A Preview Listening Session

Before I get into the substance of today’s post, I want to once again thank every backer of the Kickstarter campaign for his or her contribution. With the generous support of over 600 audio enthusiasts, we’ve topped the first stretch goal of $50K! That means in addition to the Music and Audio Guide book and Blu-ray demo disc, each and every backer will receive a copy of the new 2016 AIX Records sampler disc as file downloads. The new sampler contains segments of 71 tracks…a few minutes of tracks taken from the entire AIX Records catalog. There are three categories: vocal, instrumental, and classical. Everyone will find something to their taste…and every track has been captured at 96 kHz/24-bits, produced without EQ or compression, and left unmastered.

Today, I had the great pleasure of spending the afternoon with a gentleman from Taiwan that claimed one of the top rewards in the KS campaign. I met George at the RMAF and discovered that he was coming to Los Angeles to visit some of his family this week. He had expressed an interest in purchasing a lot of discs at the show so I suggested he check out the KS reward that would get him the book, the disc, a listening session, and EVERY album I have in the AIX Records catalog. He thought that was a great idea…and the next I knew I received an email from Kickstarter announcing his reward selection. So George got an early listening session today. An experience that any backer can upgrade to at the $500 level. For readers of the blog, I’m even willing to let several backers go in on a group session of three or four individuals. You’ll have to share the sweet spot in the studio…that’s the only compromise.

The first thing we listened to was the Beatles “Love” DVD-Audio title from a few years ago. George wasn’t aware of this title so I thought would let him experience familiar tunes in 5.1 surround and check out the creative “mash ups” that Sir George and Giles Martin imagined and realized for the cirque du soleil. If you haven’t had a chance to hear a Beatles tune…any tune…in 5.1 surround, prepare to be delighted. The album is full of very familiar material but is delivered in a unique and fresh way. It’s a real treat. George and I auditioned about 4-5 tunes before moving on to some unreleased tracks that I’ve produced but can’t release. Readers in the know can imagine which tracks those are…but they shall remain unspecified here.

Then I popped in the Blu-ray recordable disc of the AIX Records 2016 sampler. I started the current year with the intention of finishing the new sampler but it has proven somewhat challenging. The requirements exceed the capabilities of the Blu-ray authoring system that I’m using. I’ve been assured that there’s a work around. We’ll see.

We listened to vocal tracks, instrumental, and selections from the classical section of the disc. The diversity of the disc made an impact but it was the ability to quickly switch between the three different mixes that seemed most impressive. We discussed my concept for the placement of instruments within the 5.1 surround speaker array. I also played an example of the Headphones[xi] process that allows listeners to hear surround music through standard headphones.


The Kickstarter campaign continues at Music and Audio Guide. Please consider posting to your FB page or sharing with your network of friends. Thanks.


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.

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