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.

7 thoughts on “Stereo, 5.1 and Immersive Recordings

  • Robert McAdam

    I concur with surround recordings sounding better than stereo and I did have a 5.1 Tannoy monitor setup for this. But waiting for over 10 years for a selection of suitable recordings I enjoy. I’d given up late last year and sold this setup returning to stereo and upping the quality of this setup. Largely my surround system was redundant and unused. Perhaps I may return sometime in the future.

  • Grant

    Is this where I re-post my post of a few days ago, that proposes 8 levels of high res audio, HRA1-8 etc? heh heh. I could even add a 9th for mono, just for you Mark 🙂

    HRA1 = 7 discrete (no upmixing) horizontal channels minimum, plus native height/Atmos mixing, plus minimum 24/96 bitrate throughout, lossless audio

    HRA2 = 5 horizontal discrete (no upmixing), no height, minimum 24/96 throughout, lossless

    HRA3 = 2 horizontal, no height, minimum 24/96 throughout, lossless

    HRA4 = CD standard stereo, DDD

    HRA5 = Any analog at any stage

    HRA6 = Anything that would have qualified above but does not comply with R128 of BS1770

    HRA7 = Lossy compression, complies with R128 of BS1770

    HRA8 = Lossy, not R128

    HRA9 = Mono!

    Then a ‘+’ after each of the above if provenance is guaranteed i.e. from the original mic feed to the downloaded file, it meets the designated minimum resolution and documents the actual resolutions used in each step.

    Not very serious at the industry level, of course, but fun for the hobby consumer to think about where his ‘treasures’ fit on the hierarchy.

    Since you mentioned height, are you aware of any music productions utilizing Atmos? Isn’t it the obvious candidate to be the carrier for such 3D audio — due to its marketability?

  • Joe B.

    To all reading this, 2L’s Souvenir I and II on Blu ray will do the trick.

  • “When surround music becomes the norm for music delivery…and it will at some point…”

    Mark, Although I love the sound of a good surround recording I’m not sure I agree with you on that point.
    I’ve been actively involved in surround sound since the early 70’s. I had a 4 channel Dolby matrix system with SQ and QS decoding in it’s earliest days, and have either been involved or aware of just about everything that’s came since. In the end all the different approaches have failed mainly due to general public dis-interest, up to and including the DVD-A’s and SACD’s
    In today’s world, a lot of the general public have 5.1 or better home theater systems with the built in ability to just pop in a surround mastered Blu-Ray to achieve HD multi channel music playback of fantastic quality. But sadly I still have yet to see either a major marketing promotion of the system to the general public, or any large demand for the media that is already available outside of a small niche group of audiophiles interested in the surround music experience.
    It’s never been easier for Joe Average to avail himself of the best there’s ever been in the “emersive” surround experience, I guess only time will tell if your right Mark, and that enough people will take advantage of today’s opportunities or whether it once will once again die on the vine do to dis-interest.
    My experience with 40 years of surround sound does not bode well for it’s future but I do hope for it’s success. 🙁

    • Admin

      Sal, it may well be wishful thinking on my part. But with the advent of digital processing in Smartphones etc…I see virtualized surround happening more and more. The unfortunate part is that the labels and artists aren’t creating surround mixes of their projects.

      • We need to create and in a big hurry before CDs die, a dual layer Blu-Ray/CD, to replace the dead SACD and price it about the same as a CD. Obsolete the CD and make the dual layer product the one and only std. We’ve learned the hard lessons of format wars too many times. When Joe Average learns how good his CD sounds when he pops it in his 5.1 BluRay HT we may slowly start a revolution in surround music. The key here is convenient in both media and equipment.

  • Joe Whip

    I have a a couple of stereo downloads from 2L both in 24/192. I also have one of their MC blu-rays. While the music frankly doesn’t thrill me for the most part on the blu-ray, it is the Winter Solstice release, the surround presentation sounds superb.


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