Native DSD recording?

Hello and thank you for Ardour. I use it to record my electronic music.

I know, this has been a topic some years ago, but I would like to bring it up again: Would it be possible, that Ardour records natively into DSD256?

I ask this, because i’ve been taking the DSD-test at Bluecoast Records and with the DSD-files, compared to flac, i can hear many more overtones. With mp3 its even more asthonishing and to me they now just sound flat or that the overtones don’t sound as rich, as they could.

If i remember correctly, the answer then was that flac or wav is lossless and any difference is imagined. But even if i convert my wav’s later into dsd128 the highs and the overtones just sound better. so my theory is: the information is there, in the file, but it just doesn’t get played. And then, if i remember correctly, what comes out of my audio-interface used to sound better, regarding overtones, then what has actually been recorded.

So that’s why I would like to record natively into dsd from an analogue source.

So you’re saying that converting an existing, flat sounding (to you) Wav into DSD128 somehow makes the resulting file sparkle with glorious overtones?
If you actually can hear that in an ABX test it’s most likely because the conversion, or the DSD player, adds harmonic distortion. And in that case you could in principle just add that same distortion directly to the Wav.

Unless you have a somewhat defective CD disc, where the correction circuit in the CD player has to more or less “guess” if it read a 1 or a 0 for larger chunks, all bits are being played.

DSD recording may have other benefits but I strongly doubt audio fidelity is one of them.


It is impossible to edit or mix DSD formatted audio data (it has to be converted to PCM first).

Since Ardour is first and foremost a tool for recording, editing and mixing, and two of the three tasks are not possible in DSD format, we’re not going to support it.

In addition, you need DSD analog to digital converters. Converting wav (PCM) to DSD is not DSD.

Finally, unless you’ve done double blind tests on DSD vs PCM, any claims about what you can hear are essentially without value. It is very, very well established that people’s claims about MP3 (at a reasonable bitrate) and PCM do not hold up under double blind testing.


Or because the DSD standard typically results in a 3dB increase in level on playback. At least the DSD disc players did that.


That could be the case, eventhoug i noticed the increase only in the higher frequencies. Probably due to the conversion software.

Thank you for your answers. I’ll keep converting the PCM’s to DSD’s because probably my player plays them better.

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Here is an idea. If the difference in overtones is real, it should be possible to rerecord them into pcm. Do it at a very high sampling rate, if you want to make sure to catch the stuff only bats and dolphins care about.
Do this with your own music for phase cancellation test. And if there is a difference with impulses and sine sweeps etc.
Let’s say the disc players converter introduces artifacts, or the amp circuit, it could be possible to use those recordings as an impulse response, or even find someone to create distortion algorithm emulating your DSD stereo setup in a more dynamic responsive way. It would not take the speakers into account, but you could use reamping techniques, if it turns out they are the source of the perceived difference.

thank you for your suggestion. I’m already kind of doing that, since i use my player as a dac and then recording the analogue signal it emits, but i would have liked to record directly to dsd, eventhough I’m not shure whether my audio interface would suport it. And the native dsd recording DAW (pyramix) is to expensive for me.

Regarding overtones: There is a Musician, with the name “Stimmhorn” that sings overtones and he is very precise in doing that. He’s not very popular, but you can clearly hear the overtones. Also some synthesizers play overtones, but it can’t be compared to a good piano where the strings resonate or a sitar (where you have extra strings for resonance) or overtone singing.

um, those are overtones, but not the ones I was talking about. But yes, throat singers create overtones. Maybe one could even say that they distort their vocals to produce them. The effect I mean is more subtle and often the thing perceived and causing favoring one stereo playback/listening system over another.