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.

5 thoughts on “Compression vs. Compression? Part I

  • July 29, 2014 at 4:27 pm
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    It still seems to me that the true evil of MP-3 is simply the large percentage of “data reduction.” To use a simple phrase as did you, the MP-3 process ‘throws away’ 90 odd % of the musical content. Overtones, undertones, ambiance, dynamic range, all the things that put the flesh and blood on and in the musical bones is gone, replaced by built-in, insidious, inevitable, time-based distortions that are the reasons folks commonly say to me, “We love music, but we don’t listen like we used to.” Yes, because far too much mental processing must occur separating out the good from not so good, real musical listening concentration and reaping the full range concomitant rewards become impossible too. Put it this way, we used to complain about dynamic compression years ago, nothing new there. Two other facts; the MP-3 encode/decode does much less harm to small acoustic ensembles; the machine can more easily tell what’s important and what is not. But fuzz, distorto-rock, studio layering in popular music, the very market the process most principally addresses, is in fact the type of material that MP-3 mangles the most!! Last but not least, the analog SN’s you mentioned are in fact not improved upon by the majority of CDs. 96 db of dynamic range in the home doesn’t fly; too quiet or way too loud . The theoretical 144 db of available hi-res dynamic range would have woofers and tweeters whizzing by us in the air as our amplifiers tossed their cookies! Best,Craig

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    • July 29, 2014 at 4:42 pm
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      MP3s at very low bitrates sound terrible…but when you move up to 320 kbps, things get much, much better. But there’s no reason to have MP3s at all anymore.

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      • July 30, 2014 at 11:29 am
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        I agree mark; 320 passes muster if done well, though it is yet far short of CD or better. Browsing internet radio, I found Radio Afghanistan at 32kbps!

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  • July 29, 2014 at 6:33 pm
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    Mark,

    Sorry, but I think that saying the facts were exaggerated is too generous. The 256Kbps downloads are not what is stealing the soul from the music and to imply that it is the root cause is deceptive. If the film concluded that thief is audio compression and not data compression, then the fix is not a simple upgrade of the bitrate but requires remastering of the recordings themselves. That’s big bucks and high risk. No, I think that the film is a marketing tool, not a report. The “solution” is to buy a bigger bucket that we already have waiting for you. Maybe it will fly for a while…

    Blaine

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    • July 30, 2014 at 8:43 am
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      They blew it for sure! They started with an agenda and produced the film to support it. Too bad.

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