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Regarding DOWNMIXING with a SACD - Page 2

post #16 of 68
Thread Starter 

5.1==>2.0

Yes, I meant from 5.1 layer to stereo output (2.0).

Adam
post #17 of 68
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wodgy
The "downmix" option, if your player offers it, is an Lt/Rt (Pro-logic) downmix. People who have older multichannel receivers that only support Pro-logic (these receivers were popular in the early and mid-90s, before the advent of DVD) can use this option to listen to a multichannel recording in multichannel on their Pro-logic receiver.

Here's how it works:
SACD multichannel -> downmix -> two channels with hidden (matrixed) multichannel information -> Pro-logic receiver -> 4 speakers

You can't do this with the 2-channel SACD layer. If you send the regular 2-channel SACD layer to a Pro-logic receiver, you just get two channels.

Now, here's the key point: if you don't have a Pro-logic receiver, you should not use the downmix option. Just listen to the 2-channel SACD layer. If you don't know how to do this, consult your owner's manual. The downmix option, even though it sounds generally okay with regular (non-Prologic) equipment, has embedded phase distortion (in order to hide the extra multichannel information). Some people can hear this distortion, other people can't, but it doesn't make sense to listen to a supposedly high-res format like SACD with added distortion!

Incidentally, there are similar issues when setting up the downmix options for DVD playback on a DVD player. All DVD players are required to offer an Lt/Rt (Prologic) downmix, but many players also let you switch to an Lo/Ro downmix, which is a "straight stereo" downmix without all the Pro-logic junk. Note that neither an Lt/Rt nor Lo/Ro downmix includes the LFE channel. (To get a downmix that includes LFE, you need to have a DVD player with multichannel outputs, and set the options to L/R=large, sub=no, center=no, rear=no and use the L/R multichannel outputs to listen in stereo.)
I don't think all players downmix using dolby pro-logic encoding.

Also, at times the 5.1 layer downmixed, sounds better than the stereo layer, so please 'do' use the downmix, and see which layer you like best.
post #18 of 68
Quote:
Originally Posted by DigiPete
I don't think all players downmix using dolby pro-logic encoding.
I'd be surprised if there were any players that don't use Pro-logic when downmixing. Without Pro-logic, there is no reason to have a downmix setting at all, since all multichannel SACDs are required to have a separate 2 channel layer.

Quote:
Also, at times the 5.1 layer downmixed, sounds better than the stereo layer, so please 'do' use the downmix, and see which layer you like best.
I agree, it's possible that a downmix may sound better, but this just confuses people. In the vast majority of cases, the stereo layer will sound better, because it was either recorded for stereo to begin with or was downmixed in the mastering studio and carefully tweaked for optimal sound quality, with clev/slev parameters chosen appropriately for the recording, rather than the fixed parameters in the player's downmixer.

The reason I'm so adamant about this is mostly because of DVDs. Many two-channel audiophiles have their DVD downmixing settings set incorrectly, because it's all so confusing and the DVD consortium's mandatory default (Pro-logic) is not the right default for most people. When I finally got all this figured out and my DVD rig set up right, it was a revelation.

The very newest Dolby Digital decoders support Lo/Ro downmixes as well as new, "extended set" metadata which allows content producers to suggest clev/slev parameters for both Lt/Rt and Lo/Ro downmixes. This is the way things should have been from the very beginning with DVD. It's a huge step in the right direction. (I'm not as pleased with the "preferred stereo downmix" metadata, which allows content producers to suggest Lt/Rt or Lo/Ro, but as long as the player lets you override this, it's not a problem.) Of course, the LFE channel still goes missing whenever you downmix. Hopefully Blu-ray/HD-DVD will fix that.
post #19 of 68
Thread Starter 

Reply to professor Wodgy!

Thanks a lot for your expertise explanation.

The question I asked is rather more generic, namely:

"Which option on a CD/DVD player should one use while listening to a SACD
WHILE using ONLY STEREO equipment (stereo receiver, and stereo headphones, all connected ONLY via L/R channels?"
(And NOT experimenting with a "5.1" analog output from a dvd/cd player
which may only add up to a confusion. See below for my trivial setup.)

Please note that this particular SACD ("The Dark Side of the Moon", 2003)
is a HYBRID one and therefore contains a regular CD (stereo) version of the sound.
Now, after loading the SACD the Pioneer displays "SACD" on its display and
then going to options I can choose:
(a) 2-ch Arera
(b) Multi-ch Area
(c) CD Area

Choosing the "CD" option is a trivial task. In this case we do not mention any SACD. (By the way, choosing the "CD" option and while playing it, the display
shows "CD" and NOT "SACD" reminding us that at this point we do NOT touch
any SACD layer/portion/section. Cool.

Now when it comes to SACD portion/part the Pioneer gives us options
(a) and (b) as above.

Using the "2-ch Area" option we are getting PURE stereo sound
(without any downmixing, ...). TECHNICALLY ASKING: Is this the same physical area/layer on the hybrid disc as the regular CD layer?
Do they physically OVERLAP? I understand that when a disc is NOT HYBRID
then the "2-ch Area" makes sense, but our disc is HYBRID!
If they do NOT overlap is "2ch Area" any better, in terms of sound, than the "CD Area" because we fiddling the SACD portion of the disc which contains more data/info)? Incidentally, while using the "2-ch Area" option the Pioneer's display shows "SACD" (and NOT "CD"). Cool, we're really dealing with the SACD layer.

Finally, the most controvertial option: "Multi-ch Area".
While we choose this option the Pioneer's display shows: "SACD" and "D.MIX".
So it is DOWNMIXING from 5.1 to 2.0 (stereo) and this sound is supposedly
different than the sound generated by "2-ch Area" option.

Now, I made an experiment with the "surround" mode via the remote.
When, I use "surround" mode with the "Multi-ch Area" option (DOWNIMIXING)
the sound got really more SPATIAL-3D, but it got LOUDER but Kind of a distorted (not much???) as well.
When I used the "SURROUND" mode with either "CD Area" or "2-ch Area"
options the sound, first of all, got QUIETER and also more SPATIAL-3D but
NOT so much as in the case of "Multi-ch Area" option.
Of course the "SURROUND" mode is a cause of some distortions, but experimenting with it tells me, in more magnified way than without it,
that rather the the "CD Area" and "2-ch Area" options generate the same
stereo sound. One could tell it without the "SURROUND" mode, but "with" is more convincing.
So I was WRONG, while I was posting this mesage yesterday, that
"2-ch Area" and "Multi-ch Area", were giving the same sound quality.
As pointed out by Wodgy, it is not always easy to HEAR the difference,
especially when one's collection contains ONLY ONE SACD!!!!- ha, ha, ...
I also agree with Wodgy that NON-DOWNMIXED versions of a SACD
sounds better while using the "2-ch Area" option (we're not talking about the full "5.1" version, which is course the essence of a SACD recording/mastering/mixing ...).

By the way, since my "Audio Setup" in the menu is STEREO the Pioneer, by default, chooses "2-ch Area", and this is EXACTLY what Prof. Wodgy said.

Do you ALL agree with me???

Adam

P.S.
Let me recall that
I hook up my Pioneer DV-578A-S to a basic Cambridge Sound Works stereo
receiver which has built-in (AM/FM radio, Cd player) which costs $100
via LEFT/RIGHT output on the Pioneer dvd player.
Then I plug in my Sony headphones to the headphone jack in the receiver.
This is the only way I can use the headphones since Pioneer dvd player does not have a headphone jack.
post #20 of 68
Quote:
Originally Posted by AdamCalifornia
The question I asked is rather more generic, namely:

"Which option on a CD/DVD player should one use while listening to a SACD
WHILE using ONLY STEREO equipment (stereo receiver, and stereo headphones, all connected ONLY via L/R channels?"
(And NOT experimenting with a "5.1" analog output from a dvd/cd player
which may only add up to a confusion. See below for my trivial setup.)

Using the "2-ch Area" option we are getting PURE stereo sound
(without any downmixing, ...). TECHNICALLY ASKING: Is this the same physical area/layer on the hybrid disc as the regular CD layer?
Do they physically OVERLAP? I understand that when a disc is NOT HYBRID
then the "2-ch Area" makes sense, but our disc is HYBRID!
If they do NOT overlap is "2ch Area" any better, in terms of sound, than the "CD Area" because we fiddling the SACD portion of the disc which contains more data/info)? Incidentally, while using the "2-ch Area" option the Pioneer's display shows "SACD" (and NOT "CD"). Cool, we're really dealing with the SACD layer.
I, too, listen to SACDs on my Sony DVP-NS500V SACD/DVD/CD player via headphones (Grado SR60). Since the Sony doesn't have a headphone output, my "headphone amp" is a Technics SA-GX790 Dolby Pro-Logic receiver. For my Sony, the setting is 2 channel only. I have even turned off the digital output on the Sony, by way of a setting in the menu, to maximize the performance of SACD playback. On the Technics, all settings are set to stereo reproduction only....no DSP, no Dolby Pro-Logic, no nothing.

On a hybrid SACD, the hi-rez layer can include both the stereo and the multi-channel areas. On the regular CD layer is where the regular CD data is stored. The laser has to focus/refocus to read the data off of each layer. So, yes, in some ways, the CD info is actually on top of the hi-rez info.

As for whether the hi-rez stereo data sounds better than the regular CD data, a number of factors makes that determination. The SACD format, IMHO, offers the potential to sound much better than CD. Whether that potential can be realized comes down to the skills of the mastering engineer. I have SACDs that contains the same mix on both the CD and SACD layers (the stereo hybrid of "New York City" by the Peter Malick Group featuring Norah Jones and the same mix was confirmed by the mastering engineer himself), but the SACD layer shines through with better resolution and detail. Is it a night-and-day difference? No, but certainly noticeable.
post #21 of 68
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wodgy
...there is no reason to have a downmix setting at all, since all multichannel SACDs are required to have a separate 2 channel layer...
Since it's a universal machine, maybe it was easier than trying to figure out how to prevent it on SACD, and not on DVD-A.
post #22 of 68
First, go get Robert Harley's book, Home Theater for Everyone: A Practical Guide for Today's Home Entertainment Systems. Second Edition. The ISBN is 0-9640849-8-8 and it costs $19.95. You can order it from http://www.hifibooks.com or http://www.bn.com (as well as just about anywhere else).

On page 20 in chapter 2, Mr. Harley explicates the dilemma that you are facing,
"some DVDs give you the choice of hearing the Dolby Digital 5.1-channel mix or the Dolby Surround-encoded mix. Go to the DVD's set-up menu, select LANGUAGES or AUDIO SETUP, and choose the output format. Note that if you choose the surround-encoded mix, the DVD player converts the 5.1-channel Dolby Digital mix to a 2-channel surround-encoded mix on the fly by a process called downmixing."

You Pioneer DV-578A-S universal DVD player is a low cost unit that has no provisions for the newer Dolby Digital surround format and the digital audio decoding circuitry is compromised in that it automatically applies downmixing of 5.1 channel -> 2.0 stereo channels @ 48kHz/16bit and it converts SACD DSD -> PCM. The Pioneer DV-588A-S universal DVD player does the same thing as well. To build a universal DVD player that processes SACD 5.1 or SACD 2.0 in native DSD format without PCM conversion and with no downmixing would cost more than the MSRP of both of the aforementioned players combined.

Your configuration settings are technically correct, but I strongly believe this is the reason why your Pioneer DV-578A-S or Dolby Pro Logic II equipped receiver (if you should have one) is displaying D.MIX when you play the SACD 2.0 stereo layer of a SACD disc. The same is true when you play DVD-AUDIO as well as DTS encoded discs. While I do not fault you for misunderstanding or confusion, I simply wanted to proffer the best explanation to your particular circumstances.

Upgrade to a better universal DVD player such as a Denon DVD 2910, 3910, or 5910. If you choose to stick with the Pioneer brand, then upgrade to the Pioneer Elite DV-59AVi. Other considerations include the Onkyo SP-1000 or Integra Research RDV-1.1 as well as the Linn Unidisk 1.1, Bel Canto Design Player 1 or 2, and the Yamaha SD-1500S. These players not only include the newer Doly Digital surround format, but they do not convert SACD DSD -> PCM nor do they automatically downmix 5.1 surround channels -> 2.0 stereo channels due to their discrete digital and analog circuitry. Unfortunately, you have to pay more money to solve your problem. It is not the fault of the SACD Scarlett Book format nor the DSD encoding process; nor is it your fault for choosing the Pioneer DV-578A-S player either.
post #23 of 68
Thread Starter 

It's wonderful! The picture is much clearer for me now.

Thanks everyone.

I'm trying to get the essence of the benefits of SACD discs
(I am not touching the MAIN benefit of a SACD which 5.1 sound.)

It seems that on hybrid SACD discs there are three choices:

1. "CD Area",
which was mixed, mastered, remastered, ... only for the STEREO (2.0) sound.
This PHYSICAL layer is included on a HYBRID disc just for the compatibility with the NON-SACD players.
"Quotation from the Pioneer DV-578A-S Manual:
"CD Area: Selects the standard CD audio area of an SACD/CD hybrid disc playback"

2. "2-ch Area",
which was mixed, mastered, remastered, ... and perhaps DOWNMIXED
in (almost "perfect" way) to the STEREO (2.0) by an ENGINEER during the production process. This could be used ONLY on SACD players.
BUT, not every SACD has this "2-ch Area" PHYSICAL layer. If it has, the DOWNMIXED 5.1 TO stereo (2.0) should be SUPERIOR to the standard "CD Area" mentioned above.
Quotation from the Manual:
"2ch Area": selects 2 channel (stereo) SACD audio area of the disc for playback."

3. "Multi-ch Area",
which, in the case of the analog L/R STEREO output and "2 channel Output Mode", DOWNMIXES 5.1 sound to 2.0 sound, using the Pioneer's DV-578A
circuitry. This DOWNMIXING is performed by the dvd player itself.
Just for completeness here is the Quotation from the Manual:
"Multi-ch Area: Selects the multi-channel SACD audio area of the disc for playback".

So for this particular Pioneer DV-578A dvd/cd player and the HYBRID SACD (Dark side of the Moon") we have POTENTIALLY THREE DIFFERENT STEREO SOUNDS GENERATED and output via the analog L/R stereo channels:

(a) RAW stereo
(b) professionally DOWNMIXED stereo
(c) DOWNMIXED (by the dvd/cd player's circuitry using Dolby XYZ,...)

Now, it's up to us to judge which ONE sound to listen to. Sometimes,
as you guys mentioned, option (b) is the best (why?- because DOWNMIXED by a highly professional engineer on very expensive equipment).
But, may be a dvd/cd player, this Pioneer or a very expensive one (say above $5,000), provides more ENJOYABLE MIXING for you, than in (b). Or simply,
because your particular SACD does NOT have (b) option so you are forced to get DOWNMIXING DONE by your player. Lastly, you are a traditionalist and you are allergic to any DOWNMIXING, you want to hear the album as it sounded in 1973 but with better REMASTERING technique than was used, say in 1993, so you would listen to (a) on this HYBRID disc.

You guys also mentioned that it is sometimes hard to hear the difference between those three DIFFERENT STEREO sounds. That was the case with me. I guess that I could easily hear those differences if I were using Senn HD-580, HD-590, HD-595 or anything comparable. I was using a very basic Sony mdr-280 (very old model). Also my stereo receiver is very basic.

Adam
post #24 of 68
Quote:
Originally Posted by AdamCalifornia
I'm trying to get the essence of the benefits of SACD discs
(I am not touching the MAIN benefit of a SACD which 5.1 sound.)
Actually, the main benefit is higher resolution sound. Surround was an afterthought, to compete with DVD-A.
post #25 of 68
Quote:
Originally Posted by Welly Wu
On page 20 in chapter 2, Mr. Harley explicates the dilemma that you are facing, "some DVDs give you the choice of hearing the Dolby Digital 5.1-channel mix or the Dolby Surround-encoded mix. Go to the DVD's set-up menu, select LANGUAGES or AUDIO SETUP, and choose the output format. Note that if you choose the surround-encoded mix, the DVD player converts the 5.1-channel Dolby Digital mix to a 2-channel surround-encoded mix on the fly by a process called downmixing."

You Pioneer DV-578A-S universal DVD player is a low cost unit that has no provisions for the newer Dolby Digital surround format and the digital audio decoding circuitry is compromised in that it automatically applies downmixing of 5.1 channel -> 2.0 stereo channels @ 48kHz/16bit and it converts SACD DSD -> PCM. The Pioneer DV-588A-S universal DVD player does the same thing as well. To build a universal DVD player that processes SACD 5.1 or SACD 2.0 in native DSD format without PCM conversion and with no downmixing would cost more than the MSRP of both of the aforementioned players combined.

Your configuration settings are technically correct, but I strongly believe this is the reason why your Pioneer DV-578A-S or Dolby Pro Logic II equipped receiver (if you should have one) is displaying D.MIX when you play the SACD 2.0 stereo layer of a SACD disc. The same is true when you play DVD-AUDIO as well as DTS encoded discs. While I do not fault you for misunderstanding or confusion, I simply wanted to proffer the best explanation to your particular circumstances.
I am not following you, Welly.

As far as I know, the default audio format for DVD is Dolby Digital, with dts as the alternative. I don't know where Dolby Pro-Logic come into play here.

The Pioneer 578A does indeed include both decoders for both Dolby Digital and dts. Here's the link to the Pioneer 578A at Pioneer's website....

http://www.pioneerelectronics.com/pn...222663,00.html

I also think there may be a confusion over the term "downmixing". While it's true that the 578A and the 588A do a DSD >>> PCM conversion, that's "downsampling". When 5.1 channels get mixed into 2 channels, that's "downmixing". As for inexpensive SACD/DVD players doing the DSD >>> PCM conversion, the Toshiba/Samsung clones and Sony's SACD-capable machines do not do DSD >>> PCM conversions.
post #26 of 68
Quote:
Originally Posted by AdamCalifornia
... So for this particular Pioneer DV-578A dvd/cd player and the HYBRID SACD (Dark side of the Moon") we have POTENTIALLY THREE DIFFERENT STEREO SOUNDS GENERATED and output via the analog L/R stereo channels:

(a) RAW stereo
(b) professionally DOWNMIXED stereo
(c) DOWNMIXED (by the dvd/cd player's circuitry using Dolby XYZ,...)

Now, it's up to us to judge which ONE sound to listen to. Sometimes,
as you guys mentioned, option (b) is the best (why?- because DOWNMIXED by a highly professional engineer on very expensive equipment).
But, may be a dvd/cd player, this Pioneer or a very expensive one (say above $5,000), provides more ENJOYABLE MIXING for you, than in (b). Or simply,
because your particular SACD does NOT have (b) option so you are forced to get DOWNMIXING DONE by your player. Lastly, you are a traditionalist and you are allergic to any DOWNMIXING, you want to hear the album as it sounded in 1973 but with better REMASTERING technique than was used, say in 1993, so you would listen to (a) on this HYBRID disc. ...
Hi Adam,

I think something needs to be clarified a bit. For MOST SACDs, the studio mastering of the CD track is IDENTICAL to the mastering of the 2-channel SACD track. This is true for new recordings and remastered versions of old ones. In some cases, the stereo master recording is created in the high resolution SACD format (DSD) and is simply converted to the traditional CD format (16-bit PCM) for the CD layer. Or a recording is mastered in high resolution (24-bit) PCM and converted to DSD for SACD stereo and 16-bit PCM for the CD layer. In both cases, the "music" will be the same whether you're listening to SACD stereo or CD. The only difference is that the 2-channel SACD track should sound better than the CD layer because you're getting the full benefit of higher resolution digital recording and playback technology.

As I said, this is the most common situation and I believe I have read that this is true for Dark Side of the Moon. The confusion arises because this isn't always the case and record companies sometimes don't say whether or not the CD layer is the same as the original release or has been newly created as I described above.

I hope this has been helpful. Heck, I hope it's accurate! I've only been listening to and learning about SACD for a few months now and it's rather amazing how complicated the whole business is. The good thing is that there are genuine experts who will step in and correct any misstatements I've made (Paging Dr. Wodgy...).

Best,
Beau
post #27 of 68
If your Pioneer DV-578A-S has the same setup menu system as my Pioneer Elite DV-59AVi, then you need to make sure that you are selecting both the SACD Stereo Layer as the default option and that you have disabled both downmixing and dynamic range compression. These three options will virtually guarantee that you should be setup properly for SACD 2.0 stereo reproduction.

However, if your specific Pioneer DV-578A-S does not include the same setup menu system as mine, then you may not have the option to turn off both downmixing and dynamic range compression. If that is the case, then the simplest option is to utilize option number 2. Two-Channel Area. The only way that you are going to get true 5.1 channel discrete surround sound is to select the Multi-Cchannel Area and you will need to get a 6.1 surround sound analog interconnecting cables that will hook up to a 5.1 channel receiver that can be connected to power monoblocks or directly to a 5.1 channel surround sound loudspeaker array. Otherwise, it is true that both our Pioneer players will downmix 5.1 -> 2.0 channel when we use our stereo headphone amplifier -> headphones or earphones.

The same is true to enable true Dolby Digital surround sound, but you should connect the source component through a digital coaxial cable right into the digital coax input of a 5.1 channel receiver / pre-amplifier.

I hope this information is helpful to you. Again, it has nothing to do with the SACD specification or the DSD mastering process, but it has to do with how you setup both the internal software settings and your physical connections in your AV system.
post #28 of 68
Quote:
Originally Posted by Beauregard
Hi Adam,

I think something needs to be clarified a bit. For MOST SACDs, the studio mastering of the CD track is IDENTICAL to the mastering of the 2-channel SACD track. This is true for new recordings and remastered versions of old ones. In some cases, the stereo master recording is created in the high resolution SACD format (DSD) and is simply converted to the traditional CD format (16-bit PCM) for the CD layer. Or a recording is mastered in high resolution (24-bit) PCM and converted to DSD for SACD stereo and 16-bit PCM for the CD layer. In both cases, the "music" will be the same whether you're listening to SACD stereo or CD. The only difference is that the 2-channel SACD track should sound better than the CD layer because you're getting the full benefit of higher resolution digital recording and playback technology.

As I said, this is the most common situation and I believe I have read that this is true for Dark Side of the Moon. The confusion arises because this isn't always the case and record companies sometimes don't say whether or not the CD layer is the same as the original release or has been newly created as I described above.

I hope this has been helpful. Heck, I hope it's accurate! I've only been listening to and learning about SACD for a few months now and it's rather amazing how complicated the whole business is. The good thing is that there are genuine experts who will step in and correct any misstatements I've made (Paging Dr. Wodgy...).

Best,
Beau
Sometimes a downmixed hi-rez 5.1 mix sounds better than the hi-rez 2.0 mix because the 2.0 is simply digitized off of original analog tapes, while the 5.1 mix forces the engineers to remaster the whole thing track by track, thus yielding a better product because of newer technologies used in the remastering process -from what I have read.
post #29 of 68
Thread Starter 

I like it, BUT I want to know more!

Hi BeauRegard and SoundBoy, Prof. Wodgy and ALL of You!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Beauregard
Hi Adam,

I think something needs to be clarified a bit. For MOST SACDs, the studio mastering of the CD track is IDENTICAL to the mastering of the 2-channel SACD track. This is true for new recordings and remastered versions of old ones. In some cases, the stereo master recording is created in the high resolution SACD format (DSD) and is simply converted to the traditional CD format (16-bit PCM) for the CD layer. Or a recording is mastered in high resolution (24-bit) PCM and converted to DSD for SACD stereo and 16-bit PCM for the CD layer. In both cases, the "music" will be the same whether you're listening to SACD stereo or CD. The only difference is that the 2-channel SACD track should sound better than the CD layer because you're getting the full benefit of higher resolution digital recording and playback technology.

As I said, this is the most common situation and I believe I have read that this is true for Dark Side of the Moon. The confusion arises because this isn't always the case and record companies sometimes don't say whether or not the CD layer is the same as the original release or has been newly created as I described above.
I like your clarification a lot and, I guessed everything is explained, but...
by the imprecise use, by me, of the terms:
"mastering", "remastering", "downmixing", "high def resolution",... makes my understanding a bit incomplete and I am still curious ...

Let me recall that the trivial
Audio Output I am using in my Pioneer DV-578A is an analogue L/R stereo.
(By the way, the player has an analog 5.1 out as well.) The simple stereo receiver by Cambridge Soundworks does NOT have any Dolby, DTS circuitry, etc... forget it. I am also using a regular stereo Sony headphones.
So the hook up is:
DV-578A==>stereo receiver==>headphones==>Adam<== a pitcher of beer
So we are not talking about the (full) high resolution 5.1.

Let's focus on the "Dark Side of the Moon" which was recorded in 1972/73 using an analogue master tape. As Beauregard says, he has read that,
the CD track is IDENTICAL to the 2ch SACD track in terms of MASTERING.
Actually, the mastering MADE them DIFFERENT. More precisely,
they're NOT identical because the "2ch SACD track" contains a lot more info (24 bit, or 32 bit, sampling frequency many times higher, different encoding scheme, different decoding,...) than the "CD track". Perhaps what you mean is that both tracks have their ORIGIN in the common stereo track on an analogue tape. But this is ONLY imprecise wording. Sorry about that.
Let me see whether I understand what is digital remastering. I think we should say "REmaster" and not just "master" because (analogue) mastering was done 32 years ago in the case of the "Dark side of the Moon". Am I right? Please help!

Now, DIGITAL remastering, for me, is DISCRETIZATION of an ANALOGUE material-sound. Using 0s and 1s one can store only limited APPROXIMATION of the material on the analogue master tape. The better the approximation i.e. the denser (more sampling, more bits to describe the sound, using WHATEVER endoding / decoding scheme) the discretization must be. If a remastering is a FAITHFUL approximation, without any additional "coloring" or additions then we are dealing with just convertion from analogue to digital forms.
This would be the case here "(Dark Side ..."):

analogue stereo master tape ==> REMASTERING ==> digital stereo version

Now, the "best" approximations of this remastering process, as as of today,
are SACD or DVD-Audio technologies/formats: better detail, fuller sound, ...

Remember that we are talking about "2ch SACD" and "CD" tracks.
In the case of "2ch SACD" this remastering is simply done using high resolution
(more bits to "describe" sound (24), higher sampling, proper encoding, decoding, ...etc. ) which makes this REPRESENTATION of the ANALOGUE track very faithful. Now, having this high resolution "2ch SACD" chop it down or DOWNconvert to get the poor "CD" REPRESENTATION of the analogue track. (This downconversion yields totally different structure of the data file, also different method of encoding, decoding, ..)
Cool, ... we have produced (without any problems, ha, ha, ...) "2ch SACD" and "CD" tracks on a HYBRID SACD disc from an analogue tape. This is basically what BeauRegard and others have said.

Up to this point one should not use the words: "MIXING", "DOWNMIXING", ...

Now, I am not really sure, how to CREATE the full 5.1 version of the sound
from the master analogue tracks. Anyway, they got somehow the high resolution 5.1 version.

So finally we have:
"2ch SACD" track
"CD" track
"Multi-channel 5.1" SACD track

So far we're done with:
1. REmastering
2. MIXING

and here comes the DOWNmixing.

As in the case of the Pioneer DV-578A, this is done during the playback
ON THE FLY. The dvd player is taking data encoded on the "Multi-channel 5.1" track (using some Dolby-style method) and DOWNmixes it to "2.0 stereo sound.

It seems as though the superior option of listening to the STEREO version of the "Dark Side of the Moon" on a HYBRID disc, is:

"2ch SACD" track because of the best approximation of the original analogue track, which traslates into the best quality sound.

"CD" track is a relatively poor approximation of the original analogue track- listen to it ONLY when you do not have any SACD player.

If you have a SACD which does NOT contain "2ch SACD" and is NOT HYBBRID either you are forced to take advantage of the DOWNmixing to listen through your stereo rig.

It is pehaps worth to listen to the "DOWMIXED" version if you have a high end SACD player.

Adam
post #30 of 68
Quote:
Originally Posted by AdamCalifornia
Hi BeauRegard and SoundBoy, Prof. Wodgy and ALL of You!



Up to this point one should not use the words: "MIXING", "DOWNMIXING", ...

Now, I am not really sure, but to CREATE the full 5.1 version of the sound
from the master analogue STEREO sound you need a miracle, or a scissors to perform cut and paste and much more, or both. Let's talk about the scissors.
Simply there is NO enough data. You need to ARTIFICIALLY and ARBITRARILLY create extra info. You have the freedom how to cheat, i.e. to create extra info not present on the analogue tape.
You need to create six (5+1) INDEPENDENT channels from two channels.
This phase is called MIXING. Am I right?
There are certain mathematical algorithms created to achieve this goal.
Anyway, they got somehow the high resolution 5.1 version.

Adam
Actually the orginal analog master can be a multi-track tape with 10+ channels, so the engineer does not necessarily have to 'create' data to create/master the 5.1 track, well maybe for the .1 part...

DigiPete
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