Dr. AIX's POSTS — 28 August 2015


It is very hot in Los Angeles…even by the beach where Charlie and I went running this morning. Today is the day I start transferring the analog master tapes of Christian Jacob’s “Beautiful Jazz” for about a half dozen hard analog tape guys. After a few last minute orders, I had to order additional tape. The local supplier didn’t have the 20 reels that I needed so they had to be shipped from Chicago to arrive today. I was in the studio when the UPS driver showed up so I missed the delivery. We managed to get him to return and so the tape stock problem was solved.

Step two was the rental of the truck with a lift gate. I found one yesterday at a local rental place and had my son take me there just after noon after stopping by the local hardware store for some straps and furniture blankets…I wanted to complete prepared once I arrived at Tim Jordan Rentals. The guys at the rental shop showed me how to operate the life gate and I headed for the west valley. I used to live in the northwest corner of the San Fernando Valley and I know how hot it can get. The Santa Monica mountains stand in between where the studio is located and the place where I had to go and get the machine. You can count on the temperature being at least 10 degrees hotter in the SFV…and it was. I heard on the news that it was 105 in the valley and I believe it. I’m so glad that I made the move from there to the west side 15 years ago…it was one of the best decisions of my life. The weather is perfect living by the beach.

I met Rodney at his home and we rolled the Studer A820 onto the lift gate and up in the back of the truck. I made good use of the blankets and straps and secured the machine to the side of the truck. I certainly didn’t want the deck rolling. The trip home was uneventful and reasonably cool thanks to air conditioning and the fact that traffic was headed in the opposite direction. I heard on the news this morning that Los Angeles has the second worst traffic in the U.S. I didn’t hear who topped the list but I know that things get really ugly in my city.

So the machine is safely in the studio, the Nagra IV-S has been cleaned and calibrated, and I’m about ready to spend the evening starting the transfer process. Rodney told me that he did a reproduce alignment on the Studer using IEC playback EQ but was unable to do a record alignment because he didn’t have the same RMG 911 tape stock that I’m using for these transfers. I’m headed back to the studio in just a few minutes to do the record alignment and start copying “Beautiful Jazz” analog tape to analog tape.

Let the transfers begin.

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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.

(9) Readers Comments

  1. Best of luck with your new endeavor!
    The head of PCLinuxOS packaged up DR14 T.meter for me so I could start making contributions to the Dynamic Range Database project. Made my first one this afternoon, your Mark Chesnutt project.
    DR# 13

    • I like green.

  2. Ah the Studer, My first morning task was aligning the A80 2 track and 8 track machines in the studio, I think I could still do that in my sleep now even though it has been 38 years since I last touched one. My next task was to check and adjust the Gauss CTech 1200 tape duplication plant for the day’s tape run.

    Looking forward to find out the results of your transfer 🙂

    • It took a little tweaking to get the levels and calibration going just right but everything is good now. I’m actually sitting with the headphones and enjoying the Christian Jacob “Beautiful Jazz” transfer right now. Very nice album and great sound.

  3. Will you be doing a PCM copy as well?

    • Yep, I’ll do that as well. It depends on how much time I have.

  4. Why not take a video of the analog transfer and post it ?

    • I might be able to get something together.

  5. Where’s hot?! Maximum dew point temperature in Los Angeles this summer is yet +21ºC. Just for comparison: at 1.30 p.m. on 20 July 2012 in Jask, Iran, dew point temperature reached +35ºC and held for rather more than two hours! However, even that is not the heat record, you know.

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