Real Time Fact Checking

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.


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.

8 thoughts on “Real Time Fact Checking

  • I’d forgotten this video. I didn’t say anything because I was still feeling out whether MQA had any support outside the press in October 2016.

    To this day I’m amazed at the lack correct information about computers in high end audio.

  • Steve

    Made my contribution to your new book. I’m looking forward to it.

    I was at Steve’s presentation at RMAF in 2016. He is typical of the lack computer knowledge in high end audio. A quick check of LinkedIn shows he started in retail, went to Ayre, AudioQuest, Roon and now Savant Audio. All I see is a sales guy no more.

  • Justin Lloyd

    Hi Mark,
    unfortunately, I cannot find the mentioned video on YouTube. I found the original „Computer Audio Demystified“ video, but not the one with the fact checking comments. Maybe you can send me a link to the video in a private mail?
    BR! JL

    • Anders

      I don’t know if this is the correct video, but I found one on Youtube called “High End Audio Bullshit – Part 1 Audio from a computer” uploaded in 2019 by someone called joppe peelen.
      I think Mark simply got the dates wrong. The presentation is from the Rocky Mountain Audio Fest 2012, but this video with comments was uploaded in 2019.
      It’s only 14:42 minutes long though (not half an hour), which is why I’m unsure that it’s the same one that Mark has seen, but it’s the same presentation for sure.

  • Glad you posted my comments, it was truly Heartfelt. How much to purchase all your Blue rays? Can I get a Kickstarter discount? big lol. I have at least 10 people over to my place to hear true 5.1PCM THX recordings. Almost all of them do not know what that means. LOL. I will beg to borrow and steal to get all your Collection. You had mentioned others wanting to buy them but did not elaborate!? Can I make instalment payments? I love the visual along with auditory. It is one of the reasons that I fell in love with Pat Metheny. I had already been a fan of his but saw his practice and then the concert at the Crane Music School in Potsdam NY. I was living there and in a small university town, there were so many fans that they had the concert in the Potsdam Basketball Gym? The sound was marginal, but I was an early bird and had a front center seat. My sound experience and visual experience were true Stereo HD as he had a very competent PA system, forgot what it was but it was ~95-100db in the front row center. This was The Way Up Blueray that I have in 24/96. Still my favourite. I have played it ~450 times both auditory and visually. MY B$W bud has grade 10 music abilities but he does not like it??? He has a beautiful Yamaha Baby Grand in his sound room and he plays along to pop/rock/ classics and is quite entertaining. He spends weeks on each song and I give him credit for the efforts but says that Pat Metheny is not Melodic??? The way up has constant Melody changes, chord progressions and musicianship that blows me away and I have never studied anything other than AudioPhile Magazines, and of course your Bible like collections of Texts. Let me know a Price and I will up my donations, either privately or Publicly. You can use my name if you like, I am proud of my knowledge base, it is mostly augmented from your knowledge base. And we agree to disagree about a few things but are 95% coherent on most. I can put up $200 as a downpayment if that helps toward the Blue Ray collection. Cheers from Doctorrazz. I posted this on the Kickstarter page, you may want to take it down if it causes a problem or helps? sales? Razz

    • Dr. Glen,

      Thanks very much for your continuing support and for your efforts to spread the cause for hi-res audio AND video. Music is a very visual medium and I’m looking for outlets to distribute the unique products that I’ve produced. I’ll work on a bundle price for all of the Blu-rays discs…I think it’s about 25 of them. Stay tuned.

  • Dr.Glen Rasmussen

    On the front of all the blue rays, there is the standard FBI disclaimer about the public exhibition for profit? Quite a few of the local bars are hesitant about my bringing my Khorns over to their Club for an audition with your Discs. I tell them they are giving it away and the only persons who may benefit are those at AIX records who have increased Sales. LOL. Most just have slack jaws and say the big sound, and do not realize the Dynamics and lack of distortion of my all original 1981 Klipschorns. I still have to build those fake walls but they are on my too do list.


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