AIX RecordsDr. AIX's POSTS

The Real Deal

Getting a positive review or actually getting a review at all is very important to a small record label. You send out lots of review copies and hope that someone will take the time to listen to your project. Additionally, you want the editorial staff at the magazine or website to allow the writer or reviewer to say what they want to say. You’d be surprised at the level of control that the senior editors have on the content that makes it to their pages.

As someone that has been releasing records for over 10 years, I’ve built a reasonable network of friends among the writers and publishers in the audiophile press. Many of them have been to my studio and listened for themselves to the projects that I’ve done…and without fail they’ve been impressed. Sometimes the reviews that they write are over the top…those are one that you want to show off. Everyone does it and for good reason.

Then there are people and publications that you don’t actually expect to report on your products or company. I know the publishers and writers at these sites too. And for one reason or another, the chemistry just isn’t there. It’s the way of life…maybe it’s Karma or an aura. Most of the time is more about dollars and cents. I respect that publications have to pay their bills and making advertiser happy is part of the beat. I don’t spend any money on advertising. I like to figure that if a publication is really interested in the latest and greatest audio hardware or software, they should report on it. But that’s not the way it is.

So I was surprised to receive an email from a reader the other day letting me know that there was mention of one of my titles on the most recent issue of Positive Feedback Online. I have corresponded with Dr. David Robinson about some of my work and sent a few discs along for review. I have a great deal of respect for Dr. Robinson and what he’s managed to do with his publication but we just don’t see eye to eye on the whole DSD thing an we differ on the merits of analog tape etc. So what a pleasure it was to hear that one his writers had some nice things to say about our Goldberg Variations Acoustica project.

The following couple paragraphs were taken from a hardware review…it wasn’t a review of my disc. But I appreciated the comments of writer Robert Youman.

“A friend brought over a Blu-ray release that he said might open both my eyes and ears when considering multi-channel possibilities. Entitled Bach: Goldberg Variations Acoustica by the AIX All Star Band, this release is available on the AIX Records label. This is a Jazz sextet interpretation of Johann Sebastian Bach’s famous classical work for harpsichord and it’s a killer! Not sure if the performance is everyone’s cup of tea, but the acoustics are outstanding.”

Talk about dynamics! This is the real deal! Rear channel sound was more prominent than most of the other multi-channel CDs and SACDs that I have heard and it made a difference.

“Every instrument came through with a level of transparency and immediacy that had me wanting more. Piano is always a difficult instrument to reproduce digitally, but AIX got it right with some of the best combinations of weight and harmonics that I have heard – easily giving any audiophile vinyl recording a good run for the money. From a performance perspective, of special note was Kevin Axt with some delicious and very creative bass solos.”

My favorite line is “Talk about dynamics! This is the real deal!” By that I think Robert discovered that unmastered audio recording with real life dynamics are dramatically better than most commercial releases.

Thanks to Dr. David Robinson AND to Robert Youman and to his friend! You’ve made my day.


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 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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