DSD Converter Software [PCM to/from DSD audio 2022]
audio file converter for music production and hi‑end audio

DSD Converter Software [PCM to/from DSD audio 2022]

Audio Basis - articles about audio

DSD converter is software to convert Direct Stream Digital audio files to other formats and back. DSD audio files have extensions DSF, DFF,  ISO (SACD ISO). PCM multibit formats (WAV, FLAC, AIFF, mp3, etc. files and CD-audio disks) can be used as source or target. Also, such converter can resample DSD files. Read below how the converter works.

Watch and share: How DSD converter works
Watch and share: What is DSD audio? Definitive guide


Format DSD is implementation of sigma-delta modulation. There used sample rates that multiple 44100 Hz:

  • 2.8 MHz = 2 822 400 Hz = 44100 Hz x 64 times;
  • 5.6 MHz = 5 644 800 Hz = 44100 Hz x 128 times;
  • 11.2 MHz = 11 289 600 Hz = 44100 Hz x 256 times;
  • 22.6 MHz = 22 579 200 Hz = 44100 Hz x 512 times;
  • 45.2 MHz = 45 158 400 Hz = 44100 Hz x 1024 times;
  • etc.

Bit depth is 1 bit.

Read details...


How DSD converter works


Software DSD converter can contain inside:

1. PCM (multibit) modulator to delta-sigma modulation (1-bit), or

2. Sigma-delta demodulator (1-bit) to PCM (multibit), or

3. Both: modulator and demodulator.

4. Resampler and other processing.

DSD converter structure

Structure of DSD converter


DSD modulator provides a decreasing of bit number. It leads to increased noise level (error).

The most useful part of an audio signal is placed in range 0 ... 20 kHz. The modulator "pushes" the noise energy to range above 20 kHz (called as noise shaping).

Demodulator provides filtering of this noise. After the filtering, the most useful audio signal remains only. Practically, some artefacts are in demodulated signal.



DSD modulator (sigma-delta modulator, convert to DSD)


Sigma-delta modulator (PCM to DSD) is sophisticated audio processing. It is system with feedback. Hence it can lose stability. If sigma-delta modulator (DSD modulator) lose stability, need restart it. As rule it can't return to stable mode without external impact.

DSD modulator

DSD modulator


In general, desing of sigma delta modulator is compromise between stability and noise level. More significant pushing of noise energy out of audible range, may lead to lose stability. DSD modulator can lose stability due overload.

For achieving better signal/noise ratio inside audible range and keeping stability, frequency band out of audible range must have reserve by width. It may be achieved via increasing sample rate.

Sample rate increasing is easier way to have wider band with lower noise.

Unfortunatelly, I don't know exactly history of creating DSD, but, looks like, sample rate D64 was designed for transmitting 20 kHz band. As rule, DSD demodulator is easier, comparing PCM one (read more). So replacing 44 kHz/16 bit to DSD64 may give some technical advantages for implementation.

For transfering of  100 kHz-band signal with keeping or decreasing noise floor, easiest way is sample rate increasing.

Read more about sigma-delta modulator >



DSD demodulator (convert from DSD)


Sigma-delta demodulator (DSD to PCM) or DSD demodulator is low frequency filter, that remove modulation noise, located above audible range.

DSD demodulator

DSD demodulator


This filter have 3 features:

  • pass band (minimum 0 ... 20 kHz);
  • stop band (band where DSD modulator noise is suppressed);
  • transient band (band between pass and stop bands).

Wider transient band allow decrease ringing audio, but pass more energy of noise of DSD modulator.

If expand pass band, DSD's noise energy also increased, pass band become narrower, ringing increased.

So DSD demodulator is balanced technical decision.

Read more about DSD decoder >



DSD resampling


Resampling DSD is digital audio processing. Performed via multiple upsampling/downsampling with digital filtering.

Before resampling file DSD converted without loses to multibit audio stream suitable for processing . After it processed and converted back to DSD via modulator.

Resampling 1-bit audio cause little losses, comparable with losses for PCM resampling. There losses defined by distortions of used implementation of processing.

However, playback apparatus may have different distortion level for different sample rates. Hence resampling may give benefits, if DSD converted to sample rate that works with minimal distortions on used DAC.

Resampling DSD audio file
for sample rate that works with minimal distortions on used DAC

DSD resampler


How do I convert audio to DSD?

How to convert:


Frequently Asked Questions


What is DSD converter?

DSD converter is software to convert DSD audio files from/to other audio formats.


How do I convert MP3 to DSD?

Read guide how to convert mp3 to DSD files...


How do I convert a DSD file?

Read guide how to convert:

  1. SACD ISO files...
  2. DSD to WAV, FLAC, mp3 and other PCM files...
  3. WAV, FLAC, mp3 and other PCM files to DSD ...
  4. DSD to DSD files...


Can PCM be converted to DSD?

Yes. Read how to convert PCM files to DSD format...


Can I convert FLAC to DSD?

Read guide how to convert FLAC to DSD files...


Can you convert DSD to FLAC? Can DSD be converted to FLAC?

Read guide how to convert DSD to FLAC files...


How do I convert DSF to FLAC?

Read how you can convert DSF to FLAC...


How to convert CD to DSD?

To convert CD to DSD, you can rip CD audio with target .dsf or .dff format.


Should I convert FLAC to DSD?

You can convert FLAC to DSD, if it give audible advantages of sound quality on your musical setup.




Can I convert DSD to PCM without filtering to avoid ringing?

DSD demodulator is low frequency filter. And it causes ringing distortions.

Digital conversion of DSD (2.8 MHz or more) to PCM (in instance, 24 bit / 96 kHz) is downsampling by nature.

Without filtering, downsampling causes spectrum folding distortions.

Thus, no way to convert DSD to PCM without filtering in the digital domain.


When the filter is removed from DSD DAC, it may cause electrical dynamic range losing and intermodulation distortions.


I have heard, DSD to DSD conversion is applied via PCM. What frequency is used?

There is no mathematical difference between DSD and PCM for audio processing.
And, the author is not heard about 1-bit math.
Therefore, converting DSD to DSD is starting from transformation to multibit DSD (in instance, for AuI ConverteR 64-bit float / double precision) with the same frequency as the original Direct Stream Digital audio. Multibit DSD may be considered as PCM with useful band of about 0 ... 30 kHz.

The converter software performs mathematical operations in 64-bit float / double precision.

Alternatively, these operations may be applied in other precision: 32 bit, 32 bit float or other.

After all operations, the multi-bit signal is remodulated back into 1-bit DSD.

Before the remodulation, the processed signal should be filtered to avoid overloading (clipping and broken stability) of the DSD modulator.


What are DSD audio files?

DSD files are audio files that contains audio in DSD format. Read more...


What is the difference between DSD and DSF?

DSD is audio format. DSF is file, that contains DSD audio.


What is DSF file?

DSF file is a DSD audio file format. Read details...


What are DSD music files?

DSD files are files contains high-resolution audio.


Is DSD the same as SACD?

DSD is audio format, that SACD contains.



Where can I download DSD music for free? Where can I download DSD files?

Look at where you can download DSD music files:


Is DSD better than FLAC?

DSD and FLAC are audiophile audio formats. In different conditions, each of these formats may give sound-quality advantages.

Technically, FLAC is PCM format. And, actually, we compare PCM and DSD. Read more...



Is MQA better than DSD?

MQA is one of PCM formats. It is size-compressed one. As far as the author know, technically, it's high-qualitative format without lossless (bit-perfect) ability.

DSD is lossless audio format.

Both formats have advantages and disadvantages....


What is DSD mastering?

DSD mastering is audio processing of an audio file: EQ, reverberation, compression, gain, normalizing.


How do I play DSD files with foobar2000?

Read how you can play DSD (.dsf, .dff) files with foobar2000...


Does VLC play DSD files?

On moment of the answer question, VLC doesn't play DSD files back. Check out the discussion...


What does DSD over PCM mean? What is DSD over PCM?

DSD over PCM (DoP) is way to transmit audio data via standard audio interface (USB). Read details...


Is DSD to FLAC lossless?

DSD to FLAC convertsion has some losses. However, proper conversion causes very small ones.

Read details...




DSD converter: What inside

DSD converter is software may contains:

  • DSD demodulator,
  • DSD modulator,
  • Resampler.

Playback hardware may have different distortions for different modes (sample rate, bit depth, PCM/DSD).
Resampling DSD or conversion PCM to DSD and DSD to PCM may give benefits, if target format suitable for DAC mode, that cause minimal distortions.



Articles about sigma-delta modulation

Arash Loloee. Understanding Delta-Sigma Modulators

Principles of Sigma-Delta Modulation for Analog-to-Digital Converters



Read more about DSD

  1. What is DSD audio >
  2. DSD vs PCM. Real competitors? >
  3. DSD Decoder Audio >
  4. How work sigma delta modulation in audio >
  5. What is Audio Formats DSD 2.8 DSD64 DSD5.6 DSD128 DSD256 DSD512 DSD1024 >
  6. DSD vs DSF vs DFF Files Audio. What is difference >
  7. How to convert CD to DSD files >


October 6, 2022 updated  | since April 06, 2017

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