Dr. AIX's POSTS — 01 February 2015

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I made to Big Sky. The doctor told me that I was good to go after looking at the latest X-Ray and that was good enough for me. I’m writing today’s post as I pack up and get ready to transit from the base of Lone Peak to Bozeman. I took the picture below on Friday.

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Figure 1 – Lone Peak at Big Sky, Montana…on a really good day.

It’s a been a great four days with close friends (some that I’ve known since High School)…skiing, relaxing the hot tub, eating, and drinking (I played designated driver to keep my promise to the doctor). I’ve worn myself out and while the rest of the group hangs for the Super Bowl, I’ll be making my way back in time to teach tomorrow morning.

The audio experience at the condo consists of an iPhone and a Jambox…connecting a large library of iTunes downloads to a tiny speaker box via bluetooth. I pointed out that the audio could be a lot better. So I pulled out my portable TEAC HA-250 headphone amplifier, Sennheiser HD 280 phones, and played Laurence Juber’s “Mosaic” for a few of the guys. They were immediately able to differentiate between the Jambox and a bona fide high-resolution file. There’s hope.

I’ve long held the position that if you’ve never experienced a recording made without any compromises from the venue where the musicians performed, through the microphones and the rest of the production chain. It’s less about the format than many believe. However, the choices made by the producers and engineers determine the ultimate sound. And my friends have never heard anything at this level of fidelity.

This is a Pandora/Spotify crowd. It’s convenience over quality. Music becomes the soundtrack to life and never rises to a foreground activity. It may have been a big deal during our days in college (a bitter rivalry between MSU and U of M) but as life progresses, music loses it’s priority ranking.

These guys are consumed with talking about the choice of repertoire and playlists but the actual fidelity is just not that important. Oh well.

See you tomorrow in Los Angeles…my skiing is over for winter 2015.

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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.

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