Rocky Mountain Audio Fest Day 2

Things were a little slower yesterday at the Rocky Mountain Audio Fest. This meant that I got the chance to drift away from my table and visit some of the other rooms. The first place I went was the Antelope Audio room on the fourth floor. I wrote about one of their products a few weeks ago…the Atomic clock that we use to synchronize all of the digital systems in my studio facility. After I did the analysis of the DXD file and discovered that the sigma-delta converter that was used to create the 352.8 kHz/24-bit PCM file was causing some strange HF noise, I decided I need to create another ultra high end PCM files and look at its spectra. I knew that Antelope Audio designed and built AD/DA converters capable of 384 kHz/32-bit PCM…the Eclipse unit, so I decided to pick up the phone and call them.

I made contact with Marcel and asked him about the whole DXD thing that I had discovered AND asked if there was a way that I could get a hold of an Eclipse unit to do some test recordings. I really want to see the spectragraph of an HD PCM file at 384 kHz. It turns out that Antelope Audio is demoing their equipment in Room 477 of the Marriot Hotel at the Denver Tech Center as part of the RMAF. So yesterday morning I went to their room and introduced myself.

They had their Rubicon unit sitting between a couple of ATC speakers and were playing some high-resolution audio files from a Mac laptop server. I chatted for a while with Marcel and we worked out a strategy for getting me a unit sometime in the near future.

Brad Lunde of the Transaudio Audio Group was also in the room. I hadn’t seen or spoken to him in a few years. We both remembered how he supplied me a Brauner VM-1 condenser microphone for one of my past recording projects. It just so happened that I had some of the files on a USB stick that I had in my pocket so I offered to audition a couple of tracks from that project. It is one of my absolute favorite artists and recordings…in fact, the tracks are among the very best I have ever produced. I let Marcel play the tracks from the USB stick as Brad and a few show visitors listened. They were immediately transfixed. The vocal clarity, the details in the various colors and textures of the track was amazing and everyone recognized it.

Then in walked another vendor. This was someone that Brad knew. He sat down in the front and proceeded to start talking through the rest of the track. Here we were enjoying a very rare musical moment and this guy felt it was appropriate to start a conversation in the midst of the tune. To his credit, Brad told the guy that he didn’t want to talk about anything at the moment. He wanted to hear the track from my catalog. The guy left…thankfully. We continued to listen to the rest of the tune and another.

The Rubicon and the rest of the system performed extremely well. It was a very special music listening experience for all in attendance.

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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