An interview with founders Jared Sacks, Managing Director & Jonas Sacks, Technical Director, just before the festive moment that NativeDSD reached 1,000 DSD albums: early September 2016.
Q.: What does it feel like to have released over 1,000 albums in DSD in just over 2 years?
It feels like we have only just begun to promote and release recordings in DSD. There is so much more out there that we would like to bring to our DSD customers. But we do see this as a significant milestone.
To be honest, we thought we would reach this milestone earlier than today. We think the reason that this has not happened is two-fold. On the one hand we have high standards in quality and therefore we had to reject and remove certain titles because they were not up to our provenance threshold. The second reason is that it does take an extra effort for a label to provide the original recording, album booklet and samples of each track for the NativeDSD web site.
Q: People say; “more money, more problems”. Do you feel this way when it comes to providing music fans with a continually growing selection of DSD albums?
With more DSD album releases, we are offering more musical genres for a listener to choose from. Today we not only have Classical music in DSD, but also Jazz, Vocal, Big Band, Acoustic, Rock, Heavy Metal, Pop, Samba, Meditation, Gospel and World Music available for purchase in DSD. This means that there is something for everyone in DSD.
We listen to our customers. They have told us there is strong interest in expanding the variety of music that is available in many musical styles and genres. We used this information to produce and record music to live up to those requests by releasing two albums in NativeDSD 256fs Stereo and Surround Sound (4 times the DSD 64fs bit rate used for SACDs and 256 times the bit rate used for conventional CDs) with no post-production processing through the Just Listen label. This is another way that we are expanding and enhancing the NativeDSD catalog.
Q: What are the recent developments at NativeDSD that you are most proud of?
The Simple Pricing button. This feature is based on our philosophy that it would be much better if an album has one price, and all DSD rates and channel structures (Stereo, Binaural and Surround Sound) available come within this one price. It represents an expansion of our earlier Combi, ST+MCH and Lower DSD Bit Rates at No Cost programs. Simple Pricing premiered last week with the Positive Feedback DSD Sampler. We think in the long run this benefits everyone in the process – recording artist, label and listener. So keep an eye out for more use of this feature very soon!
Q: Do you make an effort to stay in touch with your customers, and if so; how?
We do. NativeDSD Music follows and responds to questions from our listeners posted to the NativeDSD web site, Facebook page and Twitter feed. In a weekly newsletter we inform listeners about ‘all things DSD’; technical & musical developments.
In addition to the NativeDSD Music team at headquarters in The Netherlands, we have a group of 4 gentlemen who are very experienced with everything that has to do with DSD and High Resolution Music downloads. These gentlemen are Tom Caulfield (NativeDSD Music Mastering Engineer and a Grammy Winning Recording Engineer), NativeDSD Technical Advisors Ted Brady and Brian Moura (both experienced Writers, Reviewers and DSD listeners), and Bill Dodd (author of the popular Dodd’s DSD Discoveries section of the NativeDSD Music Blog). They are available to help playback and technical problems and of course with preparing DSD albums for sale on the NativeDSD web site. They have been very successful resources to supporting NativeDSD’s web site and staying in touch with our listeners.
Q: How do you make sure that potential DSD listeners find their way to NativeDSD?
We work directly with hardware manufacturers and websites dedicated to high end audio. Since we are also selling DACs and Players with Native DSD playback for listening at our NativeDSD Gear Store, this works to get the word out. Hardware needs software; and we believe that good sounding music, whatever hardware is playing it, starts with excellent quality DSD music downloads.
Q: Can we expect to see another 1,000 DSD albums in the next 2 years?
Today NativeDSD Music includes albums from 45 different record labels. Yet we see many more new record labels now recording in DSD. The gear needed for recording in this format is continually being developed with more DSD DACs and players on the market. This offers more choices for labels and recording-engineers to work in DSD.
So we can certainly see even more than 1,000 new releases. Not to mention record labels that are taking classic analog recordings and making direct transfers of this music to DSD. A fine example of this is the work 2xHD has done with their new Analog Tape to DSD transfer of the classic 1976 Stan Getz Jazz recording and the 1,000th album on NativeDSD: Moments in Time!
Q: So, apart from adding new DSD albums on NativeDSD each week, is your work done?
We are always fine-tuning the NativeDSD Music web site and what it has to offer. This includes adding new functions and creating opportunities with the 48 labels currently on our site to promote their releases.
We’re also continuing to expand the information we provide about album releases on each album’s listing and on the NativeDSD Blog. For example, this week Jared, Tom and Brian have an excellent blog post on Why we sell albums in multiple DSD rates and DXD. You will find that post explains a lot about Native DSD’s release philosophy and the several ways that music comes to you via DSD.
And there is more DSD music, features and enhancements to come from NativeDSD Music. As we like to say, we offer ‘NativeDSD and beyond’. But let’s leave it there for today. We don’t want to spill all the beans on what is to come in the future just yet.