Audio Basis - articles about audio
DSD decoder is software or hardware for decoding of Direct Stream Digital (DSD) audio stream to PCM or analog signal. The stream is 1-bit sigma-delta modulated digital signal. Digital DSD or SACD decoder audio is a converter of audio stream from DSF, DFF, SACD ISO files to PCM multi-bit format. The decoder is part of DSD DAC (digital-analog converter). Keep reading...
As we noted above, the inner structure of the decoder is like to hardware DAC.
DSD digital-analog converter is applied simpler way than "native multibit" PCM decoder, which is based voltage matrix. It is especially true for sample rate 44.1 kHz. The decoder inside has 2 voltage steps (-1 and +1). And DSD's low-frequency analog filter is more gentle than the analog filter in PCM DAC.
Filter for 44 kHz sample rate is most hard in design due to steep transient band.
A wider transient band of the filter for DSD allows simpler achieving of lesser distortions of the filter.
It allows simpler improvement quality than for PCM DAC on 44.1 kHz.
As rule, now all modern PCM audio DACs have DSD DAC inside.
Decoder DSD to PCM is a digital filter, that cuts sigma-delta modulation noise and has multi-bit output.
Audio quality of the decoder is primarily defined by the filter.
The filter has contradictory features:
1. Conversion artifacts and sigma-delta modulation noise suppression.
2. Filter's own ringing artifacts.
3. Linearity of phase.
4. Number of calculations (time performance).
5. Precision of calculations.
1. Plug-ins and other external connected modules.
2. Modules builtin inside audio software.
To decode DSD audio files to PCM:
DVD-audio/video, Blu-Ray, DVD/BluRay/CD ISO are NOT supported.
For Modula-R version, SACD ISO, DSF, DFF are supported in proper configurations.
For ISO tracks, DSF, DFF longer than 3 minutes, FREE edition mutes 2-second silence in the output middle and has other restrictions
DSD decoding is:
DSD encoding is a conversion of digital PCM signal to DSD.
There is no single answer what is better DSD or PCM (FLAC). You can check it for your recording and audio setup.
Read how to convert FLAC to DSD files here...
January 4, 2023 updated | since July 5, 2015