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.

12 thoughts on “Sony and Foo Fighters Partner to Promote Hi-Res Audio

  • Dazed and confused/the song remains the same.
    Maybe they don’t even want to agree on a single message, one single logo….

    By the way – I am a bit concerned about your term ‘highres transfers’.
    People could easily understand, that the files are transferred from (!) highres.
    Wouldn’t it be better to call it ‘transferred to highres’?

    Thanks for the link.

    • It will be a major accomplishment if I can convince the powers that be to go with Hi-Res Transfers for analog tape to high-res PCM digital.

  • IMHO Sony’s just trying to get on the gravy train though a little late. In the end they see a premium priced hirez itunes, premium price hardware to support it, etc, etc. It just surprises me that they were so slow to see the $ potential? Maybe they just sat back for a while and let others pump in the promotional money to get Joe user to start talking about and showing interest in HDA?
    End of day, lots of money to be made upsampling the 1960-2000 rock catalogs into huge bit buckets, convincing buyers it sounds better, and selling it to the baby boomers one more time before we all croak.

    • I would not be so hard on Sony…of all of the manufacturers, Sony has been very aggressive in promoting high-resolution audio devices and content. They even included iTrax.com in their initial roll out several years ago. I applaud them for that. The continuing confusion about logos and definitions is not entirely on Sony.

  • Paul Riordan

    I’ve been travelling on the Subway / Underground / Tube in London over the past few weeks and it is interesting to see that Sony are actually advertising “Hi Res Audio” as part of the reason why we should buy their latest Xperia phones – they use the slogan – “I can hear things you can’t”. This has to be good for those of us that want to get music released in “High Res” . I know it does not necessarily always mean that the music is truly “High Res” but to get more people thinking about it might at least give us some hope that the industry will provide music in the best resolution available rather than just MP3…..

    • Interesting. I think the CE manufacturers have developed hardware devices that far outstrip the fidelity of the sources that are being played through them.

  • Hi Mark,

    I give a “Like” to the term you are coining, High-Res transfers, to better identify music converted from analog master tapes to digital with the technical understanding that the digital format is a larger bit bucket and is not true high resolution.

    Currently, the industry’s term High-Res Audio is commonly used to identify both the above music as well as music in true 88.2/96kHz/24-bit or greater resolution. This over generalization has led to consumer confusion and rightful accusations that many so-called High-Res Audio downloads just aren’t. Your term High-Res transfers helps to solve this problem by identifying digital music derived from standard format analog sources.

    Just a comment that Dave Grohl directed and appeared in an HBO miniseries, Sonic Highways. He comes across as a serious musician who is genuinely interested in the quality and preservation of our musical heritage. Grohl described the miniseries as, “his love letter to the history of American music.” It’s worth watching.

    Phil C

    • Thanks Phil…I going to reach out to Dave Grohl as well. I have a connection.

  • By now I only see the identification and labeling problem getting worse, the confusion to the benefit of the sellers of music. As Mark’s numerous posts and quotations prove, very few principals in the music business have the training and electronics theory background to understand, accurately, what they are talking about much less any ability to truthfully explain the complex chain of production to customers. The numerous catchy phrases and labels do nothing to clarify the situation. The “icons” or “labels” need to give way to actual descriptions of the actual resolution of each process in the production chain. I would call this a track’s or album’s “pedigree.” Now, all the interpretation as to what to call a particular process with a particular resolution has vanished. It’s like the ingredients label on ketchup. “We’ll tell you exactly what’s there, how it got there, and you decide if it’s what you want and what it might be worth to you.”

    • I’ve been pushing “provenance” for years and it seems to have caught on…next step is getting the labels to provide the information.

  • Jeff Starr

    Mark, has it ever been easy? VHS vs Betamax, Mini Disc Vs Digital Cassette [don’t even remember the name, they closed out the machines dirt cheap, but can you get the media?] Then DVD-A vs SACD.

    It seems they are never on the same page.

    I’ll say this, if/when I get the PC capable of downloading and storing music, I will be way more aware of what I’m buying. And I’m leaning towards PCM, rather than DSD. I like media I can hold, and may stay with that, I am 60. I am going to get a HDMI de-embedder, to at least transfer the original digital data from my Oppo to my dac.

    You are doing a good job educating your readers, we just have to get the word out to a larger audience.

    Get this, a guy on our local college radio station has a weekly half hour show where he and some other guy discuss, a variety of things. They started talking about hi-rez music, and he says nobody cares about that, “even I don’t care about that”. Oh, I wrote them a letter. The station is filled with volunteer music lovers, many who must care. I was mad, I was outraged by such a foolish statement. That is what we are up against.

    • Thanks for the note…maybe the world doesn’t care about quality.


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