Dr. AIX's POSTSHD-AUDIO

A Long Time…

Some of you know that I’m been dealing with some serious challenges over these past 24 plus months. A flooded house, separation from my wife and family, some challenging health issues, and other struggles forced me to set this blog, my new book, and other audio related responsibilities to the side…temporarily. I apologize for the absence and hope to do better over the next several months. Life is full of unexpected turns and I’ve certainly had my share recently. But I’ll try to write more often and focus on getting the new book finished, printed and distributed soon.

Not long ago, I interviewed by Scott Wilkinson of AVS Forum, which spawned a number of comments and contacts from the audiophile community. I was encouraged by the response and decided it’s time to start writing again. And there is no shortage of things to write about. The Mobile Fidelity fiasco made national news (I heard about it on Sirius/XM!) a while back, caused a great deal of embarrassment for the company and a staunch group of vinyl purists, and has resulted in a class action lawsuit. T. Bone Burnett tried to launch a new audio format and sales of physical media have virtually ended. And recently I noticed a Facebook post in an audiophile group that involved my good friend Steve Davis (founder of AXPONA) making a substantial wager that he could tell the difference between expensive “designer cables” and normal interconnects. I haven’t followed up on the initial messages but am confident that Steve is making what could be a costly mistake. Readers of this blog know that cables are NOT a determinative factor in audio fidelity.

I may address the other topics in future posts but today I thought I would talk about the demise of physical media. A recent comment on this blog asked for a list of the currently available AIX Records – on discs (DVD or Blu-ray). It turns out that a number of my productions are out of stock AND I will not be re-replicating them. The days of physical media are behind us. I realize that many in the audiophile community cherish their vinyl and others have huge collections of optical discs of various formats but the truth is virtually all music is consumed as streams or as digital files on a music server. I’m a member of that group.

A couple of years ago, a new tenant in my studio building asked that I clear out the upstairs area so their clients could have a place to relax or game play games. I have used the area above the offices and studios for storage while I occupied the space. The rear of the building uses bow truss construction. The sloping roof means you can’t stand up except in the small area at the top of the stairs. I took advantage of the space to store printed materials, unpackaged discs, plastic cases and other stuff associated with my recordings. There was a lot of boxes up there. I’ve kept a reasonable number of packaged discs at home but whenever I needed to replenish my inventory, I would head to the studio and grab finished discs or the components to assembled them. However, the new tenant insisted I clear the storage space and I agreed. It was time to let go of the printing, raw discs, and boxes. I had long recognized that I would be storing lots of boxes forever if I didn’t decide to clear the decks. And so I did. With some help from the staff of the tenant, I took a couple of hundred boxes and loaded them out to the driveway. Later that day, a large truck came and hauled them to the dump. It was very hard to see all of that material disappear, but there was simply no way that I would ever sell even a fraction of the stuff. It was a cathartic moment.

A migration to to Youtube…

As of a few days ago, I’ve decided to upload all of my content to the AIX Records Youtube channel. In the past, AIX Records previewed our recordings and videos on Youtube…but only a couple of minutes worth of each video. The hope was that viewers would seek out the DVDs or Blu-ray discs on the AIX Records website and make a purchase. But sales are a mere trickle of what they used to be. I noticed that the video of Dave Mason performing “We Just Disagree” has already racked up almost 200,000 views! Maybe there’s money to be made from my productions on Youtube. It’s time to find out. I’ve recently uploaded the album Afro Cuban Latin Jazz Project and and currently working on Mark Chesnutt’s album “Your Room.”

Dave Mason singing “We Just Disagree”

It turns out that in order to monetize content on Youtube, you have to have at least 1000 subscribers and over 4000 views. So I’m gently asking that you SUBSCRIBE to the AIX Records Youtube channel and encourage your audiophile friends to sign up as well. Simply click on this link to SUBSCRIBE. I appreciate your willingness to help build an audience for AIX Records and you’ll be able to see and hear ALL of the albums I’ve produced. The audio is 96 kHz/24-bits on the upload but is downsampled by Youtube. I’m going to investigate whether 5.1 surround tracks can also be associated with Youtube.

If there’s a particular album that you want me to prioritize, please let me know. I choose Mark Chesnutt’s “Your Room” because his album generates a lot of streams and some revenue from my distributor. Let’s see what happens over the next few months. But first I have to get to 1000 subscribers. Thanks for your help. The link again is AIX Records Youtube Channel.

Dr. AIX

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.

10 thoughts on “A Long Time…

  • Greetings Mark! Subscribed.

    Hope you’re doing well health wise and negotiating the twists and turns in life over the last couple of years reasonably smoothly.

    All the best with the YouTube transition, and I look forward to the upcoming content you’re planning to upload.

    On another note, I think you must have noticed the “MQA is in administration” discussions over the last month even though for some strange reason, audiophile magazines like Stereophile and TAS seem to be quiet about this still. As I recall, you said a thing or two about this back in the day. 😉

    All the best, Mark. Welcome back…
    Arch

    Reply
    • Arch, Hi and thanks for coming by and for subscribing! I haven’t paid much attention to the like of Stereophile or TAS lately but did hear that you and I correctly predicted the demise of the MQA scam. Glad to see it fail. Those that advocated for it were either on the payroll or had another agenda.

      Reply
  • Mark,
    Good to have you back. I’ve missed you, as I’m sure others have. Oh, and I did hit subscribe.

    I’m a Youtube Premium subscriber (to get rid of the ads) and I thought I should point out that the music you posted to Youtube is also available in Youtube Music. This is important because the only way I can cast standard Youtube to the audio streamer in my music system is by “screen mirroring”, which sends all audio through the “audio mixer” in the device OS. The extra processing in the mixer brings sound quality down to the level of not-so good. Casting from Youtube Music streams directly to the streamer and avoids this detrimental extra processing. Even though the streams are lossy, they sound much better. AIX fans with Premium subscriptions should be able to use this link to see your whole catalog.
    https://music.youtube.com/channel/UC2B9ApEujEOKubFh8PaNmGw

    Note: I believe that Youtube TV subscribers also have access to Youtube Music.

    Reply
    • Mark, thanks for the note. The Youtube Music thing is interesting. I’ll check it out. I did discover that the videos are all out of sync and will have to be uploaded again. Something was fishy with my original uploads.

      Reply
      • I had to rip a Blu-ray 3D disc of Mark Chesnutt and for some reason only the video was captured. Knowing I wanted to synch my HD-Audio (96 kHz/24-bit) WAV files to the video, I did the synchronization by hand. I believed I had good sync but when the files were uploaded, they were obviously out. I have begun uploading the same Mark Chesnutt videos again and so far they seem fine. Thanks.

        Reply
  • Good to have you back, Mark. I’m sure I’m not the only one looking to hear your thoughts on audio, including but not limited to the recent bankruptcy filing by MQA and what the implications of that are.

    Reply
    • Writing about the debacle that was MQA is on my list. Stay tuned.

      Reply
  • Glad that you are back again…..and still standing

    Reply
  • Welcome back Dr AIX – I’m eagerly looking forward to your forthcoming writings.

    Reply
  • Ditto the above comments

    Godspeed and best wishes.

    Reply

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