Dr. AIX's POSTS — 30 November 2013

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You might think that I write weeks worth of posts ahead of time and simply schedule the posts to cover things like holidays etc. I have managed to get a couple of days ahead once or twice but for the most part these articles are “baked fresh” daily. Today, I’d like to diverge from the usual audio talk and share a few items of a more personal nature. This is big weekend for the Waldrep family!

Today, my lovely wife celebrates her birthday! And twenty-six years ago, she got the best birthday present imaginable…the arrival of our youngest son! Yes, they share the same birthday. I haven’t ever researched what the chances are that a parent shares a birthday with one of their children…but I’ve always considered November as a double header in the Waldrep family. It seems pretty special to me.

Some of you might have dealt with Mona on the phone or via email because she handles all of the not-so-fun stuff here at AIX Records and iTrax.com…she handles all the accounting, the orders, packing and post office duties. She sorts out any problems that you might encounter with an order and does so with great patience and care (please be patient and understanding…she really does care and does her very best).

You should also know that she is also a skilled musician…having grown up playing the piano in rural Iowa (she loved to practice…if you can believe it) and then moving on to operatic singing.

She studied voice for many years. In fact, that’s how I met her while she was studying at the Music Academy of the West in Santa Barbara. She spent a summer studying with the late Martial Singher, one of the truly great voice teachers and coaches. Mona has an incredible voice. Our early dates were trips to the music center to hear recitals by some of the truly wonderful singers of the time. I was hooked…in more ways than one.

Just recently, I transferred some of her old audition tapes from my trusty Nagra IV-S to PCM digital files. If I can get her permission, I’d love to share a few of them with you via the FTP site (I’ll let you know). Of course, the recordings are not the best high-resolution audio tracks, but you’ll get the idea. She was that good…but opted to dedicate herself to her family, to me and to MY passion. I’ve been truly blessed to have this wonderful woman in my life.

[UPDATE] I have posted one of the tracks from a 1980 audition tape that Mona recorded to the FTP site. It is in a folder called “Mona Waldrep – Willow”. If you agree with me and like what you hear, please feel free to send me an email or post a comment below and I will make sure Mona reads it.

The other Waldrep celebrating a birthday today is our son Michael. Unfortunately, he couldn’t make the trip from Boston to Southern California for the weekend but will be home soon for Christmas. He’s got one more semester at MIT before he earns his graduate degree in urban planning. This young man, 26 years old today, has a pretty good head on the top of his 6’7″ body. He spent a year at Oberlin before finishing he undergraduate degree at UC Berkeley.

Thanksgiving was last Thursday, of course…but it was also my 31st wedding anniversary. To be honest, it skipped my mind because of all of the other goings on. The holiday activities, family visitors and a long weekend with the San Francisco based UX designer daughter just obliterated the day. (Yesterday was also my sister-in-laws birthday…just too much stuff!).

Thanks for indulging me today…back to the audio grind tomorrow. I’m going to introduce you to the newly designed iTrax.com site.

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About Author

Dr. AIX

Mark Waldrep, aka Dr. AIX, has been producing and engineering music for over 40 years. He learned electronics as a teenager from his HAM radio father while learning to play the guitar. Mark received the first doctorate in music composition from UCLA in 1986 for a "binaural" electronic music composition. Other advanced degrees include an MS in computer science, an MFA/MA in music, BM in music and a BA in art. As an engineer and producer, Mark has worked on projects for the Rolling Stones, 311, Tool, KISS, Blink 182, Blues Traveler, Britney Spears, the San Francisco Symphony, The Dover Quartet, Willie Nelson, Paul Williams, The Allman Brothers, Bad Company and many more. Dr. Waldrep has been an innovator when it comes to multimedia and music. He created the first enhanced CDs in the 90s, the first DVD-Videos released in the U.S., the first web-connected DVD, the first DVD-Audio title, the first music Blu-ray disc and the first 3D Music Album. Additionally, he launched the first High Definition Music Download site in 2007 called iTrax.com. A frequency speaker at audio events, author of numerous articles, Dr. Waldrep is currently writing a book on the production and reproduction of high-end music called, "High-End Audio: A Practical Guide to Production and Playback". The book should be completed in the fall of 2013.

(2) Readers Comments

  1. As a Greek person, I knew from my childhood the voice of Maria Callas.

    But even it sounds somewhat strange to you, I find Mona’s voice “on-par” with Callas’ voice, if not better.

    I was always not interested in Operas but listening to the “Willow” I was fascinated.

    Closing are there any chances to listen more of your wife’s beatifull voice in any kind of music file???

    • Yannis, I will pass along your very kind words to my wife. She is a tremendously talented musician and studied very diligently to be a good singer. Sometimes I feel guilty having taken her on a different path. Although, she’s been a fabulous mother to our family and dedicated partner. I’ll ask her about any additional recordings but I fear the ones you heard are the only ones.

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