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.

11 thoughts on “I Need More Metadata, Scotty!

  • June 19, 2014 at 11:03 am
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    “…would that be metametadata?”

    No, Mark, that would be the NSA (and allied “intelligence” (sic) agencies!).

    Don’t give up the fight, though. You’re doing yeoman’s work.

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  • June 19, 2014 at 12:01 pm
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    Mark, we have the tools to make that metametada badly needed for Hi-rez and classical but you also need the music labels to offer it and media players to support the extended fields for it. It’s a combined effort, but we’ve achieved it with some small audiophile labels and our Sonata and aria music servers.

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    • June 19, 2014 at 12:20 pm
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      I know Juan…I’m planning a post all about the conversion that I did on my BDP-105 into the Aria Server.

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      • June 20, 2014 at 8:23 am
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        That would be great, Mark. I have a 105 and was wondering, when I saw your earlier post about it, just how you did it.

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  • June 19, 2014 at 12:11 pm
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    Mark,
    When you coined the word: metametadata, I could not help but hear the music from Disney’s Lion King ricocheting around in my mind – “hakuna metata.” “No worries for the rest of your days. It’s a problem free philosophy.” Visions of an audio world where HRA or HD Audio will be easy for us consumers. I really want the best of the best, like you do. You are fighting the good fight. Keep it up! Us readers really appreciate your efforts.
    Jack.

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    • June 19, 2014 at 5:30 pm
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      Ditto regarding the good fight!! Keep the sonic guns aimed high!

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  • June 19, 2014 at 5:28 pm
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    In keeping with the overall theme of these articles, one would assume the new metadata would be called HDmetadata. Not much more there but certainly reads more impressive!

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  • June 19, 2014 at 5:34 pm
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    Giving the example on your future website may start a trend.

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    • June 20, 2014 at 9:59 am
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      The new website is coming along…although too slowly. It will have many filters including the metadata for high-resolution and provenance.

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  • June 19, 2014 at 7:44 pm
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    I find your last sentence here extremely significant – “The world of real high-resolution audio will continue to be a niche market for the truly dedicated audio enthusiast. And even those of us that want the best of the best, are continually being mislead by spin, marketing babble and even fraudulent claims.” -, because the “niche” you describe is of course not homogenous. I honestly think that most of “the truly dedicated audio enthusiast” are the ones that would still claim analog recordings to be HRA, and a large portion of them that analog is somehow superior to digital.

    At Audio Stream (http://www.audiostream.com/content/high-resolution-audio-we-have-contradictory-definition) there has been a discussion regarding the recently published definition of HRA. While the Audio Stream host, Michael Lavorgna, finds the definition contradictory from the perspective of the MQ-C descriptor being included as it obviously represents CD audio and as CDs are obviously not “mastered from better than CD quality music sources”, as stated by the definition. But when a reader commented in favor of including MQ-A as another obvious descriptor at odds with the definition, the response from Lavorgna was that “Arguing that MQ-A are not really HRA is like arguing that the sky’s not really blue”. The discussion goes on from there, and the last comment from the host is a quote from renowned engineer Barry Diament: “I would wholeheartedly disagree with anyone asserting that a properly mastered CD captures everything from the analog tape. To my ears, it isn’t even close. I’ll add that in my experience, a properly mastered 24/96 digital encoding *still* won’t capture everything there is on a well recorded analog tape. In my experience, it is going to take a well made 24/192 digital capture to get everything a good analog tape can contain (okay, 24/176.4 will do too). I think some of the assertions are due to what I see as the mistaken equivocation of signal-to-noise ratio with dynamic range. Many instrumental harmonics and many spatial cues are way down in level (20-40 dB) from the loudest sounds in a recording. While these are within the specified range of CD, sounds that are 40 dB down in level will be encoded using approximately 8 or 9 bits of the CD’s 16. As a result, I don’t find it surprising that instrumental harmonics sound thinned and bleached on most CDs and spatial cues, at least the subtler ones, are largely eradicated. With analog, even if these are down in the tape hiss, they are still there to be heard.”

    The reader (zakir) also links to some of your posts regarding the whole analog vs digital topic, but there appears to be little resonance to them and any objective data offered by the Audio Stream host to support that analog is HRA, other than the personal opinion of Barry Diament.

    I believe that this is a perfect example that “even those of us that want the best of the best, are continually being mislead by spin, marketing babble and even fraudulent claims.” It is also an example of the influence that those who write columns and blogs at big magazines like Stereophile can have over a large amount of those dedicated audio enthusiasts.

    In the case of meta data, I believe the reader at Audio Stream made a good point as he aluded to consumer rights being the bigger issue behind the HRA topic, and that what is required are accurate labels that will represent products for what they really are and be priced accordingly.

    Your honest efforts to set things straight on the whole HRA BS are much appreciated, keep it up.

    THX

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    • June 20, 2014 at 10:04 am
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      I disagree with Barry and Michael on the analog tape thing. They can like or even prefer the sound, but the specifications speak for themselves. I read some of the comments but one caught my attention. Michael states that the MQ-A descriptor applies to analog tape…he’s incorrect. The press release simply states “analog source”…so cassettes and everything else can be in the high-resolution audio club.

      We all have to understand that everyone in the audiophile business has a point of view and agenda. I haven’t ask Michael but I guess if he was forced to examine the specifications of my Nagra IV-S, he might recognize that HD Digital can capture a more accurate representation of the sound. Whether he or Barry prefer that to analog…it’s their preference.

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