Voice Memo ~ Songs From Hawaii (MQA CD Master)

by David Elias ~ Independent Acoustic ~ MQA Pioneer

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about

These songs were all recorded as memos to myself on my iPhone while I was writing them. They are me writing music for myself. Voice memos to myself for myself.

Maybe my songs connect to others, usually complete strangers because they are written by me, for me, but not about me. They have no objective or mission or point to make. They come out as music, words or both the way they come out. This album "Voice Memos" tries to show anyone that process for me.

Recorded directly to the iPhone using the iPhone mic (mono). The lossy AAC (48kHz) was upsampled by me to 32/44.1 and mastered as 16/44.1 CD Quality. Those masters were then encoded with MQA by MQA Ltd., UK. The result is a lossless CD quality master with MQA that can be played on anything at all as well as streamed.

The quality is further improved if played using a MQA DAC to decode and convert the PCM to analog. But it's not required and I feel it sounds better with MQA encoding than the original master did, even without the MQA DAC on playback.

~~~~About My Songwriting~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

A way to listen to the way my songs get created. I get asked this often enough. Dave, do you write the words first, or the music, or do you look up random things on Google and get ideas... ... ... ??

I can tell you there is no research in my songwriting. No Google, no references. Not even an idea of what I am going to write about 99.99% of the time. I am a tune player and creator on guitar. That's usually what I do when I pick up the guitar, play something new whatever comes out. It comes through me sitting there and I don't think about it much except trying to hear what it's saying. 99% of the time I play and play and play for awhile then forget it all.

But sometimes the tune is catchy to me and I work on it and keep trying to get it right and eventually it sounds like it has the right shape and notes and well, tune.

So I might start singing along with it at some point during that sitting and see if there's a singing part to go with the guitar part. No real words but then usually there are real words coming out of me, I didn't plan them.

So there's the idea for the song and I just write down the words as I come upon them and turn them into the melody and the song. That's how I remember the song - that and then I often turn on Voice Memo on the iPhone to record it at that point. Like I just discovered something I don't want to forget. Which is what I did.

Voice memo....

Sometimes the tunes on guitar don't have any words. They are enough they way they are. Or words could come later. Or words I'd written down (poetry ok) another time can be randomly matched to a tune. That happens too.

So tune first, words next, song maybe. Or tune first, no words, song maybe. Or tune not quite there, no song, maybe later. Or words sitting on a page to tune just written or written and remembered, song maybe. See what I mean? No plan :)

Just trying to get it right...

Voice memos can help. Decided to try to share some of those in the honest fashion they were created sitting at home just playing for me.

~~~~~ The iPhone part and tech mumbo jumbo ~~~~~

Every song in this collection was recorded on my iPhone using a 3GS, 4, and 5S. All used the phone's mic (no external plugged in). I recorded the using the Voice Memo app that comes with the phone from iTunes.

These songs are then recorded in very low bit quality AAC by our friends at Apple who have a penchant for incredibly poor sound quality. They invented its use for retail in 2004 when iTunes came out. Before that MP3 downloads were free worldwide among millions of musicians and music lovers on forums and music sharing sites.

I'm all for putting music out there and Apple/iTunes has certainly done that in a digital way. But in the 21st century when technology spins over every 6 months and Apple themselves often at the head of that turnstile, don't you think they might owe the public a little better sound?

Having said all that, I have found over and over again that the little AM-radio sounding like speakers that Steve Jobs put in the iPhone have a remarkably natural kind of old transistor radio sound I've liked since I bought my first iPhone in 2007 when they came out and people lined up on the sidewalk in Silicon Valley to buy one (I waited 2 weeks and walked right in the store).

That iPhone AM-radio sound is how I started recording my Voice Memos. Just ideas often. A handy memo tool so I wouldn't forget some things I played for myself in a cabin here in Hawaii or maybe by the water or wherever. I learned how to sing and play "carefully" into the phone at good levels and good proximity for my ears. In the higher eschelons of audophiledom they call this approach to recording carefully for the highest sound quality "provenance" now. Ok Provenance. Just an iPhone though, nothing else.

I converted the AAC (m4a) files that are about 48kHz lossy (like MP3's lowest ranking) to a CD quality level (16/44.1 lossless FLAC) and "master them" as such. I don't mess with them otherwise. Just want them to be above board so to speak.

But then these voice memos were encoded with MQA by MQA Ltd., UK along with lots of other CD, HD and DXD quality masters I have as PCM. They sound better this way, even if you don't have an MQA decoder DAC such as the US$299 Meridian Explorer 2. Lots of MQA DAC models are for sale from other manufacturers at all price ranges up from there.

My memos are just that. Songs for myself to myself when I am writing them. I don't always know how they go when I am recording the memo. I can't always read the words I just wrote down perfectly or get the timing just right. They are rough and raw and new songs I just wrote. Before I even come to know them myself. I often want to record them and capture the original song for myself.

Now I want to share some of those with you. They are not the "best" ones per se. In fact they are just more of snapshots in time, where I was and what I was doing in Hawaii where I've lived since the beginning of 2008. But they are honest and they are all new songs for anyone who has listened to me recording since 1995. And I like how they sound.

Independent Acoustic has meaning to this end as it has for me since I started playing guitar at the ripe young age of 11.

Here's to all the independent artists all over. Fer Fock's Sake...

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ About MQA ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

*** IMPORTANT *******************************************************
Be sure to download ONLY Lossless PCM formats (AIF, WAV, ALAC, FLAC) to preserve the MQA encoding -- Do NOT use MP3, or AAC or other Lossy formats as they will lose the MQA encoding benefits.
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Bandcamp always defaults to MP3 format for download -- Be sure to change this to one of Lossless formats (AIF, WAV, ALAC, FLAC) by selecting from the dropdown list presented when you download. Mahalo! It will play as MP3 but doesn't sound as good!
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Plays on any media player with improved sound quality.
Read about MQA at www.mqa.co.uk
MQA Encoded by MQA Ltd., UK
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"The original intention and sounds are much more accurately represented [with MQA] and are therefore much, much more enjoyable to listen to. The convenience of MQA's smaller file size is an additional no-brainer." - DE

** AMAZING TRUTH **
You do not need any special hardware (MQA DAC) or software (MQA Player) to reap the benefits of the MQA encoding. The temporal blurring (aka time smearing) has been greatly reduced especially the pre-ringing/echo from this PCM master. It sounds better than a CD equivalent no matter how you play it. An MQA DAC such as the Meridian Explorer2 (US$299) can further enhance the sound quality as well as unfold any hi-res frequencies above 20k.
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You can download an MQA Sampler that contains all resolutions as examples, from 16/44.1 all the way to 24/352.8
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It is online at BC Exclusive Here:
davidelias.bandcamp.com/album/de-mqa-sampler
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This quote from a first time listen and comparison by a non-musician, non- audiophile, whose MacBook had just loaded iTunes with ripped music for the first time (Time Forgets CD), downloaded and added the David Elias Time Forgets MQA CD master from Bandcamp (ALAC format), plugged into a Meridian Explorer2 MQA DAC ($299) with Zipbuds ($25) attached. (MacBook Sound settings changed to use Meridian Explorer2 preference.)
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She listened and alternated between MQA and non-MQA versions of various tracks. The Explorer2 DAC's Blue MQA Studio Quality Authentication LED light indicated MQA was present on the MQA tracks when expected (lit) and not present on the CD version of the tracks when not expected (not lit):
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"oh wow - oh my god !
clearer crisp sharp, gawd!!
no question !!
wow!
you can hear everything better, everything being all the instruments
sharper clearer you can hear every distinctive instrument, awesome!"


…I couldn’t have said it any better myself. :)

credits

released September 1, 2016

All Songs Written by David Elias
© 2016 David Elias, All Rights Reserved Worldwide
David Elias Music, ASCAP
www.davidelias.com

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about

David Elias Hawaii

David Elias writes music and lyrics about living and dreaming and nature.

He takes photographs and uses them and his songs to make videos about nature and living and dreaming.

He has self-produced his own CDs and SACDs/DSD Downloads since 1995. Now pioneering MQA!

HD Videos since youtube.com/davideliasvideo

Go To www.davidelias.com for Native DSD studio master stereo and 5.1 downloads!
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Track Name: You And Me (MQA)
You And Me – written by David Elias

You and me the trails that we travel
Us to see where they may lead to
You and me the roads they unravel
It's hardly a rest stop
The signs can be messed up
Those bumps might confess some
But we still caress 'em

You and me our party's a twosome
We and we, how could we be lonesome
Free to be down paths of our own some
The river is wide
Bending trees side by side
Through the oceans of tide
There for us to decide
Well well well

You and me clear as a daydream
Image to be
Our vision is upstream
You and me
Our vision is upstream
Nothing can change
What our minds haven't made up
The beat's in the heart
Without time we can stay up
The river it's wide
Bending trees side by side
Through the oceans of tide
There for us to decide
Well...
Track Name: Sleep Song (MQA)
Sleep Song – written by David Elias

Shiver timber
Keep me sleeping
Stairway starway
Lead me rising
Good days
Bad days
Always rising
Shiver timber
Keep me sleeping
Track Name: September's Season (MQA)
September's Season – written by David Elias

On a restless lonesome day
Feeling the weather far away
Looking at some mountains left to climb
I see the wind taking the leaves
I feel the birds taking their leave
The memory of your love not far behind

Watching the window from the door
The both left open as before
The leaving and returning still the same
With only stars over the hill
Pointing to dreams left to fulfill
The whisper in the words and in your name

I've studied nothing far too long
I've written nothing in a song
I've shared a dream aloud, the middle of the day
Now in the darkness of the night
I let my heart recall what's right
And let September's season carry me away
Track Name: Within (MQA)
Within - written by David Elias

Everywhere I've been
Reminds me of you
Everyone I've seen
Reminds me too
And everyone I've known
Remains within
And every shirt I've worn
Is torn within

Every morning clear
Reminds me of you
Within our blue green sphere
I'm finding you
Every song I've sung
I sing to you
And every evening sun
I pray for you

And everywhere I go
I go with you
As every season grows
It grows with you
Within this withered field
I stand with you
Within these arms and hands
I stand with you
Track Name: Before We Go (MQA)
Before We Go – written by David Elias

He said he didn't see it comin'
She said she didn't see him go
They said it felt a lot like nothing
Sometimes you have to let things go

Before we go
Before we go
Before we go we let things go

He traveled back to green Ohio
She stayed right there New Mexico
Somewhere in between the streams ran so low
Neither could remember what they know

Before we go
Before we go
Before we go we let things go

Somewhere in the back of this old story
A blue memory behind stone hills
The pattern of a desert morning glory
Circles 'round under the sun, open still

Before we go
Before we go
Before we go we let things go
Track Name: Go Back (MQA)
Go Back – written by David Elias

Go back, take me there
Find your way down the winding stair

Go back, take good care
Find your way and you'll find me there

Remember when we lost our way
Just keeping up with the day to day

Take me back I won't forget
How you looked or how you felt
Track Name: That Pretty Girl (MQA)
That Pretty Girl - Those 3 Words
- written by David Elias

Thinkin' 'bout another day
Thinkin' bout how it was far away
A sunny breeze an' a summer cloud
Lookin' out over the school yard hill
Thinkin' just how long until
He might be sayin' those 3 words out aloud

Gave his heart away when he was young
Never thinkin' he just let it go
He let it go and it just blew away
And now the summer suns have passed and gone
Dozen other hearts been lost and won
He still got those 3 words yet to say

The sunny afternoon it feels just right
Surrounded by the gold green light
There's a girl in a green dress by his side
Startin' over isn't all that hard
When you put it all behind you
That pretty girl is all you ever need inside
Track Name: In The Background (MQA)
In The Background – written by David Elias

Simple sentences
Dick and Jane
Circle through the clumsy rain
All around the plot is plain
While in the background
This remains

I will buy a drink or two
And watch them pass between me and you
This silver lining shines anew
While in the background
Bon Adieu

There is music, music, music
In the world
There is music, music, alright
There is music in the world

Match your carpet
Paint your walls
Stain your table
Record your calls
Close your window
Hide the blue
Watch the background
Come in view

Call a friend up in the middle of the night
Tell him that your life's alright
But don't forget those final words
That background music that you never heard

There is music, music, music
In the world
There is music, music, alright
There is music in the world
Track Name: Lychee Ackee (MQA)
Lychee Ackee - written by David Elias

Lychee Ackee falling
Can you hear me calling
Lychee Ackee falling
Can you hear me calling

I know you the slayer
Can you hear my prayer
I know you the slayer
Can you hear my prayer

Woman of the airfare
Can you meet me up there
Woman of the airfare
Can you meet me up there

Lychee Ackee falling
Can you hear me calling
Lychee Ackee falling
Can you hear me calling

Break the stone in layers
Bury the naysayers
Break the stone in layers
Bury the naysayers

Woman of the airfare
Can you meet me up there
Track Name: Which Door (MQA)
Which Door - written by David Elias

Which door am I falling out
Which door am I falling out
Caught a look at something higher
Couldn't see the way back down
Resurrect the golden choir
I respect the way you hold me now

Which floor am I crawling out
Which floor am I crawling out
Wrote a book about the lonesome flyer
Couldn’t seem to get it to the clouds
Crashed it right into a field of flowers
Petal showers covered hours
Won't you hold me now

Which floor
Which door
Track Name: Something He Already Knows (MQA)
Something He Already Knows
– written by David Elias

Staring down all the feelings that confront me
Setting my heart on a little bit of country

Taking a tour of the kind I could confide in
Where winds can blur what the mind has set aside

Standing strong with the arms that should have held you
What took so long just to say what I should tell you

Casting about like a fisherman of sorry
Without a doubt I will leave it til tomorrow

Making my time up on the road I just imagine
Don’t look behind your feet can feel the wings of magic

Passerby of the simplest of pleasure
Sit down to try to regain what you can’t measure


Did I say I was sorry you were leaving
Those yesterdays they were nothing I believed in

Now on this road I can see a little better
And sure enough we’re sure going it together

Staring down all the feelings that confront me
Setting my heart on a little bit of country
Track Name: Always Yours (MQA)
Always Yours - written by David Elias

Start it over the end is near darlin'
Write a letter signed sincerely
For the better, always yours, darlin'

Fix a loose strap, nay quite nicer
Raise the old map
Take me higher
For the record, always yours, darlin'

Lose the pattern
Dance for no one
Does it matter in the end
Sign a letter, always yours, darlin'

Hear me asking
What's inside darlin'
Trees can free me
Signed sincerely
For the record, always yours, darlin'