California Audio Show 6: Day 1

It’s been a very long day. It was both setup day and the first day of sales today at the California Audio Show. I drove to San Francisco from LA yesterday afternoon…and it took 7 hours because of a 90-minute construction zone near the halfway point. Nothing like sitting in first gear for 7 very slow miles. I like to think that LA and SF are reasonably close to each other but the truth is…it’s a long 375 miles.

I headed over to the Westin Hotel around 7:45 am because I knew the location of my sales table wasn’t nailed down. Unlike last year, I failed to return the contract and found myself without any real clout with the organizer. It was operator error and I ended up next to Reference Recordings in the big ballroom. Not my ideal location but it worked out OK. I shared the tables with the guys from Sonic Studios the makers of Amarra. I had a great conversation with Jonathan Reichbach, the programmer behind Amarra and Sound Blade, the professional mastering tool that I’ve been using for 30 years! He shared some wonderful insights into Tidal, MQA, and sound field virtual mixing. We’re planning to get together in Los Angeles in a couple of weeks…I’ll have more to report soon.

The CAS6 is much smaller than the Newport Show, RMAF, and AXPONA…but it’s much more intimate. It’s been 12 months since I stood behind my tables last year but I remember talking with Jim, Carl, Brian, Geoff, and many others that stopped by today a year ago. Time really speeds by when you visit with folks once a year.

There were rather special interactions today. George and his lovely wife came by and shared a few moments as they searched for a disc or two that they didn’t have. They told me that every Sunday morning they have AIX time together. “AIX time?” I asked. “Yes” George explained, “every Sunday morning we pull out one of our favorite AIX discs and we sit together and enjoy it through my main system.” I was shocked to say the least…and impressed. It’s a very nice feeling to know that they’ve carved out a portion of their weekends to quietly listen to one of my productions. I had no idea.

Then there was the couple from Venezuela…Rafael and his lady are devotees of great music and high-end audio systems. But they weren’t familiar with my productions and had some questions about high-resolution audio and the accompanying videos that I have on most of my titles. When Rafael’s wife mentioned that they were originally from Venezuela, my memory raced back to the couple of times that I spent in Caracas working on the design and implementation of an electronic music studio. It was near the Parquet Centrale, which is a beautiful complex and beautiful concrete and glass buildings in the center of the city. I spent a month there living and working at the Institute of Fonologia in the early 1980s. I got paid pretty well but ended up spending all of the money on art by a very famous Venezuelan artist by the name of Alejandro Otero. He’s a sculptor and quite famous for his kinetic pieces including one called Delta Solar, which is located outside the Washington DC Air and Space Museum.

I also ran into a few friends at the show including Cookie Marenco from Blue Coast Records and Bob Hodas, the acoustic room-tuning guru.

In the afternoon, I gave my presentation called, “The Myth of High-Resolution Audio/Music”. I’ll talk about that tomorrow. It’s getting late.

5 thoughts on “California Audio Show 6: Day 1

  • “I got paid pretty well but ended up spending all of the money on art”

    Thought you were going to say Tequila and Women. LOL

    • it was a different time in my life but not quite that different.

  • Hey Mark,
    Your line today about old times and finding a 375 mile drive in 7 hours less than optimal put me in mind of a couple of things. One is the memory of when we all had the time to sit and listen to as many 16-20 minute record sides as we had without feeling that any of the time to cue or flip them was hurried.
    The other was of a ride I got in ’73 hitch-hiking south from just below LA with a young guy about my age (20) driving his grandpa’s ’54 Chevy. We picked up another couple of folks just before San Diego where we all ran on the beach, turned east just south of town and took almost 24 hours driving the secondary highway through all those old abandoned towns that Tom Russel sings great songs about, slept in the car by the side of the road and got to Tucson the next day. Stopped so many times, we probably averaged about 15 miles an hour and I’ll always remember it as one of the best rides of my life. The world has got so fast.

    • Thanks Jim…very pleasant memory. In 1971 after I graduated from H.S., my best friend and I rode our Honda 450 motorcycles from Michigan to California and back…we did the whole length of Highway One. Those were the days.

      • ROAD TRIP !!!!
        Come on, lets go.


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