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Michael Lavorgna Posted: Sep 23, 2013 3 comments
If you like NPR's First Listen and other music-related programming, you'll love the app for the iPhone and iPod Touch. Reader Deckeda recently mentioned the NPR Music App in one of his comments and now's as good a time as any to check it out. The newest featured release is Oneohtrix Point Never's R Plus Seven and its a doozy.
Steven Plaskin Posted: Sep 20, 2013 0 comments
Howard Hanson (1896-1981) was a conductor, composer, and director of the Eastman School of Music in Rochester, New York. He was one of the most prominent American composers of musical Romanticism who believed that music should strive to preserve beauty, clarity and simplicity. You won’t find dissonance in Howard Hansen’s music.
Michael Lavorgna Posted: Sep 20, 2013 1 comments
It's been a tad crazy around here lately. For many reasons. Hectic, kinda frenzied, always feeling as if you're not done even when you've just finished. There's always something else. Which helps explain my very recent infatuation with Takeshi Nishimoto's Lavandula. Classically trained guitarist Nishimoto plucks his way around moods and movements tinged with electronics from Robert Lippok (To Rococo Rot) for a peaceful journey to nowhere in particular. Lovely, meandering, low key, and oh-so-soothing.
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Michael Lavorgna Posted: Sep 17, 2013 16 comments
A Musical Ladder
The Totaldac D1-Dual DAC does not contain a Delta-Sigma DAC chip as do most DACs on the market today. Rather it employs a discrete R2R ladder DAC using 200 Vishay 0.01% VAR Bulk Metal® Foil resistors per stereo channel (100 per DAC). A R2R ladder DAC is essentially a series of resistors that act as passive switches converting the incoming digital signal to discrete voltages and unlike Delta-Sigma DACs, the ladder DAC does not require the use of a current-to-voltage converter (I/V converter) or a digital filter. The D1-Dual DAC does not employ any upsampling but its designer, Vincent Brient, has included a user-defeatable non-oversampling compensation filter to help correct the high frequency roll off endemic of the R2R DAC design. Now, I'm not one to stand on ceremony or suggest that a given technology is inherently superior to another—it's all in the implementation. I'm essentially a listener and the D1-Dual DAC is one of the finest sounding DACs I've had the pleasure to live with and listen to.
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Michael Lavorgna Posted: Sep 16, 2013 0 comments
Yours truly penned a four-page intro to computer audio that appears in this month's Sound & Vision. This marks the first edition of the new merged titans Home Theater + Sound & Vision and it's chock full of sights and sounds to explore.
Michael Lavorgna Posted: Sep 13, 2013 3 comments
Sexy soul. FKA (Formerly Known As) twigs' EP2 4-track EP is a lovely, slow, smoldering, sexy beast of a record. Alejandro Ghersi aka Arca lends a helping hand with crunchy crushing beats and blips behind twigs' stunning siren song vocals. Just released on Young Turks (home of The XX and SBTRKT), EP2 contains some of my favorite fragile forlorn otherworldly love songs so far this year. Totally tasty and it sounds big and badass on the hi-fi.
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Michael Lavorgna Posted: Sep 12, 2013 1 comments
The Light Harmonic Geek Kickstarter campaign ends today. You can still get the Geek USB DAC/Headphone amp that can handle up to 24/192, DSD (64x and 128x), and DXD playback for $159 (regular retail price will be $299). There are also two additional options that have been added and include "Super GEEK - At this level, you will get a suped-up GEEK. This GEEK's amplifier is 1.6 times more powerful than GEEK's original amp— 720 mW!" ($189), and "Super-Duper GEEK - At this level, you'll get a seriously radded-out GEEK. This GEEK's amplifier is 2.2 times more powerful than GEEK's original amp— 1000 mW!" ($219).
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Michael Lavorgna Posted: Sep 12, 2013 16 comments
Getting DSD to work on a PC with Foobar2000 requires the installation of three drivers—your DAC Manufacturer's custom driver, the ASIO output driver, and the SACD driver. The following guide is a generic step-by-step approach for installing all three drivers.
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Michael Lavorgna Posted: Sep 11, 2013 1 comments
After reading Getting Started With Computer Audio Part 3: Music, a very kind reader pointed me to the website and their presentation and related video feature Lost In Translation: An Exploration of Lossy vs. Lossless Audio Formats. Presented by Grammy-award winning engineer Andrew Scheps, this is actually a two-part presentation wherein Part 2 lets people listen to different music delivery formats.
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Michael Lavorgna Posted: Sep 11, 2013 7 comments
photo credit: Cindy Carpien/NPR

What Does A Song That Costs $5 Sound Like? by Laura Sydell tells the story of Cookie's experience with SACD and DSD as well as Cookie's Blue Coast Records.

One day she invited a dozen engineers and artists to do a blind test of three different audio formats. Analog tape recording, high-resolution digital (better than CD) and DSD. "Tape was still everyone's choice in a blindfold test," says Marenco, but they all agreed "that DSD was the closest thing to tape."


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