New moon, new song “Didn’t Want To Know”. Recorded in my first kitchen studio. You can hear it here.
We all learn as we go. Sometimes we just don’t want to know even though we do.
New moon, new song “Didn’t Want To Know”. Recorded in my first kitchen studio. You can hear it here.
We all learn as we go. Sometimes we just don’t want to know even though we do.
NOTE: I’m not a gear reviewer, just a serious listener for my own enjoyment as well as recording artist trying to get the best sounds on my budget for preparing and editing my own music.
I’ve always had the need to buy things that were on the economy side as much as possible. But my needs for high quality in a lot of the things I am most fond of, particularly music never wants to bend to economics.
So over the years I’ve become persistently good at finding the right products in my price ranges that give me the best sound and best operation overall for music. In our world of virtual realities this is true of guitars, computers, software, microphones, DACs, Preamps/Amplifiers, Internet access, speakers and other disparate things never lumped together in the past so intimately.
I have some favorites for listening to good recordings!
Feel free to contact me via my web page if you have questions about anything I wrote about here. The revolving product I have to buy every 3-5 years that is not listed below is the PC notebook I use for computer audio, a huge part of my world. I spend $250 to $400 on these and can always find the high end portable notebook I need (currently 6GB RAM, i5 Intel quad core 2.6gHz, 1TB 7200rpm drive, 3 USB, 1 HDMI, 14″ screen, CD/DVD RW, Win7 Pro x64).
OPPO HA-2 – $299
While this product has been updated at OPPO by the HA-2SE model at the same price, I have been using the portable HA-2 headphone amplifier, DSD/PCM DAC, iPhone recharger for several years now since its release.
It might be easier to describe this beauty in terms of what it doesn’t do as an optimal mobile HRA device (my term), since it has so many interrelated functions. Overall it is the perfect mobile or home device to handle the digital to analog conversion of music on your computer or iPhone/Android and deliver it to either your headphones/earbuds or wired home stereo/studio.
In addition it has a good 4+ hours of battery that will provide DC voltage to your iPhone while traveling in airplanes and the like. It is portable enough to fit in a shirt pocket or banded together (they provide the thick bands…) with your iPhone in a jean jacket.
The HA-2 charges my iPhone 5S at least 1.5 times during travel, so a fully charged iPhone to begin with can play music with the HA-2 handling DSD64 or 128 and any bitrate PCM you throw at it for flights across the mainland or to Hawaii.
The software player I use to handle hi-res audio files I load onto the iPhone is Onkyo’s HF Player. You download the free version first, then upgrade for $9.99 to handle the hi-res which hands DSD audio to the HA-2 using DoP up to DSD128. All PCM and MP3/AAC can be upsampled to DSD in this mode. Nice! High Precision gives you better signal to noise ratio (i.e., better sound) at a battery use price.
Onkyo’s HF Player app is accessed from the iTunes setup of your iPhone to load the hi-res files (beware this is klunky but can be done). Otherwise it easily finds and plays all your iTunes songs on your iPhone better than the stock Apple music app (reread the upsample to DSD above).
All in all the HA-2 is an incredible value for delivering the highest quality digital audio to your headphones or your home stereo setup. There is both a line out and headphone jack. The analog volume control gives you precise control over gain on the headphone side. I use it this way to feed my preamp too.
Here’s the PDF user guide:
Oh, and it has a patented fast charging AC adapter that recharges the HA-2 in no time.
Meridian Explorer2 MQA DAC – $299
This is the product that for me broke the floodgates of what a listener can actually experience with PCM masters, from CD to hi-res DXD at 24/352.8 or 24/384. It was the first DAC to hit the streets that decoded MQA in lossless PCM master files of any format (WAV, AIF, FLAC, ALAC, etc.).
In 2015 I’d been reading about MQA and all the trials and tribulations of its definition and promises for producing digital audio content as artists and producers had at least heard it in their mastering studio, if not necessarily intended (my humor). It was interesting reading to say the least and the more I read the more interest I had in hearing it.
Using the Explorer2 beginning in February 2016, I started hearing masters created by some of the highest regarded studios in the world, including Norway’s 2L. I was familiar with and owned 2L’s early SACD releases and now saw some of those titles released as MQA DXD downloads.
What I then heard was unlike any PCM master I’d listened to before in the natural sounding reproduction of especially acoustic sounds (my favorite kind).
For $299, the listener had a full PCM DAC up to 24/192 with two outputs for headphones as well as line level to a home stereo/studio setup. That price hasn’t changed as I write this.
This portable (very small and weightless) convenient way of hearing excellent quality PCM of any quality recordings can now be attached via its USB connector to any computer and used to decode streaming music from TIDAL at full “unfolded” rates.
So the streaming bitrate is roughly that of a CD (1.411mbps) depending on the master format (FLAC/ALAC are typically <1.0mbps), but the unfolded bit rate can be as hi-res as 24/192k (9.4mbps, upper limit of the Explorer2, not the limit of all MQA DACs).
My one complaint is the finicky USB connection for this DAC. It seems to lose its USB connection to the PC at the slightest movement. No substituted USB cables seem to improve this condition. It is also slightly annoyingly upside down based on the USB connector orientation which leaves the LEDs facing down.
I believed in the authenticity and comfortable enjoyable listening of what I heard as PCM using the Explorer2 so much that I became an MQA Ltd. artist/content partner and with their help converted all my CD and hi-res masters to MQA encoding for others to download or stream.
OPPO PM-3 Closed Planar Magnetic Headphones – $399
Prices for headphones are as volatile in ranges as the Dow month to month. What sounds good sometimes works for some, even as studio/industry standards, but either costs at least twice the PM-3 price, or just doesn’t sound as good to others.
What I found with this comfortable setup is a highly unintrusive sounding headphone that shields me from outside noise distractions (I hate those) and is comfortable enough to wear for a few hours at a time. They have a clean alive sound that isn’t biased towards either sizzling highs or thumping bass lines and kick drum samples.
OPPO loves good sound as represented by all of their products and these are no exception in a price range many can afford compared to other big names in studio quality headphones. A single stereo 1/8″ cable comes with this which is convenient for wearing as well.
You can read about planar magnetic approaches to speakers and headphones elsewhere. I like them because of their flat honest sound reproduction abilities.
Zipbuds Pro – about $25
I found and ordered these a couple years back on a whim based on price and the description of the product which included reference to a military grade fibers that don’t decompose in the weather and rain (Hawaii weather decomposes everything from cars to houses to electronic gear in no time).
Also descriptions of the care taken to complete the audio quality as well as patented zipper approach to no-tangle were attractive. A (very very good) noise cancelling mic for iPhone use was a coup de gras. For $25 what the heck (list may be closer to $50 but easy to find online for $25 or so).
I had hated earbuds forever, but Zipbuds allowed me to recover from that remarkably. Their product description did not even mention solving one crucial factor that has had me rejecting all earbuds since the earliest Apple iPhone set in 2007: They really hurt my ears to wear.
Zipbuds fit your ears at an angle. There is a soft rubberized attachment fitted in the 3 sizes (SML) they include. The angular thing greatly helps both comfort and sound problems. I never take the Zipbuds out because they are starting to hurt my ears. That is remarkable.
There is clearly a left and right for fit and sound (which changes dramatically if they are reversed). While the R/L is not well marked on the Zipbuds themselves you just need the logo on the zipper facing out and you got it right.
I have also found more than subtle differences in SQ based on how firmly the Zipbuds are inserted in my ears. If I want more bass, I simply push them in a little further. Is that design or simply the convenience of fate?
I’ve shared these as gifts with lots of people, strict audiophiles and otherwise. Without exception they have been received with the same enthusiasm as I have for them. My second or third set came with a note in the box with the CEO Rob’s phone number saying to call if I wanted.
So I did call Rob one day and had a great conversation with him about hi-res in general. They are working hard to make it feel and sound right for their customers and have been at it a good long time now in Internet years.
For travel and on the go, nothing beats Zipbuds for quality of sound and convenience. I eagerly participated in their 2016 Kickstarter campaign for their new Catalyst product which is not shipping yet (ok, they are late by a month or two so far…).
Catalyst is a very high quality Bluetooth wireless set of balanced (fitted/weighted) earbuds that deploy AptX and AAC for lossless delivery of sound to the listener without wires. Check it out.
No wires – 16 hrs battery for playtime, lossless sound quality, comfortable fit. Wireless is where I’m headed in every aspect of what I’m doing with electronics.
iFi Audio Micro iTube preamp/buffer – $329
Another great product I have is the original version of this product. It refers to itself as the Swiss Army Knife of Audio.
An iTube2 was just released by this highly innovative and nimble company. iFi-Audio.com has some killer products they deliver to audio lovers at great economy worldwide. Everything from portable DSD/PCM DACs to headphone amps to USB filters and special cables.
Here’s the relatively new setup I now buy into with my ears: Tube preamplifiers are the best staging device for any good solid state amplifier.
I place the iFi-Audio iTube in between my OPPO 103 SACD/DVD/Blu-ray player and the amplifier I am using (currently NAD 906 multichannel). Having used other preamps and AV processors (all solid state) I immediately found the tube result to be a much more natural sounding delivery from the amp to the speakers.
Everything just sounds better but most noticeable was the serious bottom coming through my Monitor Audio Gold Series towers. I can’t get that acoustic upright or electric bass and kick drum to sound any more coincidentally solid and spacious in the room (wood floors and ceilings) any other way. Voices and instruments also lost edges and yes, even shimmered.
Another huge benefit here for the $329 price is that it will allow many who are mistakenly playing DSD as converted PCM in a player such as the OPPO 103 to now correctly configure the OPPO to convert native DSD directly to analog to send to the iTube preamp.
NOTE WITH CAUTION: To do this make sure OPPO is set to play SACD as “DSD” not “PCM” and disable Audio on HDMI. ****** Be sure not to set SACD playback to DSD unless you have volume control through a preamp or other means – Otherwise you can send 100% gain to your amplifier and do some damage to your speakers, ears and maybe more.******
You can read more on this from my post in 2013: Bartender, Give Me A Sandwich.
I typically use the iTube “Digital Antidote” feature that notably reduces ringing and digital distortion. I typically do not use the 3D Holographic sound feature.
“Angelo” Solo Acoustic Instrumental (MQA CD Master) hit the streets today at CDBaby, Bandcamp and TIDAL. You can listen and download from these sites:
Rare acoustic instrumental spontaneous compositions from a prolific composer – intimate close mic high resolution recordings, mastered for CD release with MQA encoding.
TIDAL streaming playback has been confirmed with MQA encoding (blue light on Meridian Explorer2).
The songs for Angelo were all recorded on the same day. They were inspired in the memory and honor of departed Angelo as spontaneous compositions. All acoustic guitar instrumentals in open tuning representing a variety of stylistic influences from Celtic to Folk to Bluegrass.
Dedicated to Angelo and to the memory of independent artists worldwide. The music is kind of folky, bluegrassy, celtic-new agey…. Hard to put in a box.
This is the second release in a series of “Solo Acoustic” recordings. The first from December 2016 was “Two Track Mind”, 13 solo singer-songwriter tracks available as an MQA encoded CD from CDBaby at http://www.cdbaby.com/cd/davidelias19
Aloha to All – Wishing you the best with a 30% Sale on all titles through Christmas.
Use this Promo Code when you purchase: TAKE30
The Catalog for PCM downloads is here: http://davidelias.bandcamp.com
Remember that these MQA encoded files will play through any software media player or burned to a CD! The sound quality is very good to me and many others at this point no matter how they get played.
You can also download my entire PCM catalog below online (19 albums/titles) for a 55% discount. Just select that option from any of the album pages you click on. These are the PCM/MQA Masters only, not DSD.
Buying albums/tracks on Bandcamp also entitles you to stream the same tracks from a web browser or smartphone forever from the Bandcamp page or smarphone app with surprisingly good quality too.
About MQA – Hi-Res
My hi-res tracks gets unfolded up to 352.8k by an MQA DAC. But the DAC isn’t required to play the hi-res files (SACD gurus think of the hybrid layer, it acts in a similar way).
Just be sure to choose any of the Bandcamp “Lossless” formats: FLAC, ALAC, WAV or AIF. That’s it. It plays no matter which you choose. You can also download any format anytime on titles you’ve purchased.
You can send these as gifts too…choose the “Send as Gift” link.
Mele Kalikimaka! Be Well!
The MQA master (16/44.1) of “Voice Memo – Songs From Hawaii” is now online with my MQA master download catalog at Bandcamp: http://davidelias-mqa.com
It has a PDF to download with lyrics and notes. There are 30 tracks, all recorded on my iPhone using the stock “voice memo” app. I mastered it at 32/44.1. The download master (16/44.1) was encoded as MQA by MQA Ltd. You can now grab it as MQA online. (Note here, the first printing of the CD is not MQA encoded.)
Thanks again to everyone for listening and for supporting independent artists. If you want one of the printed CDs now (will be online at CDBaby, Amazon, etc. soon) you can let me know. I can mail one to you in the U.S. for $10 through Nov. 30th.
(from the PDF notes…)
~~~~About My Songwriting~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
A way to listen to the way my songs get created. I get asked this often enough. Dave, do you write the words first, or the music, or do you look up random things on Google and get ideas… … … ??
I can tell you there is no research in my songwriting. No Google, no newspapers, no references. Not even an idea of what I am going to write about 99.99% of the time. I am a tune player and creator on guitar. That’s usually what I do when I pick up the guitar, play something new whatever comes out. It comes through me sitting there and I don’t think about it much except trying to hear what it’s saying. 99% of the time I play and play and play for awhile then forget it all.
But sometimes the tune is catchy to me and I work on it and keep trying to get it right and eventually it sounds like it has the right shape and notes and well, tune.
So I might start singing along with it at some point during that sitting and see if there’s a singing part to go with the guitar part. No real words but then usually there are real words coming out of me, I didn’t plan them.
So there’s the idea for the song and I just write down the words as I come upon them and turn them into the melody and the song. That’s how I remember the song – that and then I often turn on Voice Memo on the iPhone to record it at that point. Like I just discovered something I don’t want to forget. Which is what I did.
Sometimes the tunes on guitar don’t have any words. They are enough they way they are. Or words could come later. Or words I’d written down (poetry ok) another time can be randomly matched to a tune. That happens too.
So tune first, words next, song maybe. Or tune first, no words, song maybe. Or tune not quite there, no song, maybe later. Or words sitting on a page to tune just written or written and remembered, song maybe. See what I mean? No plan :)
Just trying to get it right…
Voice memos can help. Decided to try to share some of those in the honest fashion they were created sitting at home just playing for me.
UPDATED Jan 18, 2017
These 4 songs now download for $4. There is 1 free track available
Here is how MQA Ltd. described me in their newsletter this week (emphasis is mine):
MQA Artist Release
Sound quality has been a driving motivation for singer-songwriter David Elias since he started recording his music digitally more than 20 years ago. On listening to some of his earliest recordings encoded with MQA, David noted, “The original intention and sounds are much more accurately represented [with MQA] and are therefore much, much more enjoyable to listen to. The convenience of MQA’s smaller file size is an additional no-brainer.”
This paragraph says a lot for me because I’ve lived with CD and its problems with sound quality as long as everyone else. In fact I had no CDs long after many did, sticking to vinyl and even my own mix tape cassettes (analog ruled) for years after the CD deluge. It sounded better. I liked album covers. What can I say.
I broke my teeth on CD quality recording in 1995 making my first CD in a home studio setup. I recorded to Hi-8 Video Tape at 16/48 on an 8-track Tascam DA-88. I’d recorded myself at times on various tape machines and a few digital boxes for almost 20 years but this was much different.
I listened to a lot of everything I put on tape through that whole process of recording, mixing analog (lengend original Mackie 1202!) to 16/44.1 (Sony TCD-10 DAT) and then mastered on a DyaxisII Workstation. It sounded good and in fact better in the studio than on the final CD that was printed.
Those early CDs and many later recordings were either created or converted to PCM to be moved online one way or another. All my released songs are on YouTube Music now for example, as audio, as well as lots of other places, like 50 or more. The more they travel in the Etherspace the worse they sound generally. They get downsampled and converted into whatever suits the retailer or streaming radio like Pandora (one of my least favorites for sound quality).
But shoots, I want to get heard…otherwise I wouldn’t put music I write out there in the first place.
Enter MQA… I started listening to it in February on hi-res converted music from 2L in Norway. Classical works. I knew some of them from 10+ years prior as SACDs I had actually been given by Morten Lindberg there. 2L put MQA converted masters (DXD conversions which are PCM at 24/352.8) online to try as well as other hi-res formats. I was using a Meridian Explorer2 MQA DAC connected to my Dell Windows 10 notebook running the latest JRiver.
All I can say is I didn’t hear anything I didn’t like, and in some cases heard some things I really really liked.
So I started listening to other MQA encoded tracks. MQA is not a new audio format. It is still linear PCM, just has its own corrections (aka filtering) applied to the encoding of the music.
What I started paying attention to more and more and hearing more and more were the timing coherence corrections in the playback. What PCM has always done to my ears, along with countless others, is present a very sharp unnatural edge to the sound that can get worse for me the louder or harder the music is played. It doesn’t flow like vinyl, cassette, or DSD. Usually it kind of attacks quickly, then disappears. It’s not relaxing, let me put it that way.
MQA encoded tracks I listened to had lost much of that sharp attack, no decay characteristic. They were well presented and much easier to listen to. They positioned things more clearly in the stereo space noticeably including the front and back locations in addition to left and right. The soundstage was then more 2 dimensional with depth as well as 3 dimensional with up and down.
This listening started with a lot of music I didn’t know, yet I was happy to listen to it with open ears so to speak.
Over the next few months, I decided I wanted to hear some of my PCM recordings as MQA and started making inquiries as to how I might do that. In the end, I became an MQA artist partner and have converted my catalog and archives to MQA encoded PCM.
I’ve actually had most of my catalog online as PCM on the Bandcamp site (http://davidelias.bandcamp.com) as CD quality up to 24/88.2 for a couple years now. Now most of that has been updated to download in the smaller FLAC or ALAC MQA encoded files.
Overall, MQA sounded better to me than any CD or hi-res PCM master I had. It doesn’t need much more proof to me. I have read a lot about the “what it is” and “why it works” to understand that better, but after my intro through reading and some YouTubes, I just started listening a lot. I still am.
What About The 4 Songs… The first album on the page at the link above is a free download. You can also stream it as much as you want. Bandcamp lets you download songs in a variety of formats. The default is MP3. Don’t download it as MP3!
MQA requires what’s called a lossless format — The 4 big lossless formats being used out there are the original WAV (PC) and AIF (Mac) and their file (not audio) compressed counterparts FLAC (PC) and ALAC (Mac). Choose one of those when you download from anywhere no matter what the site or music! It is not missing some of its music from the original like MP3!
FLAC and ALAC are roughly 1/2 the size of WAV and AIF. They sound identical and are better at carrying the magic metadata or tags that include all the song and album info for the media player to display when playing the track.
MP3 and Apple’s AAC use math to remove audio data in an original CD or hi-res audio master to make it a much smaller file (in general about 1/10th the size). That was the strategy from the beginning when everyone was dialing up the Internet on modems. It made sense then as one didn’t want to stay online for hours or days to download an album. Apple cemented that approach since iTunes Store came online in 2004. How long will that go on? As long as people buy it I guess.
Excuse Me, What About The 4 Songs… Ok, I have a lot of MQA encoded music I am really kind of hearing for the first time myself. This includes both very good and some not so great recordings (like live public hall stuff through a single $99 Sony stereo mic to DAT).
Most of it got created as a PCM recording. The MQA encoded versions of these tracks changed how they sound to me and took me a lot closer to the original performance whether was studio or live stage. It sounds more like the sound in the room at the time and what was played and I am relaxed when I listen to it because of that.
Go here and try 4 songs at 3 different PCM resolutions, all encoded as MQA
If I went into too much detail this email might get long :)
Here’s the (short) not so fine print:
1) If you have an MQA DAC you can hear the full resolution up to 24/352.8 or the limits of your MQA DAC.
2) If you don’t have an MQA DAC you can just play it anyway at 16/44.1, 24/44.1 or 24/48 depending on source track
3) If you get an MQA DAC later (or the media players do it for you) you’ll hear the hi-res then
The song audio resolutions range from CD (16/44.1) hi-res (24/96) to DXD (24/352.8). They are all only about as big as a CD file to download (about 700MB), maybe a little bigger.
CD’s sound better as MQA to me with or without the MQA DAC gear. You can just play them. I’ve had different people tell me the same thing about my stuff. So far I have heard its biggest benefits on the lowest res recordings. I might even know why.
If you have questions you can reply to this email, it just comes to me…I hope you try downloading the tracks. If you have an MQA DAC, don’t stream them, download them!
Thanks For Listening!
Those who were there in 2002 and have heard these tracks have said similar things about it. It was a time to be there. It was a feeling to be shared. It was music to breathe in. It was organic.
Illegal Copy #2 was recorded directly to stereo on a 1-bit 48kHz Sony DAT (TCD-8) using a single small Sony stereo mic setup on a mic stand in the middle of the San Gregorio Store facing the band and PA.
The music came in to everyone’s ears and into the Sony mic the same way.
I mastered the songs captured on Illegal Copy #2 (basically a single set from that day, in order) back then in 2002. I then designed the disc image you see here and burned a handful of copies and printed and glued the sticker image on them and gave them to people in the band and some local friends who had been there. It was a bootleg.
Then time went by.
When I recently decrypted the lost copy of that bootleg and played it I was taken back to a very special time, place, and people, and sound that I didn’t want to lose again.
So I created the album here on Bandcamp where you can listen to it. If you want, you can then download it and stream it anywhere. It doesn’t exist anywhere else.
Here are the fine musicians with me from The Great Unknown some 15 years prior and I’m still very proud to know them:
Gary MacArthur – tenor sax, flute
Lisa Kelly – mandolin, backing vocal
Scott Beynon – bass
Perry Thorwaldson – drums
Reid Dennis – percussion
Iseult Jordan – special guest and friend on “Stone House on Blueberry Hill”
It’s always about the music – Aloha!
PS – if you are interested in an MQA encoded copy of this album, reply to me and let me know.
With the autumnual equinox a couple days off for those of us “up over” and the vernal equinox equally ready for those “down under”, a release of a single from the stage at the Great American Music Hall in San Francisco is ready to move into the iTunes/Tidal/Amazon/et al ether.
You and anyone you tell about it can download it for free for the next few days.
Download the WAV audio here: Hi – David Elias
Performed with Charlie Natzke and Chris Kee, “Hi” has done a great job on the 2MAXFM Australian radio with great thanks to DJ Pete Hammond.
To listen to a 12 minute interview from last month with Pete Hammond calling from Narrabri Australia you can click here.
Have a happy new season.
Hi – David Elias
Tell me the reason
I feel this way
Is it something I said
Or just what I might say
Am I closing an old book
Or writing a new
Is it one long hello
Or just one short adieu
The mountains are one
The days are all long
We just sit in the sun
And talk through the hours
Til the pale glimmering
If you lean a bit closer
You might hear me sing
And I won’t look back I won’t look back
I’ll never go I’ll never go
I can’t say yes I can’t yes
I won’t say no I won’t say no
All that I need is the eye that can see in my heart
So go wander away
But don’t linger too long
You may miss the reason
You first came along
Tell me your story
Tell me your heart
We won’t share those secrets
Til well after dark
OK it’s a holiday season thing. Good!
I got included in a nice promotion from one of most CAREFUL hi-rez download sites out there. www.nativedsd.com is in Holland (you know Amsterdam, but they are in another city nearby). They are offering the DSD download of my “Coffeehouse DSD Playlist #1” for 20% off from now through January 5th, 2015 (2015???).
Here’s the page link:
Don’t forget to use the Coupon Code: XmasCoffee (capital X, C) when you checkout. Friends of mine have told me that NativeDSD.com is one of the friendliest, easiest download sites for hi-rez.
For my part, I created the downsampled 24/48k FLAC of the same playlist album. This sampler has hi-res songs from all my other full releases so anyone wondering what all this DSD or FLAC stuff is about… here’s a way to try it.
If you’re not into DSD (yet), try the FLAC, it plays on PC and Mac (with free Flip converter) with most if not all media players and sounds way better than MP3 or lossy AAC.
Here it is on Bandcamp:
Use the same Coupon Code at checkout: XmasCoffee
The songs on the Coffeehouse sampler from “The Window”, “Crossing”, “Slipperworld DSD Sessions”, “Acoustic Trio DSD Session” are:
– The Old King
– Half An Hour Away
– Rodeo On A Ridge
– Mend My Mind
– Close My Eyes
– Morning Light / Western Town
– Vision Of Her
– Poor Polly
– Aspen Rose (solo, prev. unreleased)
Click here to look at the PDF with lyrics and notes on each song. Musicians on these tracks include: Sally Van Meter, Ross Martin, John Magnie, Matt Flinner, Marc Dalio, Charlie Natzke, Chris Kee, Scott Beynon, Ken Owen, Peter Tucker.
Enjoy the holidaze season…Aloha!
10/27/2014 – Update
Cut to the chase.. Free EP download as MP3-320 through the end of October is online .. Click Here!
Password is: slippah1
To celebrate the release of my new 6-song EP “Slipper DSD Sessions – And The Bit Goes On…” hi-rez download I am giving away the entire album in MP3 format.
Just send me a note from my contact page at http://davidelias.com/contact.html and I’ll reply with the download link and password.
Just when you thought you understood “genre” you get Independent Acoustic ranging from heavy wood trio to electric quartet and a chilling solo thrown in for good measure. You also get a full PDF booklet with lyrics, notes and photos.
Read below what audiophile Gary R. wrote about these songs.. Hope you get to hear them and tell others about this offer through October.
The album is online for download in 3 different hi-rez formats: DSD, FLAC 24/88.2 and FLAC 24/176.4 — you get all formats now for $9.95 as well as the MP3 — Buy it in hi-rez here.
What you get to hear on this release is a very dynamic side of the David Elias catalog recorded carefully at Slipperworld to take advantage of the rich spectrum of harmonics, decay, resonance and natural analog like sound captured by single bit, 2.8mHz sample rate Direct Stream Digital (DSD…and the bit goes on…). You can listen to these nuances using any computer audio gear or home/studio hifi gear in any DSD or downsampled PCM digital formal.
Here is what audiohile Gary wrote me about these new tracks – Aloha! – DE
Miracles take time
There is a delicacy, hushed reverence and deeply felt awe in this song, a melancholy “smiling with sad eyes” vibe. I was deeply touched. Love that your lyrics are both accessible and enigmatic. They require the listener to pay attention and “get it” but without the struggle and off-putting frustration of completely obscure and inaccessible lyrics. You’ve always had the right balance as a poet and song writer in tuning in to this balance.
Love the intro. Mysterious but inviting where an expectant anticipation is created. The ensemble playing is, as always, first rate.your voice is in a higher range which conveys a bit more anguish at being sometimes bewildered by life itself. Settle Down the Questions indeed? Love the riffs between stanzas. To me the song is about not taking the easy way out and giving in to glib and ready answers to life’s most difficult questions and quandaries. One continues the pursuit; the struggle because one must. There is really no other way to be truly human.
White & Blue as a propulsive allure that conveys a mystery within mystery. Perhaps the passage of time with its inevitable longing and as perceived from the different vantage points of other living creatures.
Silver Pen.. I love the opening intro and the transitions. Playing and ensemble are, as always, top rank. Nothing is overdone or underdone. The tonal balance matches the purity and honesty of your singing. Pristine.
River of Dreams is very much in the same spirit of longing and remembrance of what once was but can never be again . . . no regret . . . just sadness, longing and acceptance. Loved it.
With these last two songs, I’m reminded of several of my favorite songs of longing that make me deliciously melancholy every time I hear them. A contradiction in terms? I think not. These songs describe the person left behind and explore what draws the other person – sometimes inexplicably – to another place – like a magnetic north that can’t be resisted. These are some examples:
Bob Dylan “Man in the Long Black Coat” on Oh Mercy
Alison Krauss “Maybe” on Forget About it
Alison Krauss “Ghost in the House” same CD
Joan Baez “Jesse” on several of her classic CDs
With the final song “Miracles Take Time” the listener is gifted with two versions of the same song in this, David’s latest offering. One version is with his band; in the other he is solo. Both versions convey the same words but, at least for me, create a slightly different emotional response. Part of the delight of listening to great music like this is that the listener must construct meaning for his/her self. For me, “Miracles Take Time” conveys the indefiniteness of both outcome and time of things worth waiting for. The solo version is a deeply personal rendition that revels in the silence between the notes, whereas the version with the band is more communal – a shared experience, that is more upbeat in the sense of creating a lament that is shared with others in real time.