Once again, the Norwegian label 2L stands out for technical innovations, now they offer, among other things, content encoded in Auro-3D in the form of FLAC files for download.
Morten Lindberg’s Norwegian label 2L The Nordic Sound has always been considered a technological pioneer in recording techniques. On the one hand, unusual locations are chosen for the recordings, such as Norwegian churches, which offer unique acoustics with their special architecture, and on the other hand, the label relies on the very best technology, but also on quite unusual arrangements, not concerning the music itself, but the way in which the musicians are arranged around the recording equipment during the recording.
For example, the listener is placed directly into the sound event, which also makes it clear that surround has always played an essential role for the 2L label.
Recordings with Surround Sound at the Highest Level
This also means that 2L is a pioneer in the field of various forms of music distribution, because recordings that are available in excellent hi-res audio quality or even in surround naturally require corresponding forms of presentation.
SACD, Pure Audio Blu-ray and Download
For a long time, 2L therefore relied primarily on Super Audio CDs, specifically so-called Hybrid SACDs, so that an album was also available in surround in addition to the pure stereo recording.
The Pure Audio Blu-ray was of course the perfect medium for 2L’s special recordings, as it was possible to record any recording in a wide variety of formats and resolutions onto a data carrier without any problems.
However, 2L has also been relying on downloads for years, of course in a wide variety of formats. It is precisely here that they are now expanding their offering, with content encoded in Auro-3D.
“Immersive audio is a sound sculpture that you can literally move around in and engage with spatially; surrounded by music, you can move around in the sound space and choose angles, vantage points and positions. Auro-3D completely envelops the audience in a cocoon of lifelike sound. Acoustic reflections are captured and reproduced naturally as sounds are created both around and above the listener.”
The basis here is 2L downloads in FLAC format, with treble information captured during recording mixed into a standard 5.1-channel Linear PCM stream.
Any device that supports content in Auro-3D is capable of decoding the original 3D source. Thanks to backward compatibility, devices without decoders can also play back the original 5.1-channel Linear PCM mix without loss of quality.
Playback via Blu-ray player
In order to play back downloads encoded in Auro-3D via a Blu-ray player, for example, 2L recommends either transferring the data to a USB stick, or burning a DVD-R or even a BD-R.
The content in Auro-3D will then be decoded by any AV receiver that has the appropriate equipment and played back through the appropriate speaker configurations.
Playback via PC or Mac
At the end of the chain, of course, is an AV receiver when playing content directly through a PC or Mac connected to the AV receiver via HDMI. 2L states that you have to make sure that the operating system does not interfere with the signal processing in any way. So you have to rely on solutions like Audirvana Studio, VLC or Roon and you also have to set the output level to 100 percent.
Getting to the point
The 2L Music Store offers both physical products and downloads. This allows customers to purchase 2L’s exceptional recordings in the formats that are best for them. Hybrid SACDs are available, for example, as well as Pure Audio Blu-ray; in addition to stereo, these also offer surround up to Dolby Atmos and Auro-3D. The latter is now also available in the form of downloads.