Classic Records issues DADs---high-quality music DVDs

In a press conference held January 9 at the 1998 Winter Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, Classic Records announced the debut of the Classic 24/96 digital audio disc "DAD" series of audio-only DVD-Videos. (Video information is included on the disc but represents only a tiny fraction of the data space.)

The original analog master tapes are converted to 24-bit/96kHz digital data through a Muse Model Seven A/D converter and a proprietary hard-disk recording system developed by Muse's Kevin Halverson. After the analog signal is encoded and the data stored on the hard drive, post-production "authoring" creates a digital tape called a "DLT," which is then used to produce a glass master, which in turn produces stampers that mold the DADs.

Classic refers to their DVD-Video discs as "DAD" because the standard for DVD-Audio was still to be decided upon. A standard for a high-quality music carrier based on the DVD platform was expected to be announced at this week's WCES, but Michael Hobson, Classic's President, thinks that there is a good chance this may never materialize as a commercial product. Classic's DAD designation is intended to avoid confusion in the marketplace.

The initial offering, scheduled for release in March, comprises the following discs:

Art Davis, A Time Remembered (DAD 1001). Classic recorded this disc in 1995, featuring Davis, who played bass with Coltrane on and off from 1961 to 1965. Herbie Hancock, piano; Ravi Coltrane, tenor sax; Marvin (Smitty) Smith, drums.

The New Music Consort, Pulse (DAD 1002). An audiophile favorite originally recorded on New World Records, featuring compositions for percussion ensemble by John Cage, Henry Cowell, Lou Harrison, Lukas Foss, and Harvey Sollberger.

Red Rodney, 1957 (DAD 1003). An extremely rare Rudy Van Gelder recording originally released on Signal. Players include Rodney on trumpet, Tommy Flanagan on piano, Ira Sullivan on tenor sax and second trumpet, Oscar Pettiford on bass, and Philly Joe Jones and Elvin Jones on drums.

Rachmaninoff: Symphonic Dances, Vocalise (DAD 1004). Originally recorded in 1967 for Vox/Turnabout, these sessions have been on people's best-sound lists for years.