Thursday, March 1, 2012
Mixing to DSD from analogue is best
After reading all about DSD and listening to the three DSD downloads from http://www.audiogate.bluecoastrecords.com/, I realised that all three songs featured acoustic instruments and in the website (http://dsd-guide.com/) it was mentioned that "DSD audio is a one bit, 2.8mHz audio format and in our opinion the closest digital representation of acoustic sounds." Note the word 'acoustic'.
That got me wondering if DSD would be a good format for electronic/rock music. So I e-mailed the question to dsd-guide.com and Cookie Marenco, founder of Blue Coast Records, replied.
This is Cookie's reply:
DSD can only be as good as its source. If the source is PCM, then it will sound like a great PCM recording. The most benefit comes with the source recording at DSD of which there are few.
It is my opinion that Mixing to DSD from analog tape is the best sounding for both acoustic and electronic/rock recordings because the playback after recording sounds more like the original sound with both the fast dynamic response and the representation of the high and low frequencies. It is most noticeable in the sound of the drums (cymbals) and in the bass. DSD represents the bass lower and more accurately than any PCM recording I've heard.
Dave Grohl of the Foo Fighters just recorded his last album to tape and won a Grammy. He stood up to thank everyone and announced to the world how much more he enjoyed the analog sound. That recording would be a great candidate for DSD.
With electronic music the benefit is less noticeable because of the instruments, but the benefit is still there. The challenge for not using PCM in the recording stage is that there are fewer ways to manipulate the sounds for effect or correction.
The real benefit of DSD for the home user will come when more music is recorded to DSD. Another benefit of DSD is that it can travel much faster through the Internet than 192/24 for downloading."
Cookie recommended some sample tracks - you can try some here that are certified as non-PCM recordings (Analog to DSD to DSD). Remember that the sample is MP3.
There is more music at http://www.downloadsnow.net/
Cookie also suggested that audiophiles should download the three free samples (which I have already listened to; click http://www.hi-fi-avenue.blogspot.com/2012/02/dsd-sounds-most-natural-and-lifelike.html ). You can find the samples at http://www.audiogate.bluecoastrecords.com/
Cookie seems confident that there will be more DSD DACs in the market soon.