[linux-audio-user] External DAC for mastering use?

Anahata anahata at treewind.co.uk
Thu Mar 18 13:49:59 EST 2004

On Thu, Mar 18, 2004 at 09:41:26AM -0800, Mark Knecht wrote:
> Of course! But that wasn't my point. My point was he should really be 
> using a 24-bit external DAC. Of course, it's more money...

As I said before, if the final product is going to be a 16 bit CD, you
need to be able to monitor what gets sent to that, complete with the
same dithering scheme that will be used for producing that CD. If it's
going to end up on DVD with more than 16 bits, then 16 bit isn't good
enough for mastering at all. Maybe master to 24 bits with 24 bit
moitoring, then separately test the conversion to 16 bits.

I was not aware, when I posted my first reply, that that jack does
float-linear conversion. I don't know much about jack and appreciate
this might be a problem when we are in the dizzy heights of mastering!

> External DACs that use an external low-jitter clock source, and then a 
> PC sound card that will take it's clock from that same sound source, is 
> likely to be a better system, all other things kept equal.

As that's not often practical, the ones that synchronize a local low-jitter 
clock to the incoming clock are a reasonable compromise, as long as they
get it right.

> 2) Who expects anyone who just dropped $5K to tell you it *didn't* make 
> a difference!!
Indeed, that's all part of the 'sales talk' argument, especially about
hearing what he wants to hear :-)

anahata at treewind.co.uk -+- http://www.treewind.co.uk
Home: 01638 720444         Mob: 07976 263827

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