SACD format

Hi Everybody,

I have just downloaded and tried to use the last version (2.0.2) of Audacity on my WinXP PC.
I would like to use this software just for file transfer from flac (e.g. Linn Records downloadable hires files - http://www.linnrecords.com/linn-download-quality-and-file-type.aspx) to high quality SACD format to prepare the music-files for DVD burning. Unfortunately, I could not find any help to do this in Audacity help file.

Sorry, I am not an expert of these kinds of file formats but I would like to save the very high quality music format of these downloaded master flac files to SACD discs. I have a Marantz SA-KI Pearl Lite player and would like to utilize its very high quality sound representation ability.

So, could you make a kind of “format transfer” modul within Audacity which can translate “studio master flac” format to standard SACD music format to burn it onto DVD disc, please?

I need to apologize if this question has already been anwered but I could not find so far. :blush:

Thanks in advance,
Attila (from Hungary)

Audacity can manage any of the formats that can be added through FFMpeg. That’s the software add-on that contributes all the more exotic formats.

http://manual.audacityteam.org/index.php?title=FAQ:Installation_and_Plug-Ins#installffmpeg

Koz

Hi Koz,

Thanks for your prompt reply.

According to your advice, I have downloaded and installed FFMpeg format library.
I was looking for DSD format (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Direct_Stream_Digital) very accurately (as far as I know, DSD format can be found on SACD layer) among the new files but could not find it.

Could you help me a bit more, please?


Thanks,
Attila

If you want 1-bit DSD at 2.8224 MHz sample rate, Audacity does not support this.

This would not increase the quality of the Linn files even if you could achieve it.

Can you burn these Linn files to a data CD or data DVD and play those discs, which would preserve the quality?


Gale

Yes, this is why I have sent my first message to this “development” topic.

I do not want to increase the quality of Linn files but just would like to preserve and play exactly the SAME “studio quality” from a SACD media on my audiophile SACD player at home. (Studio Master FLAC (Free Lossless Audio Codec), see on Linn Records website.)
You can download several test files from their site: http://www.linnrecords.com/linn-downloads-testfiles.aspx

At the moment, I cannot do this but yes, this is what I want to achieve. (And this would be a very nice feature of Audacity application for many other “hifi-funs” as well I think.) But, as far as I know, DSD format is indispensable for creating SACD image on a DVD media.


I would be more than happy if you could help me.


Thanks in advance,
Attila

Audacity does not have the resources to add support for this format at this time, but we can add your vote. I would expect since DSD is a proprietary format that it will not be possible to write DSD unless FFmpeg produces an open source licensed version in the future. Decoding or converting from DSD to other formats is a more sensible proposition, but that is not what you are asking.

By the way DSDIFF (as I understand it) is a similar non-proprietary standard that predates Sony DSD and SACD, so playback support for DSDIFF is probably fairly easy.

Those files are nothing to do with SACD/DSD, they are ALAC or FLAC.

I would read from http://www.marantz.co.uk/uk/Products/Pages/ProductDetails.aspx?CatId=HiFi&SubCatId=SACDCDPlayer&ProductId=SAKIPearlLite that this player will play a data CD. This means that you set your CD burner to write a data CD, not SACD, audio CD or music CD. What formats it might play on a data CD, I do not know.

if you are unsure, see here http://www.marantz.co.uk/uk/ContactUs/Pages/ContactUs.aspx .

If you are sure you have to burn the Linn files to an SACD I would ask on Doom 9 or a similar Forum, or possibly here http://www.ps3sacd.com/forums/ . That has nothing to do with Audacity. If you need to convert the FLAC files to 24-bit 192000Hz WAV for burning to data CD (which would preserve their quality), then Audacity could do that.



Gale

Hi Gale,

Thank you for your explanations.

Sorry, I am not an expert of different file formats of music recording and playback. :blush:
I am just an enthusiatic music listener who would like to enjoy the music in the best quality which can be achievable. :smiley:

So I just want to burn a DVD or data CD (or whatever other type of) disk where I could store the studio quality FLAC source files dowloaded e.g. from Linn site and I could play them on my Maranzt SACD player. As far as I know, SACD player cannot read disks with FLAC file directly. So I need to convert these music files from hires FLAC to some kind of format readable by SACD players in the SAME quality, without any quality degradation.

If DSD coding is not available (and if there is no SACD layer burner device on the market on reasonable price) but there is any other format which can be used in this way, it is okay for me.

Please correct me if I am wrong: as I understood from your last comment, 24-bit 192000Hz WAV format (which is available conversion from Audacity) burned onto a CD ROM (data CD) disk or DVD (?) disk in a PC disk writer device can preserve the very high studio quality of the downloaded Linn FLAC master files and can be read by SACD players (e.g. Maranz). (I will check Marantz documentation in very detailed way.) If it works I am fine. (Not the SACD format itself is important to me but the quality.)

Please confirm my interpretation above. :unamused:

Thank you,
Attila

Note that you will not fit much audio onto a CD at 192 kHz 24 bit. Depending on the CD, the capacity will be around 11 minutes.

I think that the first thing that you need to do is to find out exactly what formats your player supports, then see which of those your CD/DVD burner supports, then you can look at how to prepare the audio (if pre-burning preparation is required).
It is also very likely that even after all of this time and trouble, there will be no difference in sound quality compared with a well produced CD.

True, but the Linn files test files are very short, at least. And I thought another objective was burning as a DVD, where space will be less of a problem?

Quite likely, but one of the test files is 5:1 so that won’t be suitable for audio CD.


Gale

Hi Steve,

Thanks for your very sipmle and clear explanation (this is why I can understand it…).
I will check the possibilities that you have spoken about.

But let me have only one question just to be sure.

You wrote:

My intention is to reserve the SACD quality of the original studio FLAC but not destroy it down to “well produced CD” quality.
It was just a mispelling from your side or this procedure will really cause some degradation in sound quality from “SACD-level” to “CD-level”???

Attila

Hi Gale,

What does it mean exactly:

It seems to be very important info to me but do not understand, sorry.


Thanks,
Attila

I have just checked the highest quality format which can be read by MARANTZ SACD player from a disk.
This is a WMA file with 44.1kHz sample frequency and 192kbps. No info regarding your bit-rate (e.g. 24bit).
I do not know how these parameters can match to your provided numbers (24 bit at 192kHz).

Regarding media type, the player can manage CD-R/RW disks only (based on the manual and Marantz site) but no DVD. As I understand, this capacity is far not enough for studio FLAC quality demand.

So it means no way to use the disk player slot of the MARANTZ SACD player for utilization of the high sound quality of downloaded master FLAC files, in spite of any format transformation in Audacity or other softwares… I have to use a PC connected to the PC-input of the player. F@ck. (Sorry.)

I am not too happy with it, even more, I am quite disapointed… :cry:
I did not want to use a whole computer next to the player in the living-room just to listen a stupid music player. :imp:


Attila

What exactly is that input?
Does the Marantz have “digital in”? If so, what format does that support?
Do you have a DVD player? If so, does it have digital audio out? If so, what format?

It means one of the test files you linked to on http://www.linnrecords.com/linn-downloads-testfiles.aspx is "24bit 88.2kHz 5.1 Surround Free Lossless Audio Codec*. It means there are six channels in the file (four more than usual left and right for stereo).

Audio CD only supports the normal two channels (left and right). So unless you accept downmixing that six-channel file to two channels, you cannot burn it to an audio CD. If you don’t care about that file, it doesn’t matter - it is only a fragment a few seconds long.


Gale

Yes it has a coaxial and optical digital in - see here http://www.marantz.co.uk/uk/Products/Pages/ProductDetails.aspx?CatId=HiFi&SubCatId=SACDCDPlayer&ProductId=SAKIPearlLite from where you can also download the manual (which I’ve looked at).

The digital in supports up to 192 kHz / 24-bit, PCM only. This is the only option that meets the demand for lossless 192 kHz/ 24-bit.

The USB input from a PC accepts up to 96 kHz / 24-bit, so not a high enough sample rate.

It can play PCM on USB flash storage but no more than 48 kHz/ 16-bit.

CD-R/CD-RW is MP3 and WMA only.

You may get about 25 minutes of 192 kHz/24-bit FLAC on an audio CD.


Gale

Moved to the more appropriate “Audio Processing” board.


Gale

I’m coming in a bit late on this one, but for Linn recordings, you need the physical CD to get the SACD layer. I’m still playing with this, having got a Linn recording on CD via eBay. Have a look at the Linn downloads site http://www.linnrecords.com/linn-formats.aspx where they talk about formats. They don’t offer SACD as a download format for reasons that are clear in this article http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Super_Audio_CD

I’m pretty sure that neither my computer nor my audio CD players can read the SACD layer, so usually, I pay for their hi-res flac downloads. I have not so far been disappointed with the quality of any of their recordings and find their pricing perfectly reasonable.

I believe that Foobar2000 (for WIndows) can be persuaded to play SACD, but haven’t experimented.