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.

15 thoughts on “Jumping Off From Higher Sampling Rates

  • December 13, 2014 at 1:29 pm
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    Well, I guess we’ll have to get a listen to one of the new-process MoFi discs. If they sound fabulous, then their process is justified. If not… As I’ve said before, if hamsters running the wheel made the best sound, I’d be a hamster guy. With so many differing technical currents flowing, it will be up to the ears to determine who’s blowing smoke and who is doing audibly great work. Best, Craig

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    • December 13, 2014 at 1:52 pm
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      The same quality of sound would be delivered by using 96 kHz/24-bit PCM. The hype and jargon is just hocus pocus. They make great transfers…I just wish they’d transfer to a format that is worth it.

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    • December 13, 2014 at 6:33 pm
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      Only if that “fabulous sound” can be proven in a serious A-B -X test by a large number of listeners.
      Other wise we fall back to that same black hole of snake oil peddlers that drive high end audio sales now.

      If you buy a set of $3000 a meter power cables,
      1. You don’t want to look foolish for being hoodwinked into the purchase by marketing, reviews, etc.
      2. Even if 100 others say they didn’t make a bit of difference, if you say they made a BIG improvement in the sound of your system, you will claim your hearing is better, or your system is better, or some other nonsense that can’t be dis-proven since you will refuse a A-B-X test with claims A-B-X tests aren’t reliable.

      It’s an outright shame the snake-pit of vipers high end audio has turned into.

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      • December 14, 2014 at 9:07 am
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        To be honest, I think Hi-Fi’s been like this for a long time (since the early eighties) with subjectivism bringing all sorts of idiotic products which “enhanced the listening experience; I believe some interconnect manufacturers still claim cable directionality.

        What most audiophiles who buy into cable directionality, etc, seem not to realise is that manufacturers use sound engineering principles to create their products. Yes, some manufacturers (not wishing to Naim names) do pander to the subjectivists by claiming to e.g. shake their umbilical interconnects x number of times as it “improves the sound”, but their products are built using long established engineering techniques.

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    • December 13, 2014 at 1:52 pm
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      I’ll be posting about this…and the creeping number of 352.8 kHz and 384 kHz recordings getting onto download sites. It’s nuts.

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  • December 13, 2014 at 10:51 pm
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    The industry is just taking advantage of the public’s misunderstanding of how sampling and digital conversion works. The industry’s very unfortunate (or very cunning, depending on one’s point of view) choice of the word ‘resolution’ to represent fidelity to the ‘original analog sound’ has contributed a lot also. If more pixels provide greater resolution in a digital image, why wouldn’t more samples provide higher ‘resolution’ to an audio clip? Regardless of the scientific falsity of this statement, this misconception is here to stay and the press have contributed immensely to this. I’m waiting for all the bits to catch up… So we do need MQA after all…

    With regards to DAC internal processing, oversampling ( I prefer this word to upsampling in this case) often simplifies or mitigates quite a few engineering problems so, in my opinion, this trend shouldn’t be readily dismissed.

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    • December 14, 2014 at 8:56 am
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      It’s unfortunate that our hobby is so filled with nonsense.

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  • December 13, 2014 at 11:15 pm
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    Hi Mark, may I suggest you have that follow-up call with Bob Stuart?

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    • December 14, 2014 at 8:56 am
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      I had hoped to talk to him last week. I know he’s very busy but I’ll send him an email.

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  • December 14, 2014 at 8:55 am
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    The Lavry paper’s a good read – I’d already posted a link on this site to the his first paper (and reproduced his work in Mathcad) but hadn’t seen this paper; thanks for the link.

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  • December 14, 2014 at 11:46 pm
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    Hi Mark,

    are you sure Mofi uses DXD?

    I found an old article by Steve Guttenberg which says the contrary:

    “The analog master is also used for MoFi’s SACDs and CDs. That means MoFi’s analog sourced SACDs are totally PCM-free, which is extremely rare. Most SACDs on the market have at least some PCM digital in them, which means they’re not really delivering the format’s true potential. MoFi SACDs are the real deal, pure SACD–using Direct Stream Digital DSD coding.”

    http://www.cnet.com/news/mofi-remasters-perfects-lp-sound/

    Well, maybe Mofi did change the way they remaster after 2010? Or they don’t consider DXD to be PCM?

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    • December 15, 2014 at 10:32 am
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      There may be a couple of things going on here. First, I should state that I don’t know for a fact that MoFi is using the Merging Technologies DAW…but since it’s the only one that can capture at DSD 256, I feel like I’m on pretty solid ground. I could call John Wood at MoFi (he used to work for me) and find out for sure. Another reason might be because MoFi and plenty of others insist on thinking of DXD as some flavor of DSD instead of what it really is.

      I’m pretty sure that MoFi is not operating the same way they did in 2010.

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  • December 15, 2014 at 1:07 am
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    Talking about different fidelities, it all depends on what you play it on, what you amplifier it with, and more importantly what you use as speakers! 320 mp3 sound good enough on a good system. I suppose if you spend a fortune on your system you need the best even if you don’t rquire it!

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    • December 15, 2014 at 10:34 am
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      Good point…yes it does.

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