Category Archives: DSD Downloads

Album of the Week: “The Window” on NativeDSD.com

AOTW facebook twitter

Get 20% Off “The Window” in any DSD Resolution up to DSD512.

NativeDSD.com in the Netherlands has selected “The Window” as their Album of the Week. The 20% discount is good through May 1, 2020.

Go to the NativeDSD website here…

Use the checkout promo code: AOTW to get 20% off.

NativeDSD.com has original DSD masters and remasters up to the highest resolution DSD512 (stereo). “The Window” has both stereo and 5.1 multichannel surround downloads available (MCH downloads up to DSD256 resolution).

Download one of the best known reference quality recordings, recorded live studio directly to DSD64 by Gus Skinas, mastered by Gus as DSD for SACD release in 2003.

“The Window” contains no edits, overdubs, digital effects or any compression of any kind. It is a pure acoustic recording made using vintage EMM Labs ADC DSD converters and the original Sonoma DSD Workstation (8 tracks max.).  It is mixed on the Sonoma using the Sony Wide DSD Mixer Card and mastered as native DSD on the same workstation.

This recording never has been converted to any other digital or analog format and is considered a PURE DSD recording, one of very few anywhere in the world. It only gets converted to analog for the first time when you play it on your DSD enabled system. What you then hear is 100% identical to the studio master recording.

“The Window” features some especially talented musicians backing me on these live studio recordings: Matt Flinner, Ross Martin, Sally Van Meter, Eric Thorin, Marc Dalio, John Magnie. Recorded in 3 consecutive days at Immersive Studios in Boulder, Colorado.

AOTW Instagram - Layout

https://www.nativedsd.com/albums/SSP3162D64-the-window

Don’t forget to use the discount promo code AOTW at checkout!

Many thanks – please share with your social media and friends online.

~ DE

Listen to the newest song release "Stand In The Middle" online at davidelias.com -- other new song releases and the album collection "Nighttime Music" with unreleased songs also here.

Listen to the newest song release “Stand In The Middle” online at davidelias.com — other new song releases and the album collection “Nighttime Music” with unreleased songs also here.

Over 23,000 MQA Remastered Albums Streaming on TIDAL up to DXD

David Elias Streaming listeners in the last 28 days

Are you streaming audio?

Do you listen to hi-res?

If not, do you want to?

 

[Note Added by DE, 03/16/2020]:

(Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/High-resolution_audio)

High-resolution audio (High-definition audio or HD audio) is a technical and marketing term for audio with greater than 44.1 kHz sample rate or higher than 16-bit audio bit depth. It commonly refers to 96 or 192 kHz sample rates. However, there also exist 44.1 kHz/24-bit, 48 kHz/24-bit and 88.2 kHz/24-bit recordings that are labeled HD Audio. “

The above Wikipedia definition of hi-res includes 24/44.1k, which may also be referenced as HD. When what I refer to in this post as my DXD and other masters are played as TIDAL Masters (MQA) through a Mytek Brooklyn USB MQA/DSD DAC or an iFi Audio Pro iDSD USB/Wifi MQA/DSD DAC the bitstream is reported by the DAC (Mytek and iFi Audio) to be 24-bit 352.8k (or 24/384k) MQA.  This is, according to any definition in the so-called audio industry I am aware of, known as DXD.  I don’t make this up. I report it as it is presented by the industry authorities and experts of digital audio. If the source bitstream is not a folded MQA encoding, it will be reported by these same devices as either 24/44.1 or 24/48 — both of which according to Wikipedia above also qualify as hi-res.

In addition, there are a number of streaming services apart from TIDAL that deliver bit perfect, lossless streams of their source audio files. I have played my MQA 44.1k masters through the Qobuz iOS player at 24/44.1k (routed via WiFi to Pro iDSD DAC/preamp) and they are properly recognized as MQA 24/44.1k on the iFi Audio Pro iDSD USB/WiFi MQA DAC. As long as a bit perfect stream is delivered to the gear decoding MQA, the MQA authentication is preserved through streaming services such as TIDAL, Qobuz, Deezer, 7digital, and others.

Finally, in 2019 alone, a number of MQA equipment partners were recognized by the music industry at many levels with awards for their excellence in sound quality. These are not money hack grubbing shyster types of people and businesses. These are some of the more respected names in the beloved & sacred music industry. For those who choose to accuse others of nothing more than base and ill motives (ie, money) for their pursuit of better sound in a newly emerging hi-res, highly compact and deliverable/streamable, carefully researched and listened to listened to listened to new audio encoding that requires extensive listening and comparison rather than only spec reading to evaluate, let those accusers at least know the scope of the indictments they are passing without jury onto others characters, with or without snake oil expletives.

https://www.mqa.co.uk/news/post/mqa-partners-reap-rewards
(Pro-ject, Hegel, NAD, Mytek, Bluesound, iFi Audio, Astell&Kern, TIDAL, AudioQuest, HELM, LG, dCS Bartok, Aurender, Esoteric, FiiO, Wadax, Control4, Mark Levinson, Dali Callisto, Roon).

Other MQA Partners include:  nugs.net, Onkyo Music, Hi-Res Audio, e-onkyo (Japan), Sony, Pioneer, 2L, Xiami Music, Audirvana, Amarra, Essential, Cayin, HiBy, ibasso, Audiolab, Berkeley, Bel Canto, Brinkmann, Canever, Novatron, EmmLabs, exaSound, Jineung, Lumin, M2Tech, Matrix Audio, Meridian, Moon, MSB, NuPrime, PS-Audio, PureAudio, S.M.S.L., Teac, Atoll, Cary, Esoteric, Citech, Technics, Krell, Rotel.

“MQA is quite an emotional experience. One of the great pleasures of MQA, beyond its ability to give the listener high resolution sound, is having a true center come out of two loudspeakers or earphones.” – Bruce Botnik, longtime The Doors engineer

Let it be. – DE


TIDAL streams hi-res as MQA Remasters. Their iOS/Android/Windows player decodes to 24/96 without buying any new hardware. Right now there are over 23,000 albums and singles in the TIDAL “Masters” catalog. These usually appear with the letter “M” on the thumbnail.

There is a list online that gets updated twice a week with the current MQA Masters album list on TIDAL. You can download it as a CSV file and open it in Excel anytime.

Here is the Forum that created and manages the list. The link to the list is in the first post you see “MQA_List.csv”:

https://www.meridianunplugged.com/ubbthreads/ubbthreads.php

Most remasters are 24/96 or 24/192k but some are CD (44k) remasters (where MQA sound quality improvements are most noticeable to my ears) and some are up to DXD rates (352.8k and 384k). My albums are in this list:



There are some of my all time favorite albums in this list including (random picks) Bowie’s Ziggy Stardust, Todd Rundgren’s Faithful, Talking Heads 77, The Stones Let It Bleed, Yes Fragile, Steve Earle Copperhead Road, Tom Petty (they have just about all of them). Create your own playlists and have at it.

Yeah But Does It Really Sound Better?

Yeah, it does. PCM never sounded so good to my ears after about 35 years of trying, until I heard MQA encoded masters. I’m talking about CDs (PCM) and other hi-res up to 24/192k. I hated CD sound then I found DSD and never looked back for what sounded good digitally for audio. But everyone was still listened to CD and PCM streaming….Then I found MQA for all of those people hearing CD quality and worse (MP3, AAC) all the time. I had a lot of music recorded for CD since the mid 90’s. It needed help. MQA helped it a lot. It could also make my DSD available for listening to people not setup to hear DSD. And it still sounded darn (damn) good.

MQA is good for CD, it doesn’t have to be hi-res. I don’t notice the press talking/writing/blogging much about this but I hear the most improvement on regular CD masters at 16 or 24/44.1k. I have my work to compare first and foremost to my ears here. That’s why I had my whole CD collection reencoded as MQA. They all sounded much better that way, more like what I heard when I was recording and mixing them. The MQA “math” also points to its biggest improvements at the lower resolution masters like CD where brickwall filters typically used for studio recording/mastering induce the highest incidence of pre-echo ringing on the results. MQA removes this unnatural edgy artifact from the master so it sounds more like analog when you listen to it, especially if it’s acoustic and vocal and not compressed to start with.

DE on BC

The hi-res 24/96 and above streams at the lower bitrates from TIDAL. That means you won’t use lots of data (around 1 to 1.5mbps) to listen to the music coming in at 24/96, 192 and higher. MQA has a “folding” technology that saves data space which means small files for downloading and low bitrates for streaming.

You can try TIDAL free for 30 days from their web site at TIDAL.com

 


Thank You NativeDSD & Listeners in Lots of Countries

 

DE ON NATIVEDSD

Huge thank you’s for all who took advantage of the COMBI-1 discount new downloads for Higher Rates Program (HRP) up to DSD512.

In February 90% of those buying my DSD downloads at NativeDSD.com were selecting remaster rates above the original DSD64.  These higher rates are another evolved technology that brings huge smiles to listeners ears, mine included. Thank you NativeDSD!

Thank you to all February listeners from Germany, US, Spain, Canada, Italy, Indonesia, Hong Kong, Great Britain, France, Portugal, Netherlands, Romania, Sweden, Hungary, Belgium — Many thanks! – DE



Storewide 15% at NativeDSD.com

NativeDSD StoreWide Sale May 2018

Check out NativeDSD’s 15% Storewide Sale on DSD Masters! Only happens twice a year….

My DSD catalog on NativeDSD with both stereo and 5.1 Surround Sound DSD Masters is here: http://skettisandwich.nativedsd.com

Use Checkout Code: MAY15

They have over 1300 DSD Masters now all 15% off:
http://nativedsd.com

Happy listening!

~ DE

For The Holidaze ~ Buy One, Get One (MQA or DSD!)

Between now and the New Year (yes it will be 2018…) any full album you purchase from my pages for MQA masters *or* DSD masters will be acknowledged with a big MAHALO email from me containing a simple way for you to download any OTHER album of mine you want.

You can mix and match DSD and MQA all you have to do is reply to the thank you email I’ll send after your purchase and tell me which album you want to download for free.

You buy one or more with a download order, and I’ll send you a code/link to get one of your choice!  Any format, any resolution, you decide.

Easy peasy. You *won’t* have to volunteer your maiden middle name, the 2nd, 4th, and 9th digits of your Social Security Number, your Bitcoin wallet password, or your plans for the holiday season. Just tell me which album!

Here are the links to purchase from to get a free album.

For MQA Masters (stereo only) in all resolutions (16/44 to 24/352.8) use this link:

http://davidelias-mqa.com

For DSD64 Masters including multichannel use this link:

http://davidelias.com/dsd_downloads


As the year winds down you may be wandering, careening, catapulting, waltzing, wistfully walking, twist and shouting, meditating, mirroring, toe stepping, or broad jumping towards the great unknown in 2018…

I hope some music helps ease the transition and helps make it enjoyable for you and those surrounding you.

Be well – thank you for all the continued huge welcome and aloha you have shown me and my music through the year. Send this email or post to anyone you think might want to hear some.

With Aloha! Have some happy holidays!

– DE


PS… Some are asking me where I got that photo of the Golden Gate. I got it from seat 37J (if I remember that right)

PS2 (remember those? if you do you are probably nearly as old as me)………..If you too also wondering how the hell you might play *both* DSD *and* MQA audio files through a single setup (ideally one that can be mobile with battery and all the right quality and support for things like headphone amplification and matched impedances, and any other details that make it easier to just listen to well recorded digital music *INCLUDING* streaming MQA such as from TIDAL)…. then you may have to look no further.

Witness the new release of the iFI-audio USB DAC and headphone amp, the Nano iDSD BL (for Black Label). I saw it onsale at Amazon yesterday for $199…..

The small Nano needs a PC/MAC computer or smartphone connected to it (ie, it’s not a player just a DAC).

What a gift that would make!

 

Free DSD128 Download, Live Music in Calif.

HiloJungle-DavidElias-1920x1080

August is…

Aloha All!

If you are into DSD you can find about about a free download my friends at iFi-Audio are hosting with one of my unreleased songs recorded in a cabin in Hawaii as DSD128.

Go read (scroll down their latest posts) and grab it from the iFi page here:
https://www.facebook.com/pg/iFiAudio/posts/

In the same download link there is also the Hilo jungle desktop wallpaper I created.

~~~ 2 Shows in San Gregorio ~~~

HOPE to see some of you in Calif. at San G. on 8/11 (5-7pm) or 8/12 (KPFA Benefit 6pm). http://sangregoriostore.com

Schedule and Tix for the KPFA Benefit shows being played in the Store every weekend in August are online at http://insurgentart.com

Take Care,

– DE

DSD on DVD Discs – Same Masters as SACD – Plays in your SACD player

DSD Made Easy…

To avoid the 6GB+ download for multichannel DSD64 and 2GB+ for stereo, that still is a problem for many worldwide, not to mention a hassle, I now ship a DVD (Data Disc) with the same album tracks on it.

This disc plays directly from the OPPO or any other SACD/DSD disc player (which is usually the DVD/Blu-ray player too) by just selecting the “Music” option (2nd menu choice on OPPO) instead of “CD” option.

Then you just press Play and it plays the album track by track as native DSD. Exactly the same DSD masters as on the SACDs.

“The Window” SACD has been out of print for many years now and is known to sell as used copies online by others for hundreds of dollars. In addition, I have some of my best-selling DSD albums that have never been printed as SACD, only available as DSD Downloads.

All of these are now available as discs for sale. Not CDs, just DSD on a data disc. They won’t play in a CD player. Only in your SACD player.

Back to the problem for some…DSD Downloads. Not only is downloading sometimes tedious depending on your Internet speed and data limit per month (I only get 10GB/mo here for what I can afford), but you then also need the right computer media player like JRiver or Audirvana or others.  Then you also need the right DSD DAC like OPPO HA-2, or Mytek or AURALiC or others and you need to have all that feed your stereo.  Playing multichannel in this fashion can be more challenging.

Not everyone’s idea of fun in music.  Instead they like to pop a disc into their DVD/SACD player and press play.

You can do it by ordering a DSD DVD Disc here:

http://davidelias.com/dsd_on_dvd_data_discs

No one else has done this that I know of, but that shouldn’t scare you. It’s usually cheaper than buying the SACD but doesn’t come in a fancy package.

Just the highest quality DVD (verified) with a white label, hand made, hand written, signed by me and mailed to you in a solid case within a day or two.  You pay shipping which is added at PayPal checkout, depending on where you are in the world.

So far these have gone as far as from Hawaii to Ireland!

Here are the native DSD albums available as DVD Data discs:

  •  Coffeehouse Playlist #1 (sampler of other DSD albums) – Stereo ($24.95 + shipping)
  •  The Window – Stereo or Multichannel ($24.95 + shipping)
  •  Crossing – Stereo or Multichannel ($24.95 + shipping)
  •  Acoustic Trio DSD Sessions – Stereo ($24.95 + shipping)
  •  Slipper DSD Sessions – Stereo ($19.95 + shipping)

Most of these have a PDF with notes, lyrics and photos you can download from the web page where you buy it.

Another nice thing about DVD Data discs with DSD Masters is that you can back them up!  Just copy the DSD (DSF) files off the disc and save them on your computer. No can do with SACDs.

Yes and you can play those same files through your JRiver or Audirvana or whatever you have on computer to play DSD as well.  No DRM in other words.

Hope that didn’t scare you. It’s supposed to make playing “downloadable” DSD easy. You just put in a disc and press Play.

http://davidelias.com/dsd_on_dvd_data_discs

Aloha to All,

– DE

PS – if you followed all this and you have DSD Downloads already, you probably figured out you can burn your own DVD and play any of them in your SACD player if you want as well.  You don’t need me to do that!

DVD Data Discs to the Hi-Res Audio Download Rescue

More for some less for others…

If you don’t want to read this and just want to check it out:

http://davidelias.com/dsd_on_dvd_data_discs/


Many of us including me started downloading MP3 music online in the mid 90’s. It sucked then. We used 33k or then advanced 56k modems over telephone dialup lines. This means we were getting our audio file data at the rates of 4.2KB, or 7.2KB per second.

Everything about download or transfer speed today is measured in either MB/s or even GB/s.  An MB/s is 1000 times faster than a KB/s.  A GB/s is 1,000,000 times faster than a KB/s.  I feel old.

Songs in MP3 format were then and are still often 1MB data per minute of music. So a 4 minute song (4MB data) took anywhere from say 16 minutes to maybe 10 minutes top speed to download…. zzzz …. zzzz ….. zzzz ……  one song, not one album.

A CD version of that same song as a WAV or AIF off the disc took about 10 times as long to download!  Now you see why MP3 was so popular even though it didn’t sound great, and why iTunes took advantage of that when they opened their store for downloads in 2004.

(Oops I forgot to mention that by 2004 there was plenty of Cable Modem and DSL and other much much faster internet to the home, but Apple and everyone else was used to MP3 crappy lossy quality by then….so no one adapted to the fact that good quality was also pretty easy to download. Then FLAC format came along and compressed the WAV file size by around half without loss of any music info. Still no one disrupted the money machine called iTunes, even when they made their own FLAC and called it ALAC and could have delivered CD quality back then no problem and no cost.)

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Fast Forward to 2009. I started offering DSD downloads of my SACDs to mostly the owners of Sony Playstation3’s since most of the SACD players of that day could not play what was called a DSD Disc (data disc with DSD files) as defined by Sony then.

The DSD Disc was literally a DVD data disc burned with the DSD song files (as DSF types with tags or DFF without tags) in a specific folder hierarchy that allowed players of the day to read the data files and play the music.  It broke the mold Sony had created for watermarked copy protection on SACD. You still couldn’t rip SACDs (one can today with the right gear and software).

No one came…

Well a few did, but even though Internet was overall speedy by then (cable modem download speed in Hilo in 2009 was about 650KB/s) it still was not mainstream or always easy to download the large ISO image (to burn the DVD with) for many out there.

My download then was a single 2GB image (zipped ISO file) to burn a DVD disc with to play the audio files on something, either on your computer or on the DVD Disc playing in your Playstation3 or  special Sony or Onkyo SACD players that handled DSD Disc as well as SACD.

zzzz..zzz.zzz.zzzzzz

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Rapid Forward to 2017 when Hilo’s Time Warner Cable Modem in some people’s homes breaks the speed meter on speedtest.net at 20MB/s and above as high as maybe 26MB/s.

So while it is easy for some to download hi-res audio, it’s not easy for others. Lots of others. Worldwide. In fact 5 miles up the road from Hilo here in East Hawaii many people may not even be able to get cable modems from Time Warner and so use a much slower and costlier satellite confiugration. If they are in the forest blocking the satellite option and more than a few miles from the nearest telephone wire center (for DSL), forget about it.

By 2011 I moved away from the DSD Disc (ISO) format and just started offering to download the DSF files from my website. Then in 2013 a number of retailers came online to offer DSD downloads and that was great.

Nothing against large file downloads (I guess averages of my stereo DSD files are somewhere around 200MB per song and multichannel maybe 500 per song) but a lot of people around the world and in the US still have trouble with this today. Those files can be hard to retrieve and they take up a lot of space if you have a lot of music. (And they are hard to fit more than a small number into your smartphone.)

Problems often come from slow or interrupted Internet links, confusion on what to even do with files once they are downloaded, or combinations of other things like Safari browsers that insert .TXT file extensions on downloaded files because the server they got the (DSD) file from (like Dropbox) does not properly identify the MIME type for .DSF and .DFF music files.

Aren’t you sorry you asked?

It’s enough to … … … …. ………

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

A few years ago I thought I’d offer to make downloads and their problems go away for those not interested in the challenge but who wanted the music. So I provided a way to purchase the music as a little USB stick I would then mail to you. You get the USB stick, put it in your computer or BDP player and get right to it.

No one came….

Today I am offering a similar thing but this time using DVD discs as data.

http://davidelias.com/dsd_on_dvd_data_discs/

These are just the same kind of good quality DVD discs anyone could burn files to off their PC/Mac for either video or just data. A blank single layer (SL), single sided disc has a 4.7 GB capacity. A double layer (DL) has twice that or 8.5GB. My multichannel SACDs require either 2 SL DVDs or 1 DL DVD.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Why would I do that you ask?

If you don’t like downloading large files but want to listen to the excellent qualities of DSD as the native source format for the hi-res recordings I have released, you might try buying the DVD version and just getting it in the mail.

The sound files are 100% identical to what is online for download. They are the same as what is/was on the SACDs for that matter. Many of my DSD titles were never SACD. These are now all available on DVD disc as well, not just as downloads.

You just pop the DVD into your OPPO or Sony or other Blu-ray/SACD/DVD/CD player (aka BDP for Blu-ray Disc Player) and select Music from from the menu.  On my OPPO 103 this is the first icon after the disc (audio CD/video DVD) icon and is called “Music”.

The DVD will then show up on your screen as a “Data Disc” choice (as opposed to, say “USB”).  Selecting the Data Disc media then shows the album song list just as it would from a CD or SACD.

Click on a song, play and enjoy. It continues to play songs from there to the end of the list like any CD/SACD.

If you like (and highly suggested by me), just copy the original DVD data to your computer or any backup media you use. In other words, back it up when it’s brand new. No DRM – if you don’t know what that means, good on you.

You can also play the files on your computer from your software media player through your DAC as DoP like any other DSD download. Just put the disc in the computer CD/DVD drive (just a CD drive won’t work) and select those files from your media player software (JRiver, Amarra, Audirvana….).  They then play DSD through your external DSD DAC (Mytek, iFi Audio, OPPO….).

DSD on DVD Data Discs. Hope this helps.

Questions about DVD Data Discs? Post a reply and I’ll answer you best I can.

Aloha!

~ DE
http://facebook.com/davideliasmusic
http://youtube.com/davideliasvideo
http://davidelias-mqa.com


 

4 MQA Songs to Try (1 Free) – CD to Hi-Res

Introducing you to MQA with 4 songs.


UPDATE OFFER – January, 2020 – Some of the best-known songs by David Elias are now available at a 50% Discount for the MQA Studio Masters on his Bandcamp catalog.  Coffeehouse MQA Playlist #1 (Remastered) contains 10 MQA tracks some of which decode up to 24/352.8k.

Use check out code TRYCOFFEE50 and pay about $5.

Some of David Elias’s best known music played at audiophile trade show demos, on Spotify  and TIDAL, and as mobile HRA OTG go to’s on Smartphones including “Morning Light/Western Town” and “The Old King” are in this collection.

Preview and Buy Coffeehouse Playlist #1 (Remastered) as MQA. It plays on any media player (hardware or software). It can also be decoded as MQA up to 24/352.8k with compatible gear.

Hear Acoustic like you never have before.

No DRM. Full Previews. With purchase you have unlimited downloads forever. All popular audio formats supported (suggested: FLAC, ALAC). Also unlimited streaming from Bandcamp’s free Bandcamp Music iOs/Android app.

Get 50% off – Use check code: TRYCOFFEE50 and pay about $5 for the entire playlist.

coffehouseplaylist-50%-screenshot


UPDATED Jan 18, 2017
These 4 songs now download for $4. There is 1 free track available
——-Here is how MQA Ltd. described me in their newsletter this week (emphasis is mine):

MQA Artist Release
Sound quality has been a driving motivation for singer-songwriter David Elias since he started recording his music digitally more than 20 years ago. On listening to some of his earliest recordings encoded with MQA, David noted, “The original intention and sounds are much more accurately represented [with MQA] and are therefore much, much more enjoyable to listen to. The convenience of MQA’s smaller file size is an additional no-brainer.” 

This paragraph says a lot for me because I’ve lived with CD and its problems with sound quality as long as everyone else. In fact I had no CDs long after many did, sticking to vinyl and even my own mix tape cassettes (analog ruled) for years after the CD deluge. It sounded better. I liked album covers. What can I say.

I broke my teeth on CD quality recording in 1995 making my first CD in a home studio setup. I recorded to Hi-8 Video Tape at 16/48 on an 8-track Tascam DA-88. I’d recorded myself at times on various tape machines and a few digital boxes for almost 20 years but this was much different.

I listened to a lot of everything I put on tape through that whole process of recording, mixing analog (lengend original Mackie 1202!) to 16/44.1 (Sony TCD-10 DAT) and then mastered on a DyaxisII Workstation. It sounded good and in fact better in the studio than on the final CD that was printed.

Those early CDs and many later recordings were either created or converted to PCM to be moved online one way or another. All my released songs are on YouTube Music now for example, as audio, as well as lots of other places, like 50 or more. The more they travel in the Etherspace the worse they sound generally.  They get downsampled and converted into whatever suits the retailer or streaming radio like Pandora (one of my least favorites for sound quality).

But shoots, I want to get heard…otherwise I wouldn’t put music I write out there in the first place.

Enter MQA… I started listening to it in February on hi-res converted music from 2L in Norway. Classical works. I knew some of them from 10+ years prior as SACDs I had actually been given by Morten Lindberg there. 2L put MQA converted masters (DXD conversions which are PCM at 24/352.8) online to try as well as other hi-res formats. I was using a Meridian Explorer2 MQA DAC connected to my Dell Windows 10 notebook running the latest JRiver.

All I can say is I didn’t hear anything I didn’t like, and in some cases heard some things I really really liked.

So I started listening to other MQA encoded tracks. MQA is not a new audio format. It is still linear PCM, just has its own corrections (aka filtering) applied to the encoding of the music.

 What I started paying attention to more and more and hearing more and more were the timing coherence corrections in the playback. What PCM has always done to my ears, along with countless others, is present a very sharp unnatural edge to the sound that can get worse for me the louder or harder the music is played. It doesn’t flow like vinyl, cassette, or DSD. Usually it kind of attacks quickly, then disappears. It’s not relaxing, let me put it that way.

MQA encoded tracks I listened to had lost much of that sharp attack, no decay characteristic. They were well presented and much easier to listen to. They positioned things more clearly in the stereo space noticeably including the front and back locations in addition to left and right. The soundstage was then more 2 dimensional with depth as well as 3 dimensional with up and down.

This listening started with a lot of music I didn’t know, yet I was happy to listen to it with open ears so to speak.

Over the next few months, I decided I wanted to hear some of my PCM recordings as MQA and started making inquiries as to how I might do that. In the end, I became an MQA artist partner and have converted my catalog and archives to MQA encoded PCM.

I’ve actually had most of my catalog online as PCM on the Bandcamp site (http://davidelias.bandcamp.com) as CD quality up to 24/88.2 for a couple years now. Now most of that has been updated to download in the smaller FLAC or ALAC MQA encoded files.

Overall, MQA sounded better to me than any CD or hi-res PCM master I had. It doesn’t need much more proof to me. I have read a lot about the “what it is” and “why it works” to understand that better, but after my intro through reading and some YouTubes, I just started listening a lot. I still am.

What About The 4 Songs…  The first album on the page at the link above is a free download. You can also stream it as much as you want. Bandcamp lets you download songs in a variety of formats. The default is MP3.  Don’t download it as MP3! 

MQA requires what’s called a lossless format — The 4 big lossless formats being used out there are the original WAV (PC) and AIF (Mac) and their file (not audio) compressed counterparts FLAC (PC) and ALAC (Mac).  Choose one of those when you download from anywhere no matter what the site or music! It is not missing some of its music from the original like MP3!

FLAC and ALAC are roughly 1/2 the size of WAV and AIF. They sound identical and are better at carrying the magic metadata or tags that include all the song and album info for the media player to display when playing the track.

MP3 and Apple’s AAC use math to remove audio data in an original CD or hi-res audio master to make it a much smaller file (in general about 1/10th the size). That was the strategy from the beginning when everyone was dialing up the Internet on modems. It made sense then as one didn’t want to stay online for hours or days to download an album. Apple cemented that approach since iTunes Store came online in 2004. How long will that go on? As long as people buy it I guess.

 Excuse Me, What About The 4 Songs…  Ok, I have a lot of MQA encoded music I am really kind of hearing for the first time myself. This includes both very good and some not so great recordings (like live public hall stuff through a single $99 Sony stereo mic to DAT).

Most of it got created as a PCM recording. The MQA encoded versions of these tracks changed how they sound to me and took me a lot closer to the original performance whether was studio or live stage. It sounds more like the sound in the room at the time and what was played and I am relaxed when I listen to it because of that.

Go here and try 4 songs at 3 different PCM resolutions, all encoded as MQA

https://davidelias.bandcamp.com/album/mqa-track-sampler-any-player-works-1-free-track

If I went into too much detail this email might get long :)

Here’s the (short) not so fine print:

1) If you have an MQA DAC you can hear the full resolution up to 24/352.8 or the limits of your MQA DAC.

2) If you don’t have an MQA DAC you can just play it anyway at 16/44.1, 24/44.1 or 24/48 depending on source track

3) If you get an MQA DAC later (or the media players do it for you) you’ll hear the hi-res then

 The song audio resolutions range from CD (16/44.1) hi-res (24/96) to DXD (24/352.8). They are all only about as big as a CD file to download (about 700MB), maybe a little bigger.

CD’s sound better as MQA to me with or without the MQA DAC gear. You can just play them. I’ve had different people tell me the same thing about my stuff. So far I have heard its biggest benefits on the lowest res recordings. I might even know why.

If you have questions you can reply to this email, it just comes to me…I hope you try downloading the tracks. If you have an MQA DAC, don’t stream them, download them!

Thanks For Listening!

DE
http://www.davidelias-mqa.com (MQA Downloads)
http://www.davidelias.com/dsd_downloads (DSD Downloads)
http://youtube.com/davideliasvideo

ONE – a year in the making

ONE – a year in the making

“Bought and listened to the album “One”. Have about 40 albums with hi-res stores (from 96 kHz to DSD128), but this sound never met. It’s incredibly clean, the background is blacker than black. Musical instruments are precise, clear, but not sharp, no porridge, no noise, no haste, no bloated confusing scenes and confusion. This album has a special, unique atmosphere. This amazing adventure. Bravo!”Online music lover

Finally, after nearly a year in the works, the limited edition PS Audio Sonoma Master Series release is shipping. A project to help musicians and further the state of the art in musical reproduction, this collection of pure DSD recorded music is nothing short of stunning, both musically and sonically.

http://www.psaudio.com/products/one-sonoma-master-series/

Hand mastered and curated by Gus Skinas, each of the 10 tracks is a sonic masterpiece you have to have in your collection. This two-disc set includes a dual-layer SACD with pure DSD as well as a uniquely mastered CD layer, playable in any CD transport (more on this in the further description), and a DVD data disc with high resolution 176kHz 24 PCM as well as DSD.

Also included is a beautiful 20 page color booklet. A true collector’s item. Get one in your hands before they’re gone. Ships worldwide.

Buy Here…

Thanks for Listening!

– DE

PS – “The Blue Planet” $1 EP download sale is good thru Friday 4/22 (Earth Day!)… If you have 3 minutes, the soundtrack to this video I created from film I shot of a partial lunar eclipse from the Big Island is “Inverness” from same EP. The synth I played is mixed with the night crickets during the eclipse…

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bFiXzSniF8M