Enjoy the Music – Interview

Interview from March 21, 2014 with Steven Rochlin of EnjoyTheMusic.tv

Enjoy the Music.TV’s interview with David W. Robinson of Positive Feedback magazine and singer/musician/songwriter David Elias. Hosted by Steven R. Rochlin, we discuss creating and recording music, early Internet mp3.com and other services plus the places to buy modern DSD files today. As always, in the end what really matters is that you…. enjoy the music!

Positive Feedback @ Positive-Feedback.com

David Elias @ DavidElias.com

higher ground – for meditation and contemplation

(after clicking play, click on lower right icon of player to see full screen)

higher ground

i feel the rain come in
the smell before the wind
leaves fold down
those pale green crowns
yima yima yai
yima yima yai

i watch the river rise
both forks are snake eyes wise
set me down on higher ground
yima yima yai
yima yima yai

i’m back where i came from
the trees the old deer run
worn out trails
tucked tired tails
yima yima yai
yima yima yai

i’ll meet you up the hill
your hair it’s falling still
lay me down on higher ground
yima yima yai
yima yima yai

the nights were cold and clear
and every star hung near
reaching round for higher ground
yima yima yai
yima yima yai

– david elias
photographs from windy hill, northern california

request free 1080p download of video by contacting david at davidelias.com or use this form:

Go Get Some…Hi-Rez…

What’s New and How You Can Get Some…

David Elias - Independent Acoustic

David Elias – Independent Acoustic


I have been watching and listening to the way online music is changing further towards higher quality on almost a daily basis. One of the latest rockets here is that Sony is now opening their vault of master archives and letting the hi-rez bug put their titles online as downloads in the DSD format.

What’s that mean to you? I think it means a lot for anyone who has listened to vinyl, analog tapes (reel-to-reel), or other HD quality downloads from the ever increasing number of sources that give you something beyond the CD quality we’ve grown accustomed to, but not comfortable with.

You can watch the supposed 500 titles from Sony start appearing at http://SuperHiRez.com now through the end of the year. There are already a few hundred HD (FLAC and ALAC to 176.4k, 24-bit) and DSD64 downloads up there.

Click on the “Digital Downloads” menu in the left column to select specific formats. I’m still in their Top Seller 25 list with “Acoustic Trio DSD Sessions” and “The Window” so thank you if you helped with that.


As you must know by now, I care a lot about how things sound, mostly because there are ways to record and produce things that others can listen to (discs, downloads, videos, streaming mp3′s…) and cause them them say things like: “How did you make that sound so natural and real?”, and “How do you get the bass to sound like that?”, and “I never heard that on the CD!”, and “This is almost as good as my vinyl”, or “This is the best #**@#$(#$ thing I ever heard!”…

So listening to music gets fun again and more relaxed and more enjoyable as a pastime, and not necessarily as a background sound filler.  That is something I like a lot!

If you are into Classical and Rare Audiophile Recordings, try browsing High Definition Tape Transfers…They have HD and DSD for Baroque, Chamber, Orchestral, Symphonies, Jazz…You can find my DSD albums there as well. Thanks Bob!

The new release of the “Acoustic Trio DSD Sessions” recorded by Charlie Natzke at Slipperworld.net is a set of 14 songs recorded in 3.5 hrs. by me (acoustic/vocal/harmonica), Charlie (acoustic/vocal), and Chris Kee (upright bass).  We had the windows open (you can hear the redwing blackbirds on one track). We were standing about arms length from each other in a circle. We had our mics bleeding into each other…

We recorded to Sonoma DSD64 live with no overdubs. Nothing was edited.  I mixed this on Sonoma in a day and a night. The Sony mixer card allowed me to do that without ever converting the source tracks from DSD to anything else, even to analog and then back to DSD. The result is 100% pure DSD.

So it is a very live acoustic natural reproduction of a studio performance of the trio. Some people feel this is my most “authentic” recording. Their impression may be so because there are only 3 instruments to pick out and spatially they are represented in stereo in just the way they were recorded.  As I told a friend online, you have to stop thinking of “L/R” (left/right) and think of a performance of 3 guys standing in a circle and you sitting or standing there with them.

I now have the HD version of this album as an 24-bit, 88.2kHz FLAC download for those not using DSD playback hardware or software.  In addition, you get the smaller files as MP3-320 (320kHz) to use in your Smartphone or tablet.

The HD version is now online for $14.95.

The DSD (which also includes FLAC and MP3-320 copies) is also there for $24.95.

You can find these downloads at http://www.davidelias.com

If you have any questions, just reply to this email. Hardware and software for DSD playback is getting easier and cheaper to find. If you are interested in learning more about it, I can try to answer your questions. Two good sources to search for info are Positive Feedback and DSD Guide.

Thanks for Listening!
If it sounds good, it is good…


If you are interested in creating a DSD multitrack recording of your own, contact Charlie Natzke via email – He’s in La Honda, CA at Slipperworld.net.

Charlie is the studio and DSD engineer behind my “Crossing” and “Acoustic Trio” recordings. Another new DSD album release I hope to get out this year is one more project Charlie setup the studio for, recorded to DSD on Sonoma and mixed as analog. He’s da man!

My song “Silver Pen” online for download now is a single from this next DSD album release. It lets you compare different audio formats to hear the differences for yourself. It cost $4.99 for all 5 formats (DSF, FLAC 24/96, WMA Lossless 24/96, WAV 16/44.1 (CD), MP3-320).

Aloha!

- DE

New Album! David Elias – Acoustic Trio DSD Sessions

David Elias - Acoustic Trio DSD Sessions

David Elias – Acoustic Trio DSD Sessions

It’s Like You Were There In The Studio…

David Elias – “Acoustic Trio DSD Sessions”Released 11/04/2013

Download these 14 original songs as both DSD (DSF) and 24/88.2 FLAC audio files for the price of $24.95.

You get both formats! FLAC files are hi-rez lossless downsamples that can be played by all popular PC/Mac media players including JRiver, Winamp, Audirvana, Windows Media and many others.

http://www.davidelias.com

“What excellent compositions…exceptional performances…and rich, harmonic, organic sound, as natural and mellow via DSD as one could wish…10 stars…Love it, big time” - Dr. David W. Robinson, Positive Feedback

This collection of original material from the independent acoustic singer-songwriter David Elias is a special organic, natural sounding set of pure DSD recordings created at the Slipperworld Studios in La Honda, California (www.slipperworld.net). These 14 tracks feature David Elias (acoustic/vocal/harmonica), Charlie Natzke (acoustic/vocal) and Chris Kee (upright bass, Blue Coast Records).

This Acoustic Trio session release was captured in the studio on a single day as a series of live takes without any edits or overdubs. It was recorded by Charlie Natzke to no more than 8 tracks directly to a Sonoma DSD Workstation using Meitner converters.

The essence of the performance is the ambient and acoustic nature of all the instruments and vocals including natural resonance, harmonics, decay, and microphone bleed and decay using minimal micing without any artificial or digital effects.

Acoustic Trio DSD Sessions” was recorded on a sunny day among the redwoods with the windows open. The musicians recorded standing roughly arms length from each other in a small circle with no isolation. A pair of microphones were positioned overhead to capture a stereophonic image of “the room”. This was used as the only source of natural reverb in the mix.

The songs were mixed as DSD using a Sony mixer card in the Sonoma workstation. These tracks have never left the original DSD format, even as analog conversions for mixing!

As a result, what you hear from these pure DSD master recordings are the natural live performances of the trio, as if you were standing or sitting with them in the studio during the session.

Songs: 01 – If I Had My Way, 02 – Ohlone Dream, 03 – Above The Creek, 04 – Crossing, 05 – Changing Down, 06 – Take Me Down The Road, 07 – The Riddle Song, 08 – Rodeo On A Ridge, 09 – Summer Wind, 10 – One More Savior, 11 – Good Old Days, 12 – Vision Of Her, 13 – Transcendental Deprivation Part II Straw Dream, 14 – Morning Light Western Town

David Elias began recording to DSD in 2000 using a similar minimal microphone setup directly to the prototype 2-channel Sony SACD Project DSD mastering/archiving prototype workstation. Working with Gus Skinas (www.SuperAudioCenter.com) he went on to record live studio performances with a large acoustic band to 8-tracks in 2002. This resulted in the landmark independent hybrid multichannel SACD “The Window“. The followup award-winning SACD “Crossing” was released in 2005. Both SACDs received the coveted “Brutus Award for DSD Excellence” from Dr. David W. Robinson, Positive Feedback.

These and other DSD Downloads are available from his website at www.davidelias.com as well as from www.SuperHiRez.com and www.HighDefTapeTransfers.com.

David Elias - DSD Pioneer - Bio

Silver Pen – new single, HRA to compare as downloads

David Elias - SilverPen

David Elias – SilverPen

A DSD Download, plus other Hi-Rez to Compare.

NEW SONG to Download as DSD – “Silver Pen”

The new release “Silver Pen” from the upcoming DSD album “Slipper DSD Sessions – And The Bit Goes On…” is now online to download.  If you are interested in hearing what some of the different Hi-Rez (HD) formats sound like compared to one another, you might want to try this.

http://www.davidelias.com

You will get a DSF download of the original DSD source mix, recorded on Sonoma at Slipperworld.net in La Honda, California. This session recording featuring me, Charlie Natzke (guitar/vocal), Scott Beynon (Fender bass), and Ken Owen (drums) was done live to less than 8-tracks and used no overdubs or edits. It is pure DSD!

You will also get 4 other copies of the song “Silver Pen” in different audio formats (FLAC, WMA, WAV, MP3)… I know… keep reading…


Too Many Acronyms…DSFFLACWMAALACMP3WAVAIFFDon’tKnowDon’tCare…

Hi-Rez downloads are going nuts these days. Sometimes too many choices are just that. I have been working (my ears) on getting it right about lots of audio downloads issues since the beginning in the mid-90′s when MP3 started making it possible to get music online.

The tradeoffs then were file size (due to slow dialup Internet connections) and sound quality.  MP3 at 128k is just about 1/10th the size of the CD quality WAV file. So a “pretty good” sounding file that you could download in less than an hour was a “pretty good” way to go. And boy it went…by the millions of songs.

Cut to 21st century cable modem at 10mbps (million bits per second) compared to the dated dialup modem at 19.2kbps (thousand bits per second) and you can suddenly get either a lot MORE music files in the same time, or…maybe… just BETTER SOUNDING files in the same time. (BTW, Apple iTunes has given us MORE files — 25+ Billion Sold — but not BETTER SOUNDING yet.. maybe we need to ask them about that!)

“Silver Pen” is a native DSD file you can download as DSF with tags (metadata) that includes song info and the graphic (above) for the player to present to you. It is about 150MB as DSD.

Other popular formats you get with the download include the 24-bit, 96kHz sample FLAC, and WMA lossless (for Windows users) at about 80MB. I also included the CD quality (Redbook 16-bit, 44.1kHz sample) WAV for your comparison across formats at about 40MB.

I also included the highest quality MP3 (320kHz) which is just under 10MB. This is to put in your Smartphone or tablet where size does matter…

It’s a new era for audio. Sony is calling it High Resolution Audio or HRA. (I always thought “acronym” had to be pronounced as a word, but I looked it up and sure enough, it includes abbreviations.)

With the new era it is important to learn some new things about what’s out there and how it might fit your taste for quality with the tradeoff for size and cost.

I’m putting this new track out there for those who want to compare quality. There are other choices, but I made mine for this selection and hope it helps give you a reference point.

Feel free to reply to this message if you have questions about this. I don’t think it’s simple, but I do think there are differences. “Better” and “Worse” are like the weather. They change from place to place and person to person. So education helps. That’s what I believe anyway.

Music is for enjoyment.  Here’s to enjoyment!

And if you just like to buy music from iTunes, here’s the link!


PS – Muchos Mahalos to the outrageous CasualTees for playing to a full house in San Gregorio General Store last Saturday.  It was like we never left…Roger, KO, Scotty, Gar, Reid and Marty – you guys rock!

TOMORROW – NOVEMBER 1st — Scott and Marty and I will be back at the Store this Friday, November 1st, from 6pm to   8pm to give everyone the trio version of some of these original independent acoustic stories. Hope to see you there.

Aloha! – DE

california beach, hmb

california beach, hmb


Harvest Greetings!

half moon bay - pumpkin festival
half moon bay, calif…pumpkin festival

Lots of things to write about but I will keep it short (I hope)…

If you are not into reading today, skip to the bottom part where there is a FREE download of a NEW song release “Silver Pen”…


SHOWS IN SAN GREGORIO CALIFORNIA!

Saturday – OCTOBER 26th – General Store – 2pm
with Roger Powell, Marty Atkinson, Scott Beynon, Ken Owen, Reid Dennis, Gary McArthur…

Friday – NOVEMBER 1st – General Store – 6pm
with Marty Atkinson, Scott Beynon

http://sangregoriostore.com


DSD STILL RULES

It’s great to see and hear the new interest in DSD now in the form of downloads online. If you are into Hi-Rez, you can find my stuff online now at these two places:

http://SuperHiRez.com

http://HighDefTapeTransfers.com

If you are not into Hi-Rez but are curious about it, just reply to this message and let me know. Most people are now playing DSD along with their whole iTunes collection and other stuff through what they call media players.

Popular media players are by JRiver, Audirvana, Channel D. These are usually free to try and then cost $50 or so to buy. A free .ORG version for Windows is at http://www.foobar2000.org

If it sounds good…it is good!

Many thanks to the exhibitors at the Rocky Mountain Audio Fest in Denver last weekend for demoing my DSD tracks: Positive Feedback Online, SuperHiRez.com, exaSound.com, Puget Sound Studios, Channel Classics, Lumin, Mytek…Awesome!


NEW RELEASES

A new single is going to be out on October 25th. It’s called “Silver Pen” recorded to DSD by Charlie Natzke at Slipperworld.net in La Honda, Calif. 

“Silver Pen” will then be online as a download from CDBaby, iTunes, Amazon, Sonify, Rhapsody…

You can download the MP3-320 of it for $0.00 right now…

https://www.hightail.com/download/OGhkOU1kWkI3bUNxV2NUQw

Thanks for reading my blog!

This is a track from a complete album to be released later this year as a DSD Download.  The album is all previously unreleased songs recorded at Slipperworld featuring these musicians: Charlie Natzke, Chris Kee, Scott Beynon, Ken Owen.

These are all live studio (ala “Crossing” and “The Window”) recorded with minimum mics, less than 8-tracks including natural room reverb. They are without edits and overdubs. It is what it was…

The sound is not always entirely acoustic, but echos the sound of many shows with the CasualTees and XING before that (like the shows coming up in San G!). These were the essence of the years performing on the West Coast in the frequent trio and quartet arrangements. Upright and electric bass, electric and acoustic guitars and drums all got recorded live in the studio. So it sounds live. Like listening from a very good seat in the house…



THANKS FOR LISTENING!

ALOHA!!


DRM – another high ladder out the window

When Sony introduced Super Audio CD (SACD or SA-CD) in the early part of the 21st century, the media platform was rolled out with two main ingredients:

1) Superior sound quality in the form of DSD (Direct Stream Digital) sampling at 2.8MHz, 1-bit

2) Digital Rights Management (DRM) in the case of SACD was provided using digital watermarking where the disc’s physical pits are used to create a signature that prevents copying to another physical media

http://www.sony.net/Products/SC-HP/cx_news/vol17/pdf/tw_saud.pdf

Now over a decade later, Sony announced their High Resolution Audio (HRA) platform that again embraces DSD mastered recordings but this time in the form of downloads.

These DSD downloads are already appearing from titles bearing some of the big names out there like Shelby Lynne, Norah Jones, Counting Crowes, Rickie Lee Jones, as well as classic and classical names including Muddy Waters, John Coltrane, Bille Holiday, Charles Mingus and the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra.

http://store.acousticsounds.com/index.cfm?get=topsellers&Field_cat=372

There are many more from the Sony vaults and other vaults to follow.

Guess what’s missing from this High Fidelity (HRA, Hi-Rez) campaign?
DRM! Copy protection! It’s out the window!!

Of course the whole world has already gone through this a few times starting with Napster which was forced to shut down (kind of like our recent government) in July, 2001 as a contributor, not a perpetrator, of copyright infringement. It had been operating for a couple years as the shared storage for P2P music downloads (they didn’t call it a Cloud then). In 2001 they had around 25 million subscribers.

I have been online with free downloads as MP3s since 1995. I still have free downloads online. Napster has been closed, bankrupt, reemerged, then bought and sold to Rhapsody. Regardless, the music is still getting moved around into players and then people’s ears…

There have been many other companies and initiatives in this free distribution direction. Somehow Apple’s iTunes thinks there is a “safe” limit of around 5 or 6 “authorized” PCs/Macs to allow receipt and hosting of their downloads.

What I’m asking is, will anyone *always* download something that’s free and *never* download something that costs money?

So what is DRM to anyone? Music is shared. Music is bought. As Gillian Welch sings in her 2002 ‘Time (The Revelator)’ song: “Everything is free now”. She goes on to sing “That’s what they say…everything i ever done…gonna give it away…”

A record industry that has been obsessed with making it difficult if not impossible to copy a good recording is now being led by a company that embraces digital file downloads which are highly likely to live (be copied) in more than one location at one time.

Jane Siberry began offering her music online many years ago (already) based on the premise that the artist (and the Sheeba Records label in her case) should not be in a position to decide for the listener what the recording is worth. Rather the listener should decide what it’s worth!  She still runs the web store that way. You can set the price. It’s up to you.

I sold CDs at shows that way for many years – you pay (or not pay) what you want. Self-service all the way. I was also opening some shows for Jane Siberry at that time.

What I found over the years, was that it never mattered what price I set or didn’t set on selling music. I sold about the same amounts no matter what it cost the buyer! My free downloads are not especially popular because they are free. They follow the same cycles as the stuff getting paid for. It’s more about the music…

Sure music is a business and an industry and everyone should get paid. But who is everyone? I think the recent official DRM ladder removal may be a precursor to the removal of some business layers that maybe shouldn’t be there or are at least are not necessary.

It may end up being an unintended consequence of pointing to the essence of “free”, which to me means “independent”.

Start your own label, see what happens…

“but i’m gonna do it anyway
even if it doesn’t pay….”
- gillian welch

kathmandu

kathmandu

aspen rose – beauty in the wilderness

the story of aspen rose is a complete sequence of life in four verses starting with the innocence and beauty of youth, the connections between all of us and all things on the planet back to nature itself and the planet we are all in and part of (not on and owners of), the powers of the romantic in all of us and the quest for communication and connection to and comfort with the essential beauty in ourselves through others, and finally our depature from our present incarnation with some better love and understanding of the universe that lies ahead in our imagination…

_______________________________________________________________________________

aspen rose

aspen rose your toes remind me of a summer lost
beauty in the wilderness unspoiled and untamed
aspen rose your ruby nose reminds me of another frost
straight down from the north comes forth
we’re boiling tea again

aspen rose your blonde hair glows as sunrise
easing up the mountains
you’re wandering through the pines
aspen rose your youth shows
silent as the twilight
settling through the window
calming down my inner mind

aspen rose recall those nights when we were strangers
unknowing to the dangers
that surrounded us like thieves
aspen rose nobody knows
how things could not change
we flowed like a river
right beneath october trees

aspen rose i’ll go i’m sorry that i’m weary
afraid that i have come too far
in far too short a time
aspen rose your heart’s
the slowest burning fire
i’ll ever know
it’s time to go
i love you more than i

_______________________________________________________________________________

recorded off grid at kitchen table to a korg mr-1
on battery as dsd64 in hamakua, east hawaii

windows open, chimes ringing, gecko chirping,
$89 nylon string guitar from hilo guitars

used the korg 2m-cm stereo mic that came
with the mr-1 offloaded directly from
mr-1without edits or eq of any kind

** this is an HD video – please set youtube to 720p
(change video res thru the little gear icon on the
lower right of the video player **

early photos in the video taken in the san mateo hills
(way up on skyline) on the peninsula in the sf bay area

the later photos in the video are reverse shots from all the way
down near the bay at the leo j. ryan memorial park in foster city looking
out and back up at the san mateo hills where the inital photos came from
_____________________________________