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.

10 thoughts on “Pono and David Pogue

  • February 2, 2015 at 7:57 pm
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    I saw this video Mark, almost sent it to you in fact. Somewhat flawed, of course, but, as we have seen lately, at least Pono is getting press all over the place and, indeed, in some unfamiliar places for hifi. In principle, this is good for high end audio, regardless of the merits or otherwise of Pono. Unfortunately, as we saw in this latest Yahoo fiasco, it is also giving rise to a lot of ignorant comment being presented as expert analysis to the general listening public. The big danger here is that hi-res is going to be labelled as a high class confidence trick of the snake oil variety, which would be a tragedy. Of course it’s not helped by Pono presenting CD rips as being high res. Ultimately, however, I’m still encouraged that things are broadly traveling in the right direction and, it has to be admitted, this probably wouldn’t be happening without Neil Young’s involvement.

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    • February 3, 2015 at 8:45 am
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      My primary concern is that the whole HRA arena will be dismissed (like David Pogue does) because no one is actually doing a real comparison.

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      • February 3, 2015 at 4:51 pm
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        It seems that hi-fi can’t get a break when it comes to mainstream press, unless your brand is called Bose. I agree with you that the best high end audio publicity opportunity in a generation is not having an easy time of it.

        It’s no problem flogging 4K, even 5k, TV’s with ever bigger screens, but there is still a giant blind spot among the general public when it comes to having any motivation to listen to better sound. When they read about Pono in a snake oil context, well it just fans the flames of ignorance doesn’t it.

        I still maintain that the future is rosy, because when Apple finally joins the high res “revolution” the fawning world’s press will suddenly totally “get” what HRA is all about. Until then, it’s probably going to be a litany of false dawns and venture failures.

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  • February 2, 2015 at 9:15 pm
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    Actually he said ” … iTunes store at standard resolution.” No mention of compression. This may prove nothing more than that people like what they are used to.

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  • February 2, 2015 at 10:26 pm
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    Sounds to me like you were right Mark, Pono is in serious trouble with attacks and negative reviews coming from all sides Neil & Co better step up their marketing if theyplan on being successful.

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    • February 3, 2015 at 8:46 am
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      They don’t have a marketing plan. They have Neil Young spewing falsehoods about the “soul” of music and the magic of 192 kHz while they offer 2.1 million ripped CD tracks.

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  • February 3, 2015 at 9:00 am
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    The waves continue to crash on the hi-res beach.

    Yes, this test is bogus, but the Pono sniping is continuously ridiculous.As one has commented, hey, he’s stirring the pot on the subject of sound quality.What’s wrong w/that? A Pono player can be loaded w/ hi-res from any site you wish. The playback electronics are audibly superior ,that”s why it cost 399.00, but as Mr. Young suggests in the enclosed preamble w/ the player, loudspeakers are the best choice for Hi-Res listening. Forgetting MP-3 altogether, it is entirely possible to hear the difference between a CD and a hi-res track at 24/96 on a good system.
    I enjoy headphones but would only judge certain audio criteria w/ them; the full impact and musical gestalt experience loudspeakers provide simply does not come through headphones, even as advanced as they are today.

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    • February 3, 2015 at 12:05 pm
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      The “emperor’s new clothes” fantasy the Neil has been perpetuating is being questioned by many…this is not sniping Craig. This is pulling back the curtain to reveal the huckster and his minions.

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  • February 3, 2015 at 6:11 pm
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    I loved your expression “to punch into that tar baby”. I saw “SONG OF THE SOUTH” on my 5th birthday, and it lives in memory.

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  • February 6, 2015 at 5:18 am
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    Mark,

    If they did not mention the provenance of the audio file, everything else is snake oil. Only tracks recorded on updated digital equipment providing at least 24Bit-192KHz during all the recording process can give origin to a high resolution file of at least 24Bit-96KHz. All these reviewers are talking on things they do not understand. They do not know that it is not the envelope, the container, that characterizes the audio file as a HRA/HDA, it is the provenance and all the recording chain together at high resolution. How is that so difficult to understand when we are talking on easy things?

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