|A scene from The Simpsons 1996...|
Hey everyone, for this week, let's talk about a few "miscellaneous" topics which I've either wanted to mention over the last few months or have just come up as interesting tidbits I think worth documenting but not necessarily large enough as topics in individual posts. The main topics are:
A. Instead of ASIO4All, we can use FlexASIO with the E1DA Cosmos ADC for 384kHz samplerate measurements in Room EQ Wizard.
B. A look at some "standard" SACD test signals from Philips back in 2001. With many thanks and great discussions with Black Elk.
C. Roon needs network multicasting. Check this out if you're running into network issues; I had some problems initially with my ASUS ROG GT-AX11000 and relatively complex home network.
A. FlexASIO, up to 384kHz using REW and ADCs.
B. A look at Philips' 2001 SACD DAC Test Disc ("Ichimura & Sekii") - Scarlet Book 1.2 standard.
|No harmonic distortion of concern as expected at these low output levels of -60/-120dBFS.|
"... It was largely put together by ex-Philips Classics balance engineer/producer Hein Dekker. His own recordings are excellent, but Philips Electronics developed close relationships with a number of top Dutch recording engineers (Ronald Prent for rock/pop; the team at Polyhymnia [formerly Philips Classics Recording Centre] but especially Erdo Groot). They recorded most of the stuff on the disc, and it is reference/demo quality.One of the many missed opportunities with SACD came with the recording of works by Jerry Goldsmith. While the recordings on that disc (which were released by Philips on some promos, and later by Telarc) are good, they could have been so much better. They were made at Abbey Road with legendary engineer/producer Bruce Botnick (The Doors and a gazillion others). I love Bruce, he's a really sweet guy, but he and Jerry were used to working on major movie soundtracks (either in LA or London), and they opted to work at Abbey Road with Bruce's tube mics.However, those recordings only came about by chance. We were in Budapest with Dekker (2-ch) and Groot (M-ch) to record Dvorak symphonies with Ivan Fischer and the Budapest Festival Orchestra. We knew the orchestra was going to be rehearsing with another conductor, so the guys were only able to set up their main pick-up (for 2-ch that was 4 mics across the front of the stage, and for M-ch a 5-mic array at 0 deg, +/-30 deg and +/- 110 deg. The two mics. at +/-30 were common to both microphone arrays.As the orchestra layout was going to be completely different, they could not rig any spot microphones. With the limited work done, we decamped to the M-ch control room, which was the old control room set up by Hungaroton. We could hear the orchestra tuning up through the open door, and Erdo said, "Well, we may as well listen to what they are going to rehearse." So, he opened up the 5 microphones on his array.As soon as the orchestra had settled they launched into the theme from Star Trek (the movie scored by Goldsmith, but containing part of the TV theme). That got our attention, and, after the piece broke down, we went into record and recorded the rest of the rehearsal. It sounded amazing. Just 5 mics., and the orchestra in a concert hall with a natural acoustic.When they had a break Dekker ran down and introduced himself, explained what had happened, what we were doing with SACD, and invited Goldsmith to come hear a playback, with the condition that we would erase everything on his say so.We played a few pieces with him in Erdo's chair, and I remember watching his face and thinking, 'Uh-oh, he hates it.' but he loved it. In subsequent breaks Dekker thrashed out a plan to record all the pieces we heard, but he opted to do the work at Abbey Road with the LSO instead. Abbey Road doesn't have the acoustics of a concert hall, and Polyhymnia have customized all of their microphone electronics to make them state-of-the-art, so we lost a lot when we did it for real.I think Gus Skinas still has some of the raw recordings in his archive. They are fantastic 'you are there' recordings, but also you hear the musicians pick up and drop things and make noises since they were not in a recording situation.Still, we had some fun demo'ing Basic Instinct at shows! :D"
"With regard to high speed DSD, I don't know if anyone is recording at anything higher than DSD256, and there's likely only a handful of people recording at DSD128 and DSD256. I'm sure DSD512 and DSD1024, etc. are just gimmicks like the oversampling factor on CD players back in the 80s. DSD designers like Andreas Koch (Playback Designs) and Ted Smith (PS Audio) will tell you that you get nothing for nothing, and while DSDX may look great on paper in practice you may hit other problems due to the higher clock jitter requirements. Andreas thinks DSD128 is the sweet-spot, while Ted sees some benefit to DSD256 (can't remember exactly what now). Just like in the days of PCM DDCs (where users would upsample all CDs to 24/192) there may well be audible differences, but you may not be getting exactly what you think you are getting."
"Sony fried a few high-end amps in the very early days of DSD because they had no output filter (Philips must have learned their lesson when they introduced Bitstream DAC based players in the mid-80s). Tube amps also didn't usually respond well to the SDM noise. We used to term this distortion 'birdies'."
C. Roon needs multicast.
Here's an excellent post on the Roon forum discussing lots of details which you might find very interesting. This issue with multicast came up when I was setting up my ASUS ROG Rapture GT-AX11000 back in April.
I was noticing that on occasion, some of the Roon endpoints on my network would randomly stop playing. Depending on the time of the day and how many devices were on, the stoppage could be after an hour or within minutes of playback. Here's the network architecture diagram at my home as a reminder:
I run RoonServer on my Windows 2019 Server machine and I can check the Roon log at:
Every time the playback stopped on whichever endpoint, it looked like an error of this nature:
11. Record labels will increasingly pursue a bare-bones, low investment approach. A few execs will be able to maintain lavish lifestyles even in a declining industry, but there won’t be much cash for those at lower levels in the organization. Most people working in the music business will be poorly paid, with few opportunities for advancement. New openings at the top will typically go to family members and close friends of the old school bosses—making nepotism the one record business tradition that will survive no matter what.
12. But the greatest dream of the music execs will be. . . to get out (of) the music business. They will try to sell NFTs or promote audiobooks or finance biopics or sell music-themed apparel or open music-themed casinos, etc., etc.. And who can blame them? After collapsing the economics of the record business, they clearly need a new field to destroy.