title
Products            Buy            Support Forum            Professional            About            Codec Central
 
Results 1 to 6 of 6

Thread: HDCD rip settings

  1. #1

    HDCD rip settings

    I ripped all my CDs including a small handful of HDCD discs without the HDCD DSP enabled but want to try reripping with that DSP setting turned on. What's the deal with the box for +6dB amplification in the HDCD window? Is it recommended to check that box, and why? Any reason one would want to leave that box unchecked?

    As I understand it, the 20-bit data on the HDCD is ripped at 24-bit, but why the amplification? FWIW my OPPO player does NOT decode HDCD, but my JRiver software player may benefit by the boost in bit depth.

  2. #2
    dBpoweramp Guru
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Florida, USA
    Posts
    4,254

    Re: HDCD rip settings

    Quote Originally Posted by ferrarabrainpan View Post
    I ripped all my CDs including a small handful of HDCD discs without the HDCD DSP enabled but want to try reripping with that DSP setting turned on. What's the deal with the box for +6dB amplification in the HDCD window? Is it recommended to check that box, and why? Any reason one would want to leave that box unchecked?

    As I understand it, the 20-bit data on the HDCD is ripped at 24-bit, but why the amplification? FWIW my OPPO player does NOT decode HDCD, but my JRiver software player may benefit by the boost in bit depth.
    I recall that this is because these rips are quieter than normal CDs when ripped with the HDCD DSP. By the way, once your rip with the HDCD DSP and create the 24/44.1 files, you don't need an HDCD capable player. That's the point of the DSP. It produces an approximation of what the CD would sound like without needing the HDCD capable player. You might also want to look at:
    https://forum.dbpoweramp.com/showthr...Best-practices

    p.s. Many CDs that are labeled as HDCD don't actually use the features of HDCD that benefit from a capable player or ripping using the HDCD DSP. That's because they don't use the Peak Extension feature. Grateful Dead HDCDs after about 2012/13 are examples of this.

    EDIT: I don't think you need to rerip these files. Just use dbpa Batch Converter on these albums and include the HDCD DSP in the conversion.

  3. #3

    Re: HDCD rip settings

    Quote Originally Posted by garym View Post
    I recall that this is because these rips are quieter than normal CDs when ripped with the HDCD DSP. By the way, once your rip with the HDCD DSP and create the 24/44.1 files, you don't need an HDCD capable player. That's the point of the DSP. It produces an approximation of what the CD would sound like without needing the HDCD capable player. You might also want to look at:
    https://forum.dbpoweramp.com/showthr...Best-practices

    p.s. Many CDs that are labeled as HDCD don't actually use the features of HDCD that benefit from a capable player or ripping using the HDCD DSP. That's because they don't use the Peak Extension feature. Grateful Dead HDCDs after about 2012/13 are examples of this.

    EDIT: I don't think you need to rerip these files. Just use dbpa Batch Converter on these albums and include the HDCD DSP in the conversion.
    Thanks for the short and simple reply. I remember when I first started ripping my entire collection, I reviewed the DSP options and opted NOT to use Replay Gain Apply or Replay Gain because it seemed confusing and since I generally listen to whole albums or selected tracks from an album rather than playlists of tracks sourced from multiple albums, it is a feature I didn't want to spend a lot of time figuring out how to optimize it. And when I found that very long and technical post by user "tewill" that you linked and tried to understand all the ins and outs and pros and cons, I became so confused that I decided to rip all my CDs including the HDCDs without the HDCD DSP. with the fear that the tracks might be too quiet if I left +6dB unchecked or that they'd have clipping if I checked the box. So I decided to leave all rips at 16/44 and forego the possible benefits of listening to my lossless rips with HDCD features. And for the record, I rip everything to AIFF lossless uncompressed and never convert to lossy files for any reason.

    It is easy enough to make a test with an HDCD and rip a sample track without HDCD DSP, and then again with HDCD DSP +6dB and a third time with HDCD DSP but +6dB unchecked, and then look at the waveforms on editing software and do listening comparisons and see if there is any advantage to using HDCD DSP with or without the dB amplification applied.

    BUT when I try to wrap my head around the claims that some tracks on a HDCD disc may or may not use the features such as Peak Extend, Low Level Extend and Transient Filter (none of which I understand the meaning of), then it suggests that what is best practice on some tracks may be not best on another track or disc. Hence, I ripped everything without HDCD to lossless AIFF. It's just that now I'm wondering if they might sound better with the HDCD DSP.

    But you're saying I don't need to rerip with CD Ripper, I just convert using Music Converter and there is an option there to apply the HDCD DSP?

    EDIT: So I just did the test I described above and using HDCD with no +6dB is indeed much quieter, audibly and visibly in Audacity. ADDing HDCD with the +6dB gain the waveforms look just about identical. And listening in JRiver Media Center there *may* be a slightly more airy and spacious quality to the file with HDCD applied, though this is possibly my imagination, I doubt I could notice a difference with a blindfold test. I can say with this one test track it is worth converting or reripping with the HDCD applied, but I'm not sure about other tracks.
    Last edited by ferrarabrainpan; 07-10-2019 at 07:21 PM.

  4. #4
    dBpoweramp Guru
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Florida, USA
    Posts
    4,254

    Re: HDCD rip settings

    Yes, you can use converter with HDCD DSP.
    Ive done formal double blind tests (ABX) of a few dozen HDCD disks (known to use peak extend) that I converted with the HDCD DSP compared with a regular 16/44.1 rip (all volume leveled to same loudness). I could not detect which is which. My responses as to which I thought sounded better were statistically just random. Consequently, I rip them all as 16/44.1 and dont worry about it.

  5. #5

    Re: HDCD rip settings

    Quote Originally Posted by garym View Post
    Yes, you can use converter with HDCD DSP.
    Ive done formal double blind tests (ABX) of a few dozen HDCD disks (known to use peak extend) that I converted with the HDCD DSP compared with a regular 16/44.1 rip (all volume leveled to same loudness). I could not detect which is which. My responses as to which I thought sounded better were statistically just random. Consequently, I rip them all as 16/44.1 and dont worry about it.
    That's good honest feedback. I guess my initial decision to go with straight lossless ripping and no HDCD was the best one. It's easy enough to convert and see/hear what differences I find, if any. I was never really sure about the HDCD format anyway and so wasn't too chagrined when I learned that my OPPO player won't support that format. Now with SACD, that's a whole 'nother story. Fortunately, I found a way to rip those discs to DSD files and so I'm good with those.

  6. #6

    Join Date
    May 2015
    Location
    Dead Elk, SD
    Posts
    32

    Re: HDCD rip settings

    Obviously, this has already been answered to your satisfaction, but I thought I'd add a couple points of trivia. The reason for that upwards is compensation is that the bit depth of digital audio translates to the total "dynamic range" or steps of loudness; the representation spans downward into imperceptible levels of sound, but greater bit depth also translates to finer granularity in those steps. However, since 20 bits isn't a standard that survived (it was a trick to do with unused bit space in the CD format), it ends up positioned relatively wrong in the range of the 24 bit standard. 24 bit playback then reads the file as not having audio information in the top 4 bits of the loudness range -- which should amount to ~6dB. Now, it's not like the top end of your audio has been decapitated or anything, it's just all been evenly offset down that range of loudness. As noted, it doesn't hurt anything to leave it be. It just may be a quieter album than it's 16 bit counterparts. And, if you use ReplayGain, then it's already going to exert gain compensation for you.

    Last I could verify, I only have two HDCDs in my collection. I've ripped them with and without +6dB amplification. Granted that was a couple versions back, but it seemed that those extra 6dB were overkill. And, again, ReplayGain non-destructively compensates for that anyway. I should go back through and try it again, just to see if there's a better difference now.
    Last edited by artisan002; 07-20-2019 at 05:30 AM.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •