avatar

owlander

Platinum Blonde

Posts: 1,037 Member Since: 27/01/2011

Lead

Apr 15 17 10:16 AM

Tags : :

I was fooling with my recording setup the other night and after buying some DVD+RW's decided to try DSD. However, when listening to playback I was underwhelmed vs 192khz. There's more crispness and likeness to the original signal vs the DSD version. Anyone else with DSD? What have you found?

Maybe I need to do some more listening, but for what I can tell at the moment, I much prefer 192 PCM.
Quote    Reply   
avatar

soapfoot

Ruby Baby

Posts: 7,504 Member Since:04/02/2011

#1 [url]

Apr 15 17 10:24 AM

what were you using to record and play back the DSD?

What sample rate were you using? 5.6mHz or something else?

brad allen williams

Quote    Reply   
avatar

John Eppstein

Platinum Blonde

Posts: 1,311 Member Since:31/05/2015

#2 [url]

Apr 15 17 3:31 PM

owlander wrote:
I was fooling with my recording setup the other night and after buying some DVD+RW's decided to try DSD. However, when listening to playback I was underwhelmed vs 192khz. There's more crispness and likeness to the original signal vs the DSD version. Anyone else with DSD? What have you found?

Maybe I need to do some more listening, but for what I can tell at the moment, I much prefer 192 PCM.

The original signal?

What are you talking about?

To benefit from DSD that has to be your original format - you won't get any benefit from starting at 192 and converting to DSD - once something is lost, it's lost. And the extra layer of conversion will liklely have some adverse effect as well.

Most modern converters do actually start with DSD and downconvert to whatever PCM format you choose to work at, but it really only works one way. The problem is that you can't perform the usual processing and editing operations in the native DSD format - to do that stuff you HAVE to downconvert to PCM. You can mix to DSD because the mix is a new recording (it's kind of like taking a hi-rez photo of a collage composed of bits of lower rez original pictures), but it still isn't going to be as hi-rez as if iut was an original DSD track. That's why DSD is primarily regarded as an archival format. You record your original tracks in DSD, then you can downconvert to whatever mix/distribution PCM format you choose - but it doesn't work the other way.

If you had original DSD tracks and wanted to preserve resolution during mixdown you could play back your original DSD tracks in analog to do your mixing and processing, then capture your mix in DSD.

Last Edited By: John Eppstein Apr 15 17 3:38 PM. Edited 2 times.

Quote    Reply   
avatar

Mike Rivers

Aqua Marine

Posts: 2,540 Member Since:13/10/2012

#4 [url]

Apr 15 17 6:29 PM

owlander wrote:
I was fooling with my recording setup the other night and after buying some DVD+RW's decided to try DSD. However, when listening to playback I was underwhelmed vs 192khz. There's more crispness and likeness to the original signal vs the DSD version.

 


If you recorded something at 192 kHz sample rate (or some other rate) and then converted it to DSD, then you certainly wouldn't gain anything, and might indeed lose something. If you want to compare the two recording methods, what you need to do is record the same source using both a conventional PCM converter and a DSD converter and then listen to their respetive playbacks.

I'm guessing that the significance to "buying some DVD+RWs" is that you burned one as a DSD, the other as 192 kHz WAV file, and you have a DVD player that can play both (or played them in a computer DVD drive). That's a good start - you're listening back to both examples through the same D/A converter. But how you got there in the first place is the key to whether or not your evaluation is valid.

People rarely use "crisp" to describe a DSD recording - they tend to be more "full" or have more "depth" or something like that. If your source sounds better if it's crisp, then the PCM version probably really does sound better than the DSD to you.



For a good time, call mikeriversaudio.wordpress.com

Last Edited By: Mike Rivers Apr 15 17 6:33 PM. Edited 1 time.

Quote    Reply   
avatar

owlander

Platinum Blonde

Posts: 1,037 Member Since:27/01/2011

#5 [url]

Apr 15 17 7:42 PM

soapfoot wrote:
what were you using to record and play back the DSD?

What sample rate were you using? 5.6mHz or something else?


Built in to my master recorder Brad..DVD. Not sure what the sample rate on DSD was, but I could change between 192 and DSD. I'll have to check the sample rate that DSD is recorded at on my recorder.

Quote    Reply   
avatar

owlander

Platinum Blonde

Posts: 1,037 Member Since:27/01/2011

#6 [url]

Apr 15 17 7:49 PM

compasspnt wrote:
I have found the playback of DSD 5.6 mixes to be the most accurate to the desk output of anything I've tried.


But I prefer mixing back into PT for rock...DSD for jazz, classical, soft acoustic music...


I've heard to mention that a few times over the years Terry, which is why I was surprised to hear what I did at 192. Even the lower sample rate 1.2mhz? DSD should be superior. I'll have to check the specs again. My recorder is the Tascam DV-RA1000.

Quote    Reply   
avatar

owlander

Platinum Blonde

Posts: 1,037 Member Since:27/01/2011

#7 [url]

Apr 15 17 8:24 PM

John Eppstein wrote:

owlander wrote:
I was fooling with my recording setup the other night and after buying some DVD+RW's decided to try DSD. However, when listening to playback I was underwhelmed vs 192khz. There's more crispness and likeness to the original signal vs the DSD version. Anyone else with DSD? What have you found?

Maybe I need to do some more listening, but for what I can tell at the moment, I much prefer 192 PCM.

The original signal?

What are you talking about?

To benefit from DSD that has to be your original format - you won't get any benefit from starting at 192 and converting to DSD - once something is lost, it's lost. And the extra layer of conversion will liklely have some adverse effect as well.

Most modern converters do actually start with DSD and downconvert to whatever PCM format you choose to work at, but it really only works one way. The problem is that you can't perform the usual processing and editing operations in the native DSD format - to do that stuff you HAVE to downconvert to PCM. You can mix to DSD because the mix is a new recording (it's kind of like taking a hi-rez photo of a collage composed of bits of lower rez original pictures), but it still isn't going to be as hi-rez as if iut was an original DSD track. That's why DSD is primarily regarded as an archival format. You record your original tracks in DSD, then you can downconvert to whatever mix/distribution PCM format you choose - but it doesn't work the other way.

If you had original DSD tracks and wanted to preserve resolution during mixdown you could play back your original DSD tracks in analog to do your mixing and processing, then capture your mix in DSD.

John...original signal to 192. Original signal to DSD. No converting.

Quote    Reply   
avatar

soapfoot

Ruby Baby

Posts: 7,504 Member Since:04/02/2011

#9 [url]

Apr 16 17 8:26 AM

Interesting, Chuck. My experience and opinion mirrors Terry's. We have the Tascam unit at our place and 5.6 MHz DSD is what I sometimes use to make "safety" copies of tape mixes, or for an alternative to either tape or PCM which might get mastered from.

Granted, I never use 192k PCM. Sometimes 88.2k but that's about as high as I tend to go for sample rates.

brad allen williams

Quote    Reply   
avatar

gtoledo3

Aqua Marine

Posts: 4,227 Member Since:23/10/2013

#10 [url]

Apr 16 17 9:20 AM

DSD is sort of like perceptual encoding on steroids.

Less dynamic range at the top. Pushes noise up to the top of the frequency spectrum.

The specs even with the vanilla flavor are equivalent to 20bit in the meat of the freq range... and if I recall correctly, I think it gets around 4 bits above maybe 22k or so. Which is pretty good. But not GREAT. The newer flavors of DSD up the specs quite a bit.

It doesn't really pass the smell test tech wise... and seems like a real dumb hack "just because you can" but I am sure that there can be good results with it in certain contexts.

Quote    Reply   
avatar

gtoledo3

Aqua Marine

Posts: 4,227 Member Since:23/10/2013

#11 [url]

Apr 16 17 9:22 AM

"Most modern converters do actually start with DSD and downconvert to whatever PCM format you choose to work at, but it really only works one way."

Really? I'd like to see proof of that. Not saying it isn't so, but darn... I will definitely admit that I do not *think* it is so! They oversample, sure, but I am pretty damn sure they do not process it to DSD then change it to PCM.

Quote    Reply   
avatar

owlander

Platinum Blonde

Posts: 1,037 Member Since:27/01/2011

#12 [url]

Apr 16 17 10:24 AM

Ok...wait a second. Something was screwed up with my machine, as now the files are showing up as de facto .dff and I am unable to play them. Before, (first time) when I recorded using the DSD format I was able to play the file, which doesn't make sense as none of my software actually supports .dff? Not sure what it was doing? It said DSD? ...anyway, now it seems to be recording DSD properly and I can see the file is a fair bit bigger vs 192...105MB vs 128MB DSD. If I could actually play the file, that would be good.

What are people using for editing software to manipulate these files? Any ideas? I use Sequoia but it don't support.

Quote    Reply   
avatar

dcollins

Platinum Blonde

Posts: 2,373 Member Since:27/01/2011

#13 [url]

Apr 16 17 11:13 AM

gtoledo3 wrote:
"Most modern converters do actually start with DSD and downconvert to whatever PCM format you choose to work at, but it really only works one way."

Really? I'd like to see proof of that. Not saying it isn't so, but darn... I will definitely admit that I do not *think* it is so! They oversample, sure, but I am pretty damn sure they do not process it to DSD then change it to PCM.
There are no modern converter chips that use a one bit quantizer.  They are all massively oversampled, but at multi-bit levels.


 davecollinsmastering.com


Quote    Reply   
avatar

reynaud

Silverado

Posts: 210 Member Since:13/07/2011

#14 [url]

Apr 16 17 11:52 AM

owlander wrote:

What are people using for editing software to manipulate these files? Any ideas? I use Sequoia but it don't support.
 


Two choices currently - both require a sizeable investment financially:
(1) Pyramix (downsamples to 352.8kHz LPCM for the duration of the fade and edit) supports DSD64 up to DSD256 and supports 16 channels in the Pyramix Native Pro Pack and up to 64 tracks with MassCore Extended.
http://merging.com/products/pyramix/key-features

(2) Sonoma (employs DSD-Wide, i.e. does not convert to LPCM, which keeps the sample rate the same but increases to 8bit for the duration of the fade or edit) and commercially supports DSD64 but DSD128 support is available in a beta build. Supports up to 32 channels. 
http://www.superaudiocenter.com/Products.htm

Free options:
(3) Tascam HiRes Editor (uses DSD-Wide but also may be set to convert to LPCM) supports up to DSD256. Stereo only. 
http://tascam.com/product/hi-res_editor/



 

Quote    Reply   
avatar

owlander

Platinum Blonde

Posts: 1,037 Member Since:27/01/2011

#15 [url]

Apr 16 17 1:21 PM

Thanks Reynaud. I did find a conversion option in dBpoweramp with an auxilary codec that worked. It converted to 96k wav from .dff. Worked and sounded good but not quite as good (obviously), as the original 192. Such a difficult format to use; no wonder it hasn't caught on? I guess for now will have to stick to 192, which is still great.

Edit: Link to download for 192khz wav in question, for anyone that wants to listen. Quick pass of 'Babe I'm Gonna Leave You'. Single Sony C48. Thanks to WWittman and for years and years of perspective and reading...
http://www.filedropper.com/pye-192khzwav

Last Edited By: owlander Apr 16 17 2:36 PM. Edited 3 times.

Quote    Reply   
avatar

silvertone

Aqua Marine

Posts: 2,797 Member Since:26/01/2011

#16 [url]

Apr 16 17 1:22 PM

soapfoot wrote:
Interesting, Chuck. My experience and opinion mirrors Terry's. We have the Tascam unit at our place and 5.6 MHz DSD is what I sometimes use to make "safety" copies of tape mixes, or for an alternative to either tape or PCM which might get mastered from.

Granted, I never use 192k PCM. Sometimes 88.2k but that's about as high as I tend to go for sample rates.

Mine too. The Korg MR1000 here, 5.6 MHz as well.  Funny 88.2 is where I stop at recording high sample rate PCM too Brad.  I just don't think it's necessary to use up any more storage space than that.  

One of the ways I intend to use the Langevin tube console and Presto 3 track is to mix down to DSD for my stereo format.    From there go analog out of the DSD player and into the analog side of my mastering chain.

Also I plan to be able to, at the push of a button, send the whole tube recording chain into the mastering room to monitor mixes pre and post mastering.  I had the Electrodyne setup this way and it was a great way to be able to mix. It truly spoiled me.

I'm also going to be able to multitrack in Pro Tools and send stems out to mixdown though the tube console to the 3 track to capture its "sound" and can go full round Robin back out, through the mastering chain and print that back into the mix.

Funny to hear the various opinions regarding DSD. It may just show how differently we all hear.

Silvertone Mastering, celebrating 28 years in business.

www.silvertonemastering.com

Quote    Reply   
avatar

zmix

Aqua Marine

Posts: 4,274 Member Since:20/01/2011

#17 [url]

Apr 16 17 3:38 PM

gtoledo3 wrote:
DSD is sort of like perceptual encoding on steroids.

Less dynamic range at the top. Pushes noise up to the top of the frequency spectrum.

The specs even with the vanilla flavor are equivalent to 20bit in the meat of the freq range... and if I recall correctly, I think it gets around 4 bits above maybe 22k or so. Which is pretty good. But not GREAT. The newer flavors of DSD up the specs quite a bit.

It doesn't really pass the smell test tech wise... and seems like a real dumb hack "just because you can" but I am sure that there can be good results with it in certain contexts.

Well, it doesn't function in any way like perceptual encoding, (if you were being literal).

It was never intended a anything other than a proprietary archiving format, when it failed at that it was the job of marketing to recoup all the R&D.

You've hit upon most of the issues technically, it's simply oversampled 1 bit audio with tremendous HF contamination and a dynamic range that is inversely proportional to frequency.

This should never fly with audio professionals, but the fans seem to be more of the "magical thinking" cult than audio pros.. It's certainly not "hi res" even though it's *advertised* as such.

I find it just doesn't sound as good to me as PCM audio,


Quote    Reply   
avatar

Mike Rivers

Aqua Marine

Posts: 2,540 Member Since:13/10/2012

#18 [url]

Apr 16 17 4:01 PM

For what it's worth, I, too, have a Korg MR-1000. I bought it because I was looking for a portable stereo recorder with workable mic preamps with phantom power, and enough storage capacity for a full weekend's recording at music festivals. I didn't buy it because it offered DSD, but I tried it and didn't really hear any advantage to it for what I was recording. Usually I record at 44.1 kHz 24-bit and it sounds just fine. I can't remember how long I've had it, At the time I got it (2008) I was looking at the solid state memory recorders of the day and I opted for the Korg because it had a 40 GB hard drive rather than having to manage a box full of 1 or 2 GB SD memory cards of the era.

I really wanted to believe in DSD, and always thought that it (as the Korg presents it) sounded just fine, but playing it back anywhere else than with the recorder involved converting it to PCM, so I just decided it wasn't worth the trouble and the extra disk space.



For a good time, call mikeriversaudio.wordpress.com

Quote    Reply   
avatar

gtoledo3

Aqua Marine

Posts: 4,227 Member Since:23/10/2013

#19 [url]

Apr 16 17 5:47 PM

For sure Chuck, not being literal at all, hence the analogy.

It is very different than perceptual encoding, but I think "perceptual encoding on steroids" might be a fair expression.

There is a decision made that human perception is such that pushing all of the noise to HF is the best judgement call, and as a side effect of this, certain frequency ranges have less resolution. In a very general sense, this is a similar logic process to perceptual encoding; human perception is more attuned to some frequencies, so more of the data should go towards representing them.

Of course the actual methodologies between the two worlds are vastly different, and there are also many spins on perceptual encoding.

With PCM there is obviously the similar judgment that a given frequency range is most important, but there isn't the next step of making resolution effectively differ across that frequency range.

Last Edited By: gtoledo3 Apr 16 17 5:49 PM. Edited 1 time.

Quote    Reply   
avatar

gtoledo3

Aqua Marine

Posts: 4,227 Member Since:23/10/2013

#20 [url]

Apr 16 17 5:53 PM

I hadn't taken note that the dynamic range is directly(?) inversely proportional to frequency with DSD. Interesting point.

Quote    Reply   
Add Reply

Quick Reply

bbcode help