Topic: DSD recording software

Would it be so difficult for RME to develop and provide a simple DSD recording software for ADI-2 Pro?

I know there are some paid options, but I would love to see a free, even an open source version of it.

I am actually surprised to realise none exists...yet.

2

Re: DSD recording software

I doubt you'll see anything like that anytime soon. DSD involves licensed technology, so money has to change hands somewhere, with the costs passed along to the consumer. It's one thing for playback only, quite another when it involves making recordings.

Frank Lockwood
https://LockwoodARS.com
Fireface 800, Firmware 2.77
Drivers: Win10, 3.125; Mac, 3.36

3 (edited by superdrive 2020-08-26 16:56:55)

Re: DSD recording software

Sony (yes, who has the license) and Korg provide DSD recording softwares for their devices.

4

Re: DSD recording software

There is no license for recording/playback in DSD format. The reason no 'free' record software exists is that this is a niche feature, topic and solution. The existing ones are mentioned in the manual, and Vinyl Studio really isn't expensive.

Regards
Matthias Carstens
RME

Re: DSD recording software

I would be very happy to see RME's own software for this, even an attempt to create an open source version of it.

6

Re: DSD recording software

It should be obvious that our time is limited, and we have many more important things on our list. Things that are important for thousands of users instead of just a handful.

Regards
Matthias Carstens
RME

7 (edited by superdrive 2020-09-05 19:07:55)

Re: DSD recording software

Sure, but 1-bit AD capability of ADI-2 Pro is one of the major features, that should be supported.

Although this features is not used by Thousands, it is used by some and is critically important.

8 (edited by ramses 2020-08-30 20:10:13)

Re: DSD recording software

I think it would be useful if you could describe your use cases for such a DSD recording software.
Then it would be easier to evaluate the benefits of such a software.
For example, I wouldn't know which audio sources would be worth to be recorded in DSD format.

Then I also have big reservations about storage consumption. That would increase storage requirements for systems and backup disks noticeably.

I also have doubts that this file format does any good a) sound wise and b) energy wise when thinking about storage / energy demand for data centers world wide (cloud storage). Additionally those big files need to be transported to/from cloud storage and this fills internet backbones for no real good reason.

BR Ramses
UFX+, 12Mic, XTC, ADI-2 Pro FS R BE, RayDAT, X10SRi-F, E5-1650v4, Win10Pro21H2, Cub10.5Pro

9

Re: DSD recording software

And finally recording (plus playback) alone would not be enough - what about editing? No way this will ever happen, sorry. Solutions are available, use them.

Regards
Matthias Carstens
RME

Re: DSD recording software

For tape transfers and vinyl just invest in vinyl studio. I understand why RME won’t provide their own as mentioned above...but I hear you, if RME did make such program it would be awesome. I Seriously Love my adi 2 pro.

Re: DSD recording software

I have 700+ records, at least 100 of which I intend to record in DSD 11 Mbps. I understand that many/most people cannot hear the difference above CD-quality. I am 73, with some hearing loss, and I can still hear the difference between 192 kHz and 384 kHz. The difference is in the high frequency harmonics, and for me it makes the difference between background music, and music that I really want to listen to. I purchased some classical in 11 Mbps DSD, and I love it. I will get an RME ADI-2 Pro in a few days. I run Ubuntu Linux, and am looking for software to record the DSD from the ADI-2 Pro. Can one of you tell me how you record from the ADI-2 Pro on Linux? Thanks.

12 (edited by ramses 2021-10-18 17:05:55)

Re: DSD recording software

jlboz wrote:

[...] I am 73, with some hearing loss, and I can still hear the difference between 192 kHz and 384 kHz. The difference is in the high frequency harmonics, and for me it makes the difference between background music, and music that I really want to listen to. [...]

Sorry, but very unlikely.
Do you know of psychoacoustic effects and what was your setup and test methodology to exclude that ?

BR Ramses
UFX+, 12Mic, XTC, ADI-2 Pro FS R BE, RayDAT, X10SRi-F, E5-1650v4, Win10Pro21H2, Cub10.5Pro

Re: DSD recording software

jlboz wrote:

[...] I am 73, with some hearing loss, and I can still hear the difference between 192 kHz and 384 kHz. The difference is in the high frequency harmonics, and for me it makes the difference between background music, and music that I really want to listen to. [...]

Storage is cheap these days, so why not.

Might happen the high samplerate limits your options in connectivity.

Could be the DA-Converter you used up to now really has a problem and sounds better with higher bit/sample-rate.
Maybe you like to re-evaluate this once you got the ADI-2 Pro.

14 (edited by ramses 2021-10-18 19:00:23)

Re: DSD recording software

KaiS wrote:
jlboz wrote:

[...] I am 73, with some hearing loss, and I can still hear the difference between 192 kHz and 384 kHz. The difference is in the high frequency harmonics, and for me it makes the difference between background music, and music that I really want to listen to. [...]

Storage is cheap these days, so why not.

Might happen the high samplerate limits your options in connectivity.

Could be the DA-Converter you used up to now really has a problem and sounds better with higher bit/sample-rate.
Maybe you like to re-evaluate this once you got the ADI-2 Pro.

Yeah, sounds like an idea Kai, maybe the explanation lies in that particular HW/design.

BR Ramses
UFX+, 12Mic, XTC, ADI-2 Pro FS R BE, RayDAT, X10SRi-F, E5-1650v4, Win10Pro21H2, Cub10.5Pro

Re: DSD recording software

In the 1980's, I put together a high end stereo system. I listened to records (Sota Star Sapphire with Spectral Reference cartridge) and high end CD players, side by side, and invited others to an A-B comparison where I did not tell them which they were listening to. We all agreed that the CDs are not as realistic. I know there are those who think that a human is unable to hear the difference, and you have my condolences on your hearing. For myself and other audiophiles, we hear and appreciate the true sound of the instruments and human voice, as they include high frequency harmonics. To me, a CD sounds like I'm listening from behind a blanket. Maybe you would not notice the blanket, but I do. My speakers in the 80's were Magepan MG3's with frequency response 40 Hz to 40 kHz. They were wonderful. Now I have Koss headphones that are capable of reproducing most of what the MG3's could do. And, yes, my hearing is still better than average even at 73.

Re: DSD recording software

It was known in the 80's that a normal vinyl record (not digitally mastered) has frequencies into the MHz range, and that it is not uncommon for a person to be able to discern high frequency harmonics vs their absence. No. Humans cannot hear a clear tone at, say, 30 kHz by itself, but with an instrument like a violin, many people can hear if the high frequency harmonic s are missing . . . as on a CD.

17 (edited by KaiS 2021-10-18 22:42:12)

Re: DSD recording software

As a recording engineer that started in the 80s and did several thousand productions, I can assure you that the masters for CD and Vinyl discs never are identical.

Specially, during cutting the lacquer disc, high frequency are boosted to counteract tracking losses of average (elliptical needle) pickups.
If you now play the Vinyl disk with a better than average pickup (i.e. van den Hul, Micro Ridge needle), you will hear this boosted high frequency range, specially in the inner grooves.

So it’s not possible to 1:1 compare Vinyl to CD.

BTW: The absolute highest frequencies some special Vinyl disc pickups can track (i.e. Dynavector KARAT 17D3) are about 100kHz.
The upper limit for studio microphones and analog tape machines is about 30 kHz, where both drop off by 20 dB at least


Personally I would not argue against CD and Vinyl discs sound different.
They do!
But I would never try to simply explain that based on differences in frequency range.

Furthermore I would never record in DSD, it’s a very strange and unhandy format.
Go for PCM 96 or 192 KHz and use the “Slow” filter in both AD and DA.
Will be an ear opener I bet.

Re: DSD recording software

Ive never heard a quantizised LP that didnt sound like shit, and ive heard some. Prove me wrong, please! I could go on and on about the magic of analog, and I have 50++ yo. Electra recordings here that still sends shivers down my spine. They have that "presence" which is unmatched by digital, but only played through an analog system. With digital music you get super high SNR/dynamics, digital prosessing and ease of use. Which I all prefere, and RME has given me a revelation of this. Sorry I cant contribute to this discussion, but I cant keep my mouth shut either. Good luck with your endeavours!

RME ADI2 DAC fs. Digiface USB FF UCXII. HEGEL H80. KEF Ls50. FOSTEX T50RP + alots of other gear.

Re: DSD recording software

I have been to concerts, and I know what the instruments are supposed to sound like. That is what I want in reproduction. That is why I have Spectral preamp and power amp to go with my Sota Star Sapphire turntable with Spectral Reference cartridge. 96 and 192 kHz are certainly better than CD's, yes. But why would I want to stop at ALMOST my capacity to hear? Why wouldn't I want to exceed it? That's what I'm aiming at. There are differences in people's ability to hear. I have been noticing that I can hear things that most other people can't, e.g. I heard something in the street, and told my young house keeper. She heard it when the noise got closer. And there are subtler sounds like small sounds my cat makes that no one else seems to hear. My point is that you should not try to judge what other people can or cannot hear, based on what you can hear.

Re: DSD recording software

Hi Happy_amateur. A digital recording from an Original Master Recording record can send those chills down the spine, if the sample rate is high enough and everything else is right. I am going digital because it has finally exceeded my ability to hear the difference, with for example DSD256 (11.2 Mbps). My primary music system (besides my phono source)  is as follows: RPi 4B running Volumio -> Chord Qutest DAC -> Koss 950/ESP (electrostatic) headphones. These require linear power supplies, and special interconnects (and, yes, I can hear the difference), but when all is working correctly, tears come to my eyes.

21 (edited by ramses 2021-10-19 13:13:44)

Re: DSD recording software

jlboz wrote:

My point is that you should not try to judge what other people can or cannot hear, based on what you can hear.

True, but it always depends a bit on the individual case and here you often have to relate theoretical knowledge and practical experience and sometimes also clear up some HiFi myths. But it is also very important to have a common basis for discussion, for example, that known sources of error are excluded in sound comparisons to rule out that sound differences are not simply due to psychoacoustic effects.

In this particular case that you make e.g.
- blind test and
- quick A/B comparisons at exactly the same volume levels.

Our brain can not good remember / differentiate small sound differences over a longer period of time and louder sounds better to our ears.

BR Ramses
UFX+, 12Mic, XTC, ADI-2 Pro FS R BE, RayDAT, X10SRi-F, E5-1650v4, Win10Pro21H2, Cub10.5Pro

Re: DSD recording software

True. As to psychoacoustic effects, I rule those out when I am expecting to hear something and it sounds different from what I expect. I have 2 sound systems at this point. One uses Sennheiser 600 headphones driven by a Rupert Neve amp. The other has Koss 950/ESP headphones. I expect the Koss headphones to sound better than the Sennheiser's. When they don't, I put them side by side, and do A-B tests, and make changes to determine why. For example, that way, I determined that I need to set my Qutest DAC to either 2V or 3V output level for the Koss headphones. I also found an inadequate USB cable and replaced it. In general, I have found that my perceptions are consistent and effective.

There are many places in life where perceptions are affected by expectations/beliefs, and certainly audio is one of them. I have found ways to avoid that problem using the scientific method, and always looking for biases. The truth is, I would love it is I were wrong, and the Sennheiser headphones were capable of much better sound than I have heard, so it's easy for me to not be biased. And as to sound quality from digital recordings, I use similar principles. You know that if you put a frog in cold water and slowly heat it boiling, the frog dies. There is a similar principle in high end stereo. If you start out with really good sound and it slowly degrades, what happens? My experience is that I find myself less interested in listening, and at some point ask why, then make changes to restore the quality. I'm applying all of these principles to find what I will enjoy long-term.

23 (edited by ning 2021-10-19 13:50:52)

Re: DSD recording software

I won't argue with you if you believe higher sample rate format is better. Rather, I'll answer your original question.

If you are asking how to record dsd under linux, you must be tech savvy. Then you must know how to record DSD as DoP (any recording software can do it, such as Audacity) then convert the DoP to DSD (by removing the DSD marker in each frame).

It also doesn't hurt that you just save whatever you recorded (in DoP) to disk, and play it back in a bit perfect way. ADI-2 (and other DACs that support DoP) will recognize what you are sending is a DoP format, and switch to DoP mode automatically.

DoP is just DSD data wrapped in a PCM package. There's zero difference between DSD and DoP when you play it back --- for ADI-2, even if you have a raw DSD file, your software has to convert that data to DoP for playback anyway.


In short --- the easy route is in ADI-2 Pro, set Input to DSD mode, record using a PCM software, and you'll get a DoP encoded DSD file in WAV package. Play that Wav package bit perfectly, and your DAC will recognize it as DoP(DSD).

I actually tested this in my previous experiment and it worked.

If you really want to trim the DoP marker, writing a simple C program will do that. Or just record in Windows if you're not that good in programming.

Re: DSD recording software

Part of the issue is that ADI-2 Pro will only put out the higher sample rates and DSD256 on the USB connection. And I didn't know that audacity could take input from USB. THANKS! But then, audacity may be limited to a sample rate of 384 kHz/32-bit, which might be adequate, but it only allows export of wav files at that sample rate, being 384 kHz/16-bit. Again, that may be as much as I can hear, but it's definitely not DSD256, which the ADI-Pro is capable of. I intend to exceed my capability to hear so that that is never an issue when digitizing my records, some of which are really good quality.
As to my background, I am a retired software engineer with a PhD in Computer Science. I regularly develop C/C++ for my own use. So your suggestions are useful to me. Again, THANKS!
BTW, I have no issue with DoP. The Qutest DAC will only play direct DSD in Windows format, which Linux is not ready to do, so I have to use DoP. But DSD256 is 11+ Mbps, and audacity may not be able to produce that. Still, your suggestions are very useful, and I will investigate further.
THANKS!

Re: DSD recording software

On linux SoX might be able to record in higher sampling rates. I did not try it though.
Also here is some source code that might be of help: https://github.com/dhalsimax/dsf2flac

26 (edited by ning 2021-10-20 03:40:08)

Re: DSD recording software

>But then, audacity may be limited to a sample rate of 384 kHz/32-bit, which might be adequate, but it only allows export of wav files at that sample rate, being 384 kHz/16-bit.

Audacity exports 384/32bit without any issue on my machine.

If you want to get even higher (DSD256), Take a look at the arecord command. There should be options for you to record in higher sample rate and bit depth. Arecord by default only allows up to 192khz. But you can simply patch the program and recompile to allow higher.

arecord is usually offered as a standard utility (called ALSA utils) in your linux system. source code should be available on github: https://github.com/alsa-project/alsa-ut … ay/aplay.c It's pretty simple and you should be able to make it support 768/32 easily. With that you will have arecord and aplay which both support DoP256. Further, with some programming skills, You should also be able to remove the DoP bits (0x05/0xfa) on frame head and write native DSD format to disk.

Re: DSD recording software

I expect to get my ADI-2 Pro early next week. I plan to do lots of experimenting, and I plan to get back here late next week and respond with things I have learned. Thanks for your inputs/info.

Re: DSD recording software

KaiS wrote:

Go for PCM 96 or 192 KHz and use the “Slow” filter in both AD and DA.
Will be an ear opener I bet.

Not directly related to the original subject but I got curious: why the Slow filter for vinyl recording?

Thank you!

Re: DSD recording software

anthos314 wrote:
KaiS wrote:

Go for PCM 96 or 192 KHz and use the “Slow” filter in both AD and DA.
Will be an ear opener I bet.

Not directly related to the original subject but I got curious: why the Slow filter for vinyl recording?

Thank you!

Not only for Vinyl recording.
I selected it by ear, but there is a reason why it sounds better (to me):

Quote from manual page 81:
”... Slow [filter generates] a near perfect impulse response.
... Slow works best at 88.2/96 kHz [and above], because the decrease in the high frequency area then happens outside the audible range.”

I prefer “Slow Filter” for DA even at 44.1 kHz.

The better impulse response more then compensates for the treble rolloff above 14 kHz (see manual page 84).
I can hear a better separation of high frequency instruments, like Hihats from Shakers, and a better ambience definition.

Nice to have the selectable filters in ADI-2, everyone can easily dial through and find the personal favorite!


This reminds me to a shootout I once did between six then TOTL CD-players.

One of them stood out, sounding more transparent, as if it had a slightly boosted high frequency response.
After doing the (blind) comparison, I measured all of them and found the specific one in fact having a treble rolloff, no boost.
I remember, the company had a marketing name for it – which I didn’t care for.

They had opted for better sound in favor of looking better on measurements, a courageous decision at the time of marketing ruler-flat 20Hz-20kHz frequency responses as HiFi-ideal.

Re: DSD recording software

I heard that my ADI-2 Pro is unlikely to arrive in the near future, so I may not be able to tell you the results of my experiments. However, I would like to share with you some of the things I have found in my research. Firstly, I have always felt that music was missing from the Chord Qutest DAC: clipped. I assumed it was my fault or the lack of better equipment. Then I (finally) read the specs. The Chord Qutest . . . and the Chord Dave . . . explicitly limit the frequencies generated to 20 Hz to 20 kHz. That made me angry, but it is what it is. By way of comparison, in the 80's, I had a high end system, most of which I still have: Spectral pre-amp and power amp, Sota Star Sapphire turntable with Spectral reference cartridge + Magnepan MG3 speakers. The limiting factor here were the speakers with only 40 Hz to 40 kHz frequency response. When they started producing digitally mastered records, I found them lacking in full sound . . . like the Qutest DAC . . . and I kept to analog mastered records. I have really been hoping that the ADI-2 Pro will live up to its specs, being flat from 0 Hz to 88 kHz. Then it should sound as good to me as music limited by my MG3 speakers did.

Happy_amateur: if all you have heard is music from DACs like the Qutest, then I agree and sympathize: they all lack, as you put it, "presence". It's like going to a great concert where you are separated from the orchestra by blanket. Hopefully, at least one of us (I hope it's me) will hear the ADI-2 Pro, and be pleased. I know most people can't hear as well as we seem to, but that is no reason why we have to be satisfied with limitations accepted by most people.