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.

9 thoughts on “NPR Hearing Quiz Part II

  • Mark ….. Would love to see the spectral of that Young 192/24 file you have, especially along side those you showed tomorrow, Sun 8th. Fast forward, could it be the folks at NPR feel “sorry” for Neil, as with so many others?Unsurprisingly, another example of pseudo science validated only by the pathetic likes of NPR.

    • Here’s the Pono “super high-def” version…looks about the same as the CD version.

  • Marshall Guthrie

    I’m completely with you that the Neil Young track is more interesting and more pleasant to listen to, but compared to the Coldplay track, the lack of high frequency information also makes it much more difficult to distinguish the 128 mp3 from the uncompressed cd-quality, and makes even higher resolutions of dubious benefit. If you ran multiple trials listening to the ringing bells in the Young track vs. the ride cymbal in Cold Play, I’d wager you’d identify the Coldplay track correctly more often. It might not be better music, but it’s a better track for this test.

    I’ll be curious to see what you think of the Vega track. I think it’s the best track of the selections for this test, despite my success on the Perry track far outstripping it in my trials.

    re: mp3 encoding, most folks don’t use audition. It might be interesting to do an encode from Audition, iTunes, and dBpoweramp and compare the results.

    • I got the Neil Young one right…because of the bells near the end.

  • Phil Olenick


    You’re dealing here with the “Bigfoot Journalist” syndrome. Many journalists who are or aspire to being superstars who parachute into a field when it starts to get attention make it a point of pride *not* to become intimately familiar with the details of whatever field they are temporarily covering, because that kind of knowledge means being a “specialist” who only allowed to cover that story. The Bigfoot prides himself on being a “generalist” who can talk with the man in the street at high school level (at best).

    So you’re being whipsawed between those who don’t know what they’re talking about and are taken in by the marketing hype, and the specialists at audiophile rags whose livings depend on advertising revenue from the authors of the marketing hype. As Al Gore famously quoted Upton Sinclair as saying, “It’s difficult to get a man to understand something if his salary depends upon his not understanding it.”

    • Makes sense to me. Thanks.

  • Patrick J Sandham

    I took the NPR statement “…much of Young’s catalog is available at the highest possible quality…” to mean Neil’s catalog, not Pono’s. He is offering much of his music in 192/24 as you are well aware.

    • Yah, I noticed that too. Is Young’s catalog his own productions? Or the entire catalog of the Ponomusic website. Even in the case of Neil’s own catalog, the 192/24 delivery contains doesn’t help any.

  • Senn Momentum Over Ear phones pllugged into HP laptop with AMD RS780 HDMI Audio onboard chip.
    2 right out of 6
    GOD that Jay Z track,that’s not music. No wonder people don’t buy music any more.


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