HDCD Production - Hellllp!

Discussion in 'Mastering' started by Tenson, Mar 23, 2005.

  1. Tenson

    Tenson Active Member


    I record all my stuff in 32bit and when mastering it down to 16bit for CD I do notice the drop in quality and dynamics. For this reason I would like to make my cd's HDCD. I don't have a clue where to start.

    I record in Cubase SX 2 and master using a Behringer DEQ 2496 and CoolEdit Pro 2. I Burn using Nero. Can I do it with this?

    It's only my project studio so I am not going to buy a hardware encoder.

    Any help appreciated!
  2. markwilder

    markwilder Guest

    You can take your files to a mastering room with an HDCD encoder. Edit/Master at 32bit and pass it through the HDCD converter/processor. There are quite a few mastering rooms with HDCD encoding, I think you can go to their website for a complete list.

    What's real important is not making any changes to the audio AFTER you encode because it will flip the encode bit and people with decoding players will not get the full effect of your work/HDCD encode.
  3. Tenson

    Tenson Active Member

    thanks I'm not sure its that important too me. How much does it generally cost though?

    Do these encoders take a digital input 'cos I don't want to convert it to analog.. it would probably undo the gain made by having HDCD.
  4. markwilder

    markwilder Guest

    The HDCD encoder can accept PCM, AES, up to 192Kc, single or dual wire. As far as analog, it's one of the most amazing AD/DA made, period. You'd have to hear it and decide D/A/D or D/D. There are also some nifty options happening in the box. My favorite is called peak extension. This is where you can add up to 6db of gain on the front end, which is encoded and hidden. On the decode, it translates into 6db of additional dynamic range. Un-decoded, it sounds slightly like tape saturation.

    As far as cost, you'd have to ask the mastering house. If you had files, premastered and sequenced, It would be running time + change for setting it up for your desired results.

    I should add, It's hardware only (as far as I know). These were about 20K new and they are no longer made. Almost impossible to find used, with a better resale than a Mercedes when you do come across one.

    Good Luck
  5. Tenson

    Tenson Active Member

    So you can only do HDCD with the hardware? There is no software that can do it?
  6. TotalSonic

    TotalSonic Guest

    Also - if high resolution delivery is a big concern you might also consider making an SACD or DVD-A release. Probably there are as many people out there with players for these types now as there are those with HDCD capable players - and either format if the mastering is handled correctly should give you better resolution than HDCD

    If you're looking for a budget software way of being able to create high res reference discs check out Minnetonka's Disc Welder Bronze - http://www.discwelder.com/ - which for a $100 allows you to burn DVD-R's that will play at 24bit/96kHz stereo in any compatible DVD-A player. Kind of nice to be able to play back your mix the way you know it should sound outside of the confines of the studio/DAW.

    Best regards,
    Steve Berson
  7. markwilder

    markwilder Guest

    True, True...

    If you wanted to send a tune to hear it, I'd be more than happy to do a D/D and a D/A/D for you. The results are more impressive if you have a decoding player though. You can email directly.
  8. Tenson

    Tenson Active Member

    Thanks for the kind offer Mark but I feel it would be unfair as I have no intention as yet to pay and have the whole album done. Until we are signed it's just doesn't seem worth it.

    I might have some fun making a DVD-A though. Are all DVD players capable of playing DVD-A's at full sample/bit rate or only certain ones?
  9. Are they all capable? Yes. However, many downsample and wordlength reduce the output for copy protection purposes, though they aren't telling anyone this.

    Benchmark did extensive tests on players and found only one that did not automatically downsample. Take a look: http://benchmarkmedia.com/news/AIXinfo.htm

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