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.

9 thoughts on “Consumer Research Study: Part II

  • December 17, 2014 at 6:57 pm
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    Recent results from a breakthrough study conducted by DTS using the first direct neural pleasure response sensors; the 19-25 year old ‘gamers’ could instantly switch from lo-def video to UHD, and from low-rate MP-3 to ultra-clean stereo. When the video switch occurred, the responses were so minimal as to be statistically useless. When they switched the audio, the responses went through the roof. This seems to contradict what too many cynics say. Don’t sell the human ear so short. It took organic food a while to catch on too.

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    • December 18, 2014 at 10:33 am
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      What is “ultra clean stereo”? They didn’t specify the specifications or provenance of the material that they played. I know the folks at DTS and will try to get more information. SO perhaps the message is our brains know it’s lossless audio but our ears don’t.

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  • December 18, 2014 at 4:36 am
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    Mark wrote:
    As a trial run, one of the staff people from the facility came in to the space and listened intently to the “Mosaic” track. His eyes widened as he listened…I could tell he was thoroughly entranced. As he left the room, he came over to me and said, “I can actually hear the fingers of the percussionist tapping on the congas. The details of the sound are amazing.”

    Maybe he was telling you what he thought you wanted to hear.

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    • December 18, 2014 at 10:38 am
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      He didn’t know anything about me or the realities of the test. He just loved what he heard…and it was a very good sounding MP3 file.

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  • December 18, 2014 at 4:54 am
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    Whether you can actually hear the difference today between ‘hi-res’ MP3 files and real hi-res audio is, in some ways, irrelevant.
    Regardless of your audio chain and its current ability to reproduce or not hi-res files, one should always download the hi-res version. Why? Because, if one enjoys music, eventually your audio chain risks going through an upgrade and, believe me, when that happens, and it will, you don’t want to be disappointed by your music collection. It has happened to me in the past with CDs. That’s when I painfully understood that not all CDs are created equal (production-wise or otherwise).

    Kudos to music stores that allow listening to music before buying (a local store in my area allows listening through headphones so one can compare different versions when different versions exist).

    Your download or purchase is your ‘negative’ and, as in photography, you want to store the highest quality. It is easy to downgrade to any ‘convenient’ portable format while, most importantly, preserving the original hi-res to enjoy on a quality audio chain (whether you own one now or later).

    Unfortunately, many budding audiophiles risk a major disappointment when one day they actually hear the poor quality of their ‘conveniently-sized’ downloads. Maybe the music industry planned this all along to ensure future sales…!

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    • December 18, 2014 at 10:40 am
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      There is a point at which there is no reason to increase the sampling rate and word length…it doesn’t get you any greater fidelity. The continued increase in fidelity will be in the production chain not the delivery end of the music business.

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      • December 18, 2014 at 3:30 pm
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        Maybe then all this study can show is, that the most important part is, that the recording/mastering is done right!

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      • December 18, 2014 at 3:32 pm
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        Hypothesis; If downloads supplant physical media, and streaming supplants downloads, how will one then actually OWN a personal music collection? To all who have a sizeable LP,CD, or SACD collection, I have only one thing to say; keep it and add to it. Someday, we will hear the refrain ,” You don’t miss your water ’til the well runs dry.” Count on it.

        Reply
  • December 19, 2014 at 12:36 pm
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    Hi Mark,

    I just finished listening to your test files. I played them from my PC over firewire to a Mytek Stereo 192 DSD directly feeding a pair of PreSonus Eris E8 powered monitors. With 1 being best and 3 worst Selection One was A=1, B=3, c=2. Selection 2 was A=3, B=1, and C=2. Selection 3 was A=3, B=1, and C=2. It was hard to tell the CD and MP3 files apart, my confidence level isn’t very hard there.

    Reply

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