the next couple of years, as downloaded classical files become more of a market force (classical always leads the way in this respect) and they won't be able to get away with it anymore.

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Bob,

Although a DSD diehard, I admit to not getting technical enough yet with it. My understanding is that the Sonoma workstation will mix and master within DSD, no PCM off-shoring required....

 

Mixing is the process of both combining multiple sources and/or level changing. The algorithms are the same, regardless of whether it's a 1-bit stream, or a multiple parallel bit (word) stream. However, to operate on a value in a 1-bit data stream (not possible since any one sample does not constitute a magnitude level), or to efficiently use the existing computational hardware, and software, 1-bit data streams (DSD) are converted to parallel word based data streams, either DSD-Wide (as used in the Sonoma or SADiE DAW), or PCM. This is explained well here under the heading DSD:

 

Direct Stream Digital - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

 

The is a sound quality issue is in the conversion from DSD to PCM for processing/post production. Making a 8-bit word for DSD-Wide has no negative effect in the conversion. It's simply a packaging scheme. Making a parallel PCM word(s) from a DSD data stream does have sonic consequences, and they increase as the sampling rate ratio between the DSD and resulting PCM increases. The conversion requires two steps:

 

1, Decimation filtering to filter high frequencies that would exceed the Nyquist frequency of the new, lower PCM sampling rate

 

2, Computing a value within the PCM range of data values that most approximates the DSD value.

 

It can be argued (and it is incessantly) whether these conversions affect the quality of the sound. Many, including myself believe it does, and is particularly noticeable in the corruption of spaciousness information.

 

To Ted's points, The Sonoma and SADiE Workstations both use the Sony (Oxford actually) developed E-Chip, which operates in both the 1-bit and multi-bit domain, but always at the original DSD sampling rate. Therefore no decimation and no conversion approximation. Telarc and Kimber's recordings are edited and mixed on Sonoma. Sony (Sonoma) made a mixer, more like an oven that uses multiple E-Chips, and I believe Telarc used that for its multi-mic mix downs. Genex also made a 48 channel DSD Mixer, using FPGA's. The recent Pentatone Music For a Time of War with the Oregon Symphony was produced with it. Ray Kimber doesn't do multi-mic mixing, since his mic count is always less than eight.

 

Channel Classics, Polyhymnia (Pentatone releases, among others), and many other quality recording production companies use Pyramix for DSD recording, and DXD (PCM) for mixing and editing. Editing in DXD however, is a special case. Only the edit interval ( much less than a second) is actually in DXD (352KHz PCM). The surrounding DSD content is not converted. Recently, with the release of Pyramix 8, they are now performing edits and crossfades entirely in DSD.

 

Channel Classics is more akin to Blue Coast, but without the original recording to tape stage. Jared's recordings are mixed in analog at the session on a custom purpose built analog mixer. He uses best quality Van den Hul microphone cabling, and super transparent battery powered mic preamps to achieve his sound. Jared also used Pyramix for editing, but at that time, the levels have already been established in the analog mixing stage. He, like Cookie uses DSD primarily for archiving and delivery.

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I personally feel that BIS are being less than honest in their SACD product, as converting a 44.1 file, or more recently in some cases 96k, to DSD is putting a high end label on a rather ordinary product. Obviously they want to sell to the SACD crowd without paying the premium to produce a true DSD SACD product, but my view is that if you can't or won't make the investment, you have no business being in the market.

 

I don't find their business model or actions disingenuous or less than honest at all. There are thousands of PCM-based SACD's out there, and many are not of the level of BIS. Furthermore, they are clear about the provenance. Yes, I'd love if every SACD was either DSD recorded or analog-to-DSD, but together they still represent a slight minority of the 8K album catalog out there. So..although these downloads now provide no reason for the hirez stereo enthusiast to ever buy their SACDs, there is one other aspect...the BIS SACD also presents us with a nice surround mix too.

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I don't find their business model or actions disingenuous or less than honest at all. There are thousands of PCM-based SACD's out there, and many are not of the level of BIS. Furthermore, they are clear about the provenance. Yes, I'd love if every SACD was either DSD recorded or analog-to-DSD, but together they still represent a slight minority of the 8K album catalog out there. So..although these downloads now provide no reason for the hirez stereo enthusiast to ever buy their SACDs, there is one other aspect...the BIS SACD also presents us with a nice surround mix too.

 

I must be missing something, not a single BIS SACD I have here states anything about sample rate, bit depth, or conversion!

 

I take your point about surround, though, for those into that.

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Sorry, I miscommunicated. I meant that Robert and BIS have been very open, on eclassical, about the original sample rate of their SACDs. Agreed that the SACD liner notes say nothing about being PCM-based....but neither do the Stones, Police, etc etc.

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Sorry, I miscommunicated. I meant that Robert and BIS have been very open, on eclassical, about the original sample rate of their SACDs. Agreed that the SACD liner notes say nothing about being PCM-based....but neither do the Stones, Police, etc etc.

 

No worries!

 

Chandos, on the other hand, are perfectly clear about the technical aspects of their recordings in the liner notes. I appreciate this as I can make an informed decision on whether to but a physical copy or go to the download (in almost every case, it is the download).

 

I have no strict religion on this - I find that a high sample rate recording converted to DSD can be outstanding. But low sample rate recordings IMO defeat the purpose and I avoid.

 

Interesting that you mention the Stones, there were excellent pure DSD transfers on the original SACD's, but lately, I see on sites like HDTracks what appear to be new transfers at high sample rate PCM. Might be interesting to hear about the merits of both if anyone has done so.

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No worries!

 

Chandos, on the other hand, are perfectly clear about the technical aspects of their recordings in the liner notes. I appreciate this as I can make an informed decision on whether to but a physical copy or go to the download (in almost every case, it is the download).

 

I have no strict religion on this - I find that a high sample rate recording converted to DSD can be outstanding. But low sample rate recordings IMO defeat the purpose and I avoid.

 

Interesting that you mention the Stones, there were excellent pure DSD transfers on the original SACD's, but lately, I see on sites like HDTracks what appear to be new transfers at high sample rate PCM. Might be interesting to hear about the merits of both if anyone has done so.

 

Dear Robert,

On BIS, the liner notes for the very recent SACD release of Brahms First Symphony by T. Dausgaard conducting the Swedish Chamber Orchestra state explicitly that the recording was made in 24bit 44.1kHz format.

On the recent HD Stones release, I got it from Qobuz but believe it is equivalent to the HDTracks version as both were issued at exactly the same time. The sound quality is very good on the first disc and two thirds of the second disc, but from there the sound is heavily compressed dynamically. The upside is that the real (I mean old) hits are in the first part, so in the end it is OK.

Boris

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And we are back on:

 

https://www.eclassical.com/pages/christmas19.html

 

Today the only album I know here is the Brautigam Mozart, which is enjoyable (although I have a slight preference for Bezuidenhout in these concertos). 

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On 12/26/2012 at 3:13 AM, tailspn said:

 

Mixing is the process of both combining multiple sources and/or level changing. The algorithms are the same, regardless of whether it's a 1-bit stream, or a multiple parallel bit (word) stream. However, to operate on a value in a 1-bit data stream (not possible since any one sample does not constitute a magnitude level), or to efficiently use the existing computational hardware, and software, 1-bit data streams (DSD) are converted to parallel word based data streams, either DSD-Wide (as used in the Sonoma or SADiE DAW), or PCM. This is explained well here under the heading DSD:

 

Direct Stream Digital - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

 

The is a sound quality issue is in the conversion from DSD to PCM for processing/post production. Making a 8-bit word for DSD-Wide has no negative effect in the conversion. It's simply a packaging scheme. Making a parallel PCM word(s) from a DSD data stream does have sonic consequences, and they increase as the sampling rate ratio between the DSD and resulting PCM increases. The conversion requires two steps:

 

1, Decimation filtering to filter high frequencies that would exceed the Nyquist frequency of the new, lower PCM sampling rate

 

2, Computing a value within the PCM range of data values that most approximates the DSD value.

 

It can be argued (and it is incessantly) whether these conversions affect the quality of the sound. Many, including myself believe it does, and is particularly noticeable in the corruption of spaciousness information.

 

To Ted's points, The Sonoma and SADiE Workstations both use the Sony (Oxford actually) developed E-Chip, which operates in both the 1-bit and multi-bit domain, but always at the original DSD sampling rate. Therefore no decimation and no conversion approximation. Telarc and Kimber's recordings are edited and mixed on Sonoma. Sony (Sonoma) made a mixer, more like an oven that uses multiple E-Chips, and I believe Telarc used that for its multi-mic mix downs. Genex also made a 48 channel DSD Mixer, using FPGA's. The recent Pentatone Music For a Time of War with the Oregon Symphony was produced with it. Ray Kimber doesn't do multi-mic mixing, since his mic count is always less than eight.

 

Channel Classics, Polyhymnia (Pentatone releases, among others), and many other quality recording production companies use Pyramix for DSD recording, and DXD (PCM) for mixing and editing. Editing in DXD however, is a special case. Only the edit interval ( much less than a second) is actually in DXD (352KHz PCM). The surrounding DSD content is not converted. Recently, with the release of Pyramix 8, they are now performing edits and crossfades entirely in DSD.

 

Channel Classics is more akin to Blue Coast, but without the original recording to tape stage. Jared's recordings are mixed in analog at the session on a custom purpose built analog mixer. He uses best quality Van den Hul microphone cabling, and super transparent battery powered mic preamps to achieve his sound. Jared also used Pyramix for editing, but at that time, the levels have already been established in the analog mixing stage. He, like Cookie uses DSD primarily for archiving and delivery.

Thanks Tailspin very informative.

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On 12/1/2019 at 5:22 AM, Musicophile said:

And we are back on:

 

https://www.eclassical.com/pages/christmas19.html

 

Today the only album I know here is the Brautigam Mozart, which is enjoyable (although I have a slight preference for Bezuidenhout in these concertos). 

 

Yes, I really love these eClassical sales. I bought the Brautigam yesterday, but be warned - I ran into a glitch where the order didn't get attached to my account. I am still awaiting a response from support (after 48 hours) and have not heard anything. Troubling if this becomes a pattern with them.

 

Perhaps @bissie can help get this resolved?

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Dear @austinpop  this is George from eClassical. I can't see that we have an email from you about this. But not sure who you are in our store :) . Can you send it again to [email protected] 

We take pride in answering all our emails personally and we do it within 24h for the most.

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5 hours ago, George Olvik said:

Dear @austinpop  this is George from eClassical. I can't see that we have an email from you about this. But not sure who you are in our store :) . Can you send it again to [email protected] 

We take pride in answering all our emails personally and we do it within 24h for the most.


Hi George,

 

I see from my emails overnight you found me in your system and took care of this.  Thanks very much for your prompt attention!

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Debussy & Ligeti — excellent picks today:

 

Debussy late sonatas on Harmonia Mundi.

 

Debussy "Jeux" and Ligeti "Melodien" on Pentatone with Jonathan Nott & Orch. Suisse Romande.  (I skipped the Strauss.)


Mac Mini (2012 i7) > HQPlayer or Audirvana > exaSound e32 > Parasound JC-1 > Thiel 3.7

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