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Why isn’t Mr Ayataka Nishio credited with creating DSD audio?

Saidera

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Why isn’t Mr Ayataka Nishio credited with creating DSD audio? Who is credited with creating the CD? Who created PCM? Why does Sony have the rights for the term DSD? Can we call it 1 bit audio?

I only really got interested in the engineering and science aspect of sound due to the work of Mr Ayataka Nishio. I tend to ascribe to him the label: ‘father of DSD audio’. Just like Naito is the ‘father of ThinkPad’, despite it clearly being a team and corporation effort. Nishio was an engineer at Sony who created the original SBM dithering for CD authoring, 1 bit audio ‘somebody has to invent the future’ as discussed in 1993 with Massenburg, Sonoma editing systems etc, SBM Direct K-1327, VAIO DSD audio hardware and software design advice and assistance, and other activities popularising DSD Audio in Japan, and finally even the original 2013 version of the infamous DSEE HX. He wrote audio articles as a freelancer. Then he made it possible to livestream DSD256 via PrimeSeat software at IIJ. Now he is a freelancer again (source: LinkedIn). He is potentially as legendary as Doi the ‘creator of CD’ or the S-Master amp designer whose name I forgot (after retirement he created the Vinyl Processor DSP for walkmans). Not many ‘legendary engineers of the 90s’ remain at Sony now, although their teachings and influence probably remains. One of the many influences is seen in the way that Sony places emphasis on subjective enjoyment and does not care to reveal specs as a marketing tool. As a consequence, only their top of the line products measure adequately, and the low-end products have increasingly suffered bad designs … in most cases as seen on ASR.

My foray into audio extends only to the boundary of DSD audio and DSEE HX (compression and codecs). Although I gradually learned some technical terminology, it was not structured or systematic learning. I have forgotten much of it. I still don’t truly understand 1 bit audio. Each layperson’s understanding of it seems different, and to understand it from an engineer’s perspective one needs to read AES papers and do some systematic learning.

On Massenburg and Ayataka Nishio:
http://forums.musicplayer.com/ubbthreads.php/topics/457149/all/DSD_vs_PCM_Progress_Or_Just_Mo
https://tapeop.com/interviews/btg/63/george-massenburg-gml/
pages 106-7 of https://worldradiohistory.com/Archive-All-Audio/Archive-Studio-Sound/90s/Studio-Sound-1998-10.pdf
 
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Saidera

Saidera

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http://www.vaio.sony.co.jp/Products/Concept/VAIOgraphy/Html/Soundquality/index.html

One thing I can say is: The VAIO development team has staff that other PC makers probably don't have. They are called "God of Sound". Professional audio engineers. They are the successors of Sony's audio technology. Those who regularly attend orchestral concerts to listen. In the world, the PC is considered to be a substitute for a music player. VAIO seriously thought that it wanted to overturn it. That's why It chose the Hi-Fi format called "DSD (Direct stream Digital)".

It was a bold idea to handle this on a PC. In fact, the number of professional musicians recording the master sound source using the "DSD" method is increasing. Even those who are particular about sound have raised expectations for the "DSD" method for PCs. I want to meet that expectation. I also thought that, to achieve the high sound quality of the "DSD" method, a high-quality IC chip with performance comparable to Hi-Fi audio is required. The arms and ears of professional audio engineers made it possible. "Sound Reality" is a sound chip of only 7mm square made in this way. It is a high-quality sound engine unique to VAIO.

At the same time, we have also developed software that can comfortably handle the "DSD" method. "SonicStage Mastering Studio" that enables recording, editing, and playback of the "DSD" method, and "DSD Direct" that converts the sound of a CD to the "DSD" method. The sound produced in this way approaches that of a super audio CD. Please compare it with Hi-Fi audio on your favorite CD. You can fully experience the high-quality sound by listening with headphones or audio speakers. The ambition for VAIO sound is not half-hearted. Immerse yourself in music on your PC. You can think about it seriously now.

Huh! Gimmicks. OK, so it approaches SACD? Obviously the chip is thus not perfect 1 bit. It would overtake if it were.
 

restorer-john

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He is potentially as legendary as Doi the ‘creator of CD’

Heitaro Nakajima (R.I.P.) is widely regarded as the father of CD. In Japan, he recieved their highest civilian honour for it.

I recommend "Digital Audio Technology" the book. By Nakajima, Doi, Fukuda and Iga, all of Sony. Try to find a first English translation before the photographs were changed. Hardcover. The soft cover has updated pictures and was printed in 1983 after the release of CD.
 

restorer-john

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Not many ‘legendary engineers of the 90s’ remain at Sony now, although their teachings and influence probably remains. One of the many influences is seen in the way that Sony places emphasis on subjective enjoyment and does not care to reveal specs as a marketing tool. As a consequence, only their top of the line products measure adequately, and the low-end products have increasingly suffered bad designs … in most cases as seen on ASR.

It's because they are mostly retired or dead. Sadly.

Sony's TOTL gear from the era of the engineers you talk of, was flawless. No expense was spared and the measured performance set the bar for all others. Sadly, they have lost their way, but a company such as Sony has the resources to do anything they want once again. Do not count them out.

Look at Yamaha, they came back from the AVR abyss and are producing excellent two channel gear once again, after 20 years in the wilderness.
 
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Saidera

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Clearly some have been misled into thinking of Doi ... what did he actually do - Sony CSL was it? Can't remember. But DSD could be attributed to Professor Yamazaki of Waseda University in Tokyo. He is said to be a person who proposed 1 bit Audio to Sony. He does not like the naming "DSD (Direct Stream Digital)" by SONY. His interpretation is that "DSD" stands for "Delta-Sigma Direct" or something like Direct Sigma Delta. Basically not what the Japanese engineers intended the acronym to be. Or Nishio at Sony came up with it after SBM, but no answer is actually correct. No Nishio did not. Nishio only created such things as SBM-D and Sonoma as a leader of a team.

In fact, DSD cannot be attributed to anybody. All Sony ever did was demo it, create SACD and the entire unsatisfactory authoring process, register the stupid DSD name (which sounds like a disease, and it seems DSD does have another meaning - look it up!), market it half-heartedly over decades, and sell SACD players. And now the FPGA or microprocessor based pathetic 'DSD Remastering Engine' which adds a colour to the sound as though that is the benefit of DSD; some format to impart magic at the last stage of processing. To Sony, DSD's value is only in its name.
 
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mansr

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Sigma-delta modulation has been used (at least) since the 1960s, and as best I can tell, it wasn't invented by anyone at Sony. What exactly should they be credited with? Putting it on a mass-market medium? Applying for a trademark on the DSD name?
 
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Saidera

Saidera

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I recommend "Digital Audio Technology" the book. By Nakajima, Doi, Fukuda and Iga, all of Sony. Try to find a first English translation before the photographs were changed. Hardcover. The soft cover has updated pictures and was printed in 1983 after the release of CD.
It's an old book, even in Japan under 中島平太郎 it could be hard to find. Libraries don't have it near me either.
 

restorer-john

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It's an old book, even in Japan under 中島平太郎 it could be hard to find. Libraries don't have it near me either.

Just put a search into eBay and wait for one to pop up. I got my two copies one from Japan and one from the US.

edit: there's two on ebay at the moment, both hardcovers.

https://www.ebay.com.au/itm/184766741981?epid=5042359&hash=item2b04f4bddd:g:uxUAAOSwjW1gd6v7
https://www.ebay.com.au/itm/193839602579?epid=5042359&hash=item2d21bd9b93:i:193839602579
 
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Saidera

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12375199_943595542391208_8399554498880237445_o.jpg2021summer-01-13-764x1024.jpg
Hi there Nishio-san,

Everyone, the Legendary SBM/DSD/SBMD creator is back! This time he's looking into the widely adopted YouTube practice of recording how speakers play in a room since customers nowadays like to hear how different two speakers are without going into a showroom.

I mean, if they're good speakers on YouTube, re-recording what's already been recorded before tends to make it sound 'real' and exciting. Perhaps. Anyway here it is:

 
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pma

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Sigma-delta modulation has been used (at least) since the 1960s, and as best I can tell, it wasn't invented by anyone at Sony. What exactly should they be credited with? Putting it on a mass-market medium? Applying for a trademark on the DSD name?

You are talking about basic principles, which have been known of course for long

1632319628724.png

However, as such it would be quite useless for audio. The contribution of audio engineers is that they developed a usable system from that principle and gave it parameters that were exceeding the CD of the times in every aspect.

1632319809083.png

SONY 5th order modulator

1632319851835.png


DSD was a good concept however not viable in the consumer audio. It was able to fix the filter response issues.

More here:

(M.O.J Hawksford: Parametric SDM encoder for SACD in high-resolution digital audio)
 
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Saidera

Saidera

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Great, thanks for clearing that up.

It might seem totally random and meaningless to people other than myself, but Mr Nishio's work throughout the past four decades really inspired me to consider audio from the engineer's perspective, using science. It sparked my curiosity of the physics and mathematics behind both hardware and software.

He was involved in plenty of projects but I specifically wrote about his involvement in DSD audio, SBM Direct and DSEE HX.
 
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Saidera

Saidera

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Archimago, Dtmer Hk and IVX are just absolute legends. It's always been amazing to read great minds at the forefront of new discoveries. Also many thanks for the easy to understand considerations of the AKM DSD Direct pathway.
 

amirm

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Clearly some have been misled into thinking of Doi ... what did he actually do - Sony CSL was it?
Not misleading at all. Doi-san was my boss when I was at Sony and clearly is considered one of the fathers of CD. See: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Toshitada_Doi

He joined Sony Japan in 1964 and started the first digital audio project within Sony. He was the driving force behind the PCM adaptor, and was a prominent member of the Sony/Philips taskforce responsible for the design of the Compact Disc.[1] He created, among others, the CIRC error correction system.[2]

At every dinner, we would hear stories about his dealings with Philips on creation of the format.

His participation/creation of CSL was way after he had fallen from grace after the demise of NEWS workstation line. You need to go back a couple of decades to realize his great contributions.
 

Zoomer

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At every dinner, we would hear stories about his dealings with Philips on creation of the format.
I'd love to read about that! Did they find their way into publications?
 
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