PGGB offline remastering

"Answer to the Ultimate Question of Life, the Universe, and Everything"

Pan Galactic Gargle Blaster (PGGB)

PGGB is a PCM remastering application for upsampling or downsampling PCM audio files with customizable algorithms to suit your needs. PGGB also transfers all the common metadata tags to the converted files. PGGB always saves the converted files in .wav format. Image and cover information within the metadata are transferred when possible. PGGB supports all PCM rates including DXD up to 3.072MHz. PGGB will convert DSD (up to DSD 1024) to PCM.

Staying true to Nyquist–Shannon sampling theorem, PGGB's algorithms use extremely long windowed Sinc filters (i.e., millions or billions of taps), with filter lengths only limited by your processing hardware and the length of the track that you are remastering. The longer the filter, the higher the reconstruction accuracy and the more transparent the sound. What this means to you is better depth and layering, improved resolution, a cleaner leading edge, and more accurate timbre.

Simple to use

PGGB was designed for remastering your entire music library. It is very simple to use. Just choose the maximum input rate and the bit depth supported by your DAC, and you are ready to go. The default settings should already provide great results.

When you are ready, point PGGB to your input and output folders, press ‘Process’ to start processing. Use 'Pause' to pause processing and ‘Stop’ to stop processing. Once the processing has started, you may also add new folders inside the input folder. PGGB will discover and process them after it has competed the current set of folders. Processing can be done in three modes. Selecting ‘Create New’ will create a new album folder if the album already exists in the output directory. ‘Skip’ will skip previously processed tracks if they are present in the output folder and ‘Overwrite’ will overwrite existing tracks.

Customize to suit your needs

PGGB uses a proprietary windowing technique that is highly customizable through an intuitive interface. The unique windowing technique preserves as much of the timing information as possible while providing you the control to tune the results to suit your playback chain and listening preferences.

Onboarding makes it as simple as 1, 2, 3

PGGB provides a onboarding interface that guides you through the options to arrive at your preferred settings. Refer here for the onboarding guide.


Specifications and Features

Below is a summary of PGGB's features. If you wish to know more, refer to the guide, and if you still have questions, feel free to contact us. As PGGB continues to evolve based on feedback from users, the list below is subject to change.

Input formats

  • Input file formats: .wav, .flac, .aif, .aiif, .m4a, .dsf
  • Stereo (2 channel audio) only
  • PCM rates, 44.1kHz to DXD
  • DSD rates, DSD64 to DSD 1024

Output formats

  • Output file formats: .wav, .wv (wavpack when FLAC is not possible), .flac (for DXD rates or lower with bit depth set to 24bits or lower)
  • Stereo (2 channel audio) only
  • Output rates: PCM only (same rate family conversion, up to 3.072MHz)
  • Supports both upsampling and downsampling
  • Output bit depths 12 - 32 bit fixed precision and 64 bit doubles

Algorithms and Controls

Other Features

  • Batch process albums organized in multiple folders or sub folders
  • Allows you to customize how each album is processed using settings in a .json file
  • Transfers all the common metadata tags to the converted files
  • Image and cover art information within the metadata are transferred when possible
  • Copies .jpg, .png, .pdf and .json files from source to processed folder
  • Capable of using multiple CPU cores to improve processing speed
  • Provides a command line interface (available separately on request)
  • Plenty of HHGTTG references

Requirements

PGGB requires 64-bit Windows 10 PC or Mac (Mojave or higher). On Windows, 64GB RAM and 8 core processor is recommended. If your library is mostly 44.1kHz, a minimum 16GB (512M taps max) or 32GB RAM for more flexibility and a 4-core processor is required. On Mac, 16GB (512M taps max) with 4 cores will suffice for Redbook. On Windows, SSD drive for virtual memory (minimum of 128GB) is recommended too. Fast drives (SSD, NVMe, etc.) for input and output folder improve processing performance further. PGGB is memory intensive and would need virtual memory. Virtual memory on fast drives improve processing speed.

PGGB scales to use all the processor cores when more memory is available and CPU load can reach max TDP. Be sure that your PC/Mac has the cooling necessary to handle the heat especially if you have overclocked or run in turbo mode.

It is possible to run PGGB on Linux either in a virtual machine running Windows with enough RAM and CPU cores allotted for the VM.

Note: PGGB requires Internet access during installation. It also needs Internet access for the trial version. On the first run, PGGB will request firewall permission to enable parallel processing. PGGB is mostly harmless, we do not use or share your personal information nor do we use the idle CPU cycles to mine Ethereum.


Licensing

PGGB requires a license and PGGB license is tied to PC/Mac Hardware id. Three licensing options are available. To buy or request a trial license, email fordpfourtytwo@gmail.com with your name (or company name), email address and the Hardware ID of your PC. To find your Hardware ID, follow these instructions.

License type Description Installs Validity Upgrades and support Cost
Free trial Fully functional, processing stops after 5 tracks, but you can restart app and process again Single PC/Mac 30 days 30 days Free
Personal Fully functional, for non commercial use Single PC/Mac Perpetual 1 year email support. Free upgrades for at least 1 year** $500*
Commercial Fully functional, advanced settings, for both personal and commercial use Multiple users/PCs/Macs Perpetual Contact Us Contact Us

*   All sales are final, no refunds will be offered once a license has been generated and emailed. Please use the trial license to fully evaluate PGGB before buying a license.
** If there are are no major updates within the first year, then free upgrade till the next major version is released.


Downloads and installation

Note: The above are Dropbox links. If you don't see a download option after clicking on the link, please click on '...' either to your right or on top to see the download option.

Mac the easiest and quickest way to update PGGB to a newer version is to rename the existing 'remastero' folder in the Applications folder (just add the revision number of the existing version to 'remastero' if you wish to keep track of past versions). Leave the Matlab folder untouched. Then launch the new version installer. The installation of the new version should go through fast.

PGGB requires a license and the license is tied to your Hardware ID. You will need to provide your name, email address, Hardware ID and mention if it is Mac or Windows to request a PGGB license. After you have downloaded the installer, just follow the instructions in the installation wizard. The installer would also install the required Matlab runtime. Once you have installed successfully, your PC/Mac Hardware ID will be displayed if you go to the ‘About’ tab of PGGB. Use 'Ctrl + C' or 'Cmd + C' to copy your Hardware Id and paste it in the email. Use this Hardware ID to request a license. We will email you a license file.

When PGGB does not find a valid license, it displays a ‘License’ button in the 'About' tab. Once you have obtained a license file, use the ‘License’ button to browse to the license file. Once the license is installed, it displays your name and the duration of the license (either perpetual or with a time limit). Hardware-id is tied to the PC/Mac you run it on. The license is non-transferable. When your Hardware-id changes, you may request for a new license. If you need to reinstall the license or you have upgraded your license, use the ‘I’ button next to ‘License’ to do so. If you wish to know more, download the guide or visit the online PGGB Guide.


DACs and Playback Software

DACs

DACs that support PCM rates of 705.6/768kHz or more will benefit most from PGGB remastered tracks. On DACs that support up to DXD rates, remastering CD quality tracks using PGGB to DXD rate (352.8kHz) is likely to be beneficial too. DACs that do little to no processing (such as R2R DACs that can be run in NOS mode) will benefit significantly from PGGB remastered tracks. If you have a DAC that supports PCM only, then you can use PGGB to remaster DSD to the highest rate supported by your DAC with excellent results. If you have a DAC that supports only 96kHz or 192kHz, you can use PGGB to remaster DSD or DXD files to rates that are supported by your DAC.

Here are a few DACs for which users of PGGB have reported significant improvement in sound quality. This list will grow as we hear more feedback.

  • Chord DACs: DAVE, Hugo TT2, Qutest and Hugo2 (16FS*/32bits)
  • Denafrips Terminator-Plus, Terminator (32FS/20bits**)
  • Holo Audio May DAC (16FS/20bits** or 32FS/20bits** or 32FS/16bits***)
  • iFi Pro iDSD (16FS/32bits)
  • dCS Vivaldi: On CDs remastered to DXD rates (8FS/24bits)
  • Gustard X26 Pro based on ESS 9038 Pro in NOS mode (16FS/32bits)
  • Topping D90, D50 (16FS/32bits)

Here are a few DACs that we expect to benefit from PGGB remastered tracks. If you own one of the DACs below, or DACs that have not been mentioned here and want to provide us feedback on how they sound with PGGBd tracks, drop us an email.

  • Chord Mojo (16FS/32bits)
  • Denafrips Ares II, Pontus II, Venus II (32FS/20bits**)
  • Vinnie Rossi DAC 2.0 based on AKM AK4497EQ that can run in NOS mode (16FS/32bits)

*   FS is Fundamental Samplerate. For example 16FS stands for 16 x 44.1kHz or 16 x 48kHz.
**  Even though the DAC supports up to 24bits, 19 or 20 bits is where the DAC is most linear.
*** Even though the DAC supports upto 24 bits, the USB driver seems to limit playback to 16 bits at 32FS rates.

Playback software, Servers

Here are some of the music players that are being used to playback PGGB remastered tracks. It is important to set the playback software in a bit-perfect mode. This means the software should not alter the remastered file in any way (such as volume control, dither, bit depth conversion etc).

  • Taiko Audio Server (TAS) for Taiko SGM Extreme
  • Innous Server: SqueezeLite supports only upto 8FS, but higher rates are possible using Roon
  • Antipodes: HQPlayer or Roon with HQPlayer
  • HQ Player Desktop/ Embedded direct or via NAA: Set 1x and Nx PCM filter to 'None', dither to 'None' and Max and Min volume to 0dB.
  • Roon (direct or via HQP NAA): Disable Headroom, Sample rate conversion and any DSP, use fixed volume control
  • JRiver Media Center

If you use your playback software for volume control

Sometimes your DAC does not provide volume control and/or you may prefer to use software volume control. You have couple of choices:

  • Best option: Set PGGB to Remaster output as 64bit, the downside is large file size. Use software volume control and output at desired bit-depth. Enable Noise shaping if or dither if your playback software supports it
  • Alternate option: Disable noise shaping in PGGB and output in 32 bit format. Use software volume control and output at desired bit-depth. Enable Noise shaping or dither if your playback software supports it

PGGB-IT! Workflow App from Audiowise

PGGB-IT! is a companion app for PGGB, it is free but it requires a trial or full PGGB license. PGGB-IT! provides better integration with windows explorer and is great for batch processing. You can find more information here.

PGGB-IT! uses json configuration file instead of GUI for settings. To modify settings please refer here.

So long and thanks for all the fish

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