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DIGITAL MEDIA

CD

Today, the CD is the standard among audio media and is likely to remain so for some time. This is why our main production revolves around CDs. As described above, these benefit from our highly intricate production techniques. The latest recordings in particular probe the limits of what is feasible in CDs from a technical and musical point of view.

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DVD+FLAC and FLAC192

High Resolution Audio: The DVD+FLAC and FLAC192 Discs

DVD+FLAC Disc contains high resolution audio with 24 Bit/96kHz in two different formats: As a directly playable DVD and as FLAC files for the Media Player or Computer.

DVD can be played on all DVD players, wherein it can be run like a normal CD; no menu structures, which need a screen for their display.

Moreover, the disc contains the music in form of files in the widely circulated and popular FLAC format. These files can be read from any DVD ROM drives. FLAC stands for the abbreviation of “Free Lossless Audio Codec”. Corresponding to the concept that the comfort of the playing of music files is linked to the highest playback quality; not only the NO lossy data reduction as in case of MP3 and other similar formats, but also the significantly better audio quality as compared to the CD. These FLAC files can be played on a series of Hifi Media / network players or it can even be directly played from a Software media player on a PC or MAC.

Meanwhile all DVD+FLAC sets contain a second DVD(-ROM) with 24Bit/192kHz FLAC files and are called DVD+FLAC192 (formerly known as "Special Edition"). There are two versions available:

1. DVD+FLAC192

2. DVD+FLAC192 "Comparison Kit" - This version includes the standard audio CD version, too.

FLAC192

The development in the area of HD-Audio and media players is progressing at a fast pace. Currently the 24/192 format becomes a standard which is supported by most of the new devices. By now there are affordable solutions for beginners available, as well. Therefore now it is a mere logical consequence to completely forego the intermediate step of 24/96 and in the future to only offer this format alongside the established CD and vinyl. In addition to the download version, the corresponding FLAC files nonwithstanding should also be available on a physical storage medium - exactly that is provided by the FLAC192 disc. The FLAC192 contains one DVD(-ROM) with 24Bit/192kHz FLAC files and the printed Booklet. It is available as "Comparison Kit", too.

 

Advantages of high resolution audio with 24Bit/96kHz or 24Bit/192kHz

JOLIVETklein

 

Image 1 – spectral display of a music passage over the time:
24/96 -Version above
CD-Version below

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

Love for music and the fascination for its efficacy centrally determine the operations at ACOUSENCE. Conventional digital signals cannot reproduce the musical procedures and natural sound structures over the time in a way, as it is felt by humans at the time of direct hearing of the music. A 24 Bit/96kHz digital signals offer significant advantages as a result of double effects. On the one hand, hardly any signals are truncated in higher frequency areas (see image 1), and on the other hand, the digital-technological broadening of impulse-like signals and subsequently the luting and veiling of fine musical and tonal details is almost not existent. (Image 2). In all, this attracts the attention to itself in a natural, musical and richly colored sound pattern. Experience the fascination of music in a new dimension!

Energiedispersion_klein

 

Image 2 – area within which energy of an impulse is scattered, depending on the sampling rate (CD=red, 24/96=yellow)

FLAC Downloads

ACOUSENCE classics with High Resolution Audio online

Music consumption on the basis of standardized file formats and no longer on the basis of standardized Audio media formats shall determine the future without any doubt. Music over Internet does not remain a synonym for reduced sound quality anymore, after the technical requirements (such as faster data networks, low-cost memory) do not remain the least requirement for MP3. On the contrary, an entirely new quality level – far better than the CD – can be achieved in this way.
We are pleased to be in the position to offer our products not only in CD quality, but also in 24 Bit/96kHz and 24 Bit/192kHz quality.

There are two different possibilities to order this products:

1. Direct downloads via the award-winning online portal of our partner LINN Records (CD quality and MP3, too) or at HIGHRESAUDIO

2. Order of our DVD+FLAC192 discs or direct downloads (including 24/192, 24/96 and CD-quality versions in FLAC format) via our own shopping system: Our catalog

SACD

sacd_logo

We have not yet produced any SACDs at ACOUSENCE to date because we were initially far from convinced of the musical result when we performed our own experiments using the DSD (Direct Stream Digital) recording procedure for SACD, not to mention a strange tone colouration and unnaturalness in the timbre and tone structures of individual instruments. External productions that we have heard so far also gave no occasion for us to believe that anything else could be achieved with this medium at all.

As can be read in various professional articles written by ACOUSENCE's label chief, Ralf Koschnicke, temporal resolution plays a very significant role in music transfer, and in this respect, the DSD recording method of SACDs is open to criticism. Although the transmission range in this method is not sharply restricted by filters, as with a CD, the high frequency noise inherent in the system starts at 20 kHz already, so that the signal parts that are so essential to the musical fine structure are easily masked by signal noise, which ultimately leads to a similar result as the one effected by filtering in a CD.  

The concept behind the sound carrier itself, however, continues to be very interesting; it is simply a breeze to operate and presumably the SACD is indeed the last, honest-to-goodness sound carrier that we will get for the foreseeable future - if not for ever. New experiments have now been performed, in particular on the basis of the current theoretical considerations with regard to the relevance of the HF information for musical accuracy, that were aimed at having the signal noise, if it cannot be avoided in the first place, start as high up as possible (with respect to the starting frequency) and thereby having all parts of the useful signal above the signal noise, if possible, at least at CD-level, that is -90dB. We have succeeded in doing so by recording the sum output of the analogue mixer directly via DSD converters by the EMM Labs company in DSD format and by using the dynamic range, which is significantly higher compared to conventional PCM audio, up to the limits of the allowed SACD specifications in the process. Incidentally, it became very clear that the temporal resolution of detail suffers considerably and that the strange tone colouration mentioned above occurs already if the level is only 8db lower, for example.

Now that our first SACD has been mastered, the results are convincing all around. The chosen method in particular - recording in 4fs (24bit/192kHz) multi-track, analogue mixing, then converting it very puristically 1:1 in DSD on the SACD - appears to be the ideal way for this format. Based on the experience made, pre-production in DSD is just as inexpedient – for that, the 64fs DSD of the SACD is simply unsuitable due to the noise problem –  as the commonly used path via PCM digital audio in 48Khz or even 44.1kHz – in that case, the resolution is limited far below the potential of the SACD already.

On the two figures shown below, one can see a passage from our "DER SYMPHONISCHE RING“, digitalised both times for the purpose of graphical representation in 24/192 PCM but sent down the DSD ADDA route first. The measuring range is calibrated to 90dB=Black.

Normal DSD AD converter input level:
DSDlow_b400

DSD AD converter input level that is 8db higher (this is how the SACD is mastered now):

DSDhigh_b400

For comparison, here is the version for our DVD+FLAC and FLAC downloads, digitalised in 24/192:

DSDvgl192k_b400

Just as the higher input level now results in the fact that even the high frequency components are largely not affected by noise, the acoustic result is just as impressive! 8dB, which appear to be so insignificant, alter the sound and the temporal accuracy immensely.
The passage displayed here shows the furious battle between Siegfried and the dragon. While the elemental forces can fully unfold in the specially mastered SACD, just like in the high-resolution 24/192 PCM version, the sound does not open up in the conventionally mastered DSD version as the sound level rises, and thus the utter brutality, which is fully intended here, cannot really develop to its full extent. Instead, the sound becomes ever smaller and more washed-out as the complexity of the overtone mix increases (higher volumes create more overtone components). One can literally hear how the fine structure that is found in the high frequency component is "drowned".

Our first SACD

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