High-Resolution Audio | Music: A Reality Check

Today is Monday. It was three weeks ago that I officially launched the Kickstarter Campaign for “Music and Audio: A User Guide To Better Sound”. The success of the project has been tremendously gratifying…beyond my wildest dreams. Now I’m down to the final 8 days…the final week before the real work of writing the book, preparing the illustrations, and producing the Blu-ray starts. I’m looking forward to the process. My goal is to have printed copies available for the AXPONA show in Chicago next April. Hopefully some of you will come by the AIX Records demonstration room at the Westin Hotel to have me autograph your copy of the Music and Audio guide.

I spent part of yesterday putting together the final “stretch goal” for the campaign. If we reach $75K, every backer will get the new AIX Records 2016 Sampler (the first stretch goal), but the 71 tracks on the sampler are not full length tunes. In order to make room for 71 different selections with three different mixes and video, it was necessary to carve down each tune. The second stretch goal changes that. If we make it prior to the close of the campaign, backers will receive a copy of the iTrax/Sprint Ultra HD-Audio album and a white paper titled, “High-Resolution Audio | Music: A Reality Check”.

The disc was collaboration between Sprint and AIX Records in the middle of 2014. The former CEO of the company is an audiophile and reader of this blog (he still reads it…hi Dan!). He pushed his company to build and support a phone that would raise the bar for audio quality in portable devices…and they accomplished their goal. In support of the launch of the phone, we produced an 18-track album that contains a variety of amazing sounding tracks. They are among my favorites and I’m confident that you’ll find something to enjoy as well.

In addition to the Ultra HD-Audio album, I’m going to finish and make available a white paper I started writing last summer. It’s modeled on a report that Berklee College of Music and Rethink Music assembled on the economics of streaming music (and how to return fairness in the structure of the music business). It will be a guide for interested parties in the music space including: consumers, retailers, audio engineers, record producers, and record labels. We deserve better sounding music recordings and it seems to me the first step is to getting accurate information out to everyone in the music chain.

Nothing that I write will change the path of the marketing messages being prepared by the establishment parties. They will continue to insist that all recordings can qualify as “hi-res music” and push “hi-res audio” hardware that can barely deliver the fidelity of a well-recorded compact disc. And thousands of people will purchase millions of dollars of new content and hardware during the upcoming holiday season. And they will be disappointed. But the “High-Resolution Audio | Music: A Reality Check” white paper and eventually the Music and Audio Guide might make a small difference. That’s my plan.


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.

4 thoughts on “High-Resolution Audio | Music: A Reality Check

  • October 12, 2015 at 7:37 pm

    Just curious, what was the phone that Sprint developed that you referenced?

    • October 13, 2015 at 10:50 am

      It was an HTC M8 One Harmon Kardon Edition

  • October 13, 2015 at 12:42 am

    Hopefully all contents will be available to download, so backers outside the US, will not have to pay extra to get the physical media.
    I will try to promote the links to the campaine to a few Danish hifi sites.

    • October 13, 2015 at 10:51 am

      Thanks Claus…and yes, the project will be available electronically.


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