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Thread: Help With Hi-Res to Redbook Conversion and CD burning

  1. #1

    Help With Hi-Res to Redbook Conversion and CD burning

    Hello,

    Newbie here. Trying to figure out which pieces of Illustrate software I need and was hoping to get this group's help. I still listen to CD's and think getting computer audio as good as a good CD transport + external DAC is really hard (expensive). That aside, and given that alot of music today is recorded in a HI-res format, I am trying to figure out the best way (best audio quality) in converting these hi-res files into redbook cd format and burning these files onto CD-Rs. I use MAC OS Big Sur. My questions are:

    1. Which illustrate software do I need that will do the best job (best audio quality) in converting these HI-res formats into Redbook CD format (16 bit/44.1 KHZ WAV files)?

    2. Which MAC based CD burning software do you recommend?

    3. Any CD burners (hardware) that are known to be great burners? (I've been told not all burners are equal)

    Thank you and appreciate any help/advice.

  2. #2
    dBpoweramp Guru
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    Re: Help With Hi-Res to Redbook Conversion and CD burning

    I wouldn't waste the time converting and burning. If you don't want to look at connecting an external DAC to your MAC and wish to use your CD players' DAC, I suggest you buy the CDs.

  3. #3
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    Re: Help With Hi-Res to Redbook Conversion and CD burning

    Quote Originally Posted by longinc@gmail.c View Post
    Hello,
    I still listen to CD's and think getting computer audio as good as a good CD transport + external DAC is really hard (expensive).
    I respectfully disagree with this statement. In 2021 it is extremely easy to get great digital streaming without playing CDs. That same DAC you are connecting to your CD transport can instead be connected to your Mac, or a network streamer > DAC > Stereo. Lots of good choices on network streaming of your own music (LMS, Roon, Asset, etc.). And lots of good choices for DACs from very inexepensive to very expensive. Lots of reviews out there for these.

    Sorry, I can't provide any advise on burning CDs. I've spent the last decade ripping CDs to FLAC and haven't had any use for burning CDs.

  4. #4
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    Re: Help With Hi-Res to Redbook Conversion and CD burning

    Answering your question about conversion, you would CONVERT (using dbpoweramp converter) your hi-res files to 16/44.1 (redbook) by adding two DSPs to your conversion chain.

    Bit Depth DSP set to 16 bit (settings to use Dither, "TPDF" (triangle)
    Resample DSP set to 44.1KHz

    The resulting digital files will be 16/44.1 and can then be burned to a CD-R. (to be clear, I'm still not in favor of this, but to each their own).

    p.s. most digital downloads that I see available in 24/96 or 24/192 are almost always available in 16/44.1 versions. If you're only going to downconvert the hi-res files, I'd recommend purchasing the 16/44.1 files to begin with.
    Last edited by garym; 11-21-2021 at 10:44 AM.

  5. #5

    Re: Help With Hi-Res to Redbook Conversion and CD burning

    Quote Originally Posted by garym View Post
    Answering your question about conversion, you would CONVERT (using dbpoweramp converter) your hi-res files to 16/44.1 (redbook) by adding two DSPs to your conversion chain.

    Bit Depth DSP set to 16 bit (settings to use Dither, "TPDF" (triangle)
    Resample DSP set to 44.1KHz

    The resulting digital files will be 16/44.1 and can then be burned to a CD-R. (to be clear, I'm still not in favor of this, but to each their own).

    p.s. most digital downloads that I see available in 24/96 or 24/192 are almost always available in 16/44.1 versions. If you're only going to downconvert the hi-res files, I'd recommend purchasing the 16/44.1 files to begin with.

    Thank you @garym super helpful information. Very much appreciate your help. With regards to your points about CD transport vs computer audio - I do use an external DAC. I am only using my CD player as a transport (to read off the bits) - i don't use the internal DAC. And I also use the SOTM SMS-200 Ultra Neo for streaming duties. Both setups use the same external DAC. In both cases I am using equally good USB and SPDIF cables (so one is not handicapped by the cable used) And I was floored by how good the CD transport sounds. These days i use the streamer for music exploration, and CD transport for critical listening. If you have a good CD transport (like the Jay's Audio CDT2-MK3) and a good DAC, it is hard for computer audio to sound that good (without spending a fair amount of $'s on ethernet and USB signal treatments, and pricey linear power supplies). Don't get me wrong, the streamer sounds very good, but when you compare them side by side, the CD transport sounds much better, and it's hard to "unhear" the difference. Also, I do want computer audio to "be better" in this race because its so much more convenient, but at present, and to my ears, $/sound quality is better on the CD transport.

  6. #6
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    Re: Help With Hi-Res to Redbook Conversion and CD burning

    Quote Originally Posted by longinc@gmail.c View Post
    If you have a good CD transport (like the Jay's Audio CDT2-MK3) and a good DAC, it is hard for computer audio to sound that good (without spending a fair amount of $'s on ethernet and USB signal treatments, and pricey linear power supplies).
    This is simply not true.

    Regarding conversion of 24-bit, 96/192kHz to 16-bit, 44.1kHz, I doubt there is any software that will give you better sounding audio than the professionally mastered audio CD.

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