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.

16 thoughts on “e-Onkyo Is Coming to the U.S.

  • February 13, 2015 at 11:26 pm
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    Seeing as the files they offer are basically the same as Chesky Bros HDTracks and a couple of other US based companys, l will say what I always say in these situations.
    NEVER FORGET, SUNDAY, DECEMBER 7 1941, A DAY THAT WILL LIVE IN INFAMY
    If your American, please, whenever possible, BUY AMERICAN.

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    • February 14, 2015 at 9:53 am
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      They will be the same files for the most part…but Onkyo will have some other Japanese labels.

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      • February 14, 2015 at 5:04 pm
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        Mark,

        Sal is entitled to his opinion about World War 2 but I would have thought your audio blog is not the place to vent. It also insults your Japanese readers. Your non-response was disappointing.

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        • February 15, 2015 at 9:51 am
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          Victor…honestly, I quickly read Sal’s comment and clicked approve. You’re correct that I should have edited his comment or responded directly to him. This is not the place to be discussing things of that nature.

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  • February 14, 2015 at 12:28 am
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    Hello Mark,
    there is one thing that Onkyo will make different – they will use Meridian MQA.

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    • February 14, 2015 at 9:54 am
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      I wasn’t aware that they are doing streaming.

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  • February 14, 2015 at 2:57 am
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    To be honest I stopped downloading “high resolution” tracks about a year ago. I put together a system good enough to give me excellent insight into the recording, and thus the music, and have no need for anything “better”. I’m now listening to music at a level of quality I’ve never previously had and well recorded music comes across fabulously.

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    • February 14, 2015 at 8:50 pm
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      Red Book CDs and a reasonable quality system will provide musical heaven for 99% of the market.

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  • February 14, 2015 at 3:16 am
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    Mark,
    I think you are not quite correct in implying that moving from 16bits to 24bits does have an effect in the same way as moving from 44.1K to 48K and 96K, even on transcription of old analog tapes. It is not only about maximum possible dynamic range but also about the step resolution size. I liken it to trying to draw a shape on graph paper following the lines only. If you want to draw a 3″ circle (I will use inches as you are American) on 1″ graph paper the best you can do is a cross. If the shape that you wanted was an octagon, it too would be a cross. Now if we increase the number of vertical lines to 0.1″ (increase in frequency) we can draw a circle or a distorted octagon or a cross. If the number of lines horizontally is increased instead of vertically(increase in bit depth) we can still draw the shapes better. It may be that the more lines results in a larger piece of paper but it does not mean that the shapes are not easier to identity.
    I agree that the provenance and previous processing is going to have a bigger effect but increasing the sample rate or sample resolution will make a difference.
    I personally have given up on HDtracks as a rip off. I purchased the Eagles albums remastered and provided at 96K. The re-mastering had completely destroyed them. The “loudness wars” got in the way and they had be compresses and there numerous occasions where they are completely overloaded. They were a complete waste of money. I do not listen to them but go back to the original CD versions.
    Keep up the blogs!

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    • February 14, 2015 at 9:56 am
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      Hugh, I’ve written about this common mistake with regards to bit depth. Adding additional bits doesn’t increase the density of the horizontal resolution…it extends the amplitude values (and thus allows a lower noise floor). There is no benefit from playing back 24-bit audio if there is no dynamic range in a selection that requires it.

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  • February 15, 2015 at 1:26 pm
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    If you take an analog signal that varies between -10 V and +10 V – perhaps from a microphone preamp –, you could choose to digitize it at 16 bits or 24 bits. The quantization levels are evenly distributed across the entire range in either case. So, the visual equivalent of increasing bit depth is, indeed, adding more horizontal lines to the graph paper (if we are taking the usual convention of displaying amplitude vertically and time horizontally).

    What many people fail to recognize is that noise isn’t confined around 0 V. The graphical equivalent of noise could be thought of as the line representing the signal being a little fuzzy. That is, if the signal is up around 5 V, the ADC will record of value of 5 V plus or minus the noise level. So, increasing the bit depth on a noisy signal is just more precisely measuring random noise. Since dither is pseudorandom noise, there should be little, or no, perceptual difference between measuring noise with 24-bit accuracy, or replacing it with dither in a 16-bit system.

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    • February 15, 2015 at 2:19 pm
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      Andrea, you and I have been through this debate previously. Your description is fundamentally different than plotting horizontal lines in a battleship grid and then increasing their density as you increase the word length. This view is incorrect and fails to describe the lowering of the noise level…and thus the improvement in dynamic range.

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  • February 16, 2015 at 7:01 pm
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    Yes, we have been over this before, and I have tried, by examples and analogies, to explain to you that increasing bit depth does, in fact, divide the same voltage amplitude range into more, evenly spaced, discrete levels. That is exactly why the measurement system has increased dynamic range.

    This topic is covered in the first chapter of any book on digital signal processing. Here is a quick and easy webpage that treats the topic. And, here is another document that is music related.

    If you want to draw the waveform on a piece of graph paper, with time along the horizontal axis and amplitude plotted vertically, increasing the bit depth means increasing the density of the horizontal lines. Where I think that many people get confused – and perhaps this applies to you as well – is in equating those horizontal lines on the graph paper with lines of pixels in an image. These are not the same, as you only get to record one value for each time segment.

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    • February 17, 2015 at 9:36 am
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      Andrea…thanks for the links and comments. We want to avoid the pixel analogy, that gets people thinking in the wrong direction. I understand your points…and I think we are only disagreeing on the way things are represented. In my representation the amplitude is not a fuzzy waveform but a steady state (if dither is applied) at the baseline of the amplitude. In thinking about things this way, the horizontal lines are equidistant and extend further in the vertical direction as more bits are added to the word length.

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  • February 16, 2015 at 7:10 pm
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    And, since this is your website, you obviously get the last word. I just hope that you, and your readers, will follow the links, and give them adequate consideration. I would like to see your mission to educate the public on HD or HR audio be both successful and accurate.

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    • February 17, 2015 at 9:37 am
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      My goal is to provide accurate information…if I’m wrong, I’ll gladly adjust and present things as they should be.

      Reply

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