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Davidc

DVD-Audio authoring software

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TRANSPARENT? updated February 2 2001

DVD-AUDIO is possibly the most exciting development in domestic

audio since the arrival in 1948 of the long-playing record (the arrival of the

stereo LP In 1957 was pretty good too).

No I didnt miss CD through a Rip Van Winkle or abducted by aliens type

scenario.

In fact I couldn't wait to have enough money to buy a compact disc player.

When I finally did take the plunge I bought what was generally acclaimed as

the best player in my moderate price range. I had even purchased a few discs

prior to buying the player in order that I would have more than one to play on

my wonderful new toy on that long awaited first evening of glorious sound

.

I dont think I listened to an entire CD. I kept changing discs, comparing,

Changing, comparing again.

Something wasnt quite right I had read criticism of CD s lack of warmth

in several hi-fi magazines. They were on to something though felt it was not

really a lack of warmth but an excess of hardness. Strings sounded steely,

vocal sibilants seemed to jump out of the mix, cymbals fizzed instead of

sparkling and acoustic guitars went zing not swish.

In fairness there were things about my player that I loved, tight bass, no rumble

or surface noise, no needle accidents but still the irritating features stood out

that bit too much.

So I took the only sensible course of actionI bought a far more expensive

CD player.

Now the differences between individual discs were highlighted more and

though not as severe, there was still something strange about the top end,

even with a much-loved pair of headphones straight into the player (And not

just my own player).

It didnt sound truely natural; it was all there yet something that I couldnt quite

define was wrong.

In my real life as a sound engineer I have worked with many genres of music

and constantly deal with all types of live instruments. This provides an

excellent reference point, and has only served to reinforce my reservations

about 44.1khz CD. Recording onto DAT at 48khz always sounds that bit

more open and natural sounding than at the CD rate of 44.11khz.

.

DVD-AUDIO uses much higher sampling rates (96khz and 192khz) than

CD(44.1khz) or DAT(44.1khz and 48khz).

DVD-AUDIO uses 24 bit word length compared to CD or DATs 16bit word

lengths.

These extra 8 bits give an incredible increase in resolution and data rate

while the higher sampling rates ensure that all frequencies are sampled often

enough to provide an accurate digital picture of their waveforms.

At CD's 44.1khz sampling rate each full cycle of a 10khz tone will only be

plotted at four points whereas at DVD-A's 192khz rate the same tone will

be plotted over 19 times per full cycle. This will obviously provide a far

smoother more accurate result.

DVD-AUDIO will prove to be a very revealing format, bringing forth every

subtle detail, but also any flaws that might have passed unnoticed on lower

resolution formats (i.e. CD and MINI-DISC).

I find it quite exciting to be honest! We're talking about a format whose

noise floor is so low its almost impossible to measure, coupled with a

stunning dynamic range and superb frequency response figures.

Perhaps the term used to describe DVD-AUDIO will be "TRANSPARENT"

http://www.dvd-audioworld.com/aboutdvdframe.htm

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So is it just dvd and audio ripping software?

Format is DVD-Audio. Competing format would be SACD. One could take 24 bit 96 khz wav files and convert them into DVD-Audio which would play on a DVD player that also handles DVD-Audio formatted DVD-R (provided its the kind that suited for DVD-Audio). Toshiba makes a fairly affordable universal player.

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