Dr. AIX's POSTS — 07 July 2014


Someone reminded me that I never actually finished my report on the DEG, CEA, The Recording Academy and major label event that was held at Jungle City Studios in New York City on the 24th of June. I guess I didn’t feel a pressing need to rehash what I’ve been saying here for well over a year…I was the last presenter of the evening. But okay…here’s my summary of my presentation.

It took some doing to convince the organizers of the event that I would be a natural invitee to an event focused on high-resolution audio. Initially, I wasn’t included. I found out about the event from a journalist friend of mine that was shocked that I wasn’t among the “top professionals” in the business to share their thoughts and work with the gathered press and others. Of course there are lots of others working in high-resolution but none that have made it their personal mission…except me.


Figure 1 – The studio room of Jungle City where the assembled press and visitors milled and socialized. Photo by Mark Henninger.

I acknowledge that I’m the operator of a very small, audiophile label. I haven’t been nominated for a Grammy or otherwise been working for the major labels in the past ten years (I did plenty of major label work prior to that). But I have produced more high-resolution audio albums than anyone else in the Producers and Engineers Wing of NARAS (if you accept my definition of high-resolution…all bets are off if you accept the HRA definition developed and promoted by the organizers of the event). I started the world’s first high-resolution audio label, download site and blog dedicated to this emerging area of the music business.

But I’m also quite vocal about what is and what isn’t high-resolution audio. There are prominent engineers that agree with me (the current president of the AES and owner of Sonic Studios, makers of Amarra) and others that don’t. And there are plenty of CEA audio board members that have trouble with the definition that was recently announced and many that think it’s acceptable. After a slot opened up at the NYC event, I received a call and was offered the opportunity to present “as an engineer and producer” of recordings in high-resolution audio. I assured the organizers that I would stay on message and talk about my professional work within the world of high-resolution audio. And I did just that.


Figure 2 Mark Waldrep, aka Dr. AIX, presenting his position on high-resolution audio. Photo by Mark Henninger.

I planned out my 20 minutes to include a 10-minute introduction followed by a 10-minute demonstration of some of my favorite high-resolution tracks (recordings made using 96 kHz/24-bit PCM without any subsequent processing). Rather than play entire songs or movements, I used my editing system to assemble a single 9-minute compilation. I played “Mosaic” from Laurence Juber, “Lone Star” from Carl Verheyen, “Let Them In” from John Gorka, “Somewhere Somebody” from Jennifer Warnes, “Lowlands” from Hanna-McEuen, “On the Street Where You Live” from Steve March Torme, “Mujaka” from The Latin Jazz Trio, Mozart’s Clarinet Quintet K. 581 from The Old City String Quartet, and “Rainbow Connection” from Willie Nelson and Paul Williams.

I was quite pleased that a number of attendees had very positive remarks about my tracks…and even a few that thought they were the best they’d heard that evening. I think it was important to hear my recordings in a great system. I thanked the organizers for the invitation and look forward to working with the DEG, CEA, The Recording Academy in the future.

I’ll leave it to Scott Wilkinson of AVS Forum to evaluate my 20 minutes. He said, “All the clips sounded exceptional, with clean and present vocals, clearly delineated and detailed instruments, and unfettered dynamics. Everyone in the room was very impressed, as they should be—this is the epitome of high-resolution recording in my opinion.”

And that was just the stereo mixes…the surround versions are even better. Thanks Scott.

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About Author


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) Readers Comments

  1. Mark,

    We saw John Gorka this weekend at the New Bedford Folk Festival. I agree with you that he is terrific – great songs, great voice and a really nice humble human being! We bought his latest CD and upon listening to it, my wife (who is not terribly interested in sound) said to me that it sounded terrible and added “I guess we’ve been spoiled by that Blu-Ray”! Your recordings are that good!

    Stay the course.

    • Experiencing John doing his show, singing his memorable tunes and sharing his humor is a great time. He’s my favorite and I am so thrilled that I got a chance to work on a project with him.

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