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.

14 thoughts on “Vinyl LPs: Love Them Or Leave…But Get The Facts: Part II

  • January 31, 2015 at 11:55 am
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    I think the “warmth” that’s so often blithely cited with regard to vinyl may partly be due to the inherently microphonic nature of the stylus/turntable itself, rather than maintained fidelity from the studio master.
    The artwork, nostalgia and “ritual” aspects of vinyl are perhaps why CDs seem unlikely to ever enjoy a similar revival …but who knows?!

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  • January 31, 2015 at 12:30 pm
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    In ALL of these vinyl vs. digital discussions “audiophiles” always seem to talk in theory vs actuality and leave out key points like vinyl IS the more musical of the two formats where cd can come very close and even surpass that musicality it takes a lot more $$$ CD player to get there.In addition a turntables performance can be improved highly by better isolation:it delivers MORE when isolation is improved than say CD players or streamers.Mana acoustics years ago built turntable stands that delivered higher and higher levels of performance the more the table was isolated.

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    • January 31, 2015 at 5:50 pm
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      Tom…I’m not clear on what more musical is? Listening to my recording of John Gorka or Jennifer Warnes doesn’t get any more musical to me.

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      • January 31, 2015 at 6:08 pm
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        I’ve never heard a fellow musician ascribe “musicality” to a technological format or device. It’s a buzz-word favoured by equipment reviewers.
        Musicians and their playing may be musical: the technology, all the way from studio microphone to listener’s speakers, should ideally just convey that as faithfully as possible.

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  • January 31, 2015 at 1:24 pm
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    Mark, I have read a few times in your posts the following: “pre and post ringing (which happens just below the maximum recorded frequency at very low levels), ” Can you explain further of give me a reference that explains why this is so?

    Thanks for your continued good work on defining exactly what hi-def music should be.

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  • January 31, 2015 at 2:33 pm
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    While the increase in LP sales seems a lot, the numbers tell the real story. In 2013, according to Nielson Sound Scan, CD sales were 165 million, LP sales were 6 million. Digital downloads were 118 million. Statistics is an interesting game.

    Great LA Weekly article on lp vs cd by the way. Learning all the time!

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  • January 31, 2015 at 4:32 pm
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    No one can challenge the fact that vinyl …well sucks as a recording medium. The thing I like about the older LP’s is that they are not mastered to death. This is something you’ve commented on before but I think it needs repeating. The loudness wars have literally destroyed newer music for me. I can not forgive the overmastered compressed schlock that passes for fidelity these days. I’ll take the odd click and pop it it means I can enjoy dynamic range.

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    • January 31, 2015 at 5:51 pm
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      Very good point…there’s a lot more than just which format you choose.

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  • January 31, 2015 at 4:55 pm
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    Maybe CD’s are being lined up to be the next thing in retro chic? Actually I rather suspect they might, when the penny drops wider that sites like Pono are actually flogging 16/44 files that you can rip from any CD.

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    • January 31, 2015 at 6:15 pm
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      Well, I was hinting at that above. There may well be some resurgence of interest in the CD, after a period of time well out of public consciousness. However, in terms of packaging and artwork, it loses out to the LP.

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  • January 31, 2015 at 9:26 pm
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    “The CD revolutionized the music industry, but it was never cool”

    AH, and there in lies the whole truth of the matter. Your having a few of your buds from the local audiophile club over for drinks and to spin a few new discs or show off that new $3000 power cord you just inserted into your system. . You pull a LP out of its jacket, spinning it in your record cleaner, putting it on your Continuum $200,0000 turntable, adding the spindle hold down clamp and a perimeter flattening weight and clean the stylus. You just KNOW this is going to create magic and your buds are in awe.
    Playing a CD or worse, a file from your computer, is never going make the same impression on the crowd.
    You then proclaim this is the only way to get great sound and the lowly masses are sure to believe it.

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  • February 1, 2015 at 12:44 pm
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    I think my main take away from reading the article was that, if care isn’t taken at every stage of the process (recording, mixing and mastering) then your music will sound like crud regardless of your chosen playback medium.
    I really enjoyed the insights from Ludwig and Clearmountain and what went on behind the scenes on their various projects. It makes total sense why, objectively and measurably, the CD format should sound better than vinyl, but we all like what we like and that’s fine. I say produce music for CDs, LPs and High Res files to the best level that each format can support and let the public enjoy what they want.
    I know, I know….I’m wearing my rose colored glasses again!

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  • February 4, 2015 at 2:03 pm
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    Keep it up Mark! It’s hard to argue against religion, but someone’s got to do it!

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