1-bit audio

1-bit audio, also trademarked as Direct Stream Digital (DSD) is a representation of digital audio as a stream of 1-bit digits, typically produced by use of a Sigma Delta Modulator (SDM). For an overview of the technique, we refer to Reefman and Janssen (2003).
For our intentions of observing the erosion processes of digital audio representations, 1-bit audio has the wonderful property that each bit of information has the same significance. Note that this is different from a multi-bit-word (PCM) representation where the loss of a bit has different effects depending on its position in a data word.
We are experimenting with representations of 1-bit audio on various physical information carriers, in electromagnetic or visual state. Specifically, we are working on printed or laser-engraved bit streams on various materials, then subjected to degradation processes.

Printed 1-bit audio representation on paper, analogous to a bit stream on a Compact Disc (CD).


Zooming on the 1-bit audio track. The bit stream spiral starts above the image center.


Degraded print potentially also results in degraded audio quality.


1-bit audio laser engraving

Today, we have gained new knowledge about laser engraving thanks to the great guys at Universal Laser Systems Vienna.
The laser engraving expert convinced us that a target resolution of 1000 dpi is not easily attainable due to restrictions of laser focus, positioning accuracy and, above all, material constraints.
Nevertheless, we will research further in this direction, since laser engraving allows the application of visual representations of audio on various interesting materials.