Random Noise

It disappeared. I just finished typing 600 words or so, pressed Save Draft in my Word Press sidebar and presto, all the work disappeared. In over a year, that hasn’t happened before…argh!

So here’s the quick version of the post I just write.

Today was graduation day at CSU Dominguez Hills. During my 15 years or so of teaching many hundreds of students, I only started attending graduation last year. I didn’t think it was important…I was wrong. This cohort of Digital Media Arts students have worked really hard over the past couple of years to meet the requirements of the university, the program and my classes…and I know they will tell you that “Waldrep” is a very hard teacher.

Last evening I was in the bay area enjoying a terrific meal at Paolo’s in San Jose with some associates and a couple that we had met with that afternoon (more on the meetings later…but it was all about wireless networked audio). We shared a terrific meal, a couple of cocktails and a couple of bottles of wine and talked until the place was empty. Very interesting conversation but I made a commitment to get back to Los Angeles in time to escort the graduating seniors into the StubHub tennis stadium this morning. It was an early morning today and a bit of a scramble to get to the event. MY son was late picking me up, they closed the entrance ramp to the freeway and the parking lot was a mess…but I got there.

I was a little late but wanted to be there to shake everyone’s had and give them a proper send off. Some of these students went the extra mile. I don’t want to list their names because inevitably I will forget someone and they’ll feel left out. But they know who they are. However, I will mention Kenny…just because Kenny was special and I told him so as he left the stage and walked by.

Kenny was the only student that I added to my fall beginning recording roster when this group started the program…and that’s not something that I usually do. I asked him at that time if he would commit to meeting the standards of the class AND my standards. He publicly assured everyone in the class AND me that he would. And he did. He comes across as a typical surfer dude (in fact he promised that he and a couple of the others would introduce me to surfing…?) but proved himself to be capable, motivated, skilled and dedicated to the education he was receiving. He posted a picture of himself with his very proud parents on FB today…congrats Kenny you made it.

So a new crop of audio engineering students will find their way in the world of music, post production, radio, games and location sound. Some of them will have major careers and others will find work in their church or local theater. A few will start their own studios and crank out demos and EPKs for local musicians and aspiring artists. Sadly most, will find employment outside of audio…that’s just that way it works. Some will stay in touch and others will never look back at their time in the program.

But I needed to be there and despite wearing heavy black “regalia” while sitting in the open midday sun with temperatures around 90, I was very glad that I came home early from San Francisco to congratulate this exceptional group.

Here’s to the class of 2013!


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.

2 thoughts on “Random Noise

  • Lorenz Rychner

    Mark, that graduation-day post of yours resonated at full bandwidth and well above 85 dB just now. Having only just retired from my editor’s gig at RECORDING – The Magazine For The Recording Musician, I know how aspiring recordists feel about making a career out of a hobby, and from my years of teaching, long go, at the Grove School of Music, I remember many a “Kenny” who came through against the odds. I still see many of my former students at industry events, some thirty years later, and while the industry has changed, it’s still a combination of talent and effort that is required to “make it” – on whatever level. Keep up the good work! Cheers. Lorenz Rychner

    • Didn’t know you’ve retired Lorenz…good for you. And thanks for all of the opportunities you’ve been kind enough to offer me along the way. Enjoy you’re new life.


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