I apologize for being out of touch lately. The rigors of writing the daily article have softened due to an increase in the amount of things that I have had to accomplish. The largest among tasks is the end of the semester grading. Ask my wife how many times I have complained about grading stacks and stacks of final exams. It takes days of reading, commenting, and record keeping. In fact, I missed the deadline this term for the first time in over 20 years (the university moved the date a day earlier). The students would love to have a ScanTron type of test but I have continued to resist because I just don’t believe that I can judge a student’s ability to problem solve and think critically if all I get is a bunch of filled in bubbles.
And the stack of papers and projects was much larger than in the past. I had close to 50 students in two separate classes. My final exams are usually 5-7 pages long and require a lot of writing. And that doesn’t include the DVDs, mixes, and other homework I received. The process was challenging but it’s finally done.
And I’ve been moving out of the area where the new studios are being constructed. That’s proven to be a bigger job than I had imagined. I’ve accumulated a lot of stuff over the years…and I have no place to put it. However, I’ve made progress and the space is almost cleared.
Yesterday, I posted an ad on Craigslist for a variety of tables, shelves, and filing cabinets. They were part of an office system I purchased from IKEA many years ago. I received a text response within a few minutes after the posting went live. The person asked a couple of questions about the stuff and the price…and whether he could pay using PayPal. After a little back and forth, we agreed on the price and things were moving forward. Until he wrote that he would be adding an extra $500 to my PayPal account to compensate the movers. Apparently, the movers didn’t have an account. The purchaser’s plan was to have me pay the movers with the “extra” $500 when they came to get the furniture. That was the end of that deal. I find it very troubling that there are people out there trying to scam others at every turn. I write this here just in case anyone else ever gets approached with this sort of deal. Run the other way…
Scott Wilkinson had Bob Katz on his Home Theater Geek podcast the other day. It’s episode 284 and you can view it by clicking here. Bob is a well-known recording and mastering engineer based in Florida. I know him and have a great deal of respect for his technical and aesthetic prowess. He’s also the author of a number of books on mastering and audio.
At about 48 minutes into the program, Bob mentions the “High-Res Mafia”. I have to be honest and admit that I hadn’t heard anyone describe a group of people involved with high-resolution audio as the “mafia”. My own thoughts went immediately to the myths and falsehoods being pushed by the CTA Audio Board, the DEG, NARAS, and the record labels…maybe they’re the mafia Bob was referring to. They certainly qualify as a group pushing a troubling and patently dishonest agenda about what is and what isn’t high-resolution audio and music. But they weren’t the targets of Bob’s discussion.
He’s upset at individuals that want to hold to a set of specifications in addition to using their ears to judge “so-called” high-res music. He specifically mentions HDtracks. Apparently, he has submitted a number of productions that he has mastered to them and was rejected because the HDtracks QC people…aka the “hi-res mafia”…judged the recordings as unworthy because they were sourced from standard resolution, 44.1 kHz digital masters. It’s pretty confusing. He talks on the show about doing all of his work at 96 kHz/24-bits but then gets rejected because the spectra show the submissions lacking any information about 22.050 kHz.
I should write to him and ask for some clarification. In my mind, if a recording drops off sharply at 22 kHz, then it’s not high-resolution no matter what sampling rate was used. It may sound terrific and warm and full of low level detail…but that just a great sounding standard def recording.