Dr. AIX's POSTS — 29 April 2015


If you want to sell a new product or service, one of the best ways is to get celebrity endorsements. We’ve all seen famous movie stars selling diet pills or an aging rock icon pitching a collection of “the best rock ballads of all time” on late night television. And the assembly of music personalities lining up with Jay-Z to promote the doomed TIDAL streaming service (the one that is supposed to stream high-resolution music but offers instead only CD resolution) is simply underwhelming. The super rich musicians don’t really need any more money. But is there an honest musician out there that really gets high-resolution?

As wrongheaded as Neil Young is with his PonoMusic site and the false elevation of CDs to high-resolution status”, at least he correctly believes that highly compressed music doesn’t properly reproduce the “soul of the music” that he and his rock star friends write, perform, and produce. The sentiment is well placed but the implementation comes back to personal financial gain. I continue to believe that there is a place for new high-resolution audio productions AND that they will propel the industry towards real fidelity. But we need a champion.

So I guess I shouldn’t have been surprised when I recently learned that Foo Fighters front man Dave Grohl was only interested in the money when Sony approached him about securing high-resolution transfers of his back catalog. Don’t ask me how I learned about this but it’s true. I had imagined that Dave Grohl would be one of the good guys and really believe in high fidelity. I keep thinking that all I need to find is a bona fide top tier musician to get behind high-resolution and the rest would be history. Who could be that person? It’s not Neil Young. Maybe James Taylor…I cherish his music, songs, and voice but he’s probably too old and not really relevant to the younger generation. Dave Matthews or John Mayer? Nope. Hearing that Dave Grohl had no interest in the capturing of his analog stereo masters into high-resolution PCM was surprising. All he did was show up for the check.

What’s next? Is there a technology play with a phone manufacturer or consumer electronics company? No. They are at the whim of the record companies when it comes to licensing so called, “high-resolution audio”. I’m currently in discussions with both a phone maker and audio equipment manufacturer about licensing a few tracks from my catalog. I’m very flattered. They’ve done their homework and found out about AIX Records. When the marketing people at these companies heard some of the tracks from the Sprint – iTrax.com UHD Sampler, they were astonished. One listen and we got you.

We need to identify a celebrity musician and get that individual behind the idea of real high-resolution audio. That person needs to be more interested in the art of music more than the size of the check. I believe there are artists out there that aren’t all about money and would understand what I’m all about. I’ve heard that Elton John is camped out at The Village (not far from my studio) working on a new record; maybe he’d be interested. But then again, maybe he’s too old. I am a fan though.

Who do you think would be the perfect poster celebrity for high-resolution music?

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About Author


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.

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