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John Hiatt Records at Ardent With DSD System

From L to R: guitarist Luther Dickinson, producer Jim Dickinson and John Hiatt Seated: Gus Skinas

Photo: Alan Spearman, the Commercial Appeal

In what is described as the very first sessions to use a “real-world” DSD recorder, John Hiatt has recorded his new album at Memphis’ Ardent Studios. Produced by Jim Dickinson and engineered by John Hampton, the New West Records album features Luther and Cody Dickinson of The North Mississippi All-Stars on guitar and drums, with David Hood on bass.

Gus Skinas, president and CEO of Super Audio Center LLC, developers of the Sonoma-24 Direct Stream Digital recording and editing system, was on hand to supervise the new technology. Skinas explained, “John Hiatt’s session at Ardent was the very first session to use a ‘real world’ multitrack DSD recorder. DSD, or Direct Stream Digital, is a new and different technology for recording audio. It is a step as significant as the move from analog to digital recording in the early 1980s. Instead of recording 24-bit words at a rate of 96 thousand times a second, it records a very fast 1-bit sigma-delta stream at a rate of 2.8 million bits a second. It is a signal much more analog-like in sound and appearance, but it can still be digitally copied and processed. While there are some devices out there that can record multitrack DSD, the Sonoma-24 is the only one that can do this and provide the overdubbing and editing capabilities that everyone is familiar with, given the power of today’s workstations. When used in a state-of-the-art analog studio such as Ardent, the final product is free of the sonic restrictions one finds with typical digital production. This will be most obvious when John Hiatt’s new SACD is played on an SACD player that uses the same DSD technology to playback the recording. It will also be noticeable on CDs and MP3s, because the better the master, the better the final product.”

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