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I wanted to drop this idea somewhere to see if it takes root. My understanding of DSD is that it is more similar to analog than PCM, so why not convert it to analog in the process of editing a DSD recording instead of PCM?
You can accomplish minimal editing using TASCAM's Hi-Res Editor software . It allows you to crop recordings and insert very short fades at the beginning and end of each track. It also allows you to split a DSD recording into individual tracks or combine two DSD recordings together. However, that's about it.
I don't know whether converting to analog would allow you to do much more than that. However, TASCAM's Hi-Res Editor allows you to convert DSD to PCM for editing and then convert your edited files back into DSD.
" so why not convert it to analog in the process of editing a DSD recording instead of PCM?"
Why would you want to do this? This is not the same as the Marantz idea used in the SA-10 of a simple low pass filter after a high rate DSD stream to form an analogue output without use of a conventional DAC. Editing does not really take place on the fly and you need a storage format for the recording during the editing process. So for analogue you are back to using tape or some other analogue storage format (disc?). This would have all of the disadvantages in record production which led most producers to abandon it decades ago ( which also means that the skills needed to edit in the analogue domain are in short supply nowadays). Furthermore, as the purpose is editing DSD, the analogue format would subsequently need to be re-digitised in order to end up with a DSD file but one now complete with e.g. tape hiss, tape modulation noise etc. Furthermore editing can be an iterative process and the abberations which are inherent in analogue media would aggregate as the editing proceeds.
Of course some prefer the sound of analogue. I have no argument with this view but those producers that do presumably would not be editing a DSD file in the first place as they would have used analogue from the start. If the producers' choice for the original recording was digital then it is reasonable to expect that the intention is that the production process would continue in this domain.
I am afraid that your suggestion would seem to be a way of combining the worst features of both digital and analogue. Digital in that it may be judged not to sound as good as analogue and analogue in that the sound quality degenerates generation to generation.
. . . although you do hear the claim every so often that "DSD. . . is more similar to analog than PCM [is]", that's not a claim that I, for one, agree with.
I've been copying vinyl to 5.6-MHz DSD and it seems to have the sweetest highs I've ever heard from digital. I used to think my 24/96 PCM copies of vinyl were perfect, but I'm beginning to think DSD is even more perfect. I really love DSD and I've decided to make all future copies of vinyl records on 5.6-MHz DSD using my TASCAM DA-3000 DSD recorder.
With regard to editing, all I can do is crop my DSD recordings and divide each record side into individual cuts using TASCAM's Hi-Res Editor software . It also places a very short fade at the beginning and end of each cut. I sometimes wish I could insert longer fades in addition to performing amplitude normalization, but I don't want to transfer from DSD into PCM. Therefore, I guess I can live with minimal editing.
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