Many Audio Video Receivers (AVRs), and some Source devices such as movie disc players, will include Digital Audio processing options for Dynamic Range Compression or Loudness Adjustment. Should you use them?
In a word, No! Not if your goal is best quality Audio. Read More
In my prior post on Digital Audio, I introduced two, "simple", Digital Audio formats: LPCM (Linear Pulse Code Modulation) and DSD (Direct Stream Digital). These are "simple" in the sense that each stream of LPCM or DSD contains the audio for just one speaker channel -- as compared to the more complex, Bitstream formats which combine multiple channels into a single stream.
However, there is one huge, practical difference between them. DSD Digital Audio can not be "processed"! If you have DSD content, and want to convert it directly to Analog audio for your speakers, without any other format fiddling in between, you most forego all types of Digital Audio processing. So, no Crossover (bass steering). No Down-mixing. No Surround Sound processing. No Speaker Distance adjustments. No Room Correction. NOTHING, except for Volume control.
If you WANT any such processing, you must first convert the DSD Digital Audio into a different Digital Audio format which CAN be processed. I.e., into LPCM.
Which of course raises the question, "Is that SAFE?" Can you DO that without screwing up the quality of the DSD original? Or must you give up quality to gain access to that processing?
The short answer is, Yes, it is safe, given properly engineered gear. Let's take a deeper look at what's going on! Read More
It used to be so SIMPLE, back in 1898, when Francis Barraud painted his brother's dog, Nipper, staring intently into the brass horn of a wind up phonograph and hearing, His Master's Voice!
One audio channel. One speaker. One dog. And one enduring trademark!
One has to wonder how Nipper might react to today's Dolby Atmos installations for Home Theater (or any of its competitors); a technology designed to support up to 24 speakers at ear level, a special bass audio channel, and 10 ADDITIONAL "height" speakers overhead! Would Nipper still stare in wonder? Or would he dive under the sofa?
The answer to that question likely revolves around how INTELLIGENTLY those speakers were used! In particular, what if the content you are playing has a different number of audio channels from the number the speakers you have installed? This is the realm of audio Downmix and Surround Sound Processing, and that's our topic for today. Read More