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.

20 thoughts on “My “Illuminated CD” Is Back

  • June 3, 2015 at 4:28 pm
    Permalink

    Oh, I can see your error right away. Pro Tools lacks a plug in to show the ‘vivification’ index value. Such an index doesn’t show in mere bit for bit comparisons. Only in the listening of the treated CD itself.

    Or at least I wonder what the explanation will be from CD Illumination.

    Reply
    • June 3, 2015 at 4:40 pm
      Permalink

      Mark has been very nice throughout this exchange. I wrote to him and inquired about the difference in lengths…I’ll keep you posted.

      Reply
  • June 3, 2015 at 5:32 pm
    Permalink

    This doesn’t make any sense?! Are you sure that the flux capacitor is plugged in? 🙂

    Best…..Carlo.

    Reply
    • June 3, 2015 at 5:52 pm
      Permalink

      You know my aversion to snake oil. However, the gentleman in Australia has been very accommodating and I don’t want to do anything but verify his claims.

      Reply
      • June 4, 2015 at 7:25 am
        Permalink

        It is cool that he is willing to have his process stand up to professional scrutiny. Any “ribbing” from our end is strictly good-natured of course.

        Best….Carlo.

        Reply
  • June 3, 2015 at 6:04 pm
    Permalink

    Mark,

    File size can be attributed to different meta data (tags). Ensure that both have the same tags or convert both to wav to remove all tags.

    Just a suggestion…

    Reply
    • June 4, 2015 at 8:53 am
      Permalink

      The CD Illumination website claims to be copying the CD…not messing with metadata or anything else. But clearly each track was copied one at a time. Mark, the CD Illumination guy, has deferred talking about the extra length until I test the disc in a “consumer system”. I’ll be doing that today.

      Reply
  • June 3, 2015 at 7:09 pm
    Permalink

    Lets hope he doesn’t blame the fact that you inverted the ‘vivify’ file, therefore removing all the sonic fairies from the signal…

    Reply
  • June 3, 2015 at 7:13 pm
    Permalink

    The last gradation on the meter is -60, and I’m presuming that the area underneath is meant to represent the lowest 36dB of a 16-bit range. So how low does it go? Maybe it’s capable enough, but if there is a difference only at the Least Significant Bit level, the meter would need to be capable of reading -90. So how about an inverted Mix Paste in Audition, and zoom in on the amplitude scale, which would visually prove beyond a doubt that every bit of both versions cancels 100.00%.

    And as usual, thanks for doing such a great job on this stuff, Mark.

    Reply
    • June 4, 2015 at 8:55 am
      Permalink

      I’m not sure I’m following you Bill. The last gradation on the meter is -∞ not -60. These files cancelled each other out 100%.

      Reply
      • June 5, 2015 at 6:50 pm
        Permalink

        Sorry I wasn’t clearer. It’s easy to zoom in on the amplitude axis in Audition and see if even the least significant bit cancels out completely. However, it sounds like that last little bit on the ProTools meter is doing the same thing, but since I don’t typically use ProTools, I don’t know what the lowest amplitude is that the meters will indicate. Looks like all is well. Thanks for debunking this and so much other junk.

        Reply
  • June 3, 2015 at 8:10 pm
    Permalink

    I’ll bet Robert Harley will hear a epic improvement, at least if they buy a full page one year ad in TAS. 🙂

    Reply
  • June 4, 2015 at 4:19 am
    Permalink

    Precisely why I keep reading and, enjoying, your posts; objective testing and relevant comments. Unfortunately, this does not appear to always be the case in the audiophile world.
    Dr. Waldrep you are a true Professional.
    Thank you
    JC

    Reply
    • June 4, 2015 at 8:59 am
      Permalink

      Thanks…I’m trying to bring some honesty to a very challenging market.

      Reply
  • June 4, 2015 at 7:41 am
    Permalink

    CD writing software usually add 2 sec gaps between tracks. Maybe his software added it to the actual track!
    If he was altering the data, then there is no need for writing it back to the CD. The improved quality (if any) would probably appear only during direct CD play back due to less noise / error / jitter.

    Reply
    • June 4, 2015 at 9:04 am
      Permalink

      I thought about this…but the gap is usually 3 seconds by default. But the additional length is part of the audio file not digital black or silence. The whole notion that he’s improving the sound by eliminating jitter is bogus as well. Virtually all external DACs and internal DACs on quality optical players rework the clock rather than using the clock on the S/P DIF line.

      Reply
  • June 6, 2015 at 12:53 pm
    Permalink

    I would like to see difference files used more often in this type of analysis. Reverse phase of original, add to treated, play the difference. Hear anything?

    Reply
    • June 6, 2015 at 3:19 pm
      Permalink

      It’s a very useful tool. I’ve used it on power cords and will be doing an analysis of an expensive USB cable soon.

      Reply
  • June 7, 2015 at 12:46 am
    Permalink

    Hi Mark, Perhaps you could also assess the Blue Coast MQD 24K discs? Thanks, Julian

    Reply
    • June 7, 2015 at 9:16 am
      Permalink

      Julian, I’ll just get in more trouble with Cookie. But the same basic concept applies to her MQD 24K Gold discs (which are CD-Rs) and glass disc etc. If the bits are on the disc and they get transferred to the DAC with a good clock, they will sound the same as a standard replicated disc.

      Reply

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

16 − 14 =