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New Sony UCMF mastering format to boost Super Audio CD

May 19th, 2006 · No Comments

Tomorrow (Saturday May 20), at the AES Pro Audio Expo & Convention in Paris, Sony will announce the introduction of its Unified Cutting Master Format (UCMF), for .
Developed jointly by Sony and Philips, the brand claims that UCMF (a file-based cutting master format, similar to DDP for CD) will revolutionize the production of Super Audio CDs, creating real production efficiencies for record companies, studios and mastering facilities.
Until now, Super Audio CD production has been tape-based. By contrast, UCMF is not media dependent, so cutting masters can be created, stored and transported as digital files over a network and archived to optical disc.
Declares Yushi Igarashi, General Manager, Super Audio CD Project, Sony Corporation Audio Business Group: “UCMF has the ability to revolutionize Super Audio CD production. Super Audio CD production time and cost will be reduced, while cutting master reliability and production efficiency will be much improved.”
Sony’s disc replication plants in Anif, Austria and Shizuoka, Japan, as well as its Super Audio CD production studio in Nogizaka, Tokyo are already UCMF ready. Its replication plants in Terra Haute, USA, and production studios in New York and Hong Kong will follow shortly.
The founder of SACD supporter BK Audio, Bastiaan Kuijt, says that UCMF will make life much easier for a wide range of production facilities. “It is a great step forward, moving from a tape to file-based format, enabling you to choose the delivery format; DVD-R, , FTP or whatever. Burning a Super Audio CD Cutting Master to a DVD is much quicker and more convenient than with AIT tape. With UCMF, managing and archiving the master becomes simple and cheap.”
Whether the production benefits the new brings will help grow and popularize the SACD catalogue significantly remains to be seen. SACD components continue to be produced (the company claims more than 13 million Super Audio CD compatible players are in circulation worldwide), and the upcoming will also be SACD compatible, but interest in the format remains relatively low, even in its home territory of Japan.

Tags: Hi-fi · Trade

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