August 14, 2017

Vintage On DSD

Working with vintage analog music doesn’t preclude the usage of modern technologies. Quite the opposite. When it comes to digital audio, there’s one format that actually matches analog quite nicely. The DSD (Direct Stream Digital) format doesn’t allow editing because it represents the audio wave in a series of changes (“deltas”) whereas “normal” digital file formats (such as PCM / Wave) code the signal in absolute values. We wrote a primer about the differences ..

With DSD what you hear is what you get. No touch ups. No editing for noise reduction or clicks. And the sound is awesome.

Sony and Philips invented DSD years ago for their system of digitally recreating audible signals for the Super Audio CD (SACD). They kept the standard locked up for a long time so it never really became “mainstream”. It is however the encoding of choice for professionals and we started to transfer our large collection of vintage tapes to DSD quite a while ago.

We have started to re-master and transfer all of our archives to DSD. It’s the only “close to analog” format that allows us to keep the music alive for posterity.

We will also release some excerpts for you to enjoy. However – you most likely need special software or hardware (preferred) to be able to listen.

Windows / Mac:  Tascam Hi-Res Editor (free)
Linux:  DeadBeef (free)

The software tools will allow you to listen to the tunes we provide here. But they will convert the DSD data into a wave format to make it digestible for your computer. However – PCM (wave) is not the format we recorded the audio in. Any conversion of the DSD data will reduce the quality. So – please: If you want the best “close to analog” sound available, invest into a DSD capable DAC (Digital Audio Converter). Not just any DAC – it has to be able to convert DSD/DSF data.

If you like to see (and hear) more vintage DSD – consider helping us offset the cost.
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