In the United States, we’re in the final stretch before the election on November 4. I’ve watched the debates, read plenty of online information, viewed plenty of interviews of both candidates, and walked my mail-in ballot to an official drop box by the local library. And lest you think I would dare to enter the political fray in my blog, no, this is not a political post. I just wish there were a real time fact checker commenting on every statement or claim made by any political candidates. In 2020, the candidates can say anything without fear of contradiction. It’s crazy! Sure there are plenty of pundits or articles that sort truth from fiction after the event, but the idea of a loud buzzer going off every time someone lies would be a welcome addition in this election season IMHO.
And a loud buzzer would also be a welcome addition to the “seminars” that happen regularly at audio trade shows – remember them? I’ve seen a couple of YouTube videos of audio “seminars” recently where someone has added subtitles calling out the falsehoods made by the presenter. One in particular from the 2019 Rocky Mountain Audio Fest contains so much BS that the screen is never free from the producer’s commentary. No surprise that the nonsensical “seminar” titled “Computer Audio Demystified” featured a sales person from one of the high-end cable companies. Just about everything he said was incorrect. But was he challenged by anyone in attendance? Strangely, he wasn’t. I understand audience members should remain polite and respectful during any presentation but when it’s time for questions, ask for substantiation of claims that more RAM in your computer improves playback fidelity or that solid state drives sound better than regular spinning hard drives.
“Recording engineers have known for years that more memory is going to give you more performance,” he said. As a recording engineer and professor of audio engineering for the past 30 years, I can tell you that this is a lie. The reason we load up the computer running our DAW (Digital Audio Workstation) is because we’re recording and or playing as many as 24 – 100 tracks and each track may have a few DSP processes on it. This requires fast hard drives (most not SSDs), lots of RAM, and a very fast CPU. The fidelity of your computer-based stereo playback system DOES NOT improve with additional memory.
The presenter makes lots of other false claims about USB DACs, jitter, and pricey cables (no surprise) during his 30 minutes. Why aren’t the people vetted? Because the trade show has sold expensive booth space or a major sponsorship opportunity to the company and a “seminar” is part of the deal. I’m glad that someone has taken the time to call out the falsehoods in these videos. Do a quick search online and you’re find them.
Only 3 Days to Go!
It seems like just yesterday, I launched my second Kickstarter campaign. It’s amazing how fast 30 days goes by … especially in these very challenging times! The election is little more than a week away, the COVID-19 pandemic is still a real threat, and most of us have extra time to enjoy reading and listening to music — I know I do.
I want to thank everyone for the tremendous support, encouragement, and for helping me reach the initial $10,000 goal. I’m be pushing hard over these next three days to see if we can reach 400 backers and perhaps add another $5000 to the total (remember my first book peaked at almost $70,000). I apologize for the continuous stream of emails asking for support. It feels like I’m one of the politicians pounding away for donations or for support of an initiative. It will nice to have this first step behind me.
As I stated in the video, I’m already well in to the research, have laid out the book based on the Music and Audio Guide template, and expect a productive several months of writing. I’ve received a number of emails with suggestions of area to cover and I want to encourage anyone with a question or subject area to let me know. The book will address gapless playback (especially important for classical music), multichannel streaming, audio formats and codecs, networks (wired and wireless), and, of course, a discussion of my research into the perceptibility of high-resolution audio. My paper is active as part of the AES Fall 2020 Convention right now. So what can current backers do to help bring us across the finish line? Consider upgrading your reward by adding the first book or AIX Records albums. Or just help by posting a notice on your FB group. It all helps.
If you haven’t yet backed the campaign, please visit A User Guide to Streaming, Downloads, and Personal Audio today and make a pledge. I appreciate it.