I missed the Rocky Mountain Audio Fest last year. The Audio Engineering Convention was in LA and I opted to stay home and enjoy the company of professionals like myself and hear the papers. But I’m headed to Denver on Wednesday and will be standing behind my booth selling my DVD-A/Vs and Blu-ray titles. I’ll also be promoting the “Music and Audio: A User Guide To Better Sound” book and Blu-ray. If you’re going to the show, please come by and say hello. My table is in the back of the lobby area. I can’t say that I have anything new in the catalog, but I’m sure there’s something that will interest you.
Years ago, I had lunch with Al Stiefel during one of my visits to my sister who lives in Boulder. I had sent a copy of my most recent sampler disc to Al hoping that he might have a moment to audition some real HD-Audio tracks. He did. He brought the disc to lunch and made a special point to ask me how I managed to capture the sound of the instruments so convincingly. Al was knocked out by the disc. He asked, “Mark, this is audio fidelity at a whole new level, isn’t it?” You have to remember that high-resolution music had just started being released and it’s likely that Al hadn’t yet heard a DVD-Audio disc. Maybe it was the 5.1 surround sound, although I don’t think he had access to a surround sound system. I think it was the intimacy of the sound, the nature sound of the instruments, the absence of any noise, and the lack of equalization and mastering that grabbed him.
I was very sorry to hear of his passing.
The show has continued under the able leadership of his widow Marjorie. I’ve been a regular participant and panelist or speaker over the subsequent years. But when I inquired about presenting “High-Resolution Demystified” this year, I was told that there were no times left. Marjorie told me that the Colorado Audio Society has a committee that sorts things out with regards to the seminars. Apparently, my topic was not compelling enough to make the grade…although it was for the Newport Show as the keynote address.
So what is going to be offered during the limited number of seminar slots? There’s the very popular and oft repeated “Michael Fremer’s Internationally Renowned Turntable Set-up Seminar”, “Affordability: How Low Can You Go?” moderated by John Darko of Digital Audio Review, and “Streaming Audio: Preserving the Past, Protecting the Future” moderated by Chris Connaker of Computer Audiophile and featuring Bob Stuart talking about MQA…that will be interesting…on Friday.
On Saturday, you can listen to Jonathan Novick from Audio Precision talk about audio specifications and the relevance to high-end audio in the morning. Steve Silberman of Audioquest will be giving his take on computer audio followed by a session on ripping vinyl LPs by Dr. David Robinson, Director of Engineering at Channel D. The description of that panel pushes into hyperbole when describing the “stunning, transparent playback quality of analog vinyl LPs”. What happened to warm and euphonic?
At the end of the day and lasting for 2 hours Dr. David Robinson of Positive Feedback Online brings together the DSD crowd once again to update attendees on the merits of the 1-bit format and how they’re using the technology to advance music fidelity. Included on the panel are the usual suspects, Ray Kimber, Cookie Marenco, and Gus Skinas of the Super Audio Center. There always seems to be room for a robust DSD session but nothing about the myths of high-resolution or an equivalent session focusing on the format the rest of the world uses. Oh well, maybe next year.
The Kickstarter campaign is still attracting backers. We’ve topped 400 backers…next stop 500! I’ve added a stretch goal and a couple of new rewards. Stop by and check it out. Music and Audio Guide KS page