Neil Young Digs The New Digital Thing

During an exclusive interview with ATN the other day, Neil Young told us that

he's finally found a digital format he can live with. "Up until very

recently digital has really sucked completely," said Young. "Now it's digital

the way it was originally advertised. The HDCD format is the happening thing.

It sounds really good. Recorded at 24 bits, data compressed, then encoded,

then decoded through the playback unit you buy. It explodes it back out. Lots

more information than you'd normally get with a CD. 16 bit is not enough. If

you want to know the truth, to really get there I think 24 bit is the bottom

floor." Young said he made use of HDCD during the mastering of Mirror

Ball and believe the results are quite incredible. "But just think if the

difference is that great between 16 bit and 24, what would 64 bit or 32 bit

be?" he continued. "Would that be as good as analog only with out any

[noise]. Digital for the last 10 or 15 years has been a real deprivation of

the senses. You can't hear it. It's not there. The HDCD quality which comes

out of a 16 bit disk is a great sound. I used it because it sounded so much

better than everything else I've heard. I've tried to transfer all my old

analog masters and every time I did that it sounded like they were missing in

action. It sounded like they were MIA, not there."