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 “Meyer and Moran: It’s All About the Midrange

  • December 23, 2014 at 1:22 pm
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    I seem to ‘get’ what he is saying better than you do, Mark.

    The audiophiles who came to the sessions were convinced, as were many others, that those very SACDs that they tested with, sounded very obviously better than CD. Now, maybe they were right, but after the experiment it was shown that the better sound was not due to better-than-16/44 resolution. They might be better sounding for other reasons, but not because they are freed from 16/44 constraints. Can you at least acknowledge that the SACDs used were SACDs that SACD users thought were ‘miles better, obviously better, not even close’ to CD sound, and that THOSE SACDs were demonstrated to be no worse sounding when made CD-standard?

    So, the claims for the SACDs that were in wide usage at that time were addressed by the paper’s findings.

    Finally, if Meyer is saying in his latest comment that one of the SACDs in the experiment definitely does meet your requirement for more signal than CD can handle, then I wonder why the original research didn’t clearly show two distinct sets of results: positive differentiation for that disc, and negative for the others?

    Regarding the bold bit in your article today, your current definition of ‘high resolution recordings’ did not exist in 2006, so he is allowed to use the term freely in that paper. In this case, probably to mean recordings that were considered to be audiophile standard and that audiophiles were happy to use as ‘demo tracks’. And that is true.

    Reply
    • December 23, 2014 at 1:34 pm
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      I’m pretty sure that the members of the BAS or the authors of the study thought that they were getting high-resolution audio…no matter how they defined it. The exchange I had with David Moran at the time was more along the lines of…”of course, we played high-resolution products, the labels that released them created them as high-resolution audio releases.” They all thought and the vast majority of audiophiles and even professional engineers today think that high resolution delivery formats are what makes all the difference. And yes, Meyer and Moran showed that SACDs were indistinguishable from CD spec downconversions. But that’s not what they wrote in their paper.

      My definition did exist in 2001…I wrote and spoke about it regularly. I railed against the same things back then to NARAS and lots of others.

      Reply
  • December 23, 2014 at 2:08 pm
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    Purely unscientific but I have found SACD’s I have for which I also have the CD’s seem to sound “better” than the CD.

    I have never been sure but after some research and reviewing an article on how the Beatles Love album was mixed, I wonder if it’s because the CD is from some 3rd or more generation from the original master tape but the SACD or DVD is from a first generation master tape, digitized and then mixed digitally so there is no generation loss.

    I guess good test of that theory would be to compare the CD layer of a SACD from an analogue master to an original CD from the tape recording. If my theory is correct, you should hear a difference there also.

    Reply
    • December 23, 2014 at 2:20 pm
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      The reason that they sound difference is due to the production path of each product…not because of the format. If you start with the exact same master and make a CD and an SACD at precisely the same level…you would not be able to tell them apart.

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      • December 23, 2014 at 8:03 pm
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        That was the point I was trying to make, albeit not clearly. I have a couple of SACD’s (stereo only) that have both a Redbook layer and the SACD layer. Theoretically if they were mastered the same and the only difference is 44.1/16 versus DSD then they should sound pretty much the same or you could not tell the difference. If one is 5.1 then that is going to make comparisons a bit more difficult.

        Will check it out tonight when the house is quieter 🙂

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        • December 24, 2014 at 11:49 am
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          I also believe some of my SACD sound better than all of my CDs. Of course I accept that my prejudices may influence my conclusions. Would it be possible Mark to know, from the producer of the best mass public audio product out there (Giles Martin), how “Love” was achieved?

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          • December 24, 2014 at 3:55 pm
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            It is certainly possible that the SACD that you have sound better or different than the CD in your collection. As for the “Love” DVD-Audio release…which I cherish as well…I haven’t looked online for information but I suspect that Giles was interviewed about it.

          • December 26, 2014 at 12:03 pm
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            Thanks for the link…very helpful.

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