Just when you thought it was safe

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PCM isn't PCM and DSD isn't DSD. Confusing, eh? What I mean by that statement is that not all PCM is the same nor is all DSD the same. We already accept that when we talk about a particular CD (which is PCM based) that the sound of that CD can be all over the map. Could have been an analog transfer, could have been digitally recorded, and then there's the A/D converter they used to convert everything. So just using the term PCM as a generic statement to describe what you like and don't like doesn't ring true. And the same for DSD. There's an analog transfer to DSD, original recordings in DSD, DSD run through PCM and then back again. For example, many DSDs are recorded on a console/system called a Pyramix. This system records in DSD, converts it to352.8k @ 32 bits PCM, edited and then back to DSD. The chain is DSD -> 352.8 -> DSD. Others like Cookie Marenco at Blue Coast record DSD, edit on analog where needed, then back to DSD. Still others use the Sonoma DSD workstation that converts to extremely high sample rate PCM only at the instance where the edit is needed, the majority of the recording always pure DSD. (thanks to Ted Smith for this riff) The point of this thread is that it's not safe or accurate to use generic terms of format to describe a particular track because rarely does that help anyone understand the true nature of the medium.
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Paul McGowan

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