Return from Ireland!

I’m back in Southern California after a wonderful couple of weeks in Ireland. I was so thankful to Hugh McCarthy and Keith Clancy of the CIT School of Music for the invitation to visit their amazing facility in Cork, Ireland. On Thursday they 4th of October, I presented a master class in high-resolution audio and workshop on recording for high-res and surround delivery. The audio studios at CIT were absolutely first class but the building in which they’re housed was spectacular — with a multi-floor open atrium, exquisite modern design, and a view of the river and city that was amazing. This is a institution that knows how to train musicians and the engineers that will record them. The students were engaged, curious, and thrilled to participate in a small production during the after noon session.

Mona and I took the chance to tour the southern portion of Ireland. We found our way to Galway, Cork, Killarney, Waterford and Dublin with lots of hiking/walking, tours of the Guinness and Jameson facilities, and a very memorable day driving the “Ring of Kerry”, with the attendant delays due to the very narrow roadway. One of the highlights was watching a sheep dog demonstration near Glendalough Wicklow. As proud owners of a border collie, we were thoroughly impressed that little Dell responded to the whistled commands of her owner and drove a small group of sheep to exactly the placed we suggested. Charlie, our collie, has some things to learn.

We also had the chance to visit London for a couple of days and had the chance to visit Abbey Road…amazing! Coming back to the studios at my university put a lot of things in perspective. Is the grass really greener? Well, everything is greener in Ireland!

Finally…I learned a new term the other day following a phone call with a seasoned expert in consumer electronics product development. The extensive and rigorous process of bringing a new consumer electronics device to market ends with MP — mass production. However, that’s not the first step in the product development cycle — it’s the last step! New products go through a lot of steps including: concept design and verification, initial industrial design, product specification for hardware and software, feature lock, prototyping, licensing, design modifications and changes, initial testing, tuning, parts acquisition, tooling, and a bunch of other critical steps that hopefully lead to an approval for mass production. To get to MP is a tremendous feat and not something to be taken lightly! It takes a coordinated effort — and a lot of time and resources to bring a product so close to completion. Arriving at MP means that EVERYTHING is ready to go! The tooling is done and verified, the parts have all be secured and are in house at the manufacturer, the software is ready, the production line available, packaging designed and printed, and any add-in components on site and ready to be inserted into the boxes.

The only step left after MP is shipping and fulfillment! Stay tuned for some other things I learned…


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.

2 thoughts on “Return from Ireland!

  • John Daven

    Good experiences for your Dr.AIX. I have been following your post.


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