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post #1 of 118 Old 04-25-2010, 09:35 AM - Thread Starter
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I usually spend my time over in the Audio Area/Surround Music forum but decided to look around a little and see what's being discussed about BD and music. And I don't actually mean live concerts...I don't like the compromises that are necessary during a live concert (floor slant monitor speakers, cheap microphones, back signal path and cheering masses of fans).

As the owner and chief engineer of AIX Records...a small audiophile label that has been releasing DVD-Audio/Video titles for the past 10 years...I've decided to produce or content on Blu-ray and have our first few discs in this format coming back from replication this week (we've already issued a couple of samplers in conjunction with Oppo and Dolby Labs).

I'm not sure, but I think we're the only ones putting out new HD audio/video "albums" using BD. I don't mean older analog or SD digital stuff parading as HD in BD but new tracks made specifically for the new format (Neil Young and Tom Petty).

About 5 years ago, we started recording HD Video of our sessions at the same time as the HD audio. Now with BD, we can release audiophile audio captures WITH the HD Video of the sessions. Think of these as "private performances" and you'll get the idea. It's because we produce the entire recording in a single session without any processing, overdubs etc. Why not have video as well?

I believe that downloads are the future of HD Surround music, but for the time being BD is a viable and easy alternative. It should be interesting to see whether people like what we're doing. Audiophiles have certainly embraced our purist approach...but they tend not to be interested in the video.
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post #2 of 118 Old 04-25-2010, 12:04 PM
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I for one would love a product like this. 2L has some fantastic sounding audio out on BR and I would love if more companies followed suit.

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post #3 of 118 Old 04-25-2010, 01:20 PM - Thread Starter
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Morten from 2L is a friend and I agree his recordings are superlative. However, they lack the HD Video component and I'm trying to judge whether that matters to music fans or not. I can go either way...but now that we can have lossless audio in surround AND HD Video...why not?
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post #4 of 118 Old 04-25-2010, 08:18 PM
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I guess your talking about something along the lines of "Live from Abbey Road" only without the commentary and processing right? I think that is a very unique idea having the artist(s) perform without an audience and watch how it's done. I love the "human" aspect of a live recording. For example, when Josh Groban performs February Song in the Abbey Road BR, you can hear his breath hitting the microphone whenever he says a word starting with the letters B, R or P (if that makes sense). That is one of my demo tracks.

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post #5 of 118 Old 04-26-2010, 04:21 AM
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I have long wanted profile 3.0 to become a reality. I do however have one BIG problem. I must be able to get a 2ch lossless LPCM track into iTunes. I think that for backwards compatibility studios should also include a Redbook the way many studios are including a DVD on BD video's.
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post #6 of 118 Old 04-26-2010, 06:13 AM - Thread Starter
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I like the Abbey Road productions very much although the use of artificial reverberation is required because of the size and acoustic limitations of a traditional studio. We record in an acoustically rich performance auditorium.

But you're right. The level of acoustic detail and intimacy is absolutely amazing. I had my recording class in my studio for a field trip over the weekend...I think they finally understood what I've been talking about in the classroom after hearing it for themselves.

I'm an advocate of surround mixing but do include HD stereo mixes on our titles. They can be used on Apple computers running in HD.
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post #7 of 118 Old 04-26-2010, 07:20 AM
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I have a couple of AIX DVD-As and they are outstanding. I am willing to give this a whirl based on your past quality.
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post #8 of 118 Old 04-26-2010, 04:46 PM
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Any thoughts to 24/96, 7.1 mixing and mastering? Need space? You could always use DTS or Dolby's lossless codec.

I'm game for some great multi-channel music on Blu. Not a fan of downloading.

Listen up, studios! Just say "NO" to DNR and EE!!
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post #9 of 118 Old 04-26-2010, 04:52 PM - Thread Starter
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We're including as much as we can fit on our BD titles. For example, the Pachelbel Canon Acoustica disc that coming soon has 2.0 PCM at 96/24, 5.1 and 7.1 at both "stage" and "audience" perspectives using Dolby TrueHD (lossless) AND legacy Dolby Digital. This plays against a full HD-Video of the piece.

It turns out that we have to put the video on twice...not because of space but because of bandwidth.
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post #10 of 118 Old 04-26-2010, 04:54 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dr. AIX View Post

We're including as much as we can fit on our BD titles. For example, the Pachelbel Canon Acoustica disc that coming soon has 2.0 PCM at 96/24, 5.1 and 7.1 at both "stage" and "audience" perspectives using Dolby TrueHD (lossless) AND legacy Dolby Digital. This plays against a full HD-Video of the piece.

It turns out that we have to put the video on twice...not because of space but because of bandwidth.

Cool! No dial norm. on these titles are there?

Listen up, studios! Just say "NO" to DNR and EE!!
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post #11 of 118 Old 04-26-2010, 04:55 PM
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I have your Oppo sampler and really enjoy it. I'll be looking forward to your upcoming Blu releases.
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post #12 of 118 Old 04-26-2010, 05:48 PM - Thread Starter
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No Dial Normalization or any other processing.
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post #13 of 118 Old 04-26-2010, 07:47 PM
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The Divertimenti disc is 192/24...any thoughts on a similar resolution for your products? Would that take up too much space so as not to be able to fit any video? Just a thought...

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post #14 of 118 Old 04-27-2010, 08:33 AM - Thread Starter
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It is possible to do PCM audio using sample rates at 192 kHz as 2L does. However, they record using DXD and then transcode to that standard. AIX Records captures all of our tracks at 96 kHz/24-bits and keeps that fidelity all the way through the post production process...no transcoding is necessary or required.

As for whether 96 kHz is enough...that's been debated at length by experts pro and con. I believe it is enough. I base that on a thorough analysis that I have done to recordings that market themselves as 192 kHz or 176.4, yet when examined using spectragraphs the maximum frequencies don't measure much beyond that a standard CD...around 25 kHz. When I do an analysis on my own recordings, I see frequencies above 35 kHz and even 40 kHz!

Remember you have to have microphones, preamps and the entire signal path capable of recording and reproducing beyond 48 kHz to take any advantage of 192 kHz. I'm convinced that 96 is more than enough and the rest is either merely marketing hype (bigger numbers are better!) or deliberate untruth.

One listen to an original HD recording and you'll know the difference...the problem is most so-called HD recordings or HD downloads are not in fact, high definition.
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post #15 of 118 Old 04-27-2010, 08:46 AM
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I wish I could have had you as a prof years ago!

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post #16 of 118 Old 04-27-2010, 09:01 AM - Thread Starter
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Thanks Russ! It doesn't take much to get me started about the whole audiophile snake oil thing. The podcast that Scott Wilkinson did a couple of months ago got into it pretty heavily...on Leo Laporte's network. It's definitely worth a listen.

But the proof is in the listening...and maybe the viewing. If anyone knows of another record label making ultimate fidelity surround records with HD Video on BD, I would like to know about it. That's why I'm so interested in what people think about this whole idea of a private performance in your media room rather than trying to take you sonically/visually to a live concert at a great venue. I hope there's a place for both. I do live concerts or movies one time (usually...there are classic movies like Caddy Shack that deserve mutliple viewings) but I listen to a great piece of music performed by a great artist many, many times.
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post #17 of 118 Old 04-27-2010, 10:03 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dr. AIX View Post

I usually spend my time over in the Audio Area/Surround Music forum but decided to look around a little and see what's being discussed about BD and music. And I don't actually mean live concerts...I don't like the compromises that are necessary during a live concert (floor slant monitor speakers, cheap microphones, back signal path and cheering masses of fans).

As the owner and chief engineer of AIX Records...a small audiophile label that has been releasing DVD-Audio/Video titles for the past 10 years...I've decided to produce or content on Blu-ray and have our first few discs in this format coming back from replication this week (we've already issued a couple of samplers in conjunction with Oppo and Dolby Labs).

I'm not sure, but I think we're the only ones putting out new HD audio/video "albums" using BD. I don't mean older analog or SD digital stuff parading as HD in BD but new tracks made specifically for the new format (Neil Young and Tom Petty).

About 5 years ago, we started recording HD Video of our sessions at the same time as the HD audio. Now with BD, we can release audiophile audio captures WITH the HD Video of the sessions. Think of these as "private performances" and you'll get the idea. It's because we produce the entire recording in a single session without any processing, overdubs etc. Why not have video as well?

I believe that downloads are the future of HD Surround music, but for the time being BD is a viable and easy alternative. It should be interesting to see whether people like what we're doing. Audiophiles have certainly embraced our purist approach...but they tend not to be interested in the video.

You got that part right! I have over 30 of your dvd-audio's as I have been holding back waiting for the Blu's (g/f shuts up only when she watching the video portion on dts). I also have your short (Blu) demo on the 'HD Scape Sampler' (Shotakovich Piano Quartet Op. 57) & it sounds incredible. I obviously think very highly of your product & I am looking forward to being able to watch/listen to them with the g/f, uncompressed on Blu.
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post #18 of 118 Old 04-27-2010, 10:03 AM
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Sounds awesome (pun intended), sign me up!
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post #19 of 118 Old 04-27-2010, 11:26 AM
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Why haven't you or, anyone else, done this yet? This is something I've been waiting for. The HD audio and video media is here. I want studio quality sound - ie. high quality, mixed for home listening, no crowds, etc. *and* I'd LOVE to have video to go with it.

Please keep us updated!

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post #20 of 118 Old 04-27-2010, 11:31 AM - Thread Starter
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We've been doing this on DVD-Audio/Video for over 10 years...but the process to get Blu-ray underway has been arduous and expensive. The current plans are to have about 2 titles per month coming out. They will be available through our web site.

The first one is done and waiting for the paper that I'm working on right now...there are 4 others that are close behind.

The Dolby Sampler or Oppo Calibration BD titles are definitely worth checking out to see what we've recorded and what's on the roster. Thanks.
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post #21 of 118 Old 04-27-2010, 11:40 AM
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I applaud your efforts. As to your question, I'm not really interested in the video aspect, some are, some aren't. I generally listen to music or watch TV, not both.

As to your comment concerning older recorded items (Tom Petty/Neil Young) not being suitable for HD audio, I'd respectfully disagree. Yes it may not have the 100% of the benefits of the recordings you are doing tailored specifically toward HD audio, but to imply its a waste of time is not accurate either. Tell that to those who own and cherish a number of classic SACDs or DVD-A of such things as Pink Floyd DSOTM, etc. Many old classic analog recordings could get a real benefit in a remaster and release in better than redbook format. I heard Neil Young's BD recording at a friends and thought it sounded great. I rebought After the Gold Rush in HDCD, just to get slightly better than my current redbook version.
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post #22 of 118 Old 04-27-2010, 12:03 PM
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Video is a nice side benefit, but for musical pursuits, it would be nice if the disc is easily playable without having to access a display based menu. I.E. judicious choice of the default menu selection, or simple instructions on the case like "insert and press play for mch mix, press down once and play for stereo mix", or something like that.
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post #23 of 118 Old 04-27-2010, 12:13 PM - Thread Starter
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Thanks for your feedback. With regards to the Tom Petty and Neil Young Blu-ray music releases, I didn't mean to say that they wouldn't benefit from being released on BD or that they are suitable. But I'm fiercely opposed to calling them high definition audio because the original source masters were recorded using analog multitrack machines, mixed to analog 2-track tape machines and then mastered to whatever digital format for consumer delivery.

The fidelity of the original tapes is where the "resolution" is locked in. It is possible to remove some of the hiss or restore other imperfections but the essential signal to noise ratio AND frequency response remains the same as the day it was captured. The specifications of the best analog tape machines of the day were around 60-65 dB and the frequency response up to about 20 kHz. The equivalent PCM digital specs would be 10-12 bits and 40 Khz sample rate. So according to Nyquist and others (and I understand that there are also other factors like A/Ds, filters etc), putting the original analog or remastered audio from these artists into a much larger dynamic bucket (96 kHz/24-bits or even 192 kHz) doesn't give you anything that you didn't already have on the analog original. Does it mean that the sound of the analog master can be brought home...yes, of course. But this is fundamentally different than recording the artists using high definition audio equipment originally.

That was my point is trying to differentiate the sound on most BD titles (movies or music)...the source is NOT actually HD, according to my definition. Of course, the sound of vinyl or analog may be something that you prefer...it's a matter of personal taste. And I love the sound of vinyl and analog.

But I prefer HD surround mixes done in acoustically rich rooms with everyone playing and singing at the same time. Our recordings are very different than the commercial albums that you know...but they are worth a listen.
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post #24 of 118 Old 04-27-2010, 12:58 PM
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I agree on the point that they are not high definition audio as you are creating. But on the other side of the coin if the old recordings were good out to 20 kHz, that is great. Most redbook CDs suffer from clipping at upper frequencies and could benefit from a higher resolution format. We know we can't get better than the original analog format, but we'd like to get as close to it as we can get! I do recognize there is a point of diminishing return, but redbook is not it.
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post #25 of 118 Old 04-27-2010, 01:08 PM - Thread Starter
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Thank you so much for posting your reply without the usual rants that I get from analog/vinyl advocates. Either I'm getting better with my responses and arguments or you've thought about this too. I'm all for getting beyond the CD...that's why AIX Records has never released a compact disc.

I've been a music lover, audiophile, audio engineer and producer for a very long time (over 30 years) and I appreciate the qualities that make music recordings great from all eras. But I've discovered a way to deliver a music performance that eclipses everything I've heard before...and now I can do it with video.

As for making the disc function without a video monitor, I haven't worried very much about that. If you have a BD player dedicated to audio only, you're way ahead of me. Of course, there is a button the remote control that turns off the video feed if you prefer.
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post #26 of 118 Old 04-27-2010, 02:57 PM
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You are welcome. I too am an engineer (not audio or electrical). I can appreciate the purest audiophiles notion that anything digitized is an approximation of a pure analog waveform, however, I also appreciate the intense effort and care it takes to keep a catalog of vinyl in pristine condition. I'd much prefer a pure audio BD3.0. I'd settle for SACD. I also appreciate that for the consumer there is a point in both audio equipment and format where an economical point of diminishing return is reached. Some never reach that and can spend literally thousands if not tens of thousands producing the best audio. Others, like myself, are a little more economically constrained and prefer the 99.73% answer (3 sigma).

As I said in my first post. I applaud your efforts and hope other recording companies follow. I'd love to see a BD audio standard.
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post #27 of 118 Old 04-27-2010, 03:20 PM
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can't wait for these to start rolling out. I recieved the demo with my BDP-83SE and the recording quality is second to none. Been checking your website periodically for the past few months for more info.

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post #28 of 118 Old 04-27-2010, 03:29 PM
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I'm also very surprised that this idea hasn't caught on like wildfire. This is one of the first things I thought of when BR and HDDVD were first coming out. I guess maybe the industry is just in too bad of shape to be spending money on r&d for this.

Most people listen to music on crappy headphones anyways, so this would be of no use to them.

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post #29 of 118 Old 04-27-2010, 06:34 PM
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Quote:
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I'm also very surprised that this idea hasn't caught on like wildfire.

It has......................................... in classical music where there is a vigorous flow of new opera, ballet and some concerts. Hmmm. Does that seem like what happened with SACD?

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post #30 of 118 Old 04-28-2010, 01:26 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dr. AIX View Post


As for making the disc function without a video monitor, I haven't worried very much about that. If you have a BD player dedicated to audio only, you're way ahead of me. Of course, there is a button the remote control that turns off the video feed if you prefer.


If you want to win over the audiophile/vinyl/SACD people you simply HAVE to program the discs that they start playing at once without having to switch on a monitor. Many people have a seperate music system without monitor, others only have a projector that they do not want to fire up just for chosing the audio stream. There are already music BDs that work that way using the colour buttons on the remote (http://www.pureaudio-bluray.com/). And it works on every BD Player. I doubt that there will ever be a dedicated BD Audio Player.
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