Producer/Engineers Jared Sacks and Daan van Aalst have pooled their expertise in music production and recording in very high resolution audio. Their goal is to put together the best system for recording and reproducing music at the highest quality with recordings in the new DSD 256fs (quad rate DSD) format, although 8 Ensembles is available in DSD 256, 128 and 64. It’s the 128 format we’re playing with here.

Tom Caulfield, the Mastering Engineer at Native DSD used specially developed software from Jussi Laako (the maker of the Signalyst HQ Player software player) for the conversion from DSD 256fs to DSD 128fs and DSD 64fs.

Once the three sets of Stereo and Multichannel DSD files were completed, the tracks were then converted from the DFF to the DSF file format. This enables Native DSD to add metadata to the recorded tracks. Finally the DSF tracks, cover art and album booklet in Acrobat PDF format are uploaded to Native DSD ‘s server where they can be purchased and downloaded.

De Gebroeders Harteveld & Fretz recording their song called “Barcelona”, March 4th 2015

Yeh, ok, its all done very techy and what not, but what does it sound like and what is the music like?

Here’s the thing, I love samplers and I loathe them in equal measure. They do their job perfectly well, and this one is no exception, in leaving you want to hear more of the individual artists, but then they feel a bit disjointed in their musical styles…often.

Ensembles in 1 Bit Stereo is sonically wonderful it has to be said… and anyone who is out there and saying that DSD is a bit of a fad needs to get themselves in front of a good set up capable of paying them properly and realise that this is a different level of definition.

1). New Amsterdam Voices recording Randy Newman’s "Short People", March 5th 2015

1). New Amsterdam Voices recording Randy Newman’s “Short People”, March 5th 2015

Musically you’ve got a smattering of classical, a smidge of jazz, some acapella (Randy Newman’s Short People arranged by Maartje Meijer and performed by New Amsterdam Voices is really great) and everything has a distinct Dutch feel…it would, the musicians and singers are Dutch, but don’t let that get in the way of buying this, it really is a fab’ record and sounds great! Regular readers will know I’m no huge fan of classical music but Ravel’s Sonata For Violin And Cello is really quite pleasant. Yes there are different styles and “Ensembles” for you to further explore, but this album does sort of work as a whole and sounds truly fabulous to boot.JL002

Highlight for me is Barcelona which sounds very live, and that’s the feel I got from the whole of this album…it sounds live, which seems to me a distinctive trait of DSD downloads… I think I may well be addicted to this format!

This album is available at a discounted price, which varies between €13 and €17,50 (depending on whether you purchase Stereo, Multichannel or a Combi version of the DSD album!)


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