John Siau (Benchmark Media)
On this episode of Square Cad it’s all about A/D and D/A conversion. John Siau, Head of Engineering for Benchmark Media, talks about converter design and the future of conversion in digital audio.
Part 1: Clock Watcher (0:00-18:33) John discusses Benchmark’s history in broadcast, and how dealing with hundreds of pieces of gear in a chain prepared him for creating high-end converters. He also talks about what goes into making an accurate converter, and why you may want to reconsider before you buy an expensive master clock.
Part 2: Sigma Delta, Por Vida (18:34-26:40) Next I talk with John about conversion schemes and which are the most robust. From his point of view Sigma Delta conversion is the clear winner even though a resistor ladder network is quieter. He also talks about the extensive and lengthly testing process that takes a converter from theory to your rack.
- If you’d like to learn more about Sigma Delta Conversion you can check out this introductory explanation. If you’re feeling really tech-y check out the tutorial video from Texas Instruments. Warning: it is super detailed. Your eyes may glaze over if you aren’t adequately prepared.
Part 3: The Future Will be Converted…Quietly (26:41-34:53) To wrap things up John speaks about the 2010 AES convention, why firewire doesn’t have to be a bad interface choice, and what he thinks future advancements in conversion will mean for working engineers.
Music: Deerhunter Spring Hall Convert