Would you pay more for a DSD file than for the original 96 kHz/24-bit PCM source? That’s what the folks at Sound Liaison want you to do. I received an email announcing a new release from the company just in time for the 2015 Munich Audiophile Event to be held on the 14th and 15th of May in Germany. Their new release is a music sampler compiled from their first two years worth of releases and will be made available free to visitors of the NAGRA booth during the show.
The email also extols the virtues of their recording space, which has been used since the 1960’s. The room has a rich history and hosted names like Wes Montgomery and Clark Terry. Having a great sounding room is essential for making great sounding acoustic recordings and I have no doubt that MCO Studio 2 is a wonderful place to make a record…although I wonder if they have to use artificial reverberation to liven things up. From looking at the pictures, it just doesn’t seem large enough to produce the sound of an acoustically rich concert hall.
The email closes with the following:
“All the music was recorded in 24bit 96khz PCM and mixed and mastered in 96khz/24bit PCM. There are however two exceptions; Andre Heuvelman’s ‘After Silence’ was recorded in 88.2kHz/24bit and is, for practical reasons, presented here in an upsampled version. Tony Overwater and Bert van den Brink’s ‘Impromptu’ was recorded simultaneously to two different recorders in PCM and DSD.”
The sampler is available at a special introductory price:
DSD €15. – $16.82 US
PCM €10. – $11.21 US
FLAC €10. – $11.21 US
When I noticed that they want more for the DSD 64 conversion from the PCM original (33% more), I had to wonder why? I’ve written to the company and asked them how they arrived at the premium price for a file that was converted (actually downconverted) from high-resolution to DSD 64, which I regard as just slightly better than a standard CD. From the recordings that I’ve heard from Sound Liaison, they’re doing excellent work. I can only guess that the “buzz” around DSD enticed them into that market with their PCM conversions.
I should probably convert my high-resolution audio tracks to DSD 64 and reap the financial gains. I know other labels have higher prices for DSD downloads. It makes no sense to me.
You can review all of the high-resolution, digital music download sites and see for yourself. But here are a few examples:
Captain Fantastic and the Brown Dirt Cowboy featuring Elton John will cost you $7 more in DSD 64 than a 96 kHz/24-bit PCM file. The original recording was done at Caribou Ranch, in Nederland, Colorado (my sister who still lives just down the Canyon from Nederland visited Caribou during her years at CU in Boulder) from June to July 1974. This was the period when 24-tracks tape machines ruled pop/rock multitrack recording, so Elton’s album was recorded on analog tape and the mixed to analog two track. The frequency response and dynamic range don’t exceed the specs of a compact disc so purchasing a high-resolution transfer won’t get you any additional fidelity.
One of the latest albums by my friend Morten Lynberg at 2L is titled, “Astrognosia & Aesop”. It contains tracks composed by Magne Amdahl as performed by the Norwegian Radio Orchestra. If you want to download the DSD 64 stereo version, it will cost you $30. The same tracks at 96 kHz/24-bits are $6 cheaper. I’m pretty sure that Morten only recorded a single master for this release and I know that he prefers to use DXD at 352.8 kHz 24-bits (which as we know is actually PCM) at his sessions. All of the available formats are derived from the same PCM master.
You can even purchase the original 352 kHz/24-bit files if you want them but that will set you back $42 for the 5.1 surround mix.
I can’t understand why the DSD versions are more expensive…can you?