Dr. AIX's POSTS NEWS — 21 September 2015


I have to start with a big thanks to all of you that became supporters of the Kickstarter Campaign today. I gave Charlie an abbreviated trip down to the library field for his morning Frisbee session and then hustled over to the office to pull the trigger on the “Music and Audio: A User Guide To Better Audio” crowd sourcing campaign. This was my first effort and the results have been very gratifying so far. As I write this, there are 146 supporters…and this is just the first day. Remember there’s good news if Kickstarter sees that this campaign is “trending”, which means reaching a large percentage of its funding goal within the first few days. Then they put you on their front page and tens of thousands of visitors will see it.

I sent out an email about the campaign to all of my customers…both AIX Records and iTrax.com. It was a bit of a broad brush but I want everyone that knows anything about the work that I’ve been doing over the past 15 years to know that I’m putting together the book and demo disc. Here’s the email graphic.


Figure 1 – This is the email that I sent out today announcing the KS campaign.

If you haven’t made it to Kickstarter, here’s a link to the page. Click here.


In my Saturday post, I mentioned that a couple of hard-core analog tape gentlemen had come by the studio to check out the recent Christian Jacobs tape copies that I made. I also stated that they were suitably impressed with the sound of my real high-resolution digital files…especially when presented in full 5.1 surround. I like to think people are honest when they render an opinion about what they hear. I certainly am.

The next day, I received the following email…

“I just read this daily post (from yesterday) from ‘Dr. AIX’, and wondered if you might know who the ‘San Diego Audiophiles’ he mentioned might be? He said they had analog tape recorders. Have you ever talked to anyone at the audio meetings that you have attended that are in to analog tape?

I wonder if they really loved his high-resolution digital recordings, or if they were just being polite. Yesterday Bill and Nancy were here for a visit, and I had a chance to play a Reference Recording 176.4/24 bit ‘bit perfect’ digital copy of one of Bill’s favorite recordings, ‘The Hot Club Of San Francisco’s Yerba Buena BOUNCE’. I played it for him on two different stereo systems. One using my Decware tube amp with Tektron high efficiency speakers, and the other using the Millenia solid-state amp and my Vienna Acoustic Bach speakers.

Bill’s reaction? ‘When you get better and can come to my place, I’ll play you the same recording on Analog!’

The “Analog LP was derived, (if I am not mistaken, and I may be) from the same 176.4/24 bit digital tape used for my data disc that I played him, but obviously Bill prefers the Analog” version. So I wonder if the ‘San Diego Audiophiles’ REALLY liked what they heard at AIX, or…. if they were just saying what Dr. AIX wanted to hear?

The author and I exchanged a couple of emails…he was a little surprised that his thoughts came to me. But it got me thinking whether audiophiles tell “white lies” to avoid those awkward moments when tell the truth would hurt too much? What do you think?

To be continued…

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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.

(19) Readers Comments

  1. Hi Mark,

    I told you that I appreciated that you are taking up the gauntlet of fighting the good fight from the now retired Peter Aczel. As promised I said that if you ever started a subscription service I would join. So there you have it.

    BTW – Years back when I was seeking new speakers, I made an appointment to audition new Quad electrostatic speakers at a company approved dealer. After listening for 45 minutes to a variety of my own CDs and being unimpressed for a variety of reasons, the dealer then put on a Mercury Living Presence vinyl recording. After a couple minutes of concentrated listening he said “Can’t you hear the difference?”. The psychological pressure to agree was immense. But I then said, “No, you must be hearing things that I cannot hear.”

    Needless to say, I was not polite enough and my comment ended that listening session.



  2. Mark, can you please give us an option to get both Blu-ray disc AND USB card at the same time?
    There is no need to alter the kickstarter page. Just notify people to let pledge extra amount of the money and allow them to comment about it.

    And about ‘white lies’. It’s pretty much necessary to keep everyone sane. I mean if you visit the Computer Audiophile and see how DSD advocates talking about you…. It’s not pretty sight.

    • Won, not a problem…I can make any combination of USB/Disc combos.

      • Hi Mark,

        You must be really satisfies that as of early morning European time you have passed the 100%.
        A great congratulations to to you!

        I would be very happy to receive the book in electronic format, download the files and receive a bluray in the post. I realise this might complicate things, but that would be my option of choice.

        Greetings from Brussels

        • Thanks Robert from Brussels. My daughter was just in your city on a round the world tour. It’s been very gratifying to see the response to the campaign…very exciting. Now I’m going to try and push things up another notch.

  3. One can always use analyzers to make technical comparisons of various music sources being reproduced by various equipment configurations, but how we experience music is very subjective and largely influenced by the gear and sources that we routinely listen to. Still, I like to think I have good reasons for liking one setup over another, and I’m always willing to share them. Sometimes I sway others to my opinions, sometimes I’m swayed, but I’m never swayed by someone telling me their stuff is better without explaining why they think so in terms of their physical and emotional responses to what they hear on the setups in question. Similarly, if someone says my system sounds great, I want to know why they think so.

    Of course we should be respectful of others and avoid sarcasm or denigration when discussing these things, but ‘impolite’ is what happens when someone refuses to invest themselves in the conversation; merely throwing out one liners like “Wow, that’s great!” or “You should come listen to my setup someday” before moving on as quick as they can.

    • I know I tend to the snarky side of things…but I make every effort to be accurate and respectful. I may not always succeed.

  4. I just pledged for the soft cover book and BD. I think $75 is a terrific bargain, Mark and am looking forward to it! Is it May yet? Thanks for all your hard work, sit. Many of us really do appreciate all your efforts to bring some realistic standards that accurately define what HRA is and isn’t.

    Best Regards,
    Bruce Bridwell

    • Thanks Bruce…the response to the Kickstarter Campaign has been more the overwhelming.

  5. Estimado Mark. Existen ciertas personas que son como ” Fundamentalistas Analógicos Vinylicos”. Ya puedes poner la mejor grabación digital, que siempre les gustará siempre lo suyo.

    • Gracias

  6. I think that hardcore analog-heads will generally never admit when a digital recording sounds better than an analog recording. Even when it is stereo to stereo that they are comparing. They have invested too much time in knocking digital recordings over time starting with it’s infancy. Now when digital has made it to a level above analog, they either want to save face, they just haven’t listened or have listened with a biased ear or they have too much invested in their analog rigs and LP’s etc to switch over. Now when you play them 5.1/7.1 it’s just too much because now they would have to buy multiple expensive speakers, amps etc (to their way of thinking) and spend time configuring them etc etc. It’s easier to hate surround then go through all of that. They don’t realize that surround sounds great even with only around $10K spent for a system. Most of your recordings can be used as demonstration recordings. I am not sure why anyone would not get immense pleasure from them. I also appreciate that you do some 7 channel recording as there is not a lot of non-movie audio that is 7 channel. It’s puts my 7.2 system through it’s paces. 2L is another company that releases excellent 7 channel audio.

    • You’re probably right…it is what makes this hobby so engaging…and frustrating.

  7. Well, I try to be polite and never tell someone that I think the sound I hear in their home is terrible. I will tell them it is a bit bright or too bass shy or something like that or if I can get away with it. say nothing at all. if I love the sound I will tell them that. I would never tell someone that their system is amazing when I didn’t think it was. So I would say that I am always honest but…. civilized.

  8. Mark, I signed up for your Kickstarter project today – physical book and BluRay. I chose this option, because I want to be able to switch formats for listening comparisons with a click of a switch on the remote. Also, I don’t believe any of my equipment will play 5.1 audio from a streamed audio file. What I’d really like is a package that has the e-book and the physical BluRay, but I didn’t see that combination available. You also might get some takers (myself included) if you offered the book in both formats, the physical BluRay, and the downloadable files in a single package. Finally, can you recommend a hardware piece or software package that will stream and decode 5.1 surround files.

    Thanks for all the good information. I’m really looking forward to the book.

    • The way to handle 5.1 surround files (not streaming though) is with an Oppo machine. I do it all the time.

    • I second the Oppo. I have 3 of them!

    • I use a product from Cirlinca to create DVD-Audio disks (stereo only) to play on my Oppo BDP-83.

      Cirlinca’s current product (HD-Audio Solo Ultra) can create multi-channel Blu-ray disks.

      • Cirlinca works great!

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