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Mark Waldrep/Sound Liaison/DSD vs PCM part 2,(Mark answers computer audiophile.)

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Jud, thanks. Yes, dac sweetspot is going to be a major factor, as is availability of the recording..unless of course this debate is supposed to be among those who record (in which case, let Mark, Barry, Jared, Tom and the other few folks here debate it, and wake me up when it is closed). DSD is not an acceptable recording format for a majority of popular labels, mainly due to the simple fact that it cannot be easily edited and manipulated. But for us audio lovers, that issue is irrelevant except for the paucity of native DSD pop/rock recordings. But for archiving/transferring analog tapes, it seems a lot of traction is in DSD128 and DSD256, regardless of the fact that more of the buying market owns PCM playback gear than DSD playback gear.


When Paul R says "equal" I will debate that comment, though. Nothing between PCM and DSD is equal IMHO. Equivalent maybe..in terms of sound quality, but to equate a format that uses samples to a format that uses a modulated stream...is, well, illogical. And in terms of sound quality, it is SOOOO dependent on the rest of the system that this debate is chock full of unmovable variables....i.e not worth debating. In tests that have already occurred (documented on the web), many find 24/192 to sound quite similar to DSD64...but then what can be said for the pool of listeners, or even for each format's higher variant (24/352.8k, for example, or DSD128 or DSD256). It's all so subjective at this sound quality level that it is almost absurd to subject it to hundreds of pages of debate. In my own listening, Norah Jones's DSD box set sounds better than her 24/192 PCM one in several DACs I've heard...and her 24/192 PCM one sounds better in a number of DACs I've heard. And these are different masterings!! Good luck with that. Same goes for those few simultaneous comparo recordings (Massimo Gon's Lizst recording, for example).


The pros tend to think that 24/352.8k is required to edit DSD64, so that may tell someone something, too (unless, of course, 24/352.8k was simply picked cuz they could..and they wanted to create a term called DXD for bragging rights purposes...who knows).

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One could do as 2L.no and record in DXD rate, do the edits and processing as usual if possible (I can't check in my own setup so someone can tell me if it works in major DAWs and easily available capture cards), and only at the final stage convert to DSD.


DSD is very close to how analogue works, so to me the Blue Coast Records way makes sense: part of the production chain is in analogue.


Another way is to also use PCM, even lower than DXD, but use a specific setup with specific plugins which do not sound digital at all when used properly, and then either provide the PCM or convert to DSD, provided of course the provenance is mentioned.


Although I am biased, my favorite way to record in DSD is what Jared does. He mixes in the box, in analog, before the ADC, then sends the mix directly to DSD. No editing, period.


BTW, I'd MUCH rather have Morten's (2L) 24/352.8k native recordings (aka DXD) than have them converted to DSD. Why do it?

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