Everyday Rather Live in Classic Eras

Spring April for two concerts to be broadcast free in beyond-SACD quality

Backed by Korg and Sony, the DSD Live Streaming project will offer one concert from the Tokyo Spring Festival on April 5, and then the Berlin Philharmonic under Sir Simon Rattle live from its home city less than a week later, on April 11. Both concerts will be available in DSD 5.6MHz digital audio to anyone with a home computer, an internet connection and a suitable DSD-capable digital-to-analogue converter.

The two events are described as ‘a proof-of-concept test for DSD online music distribution’, and the Tokyo concert is a marathon nine-hour performance from the Tokyo Bunka Kaikan Recital Hall entitled ‘Music from the Classical period – Musicians in Vienna, a music capital’. Including works by Beethoven, Haydn and Mozart, the concert starts at 11.00 JST (04.00 CET/03.00 BST).

The following weekend the Berlin Philharmonic, no stranger to online music streaming via its own Digital Concert Hall service, will perform Berlioz’s La damnation de Faust with soloists Charles Castronovo (Faust), Joyce DiDonato (Marguerite), Ludovic Tézier (Méphistophélès), and Florian Boesch (Brander). The concert is at 19.00CET (18.00 BST) on April 11, and 02.00 JST on April 12 for Japanese listeners, and will also be broadcast in high-definition video via the orchestra’s video service. The DSD5.6 audio stream will also be available on-demand for a limited period after the live transmission.

DSD5.6 uses double the sampling rate of standard Super Audio CD, and 128x that of CD, so the amount of data to be transmitted will be very large, and this is the first time such a live transmission via the internet has been attempted. To listen, users will need free software to be made available via the DSD Live Streaming website, and a suitable USB DAC to connect their computer to headphones or their audio system. Recommended models are the Korg DSD-DAC-10, DSD-DAC-10-SV, DSD-DAC-100 and DSD-DAC-100M, all of which will work with both Windows and Mac computers, or, for Windows users only, the Sony UDA-1 DAC for use with an audio system, or PHA-2 and PHA-3 DAC/headphone amplifiers.

By now there’s a lot of interest in streaming music, Qobuz and Tidal offers online music at CD quality, and Meridian’s Master Quality Authenticated, or MQA, system promising CD quality and beyond over relatively restricted internet bandwidth.