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Offline rendering of DSD to PCM


fritzg

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So, I bought a DSD file. Bill Evans' Sunday at Village Vanguard. Currently playing it back in Roon which is rendering it on the fly to PCM. It's 2.8MHz/64fs.

 

How can I render this offline to PCM and at what frequency?

JRiver MC, Korg Audiogate, and dbPoweramp will all convert DSD to PCM offline

Main listening (small home office):

Main setup: Surge protector +_iFi  AC iPurifiers >Isol-8 Mini sub Axis Power Conditioning+Isolation>QuietPC Low Noise Server>Roon (Audiolense DRC)>Stack Audio Link II>Kii Control>Kii Three >GIK Room Treatments.

Secondary Listening: Server with Audiolense RC>RPi4 or analog>Matrix Element i Streamer/DAC (XLR)+Schiit Freya>Kii Three .

Bedroom: SBTouch to Cambridge Soundworks Desktop Setup.
Living Room/Kitchen: Ropieee (RPi3b+ with touchscreen) + Schiit Modi3E to a pair of Morel Hogtalare. 

All absolute statements about audio are false :)

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Convert format>options>there are options for bit depth and etc in DSP options

Main listening (small home office):

Main setup: Surge protector +_iFi  AC iPurifiers >Isol-8 Mini sub Axis Power Conditioning+Isolation>QuietPC Low Noise Server>Roon (Audiolense DRC)>Stack Audio Link II>Kii Control>Kii Three >GIK Room Treatments.

Secondary Listening: Server with Audiolense RC>RPi4 or analog>Matrix Element i Streamer/DAC (XLR)+Schiit Freya>Kii Three .

Bedroom: SBTouch to Cambridge Soundworks Desktop Setup.
Living Room/Kitchen: Ropieee (RPi3b+ with touchscreen) + Schiit Modi3E to a pair of Morel Hogtalare. 

All absolute statements about audio are false :)

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I think the normal conversion is 2.8MHz to 88 KHz and 5.6 MHz to 176 KHz, although 96 KHz and 192 KHz would be fine also. There is no real advantage to doing a conversion to an integral multiple of the DSD sample rate.

 

Any time you convert from DSD to PCM a large amount of high frequency noise ends up in the PCM file. JRiver by default has an aggressive filter to cut that out. It starts at 24 KHz with a slope of 48db/octave. That will certainly work. However, it will also filter out some high frequency content that you may want. The option is to turn that filter off (Tools - Options - Audio - Advanced - DSP Plugings - DSD) and add your own low pass filter when you convert in DSP Studio (same place you set the sample rate) Parametric Equalizer. I use one at 60 KHz/48dB/octave for my 192 KHz files. You are probably fine with the default but you should be aware of the issue if you do this regularly.

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Hope I didn't scare you away from JRiver with the filter stuff. It is really not that hard. Ignore the filter for now. In the convert window, click on option s then click Output Format, then scroll down to Greater than 384,000 and change it to 88K or 176K. Close those windows and hit convert.

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Hope I didn't scare you away from JRiver. It is really not that hard. Ignore the filter for now. In the convert window, click on option s then click Output Format, then scroll down to Greater than 384,000 and change it to 88K or 176K. Close those windows and hit convert.

 

You didn't scare me off. I found what was suggested, it's just a very clunky interface.

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Glad you got it to work. JRiver is never the smoothest interface, but it has more features than most other programs. There is a program on MAC called DSD Master. I have never used it and have not read much about it. But, if you are looking for a MAC option, you might look at it. It is a bit of a mystery to me and it costs $30.

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I believe XLD will also do this now...

 

About DSD Support in XLD

 

Looks like XLD does not provide a low pass filter to filter out the high frequency quantization noise. If using it, it would be best to have a low pass filter in your playback stream. JRiver lets you set a filter during the conversion which means you do not need one on playback, which, I think, is a cleaner solution.

 

Since XLD first converts to 352 KHz and then converted from there, 88 KHz and 176 KHz would be the preferred sample rates.

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Just to follow up on DSD Master, after reading the website I see no mention of a low pass filter in the main description, but there is the following description on their blog :

 

"So what do we do with the DSD content above 20kHz? In developing DSD Master we take the view that the content of this frequency range contains both the high-frequency content of the original signal (if any), plus the added high frequency noise created by the SDM’s noise-shaping process. We try to maintain any high frequency content within the signal flat up to 30kHz, and then begin our roll-off above that. Consequently, our DSD conversions at high sample rates (88.2kHz and above) do contain a significant ultrasonic peak in the 35-40kHz range. However, that peak is limited to about -80dB, which is way too low to either be audible(!) or to cause instability in anyone’s electronics. Meanwhile, the phase response is quasi-linear up to the point at which the ultrasonic noise rises above the signal level."

 

More details in their June 25 posting on their blogspot

 

BitPerfect

 

Once again, since JRiver lets you set your own low pass filter, it is more flexible than the DSD Master build in filter.

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I think standard practice is to convert to 24/176. It can be done with the Weiss Saracon software.

 

No difference by sound quality for output sample rate.

 

Recommended convert to sample rate that "best sounding" for your DAC.

 

Usually it is maximal sample rate.

 

But significantly depend on that inside the DAC.

 

Possibly it will one of sample rates of the DAC. Need made sound check.

 

And it is good, if converter can give maximal quality instantly "from box".

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ISO, DSF, DFF (1-bit/D64/128/256/512/1024), wav, flac, aiff, alac,  safe CD ripper to PCM/DSF,

Seamless Album Conversion, AIFF, WAV, FLAC, DSF metadata editor, Mac & Windows
Offline conversion save energy and nature

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Best I've tried so far is DSD Master. Much better than on the fly via Jriver. But there's definitely a noticeable loss of quality vs the DSD versions. It get's less noticeable with double DSD and even less with quad. In my experience conversion to 24/352.8 (DXD) yielded the best results.

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I.e. you use "bit-perfect" mode for both DSD and PCM,

and both types offline converted files playback in its "native" mode of DAC (DSD in DSD, PCM in PCM), isn't it?

AuI ConverteR 48x44 - HD audio converter/optimizer for DAC of high resolution files

ISO, DSF, DFF (1-bit/D64/128/256/512/1024), wav, flac, aiff, alac,  safe CD ripper to PCM/DSF,

Seamless Album Conversion, AIFF, WAV, FLAC, DSF metadata editor, Mac & Windows
Offline conversion save energy and nature

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When I'm referring to "Native" and "DOP" what that means is the method of transporting the DSD data to the DAC from the computer. It all depends on the Driver/FPGA implementation the DAC uses.

 

It's completely unrelated to PCM playback.

 

There should be only 2 reasons that you would ever convert DSD to PCM in the first place.

 

1: because you don't have a DSD compatible DAC

 

2: You need to apply DSP filtering for active crossovers etc.

 

Using HQ Player there's a way to apply the DSP even to a DSD stream. So if that's the player you use than only reason #1 would apply.

 

DSD to PCM conversion is a lossy process. Even done the best way possible you will still lose something. It should only be done if absolutely necessary.

 

The main thing I find that gets lost is purity and naturalness. But in order to really notice the difference you'll need to hear the original DSD version with a DSD capable DAC to compare.

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