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.

7 thoughts on “Hop Scotching Over Standard Definition

  • August 4, 2014 at 4:31 pm
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    I couldn’t agree more with you. Perhaps there is a way to make lemonade, and in this case, a value-added service that makes you some coin.

    Omnifone is obviously serving up songs of unknown and likely varying quality. JRiver is providing the software to drive Pono. What if you created a paying service to curate Omnifone songs to provide music lovers with your opinion on what’s good, bad or indifferent from a quality perspective? Perhaps it could operate as a paid plugin to JRiver.

    Perhaps you come up with an automated method of evaluating a song for frequency content, dynamic range and codec quality. Perhaps dumb it down to 1-5 scales in each and an overall sum, but also with a website for those who want to learn more about the scoring, and eventually more sophisticated methods of curating (but start simple). Perhaps go with a kickstarter or indiegogo project to raise funds for a programmer or two to develop an app to automate the curating process, cut a deal with Pono to have access for such curating and develop a JRiver plug-in for those who pay for the app, with funding incentives that include free subscriptions for a year, among other incentives. I think the toughest part will be getting access to the Omnifone library on reasonable terms.

    In short, I think you have unique skills, commitment and integrity that make you well-positioned to do something in this space. I think the keylog is for you to make an appeal to Neil Young personally to offer an optional service to the most discerning music lovers to ID the best music, and something Young can use as a passive aggressive hammer on Omnifone to offer good music. With Neil Young’s endorsement, a fundrasing effort will probably do well.

    Beyond the concept of such an effort, making it happen is all about navigating personal agendas and profit motives (which is what I do for a living as a ruthless MBA), so if you need my type on an ad-hoc basis, email me!

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    • August 5, 2014 at 7:57 am
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      We’re thinking together on this. I’m working on the HRA DB site…and apps.

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  • August 5, 2014 at 2:25 pm
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    Ever and anon, the LARGE PRINT GIVETH, and the small print taketh away…

    Thank you Mark!

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  • August 13, 2014 at 6:15 pm
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    Well well, it appears that Omnifone is stating the obvious position I too have staked out. If any given service can send master tape audio to my system, I cannot ask for more, and yes, anyone will hear the difference. The very tight, technically oriented definition of Hi-Res that you stick to guarantees that the last hope to re-engage the public with the value of the combo of great music/ great sound will fail, caught between squabbling about boundaries and semantics. At that point, our industry will have no one to blame but ourselves. Think Big Picture Mark; maybe someday more recordings will be made like yours, but it’s a long way from MP-3 to indisputable hi-res provenance, and we have to start somewhere. Picking on the inevitable stumbling blocks facing such as Pono; really, what true good does that do for the cause in the long run?

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    • August 14, 2014 at 8:46 am
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      Omnifone and Ponomusic are selling regular gas and claiming it’s premium AND charging premium prices. Not cool. You can move the goal line and make everything high-resolution but it doesn’t change the fact that older master are bound by the technologies of the time.

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  • August 14, 2014 at 11:34 am
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    Considering that neither the Pono Players or Music service are actually available yet, I think the best and fairest. M.O. is wait and see. Remember folks, Neil Young doesn’t need the money, so I doubt he would deliberately “sell out” and deliver 16.44 files as Hi-Res. As with so many things, talk is cheap, including mine, and the proof is in the Pono pudding. There’s an alliterative cliché for ya.

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    • August 14, 2014 at 8:26 pm
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      Actually, Neil does need the money.

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