Dr. AIX's POSTS — 14 October 2014

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If you haven’t hear about Morten Lynberg and his 2L record label, you should. His company is based in Oslo Norway and he produces about 10-15 new “real” high-resolution releases per year. He makes them available in stereo and surround as high-resolution digital downloads through his own site, through iTrax.com, and on Blu-ray Pure Audio discs. His recordings, as evidenced by the selections that I’ve heard over the years and at the Workshop on Sunday, are among the finest I’ve ever experienced. And while he was a member of the panel promoting DSD, his production methodology is all about ultra high-resolution PCM capture, post production, and delivery. Advocates for DSD need to recognize that DXD is PCM by another “marketing friendly” name.

Morten followed Merging Technologies’ Dominique Brulhart at the AES session held on Sunday. Morten and I were featured guest speakers at the InterBEE in Tokyo some years ago and have been friends for many years. I appreciate his candor (including be forthright about his preference for PCM over DSD, which he reiterated during the Sunday session), his skill as a recording engineer/producer, and his business acumen…it’s not easy running a small audiophile label that releases non-celebrity recordings.

But his stuff shined over all of the other participants at the DSD/DXD Workshop. He discussed his recording methodology, the aesthetics of his technique, his post production process, and the choices that he makes regarding the formats he employs releases. 2L sells their tracks through iTunes/Spotify, which accounts for about 5% of their total sales. Physical sales of Blu-ray Pure Audio accounts for 45% and just over 50% comes from direct file downloads. I’ve noticed the same trend with sales of my own discs vs. downloads. Audiophile and music enthusiasts want the best quality audio and they want it easily and quickly. Physical discs are not going away any time soon…but it is notable that downloads of very large files are increasing in popularity.

Morten also showed pictures of his sessions. He is very fortunate to have access to a variety of beautiful looking and wonderful sounding churches in and around Oslo. The interiors are breath taking…with stained glass walls, elaborate stone and woodwork. There are massive pipe organs, choir lofts, and plenty of ambiance to satisfy any classical music fan. I’m jealous. Although, I cherish the opportunity to record at Zipper Auditorium at the Colburn School in downtown Los Angeles, I think my videos would benefit from a change of scenery.

Morten is the not only the producer of his projects, he’s the engineer as well. He uses a Merging Technologies Pyramix rig with Horus converters running at 352.8 kHz/24-bits PCM…aka DXD. He captures between 10-16 microphones during the sessions. These mikes are arranged in a 5.1 surround array combined with another 4 mikes arranged in a square above the 5.1 setup. He has been capturing AND delivering 9.1 surround music using Auro3D…the first music projects to use this immersive technology.

He played a couple new recordings during the session on Sunday. These were new compositions for orchestra and choir…and they were stunning! His sound is clear, transparent, laden with room sound, and immersive. The frequency response was very smooth from low to high without any harshness. The clarity was astounding…nothing was missed. While somewhat too wet to my ears and preference, I thoroughly enjoyed listening to the raw 352.8/24 PCM tracks. Nothing else played by the other panelists came close to matching the sound of the 2L recordings.

Tomorrow I’ll talk about the other panelists, their methods, and the sound of the recordings that they presented.

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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.

(5) Readers Comments

  1. I’m putting the pieces together. I was late to Sunday’s panel session because the tour to the Dub Stage returned an hour late. But, in this 37 speaker Auro 3D mixing room, one demo we heard was a wonderful church recording in Auro 9.1, which must have been a 2L recording. Fabulous! The inventor of Auro, Wilfried Van Baelen, gave most of the presentation. That was an unexpected bonus.

    • That would have been something wonderful to hear. Years ago I mixed my recoding of “The Pines of Rome” in 9.2 for Dolby and played it back at a trade show in Florida…it was very impressive.

  2. Hi Mark,
    which (kind of) speakers were used during the 2L demo?

    • They were the big PMC towers with Bryston amplification.

  3. Hi Mark,
    I am completly OK with what you write about Morten Lynberg and i appreciate a lot records “2L” either in blu-ray or download;
    Thank you

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