News Details

Super Audio CD Software Production Moves Into Network Age
May 19, 2006
AES, Paris, 20 May 2006 – Illustrating its strong on-going support for Super Audio CD, Sony has announced the introduction of a major new cutting master format which will simplify and speed up the production of Super Audio CDs, as well as significantly decreasing costs associated with the mastering process. Sony and Philips engineers have developed the new Unified Cutting Master Format (UCMF) as a file-based cutting master format, similar to DDP for CD.

Until now, Super Audio CD production has been a tape-based process, but 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.

Yushi Igarashi, General Manager, Super Audio CD Project, Sony Corporation Audio Business Group believes that UCMF is a strategically important development within Super Audio CD’s evolution. “UCMF has the ability to revolutionise Super Audio CD production,” stated Igarashi. “Super Audio CD production time and cost will be reduced, while cutting master reliability and production efficiency will be much improved.” Sony reports that its disc replication factories in Anif/Austria and Shizuoka/Japan, and its Super Audio CD production studio in Nogizaka/Tokyo have completed the transition to become UCMF ready. Also, its replication plant in Terra Haute/USA, as well as production studios in New York and in Hong Kong will become UCMF ready within the next three months.

As part of its UCMF development process, Sony has been working closely with a number of specialist Super Audio CD production studios, including Netherlands-based BK Audio. Owner and founder of BK Audio, Bastiaan Kuijt, believes that UCMF is a big progression, which will make life much easier for a wide range of production facilities.

Having worked with the beta/prototype software for over 12 months, Kuijt is clear on the advantages that this new file-based workflow provides. “It is a great step forward, moving from a tape to file-based format, enabling you to choose the delivery format – DVD-R, Blu-ray, FTP or whatever,” explained Bastiaan Kuijt. “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.”

Strong Super Audio CD support from Sony

The introduction of UCMF is another indication of Sony’s strong on-going commitment to Super Audio CD. It comes on the back of announcements of many new Sony Super Audio CD models this year from competitively priced models, which target the large CD player market with features such as massively increased audio resolution and fidelity, up to audiophile component players and Home Theatre systems.

A particular focus for Sony this year is the scheduled launch of PlayStation 3 in November, which will feature Super Audio -CD playback. Currently, more than 13 million Super Audio CD compatible players are in circulation worldwide and this figure will grow exponentially once the first Super Audio CD compatible PlayStation systems become available.

“UCMF is the most cost and time effective product for Super Audio CD from Sony and Philips and is another indication of our commitment to this exciting audio technology at every stage from the recording studio through to music lovers’ homes,” emphasised Yushi Igarashi.

For more technical information on UCMF, please visit:

Source: Sony Corporation, Audio Business Group