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Positive Feedback ISSUE 64
november/december 2012


Music - A Free Download
by Dirk Sommer


The .wav and DSD files are produced directly from the analogue mastertape of this sommelier du son-LP. The cover shows the monastery's refectory where the recording was captured.

To celebrate our cooperation with, we are pleased to offer the following:

A free download in16/44.1, 24/192 and DSD of Michel Godard und Steve Swallows "A Trace of Grace".

The .wav and DSD files are produced directly from the analogue mastertape of this sommelier du son-LP. The cover shows the monastery's refectory where the recording was captured.

The fact that my analog loving wife and I own and operate a record label, sommelier du son (, is well known to readers of hifistatment; alas, we realize that this may still be very new to our friends at Positive Feedback. So yes, we still make all analog records; unlike many of today's reissue labels, we specialize in recording well known contemporary artists all in the analog domain of course. Mastering from our all analog, Studer sourced material, is kept to a bare minimum—it is all about the sound quality after all—so that you, our reader, may experience these recordings as close to live as possible.

Michel Godard, serpent and Gavino Murgia, saxophone

Making all analog 24 track recordings—not to mention 96 track (!)—in today's day and age would simply be prohibitively expensive. The tape cost alone, based on our production values, would run at around $400 for just 15 minutes of 30ips recording time; whereas you typically wouldn't sell more then 1000 or 2000 copies of any given title. Thus it becomes practically impossible to capture live multi-track recordings. But, as was the case when The Beatles roamed the air waves, clever tricks like finding the right balance between mic feeds and then panning them into 2-tracks is something we definitely can do. Even so, the drawbacks are quite substantial: the slightest of mistakes by either the performers or recording engineer are forever captured onto tape, with no way of correcting any mistakes.

Steve Swallow, amplified acoustic bass-guitar

Our latest album Soyeusement – Live at Noirlac (sds 0015-1) which we recorded last year in June, can be described in the following adrenalin junky manner: in the highly reverberant refectory of the monastery of Noirlac, in the heart of France, we captured the American electric-bass-legend Steve Swallow, Europe's leading tuba player Michel Godard and Gavino Murgia, a saxophone player and singer from Sardinia onto, you guessed it—tape. In the days leading up to the event, these Jazz legends and three of their colleagues (who feel more familiar with baroque music), had made recordings for a CD release with melodies of Monteverdi that had been subsequently edited quite heavily. During the evening of the last recording day, the atmosphere was much more relaxed. Michel Godard and his friends were accompanied by Bruno Helstroffer on the orbo, a kind of lute, and Fanny Paccoud on violin and together they fell into this kind of irresistible baroque groove jam. Michel is heard playing a serpert, a medieval bass instrument on most of the songs. During the recording process and the minimalist mastering, no artificial reverb was used: what you hear is nothing but the acoustics of the room where the recording has been made.

Bruno Helstroffer, the orbo

One of the nicest melodies on Soyeusement is "Trace of Grace". I personally chose this one for you and copied it from the analog master tape to a Nagra LB and Tascam DV-RA1000D. The Nagra converted the song to a 24 bit 192 kHz file that had been normalized on an iMac using SonicStudios mastering software soundBlade. In case your DAC only accepts files in CD quality, I converted the song to 16/44 using soundBlade's sample rate converter. The Tascam converted the music to a DSD file, that hat been trimmed at the beginning and the end using Korg's AudioGate. Positive Feedback Online and hope that you enjoy the tracks—either comparing the three formats or just listening to this piece of great music!

A Trace of Grace, 16 bit / 44,1 kHz ca. 70,6 mb (wav)

A Trace of Grace, 24 bit / 192 kHz ca. 460,8 mb (wav)

A Trace of Grace, 1 bit / 2,8 MHz 283,5 mb (dff)

Fanny Paccoud, violin