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Special AVS Deal From AIX Records - Page 17

post #481 of 595
Also, Gary Reber of Widescreen Review is planning to produce a HD Video/Hi=Rez Surround Jazz Blu Ray in November. He reviewed several AIX projects in May Widescreen Review/ Guess we know where he got his inspration to go back in the studio.
post #482 of 595
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dr. AIX View Post

I put together the summer newsletter from AIX Records yesterday and let readers know about a "Buy 2 Get 1 Free" deal. You can get the details at the SPECIALS section of the site.

I'm writing a lot at the iTrax.com Community/Front Page about issues of interest to this group. If you want to stop by, it would be much appreciated.

I'll post the full newsletter on the AIX Records site.

I s this still available?
post #483 of 595
Ned, it was as of 10 days ago.
post #484 of 595
Thread Starter 
The special two for one deal is no longer happening. It's our normal give readers of this forum the Hi Res Sampler for free...just mention it in the comments section.
post #485 of 595
Dr.Waldrep, which DVDs that were shot in HD will be coming out on Blu-Ray? Also do you have release dates for some of the other discs that were recorded at the June 2010 sessions?
post #486 of 595
Thread Starter 
We'll be releasing all of the HD shot DVD products on Blu-ray throughout the next year. The first will be Ernest Ranglin and Albert Lee.

It also seems that we've solved the problems with the 3D Music Albums that has kept more of the June 2010 sessions from coming out. The Old City String Quartet performing Mozart will be available (finally!!!) in January. We also have BD-Rs of the 3D Music Album Sampler disc.

I started another thread about our new web site...completely redesigned and re-engineered. I worked insanely hard on this and am quite pleased with it (I cannot afford to hire a company to do the work at $100,000 plus).
post #487 of 595
According to the AIX website, their Blu ray disc's HD audio is encoded in Dolby True HD (rather than the more common DTS HD Master Audio), and cannot be played back with a PS3, and therefore the legacy audio will play instead.
I have a PS3 60GB, AKA the original fat', that is set to output Blu ray HD audio via PCM over a high speed HDMI cable to my Marantz AV7005 prepro. Wouldn't this method be able to transmit HD audio in lossless' form?
post #488 of 595
Thread Starter 
My understanding is that the PS3 can pass along the Dolby THD stream via an HDMI output. I know there's problems with the 3D Blu-ray discs.
post #489 of 595
By 'Dolby THD stream' do you mean bitstream?

The newer 'slim' PS3 can bitsteam HD audio, but the older 'fat' model like mine cannot. It must convert to PCM in the player first.

So, my original question remains. It would seem to me that converting one of AIX's Blu ray's Dolby True HD audio to PCM in a PS3 would preserve the lossless feature, correct? Is there anyone out there who has done this?
post #490 of 595
Quote:
Originally Posted by Skimanfz1 View Post

By 'Dolby THD stream' do you mean bitstream?

The newer 'slim' PS3 can bitsteam HD audio, but the older 'fat' model like mine cannot. It must convert to PCM in the player first.

So, my original question remains. It would seem to me that converting one of AIX's Blu ray's Dolby True HD audio to PCM in a PS3 would preserve the lossless feature, correct? Is there anyone out there who has done this?

The PS3 will unpack the TrueHD or DTS equivalent into PCM and send it out to the receiver/pre-pro as MCH LPCM. It does not matter at all (except for what it says on the display of the receiver/pre-pro) whether the player or the receiver/pre-pro does the "unpacking".
post #491 of 595
Thread Starter 
Which means you will get the lossless original audio.
post #492 of 595
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ovation View Post

The PS3 will unpack the TrueHD or DTS equivalent into PCM and send it out to the receiver/pre-pro as MCH LPCM. It does not matter at all (except for what it says on the display of the receiver/pre-pro) whether the player or the receiver/pre-pro does the "unpacking".

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dr. AIX View Post

Which means you will get the lossless original audio.


O.K. then, I'll order the Old City String Quartet Blu ray (among others).

Mark, may I suggest you update your website? While the PS3 may not be thought of as a reference music playback device, there are over 50 million out there.
post #493 of 595
I don't disagree that recording new sessions in digital 192/24 is the way to go.

What I do disagree with is trying to say that as a result of that, no one should buy a 192/24 or 96/24 release of a session that they love that was recorded in the past on analog equipment.

Yes, it may make it harder to convince the disbelieving that there is any benefit to the newer medium, but is that a sufficient reason to deny ourselves better copies of music we've come to love?

The disbelievers will always be among us. Thinking that they'll see the light if only there weren't hi-res releases of classic albums is delusional. I've read debates here with trolls - and debated trolls myself - who claim that 'lossless audio" is a fraud, and that blind A/B tests can't be trusted. There's no convincing those who don't want to believe.

It seems to me that's putting the commercial needs of a new medium before the needs of culture. It also sounds like sour grapes to try to denigrate the appeal of a competitor that has access to a catalog of music that people love, by calling it a rip-off to sell people high-quality transfers from the masters of those albums.

What Dr. AIX and the Real HD Audio group are saying is no different from saying that it's a rip-off to sell Blu-ray releases of classic movies, and that only films shot with HD TV cameras are worth having on Blu-ray.

By that reasoning, the Star Wars Prequels are more worthy of owning on Blu-ray than the original films.

It also ignores the varying levels of fidelity achievable with analog equipment. Not all analog masters were made with tape running at 7.5 or 15 inches per second - some ran at 30.

To say, in essence, that nothing recorded with analog tape is worth having a high resolution copy of ultimately cannot be accepted.

The quality of the composition and the performance of a piece of music are far more important than the vessel they're contained in - and I am a fan of lossless audio who listens to SACD, DVD-Audio, and Blu-ray lossless tracks, and recently spend days learning how to burn a DVD-Audio disk so I can listen to downloaded 192/24 tracks through my Denon rather than my laptop.

Despite Marshall Mcluhan's assertion to the contrary, the medium is not the message.
post #494 of 595
Quote:
Originally Posted by Skimanfz1 View Post

So, my original question remains. It would seem to me that converting one of AIX's Blu ray's Dolby True HD audio to PCM in a PS3 would preserve the lossless feature, correct?

Just to be clear - lossless refers to a type of data compression. PCM is not compressed and thus it is not correct to call it lossless.

A recording begins as PCM. It is compressed losslessly using TrueHD in order to save space on a disc. Then it is decompressed, producing the exact same PCM that was fed into the encoder in the first place. It doesn't matter whether the decompression happens in the PS3 or later in an audio processor. The resulting PCM is identical either way.
post #495 of 595
Philnick - I think the analogy to classic movies is not necessarily valid. Film has a higher resolution than HD cameras. So, making a 1080p copy of an old film will be just as good as a 1080p release of a modern one. That may not be true with a high res copy of old analog music recordings.
post #496 of 595
Just as tape has varying levels of quality, so does film. Take a look at the Blu-ray of Woodstock, which was shot on 16mm film. It's quite grainy, and not significantly sharper than the DVD. (The sound, however, is a lot better, as it is not limited to lossy Dolby Digital.)

In fact, even with 35mm or 70mm film, nighttime scenes tend to be grainy because they're shot using "faster" (more light-sensitive) film that uses larger light-sensitive molecules, unless they were shot "day for night" using normal film in the daytime and then printed very dark.

I have to take issue with objecting to calling PCM soundtracks lossless. As the originals that the lossless compression codecs preserve, they're equal in quality to Dolby TrueHD and DTS HD MA. They may not be compressed, but they're certainly not lossy!

Only a linguistic purist would object to applying the shorthand "lossless" to PCM - it deserves to be classed with the lossless rather than the lossy methods of putting audio on a disk.

PS Since my amp lets me duplicate the front stereo pair through the surrounds, I often will do that in preference to listening to a faux surround track on a disk: the decades-old Paul Simon Philadelphia concert on DVD (with the One Trick Pony band of top session musicians) gives that choice, and the stereo PCM track sounds a lot better than the DTS faux surround track created from the stereo master which has a "hollow" sound caused by the addition of out-of-phase copies to the original in an attempt to extract room ambience - from hot close miking of each instrument that by definition contained none - to create the surround channels. (That technique might work with a true binaural recording, but not with a stage mix.)

That was shot on standard-definition videotape but it's still well worth watching. The same applies to Little Feat's Skin it Back concert DVD from the same era.

It's the music that matters!
post #497 of 595
Quote:
Originally Posted by Philnick View Post


Yes, it may make it harder to convince the disbelieving that there is any benefit to the newer medium, but is that a sufficient reason to deny ourselves better copies of music we've come to love?

Mistaken conflation, or purposeful to support your position?

You start with the sampling/bit-depth issue but quickly move to the medium itself. True, there are digital deniers, but if I see someone selling multiple versions of content .. originally recorded in analog .. with increasingly higher/deeper rates/bits ... and with escalating prices. Well, caveat emptor.

Jeff
post #498 of 595
This is the comment I objected to:
Quote:
Originally Posted by Philnick View Post

What Dr. AIX and the Real HD Audio group are saying is no different from saying that it's a rip-off to sell Blu-ray releases of classic movies, and that only films shot with HD TV cameras are worth having on Blu-ray.

Many of the classic films released on BD are higher resolution than 1080p HD cameras. That is not true of old analog audio recordings. There are, of course, poor quality old films are high quality old recordings. But your overall characterization seems inappropriate to me.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Philnick View Post

I have to take issue with objecting to calling PCM soundtracks lossless. As the originals that the lossless compression codecs preserve, they're equal in quality to Dolby TrueHD and DTS HD MA. They may not be compressed, but they're certainly not lossy!

Only a linguistic purist would object to applying the shorthand "lossless" to PCM - it deserves to be classed with the lossless rather than the lossy methods of putting audio on a disk.

Why call something by the wrong name? People have a hard enough time understanding audio codecs and processing. Misusing terminology simply adds to confusion. Skimfanz1's question indicated he doesn't understand the relationship between PCM and lossless/lossy data compression. Hence my post.
post #499 of 595
Quote:
Originally Posted by pepar View Post

Mistaken conflation, or purposeful to support your position?

You start with the sampling/bit-depth issue but quickly move to the medium itself. True, there are digital deniers, but if I see someone selling multiple versions of content .. originally recorded in analog .. with increasingly higher/deeper rates/bits ... and with escalating prices. Well, caveat emptor.

Jeff

No intent to conflate, but why worry that people will be "confused" by the existence of HD reissues of analog masterpieces otherwise? It only poses two possible dangers:

1) Dilution of market share by tempting consumers with better copies of lots of music they already love, and
2) Support for the deniers.

As #1 is not a valid complaint to anyone who doesn't have a financial interest in new recordings, that leaves #2, which is what I addressed.

Are you sorry you bought your SACDs of:

Allman Brothers: Eat a Peach
Dire Straits: Brothers in Arms
Elton John: Goodbye Yellow Brick Road
Honky Chateau
and
Madman Across the Water

Pink Floyd: Dark Side of The Moon
Rolling Stones: Between the Buttons
Doobie Brothers: Takin' It to The Streets
Moody Blues: A Question of Balance
Days of Future Passed
Every Good Boy Deserves Favor
In Search of the Lost Chord
On the Threshhold of a Dream
Seventh Sojourn
To Our Children's Children's Children
Di Meiola/McLaughlin/DeLucia: Friday Night in San Francisco

[Many of the SACDs listed on your link don't list the original recording technology. These are just those explicitly labeled there as having been recorded analog or from the era before digital.]

Not sorry you bought most of them? That's my point.

To say that getting the clearest possible versions of older recordings is a shuck and a con, and that no one should sell anything not recorded digitally in the first place, is to elevate form over content and to express a willingness to strand older masterpieces in imperfect copies.

Price, and the value an individual places on a particular recording, is another issue entirely - but there's too much categorical condemnation of selling upgrade reissues that even Dr. AIX agrees are as good as the master tapes (see his post #455 in this thread).

Crazy Aunt Terwilliger in Daniel Pinkwater's The Snarkout Boys and the Avocado of Doom, a wickedly funny "children's book" (hah!), railed against anyone listening to opera although she spent all night and day doing so herself.
post #500 of 595
Ooooh, I hate categorical condemnations.

I think we are on the same side here, but with slightly different emphases. At some point, and science can tell us what that point is, higher sampling/deeper bit-depth does not produce a better sounding digital version than the original analog recording.

Jeff
post #501 of 595
Quote:
Originally Posted by pepar View Post

Ooooh, I hate categorical condemnations.

I think we are on the same side here, but with slightly different emphases. At some point, and science can tell us what that point is, higher sampling/deeper bit-depth does not produce a better sounding digital version than the original analog recording.

Jeff

No one is claiming that the reissues are better than the masters, just that they're as good - and thus better than the CD and vinyl versions.

The Mobile Fidelity LP of Aja was better than the MCA CD, and I stuck with it until MoFi made their own CD - which let me hear the audible tape splice in the middle of the title track!
post #502 of 595
Color me confused. I thought the subject here was whether sampling rates improve audio quality. AIX takes the position that older analog recordings should not be classified HD Audio, even when released at 96kHz sampling rates. Put another way, they are saying the source material is not high resolution and putting it into a high res format doesn't change that initial limitation.

There are lots of reasons that remixing and remastering will sound better and most have little or nothing to do with sampling rates. There's a respected school of thought that says SACDs and DVD-As sound better than CDs, not because of the resolution, but because of the work done in the mastering process.
post #503 of 595
Quote:
Originally Posted by BIslander View Post

Color me confused. I thought the subject here was whether sampling rates improve audio quality. AIX takes the position that older analog recordings should not be classified HD Audio, even when released at 96kHz sampling rates. Put another way, they are saying the source material is not high resolution and putting it into a high res format doesn't change that initial limitation.

There are lots of reasons that remixing and remastering will sound better and most have little or nothing to do with sampling rates. There's a respected school of thought that says SACDs and DVD-As sound better than CDs, not because of the resolution, but because of the work done in the mastering process.

That's very true (about SACD and DVD-A mastering being a big part of what makes them better, beyond what the increased sampling rate offers).

But the question of whether a 24/96 transcription of the original master tape of a classic recording sounds better than the same mastering on a CD at 16/44 is still valid.

I'd suggest that *if* it does, then it's worth doing -- and getting in the higher resolution digital transcription.

Whether one wants to call that "HD" is a separate, and far less interesting, question, imo.
post #504 of 595
Quote:
Originally Posted by nathan_h View Post

*if*

There's the key word. Philnick seems to making the assumption that increased sampling rate *does* improve audio quality.
post #505 of 595
Thread Starter 
Wow! All this in 24 hours...and BTW Happy New Year! Let me join in for a few moments in the hopes of clarifying some of the points attributed to me and some other issues regarding the production and marketing of "so-called HD" content.

Philnick, you rightly point out that I have stated that I have no problem with wonderful analog recordings from the past on whatever format one prefers. I have been an audio engineer for 35 years, own a Nagra IV-S 2-channle analog recorder, an Ampex 440C studio 2-track deck and spent years aligning and using a Studer 24-track 2" machine. Analog audio has a place (unavoidable given the long period of masters that were recorded using it) in the mix of older releases on BD or as files for download AND it even has a place for those looking for a certain "warmth" provided by tape that some (T. Bone Burnett) regard as pleasant in new productions.

The problem is labeling tracks derived from analog master tapes as "high definition". I (and many others) regard this as misinformation and confusing at the least and outright false advertising at the worst. The essential fidelity of the master tapes is established at the time of the original sessions and cannot be materially improved after the fact. So putting the Rolling Stones or Miles Davis tracks from the 1960's into an ever larger PCM (not lossless but uncompressed) bucket at 88.2, 96, 176.4 or 192 kHz at 24 bits doesn't somehow elevate the original 50 dB of signal to noise ratio and 17 kHz of frequency response (I'm being generous here) to the potential of state-of-the-art HD PCM digital. Given the low cost of storage and the improving quality of AD and DA converters, I approve and encourage capturing older analog master tapes at "high definition" specs but the resultant recordings shouldn't be considered or sold as HD. They are standard definition fidelity plain and simple. To put out a weekly newsletter extolling the "native high resolution" nature of older analog master and then charging $20-$30 for the same fidelity as the source tape seems an overreach to me. If people want to spend their money in this fashion, I believe they should know the facts before they do so. As HiFi News and others have stated, "buying the 176.4 kHz version at $30 made no difference whatsoever in the sound quality".

I would never deny anyone their choice to purchase older classic recordings at the best fidelity possible. Just yesterday, I sat in my studio and listened to the Beatle "Love" DVD-Audio 5.1 album. While not HD, it is was fabulous!

You put your finger on it when you stated, ""sell people high-quality transfers from the master...". Great...sell them as "high-quality or higher quality"! Just don't confuse them with real HD-Audio or call them HD and I would be satisfied! I think the audio/music and professional audio engineering communities would be better served as well. This is an attempt to establish some very much needed standards to an area the is in dire need of them.

To your film analogy. I have publicly stated many times that taking my family's 1959 8mm home movies and doing a transfer (telecine) to 1920 x 1080 HD Video would not provide me with a bona fide HD version of my home movies. I would have everything that was on the source but nothing more...and the results would be decidedly not HD. There are some major studio film releases that benefit from being restored and released on BD and others that clearly don't.

I disagree that the "quality of the composition and the performance of a piece of music are far more important then the vessel they're contained in". Having worked in a facility years ago that processed old 78 rpm lacquer recordings to digital archives (special turntables, cartridges and phono preamps)...I can tell you that I would not submit myself to listening to those recordings for anything other than historical interest. The performances are, of course, important but the quality of the reproduced sound is just as important to get the magical, emotional connection that music is capable of delivering. The medium and the message are both necessary components of a successful experience.

To that point, I recall a story that a friend shared years ago of a singer in Poland that brought an audience of foreign listeners to tears during one of her heartfelt songs. One of the choked up members of the audience asked the manager of the club what the particular piece was...to which he replied, "she just sang the alphabet to you in Polish".

I don't really think we have an argument here. I encourage all analog masters to be digitized at the best possible specs and played back on the best playback systems...but I'm a very strong advocate for being transparent about the "provenance" of those recordings. They are not HD even if the delivered file has HD specs...only tracks that start with new sessions recorded in HD can deliver the true potential of the new HD formats.
post #506 of 595
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dr. AIX View Post

To put out a weekly newsletter extolling the "native high resolution" nature of older analog master and then charging $20-$30 for the same fidelity as the source tape seems an overreach to me. If people want to spend their money in this fashion, I believe they should know the facts before they do so. As HiFi News and others have stated, "buying the 176.4 kHz version at $30 made no difference whatsoever in the sound quality".

Bingo, Doc. Bingo.
post #507 of 595
Quote:
Originally Posted by BIslander View Post

There are lots of reasons that remixing and remastering will sound better and most have little or nothing to do with sampling rates. There's a respected school of thought that says SACDs and DVD-As sound better than CDs, not because of the resolution, but because of the work done in the mastering process.

Which is exactly why I only buy 5.1 SACD/DVD-A. Remixing means going back to the source multitrack tapes and going forward with today's far superior gear. For example, the Alan Parsons Project stereo DVD-A's are a joke.
post #508 of 595
Quote:
Originally Posted by Philnick View Post

The Mobile Fidelity LP of Aja was better than the MCA CD, and I stuck with it until MoFi made their own CD - which let me hear the audible tape splice in the middle of the title track!

How does the ability to hear the audible tape splice improve the SQ of a CD? I owned the MFSL Aja Gold CD and sold it as the SQ did not overly impress me. I have read that the MFSL Aja Gold CD was not one of MFSL's better CDs. I preferred the 1999 remastered version over the MFSL version.

Bill
post #509 of 595
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dr. AIX View Post


. . .

You put your finger on it when you stated, ""sell people high-quality transfers from the master...". Great...sell them as "high-quality or higher quality"! Just don't confuse them with real HD-Audio or call them HD and I would be satisfied! I think the audio/music and professional audio engineering communities would be better served as well. This is an attempt to establish some very much needed standards to an area the is in dire need of them.

. . .

I don't really think we have an argument here. I encourage all analog masters to be digitized at the best possible specs and played back on the best playback systems...but I'm a very strong advocate for being transparent about the "provenance" of those recordings. They are not HD even if the delivered file has HD specs...only tracks that start with new sessions recorded in HD can deliver the true potential of the new HD formats.

How about calling them "Original Master Recording Quality"? I don't think Mobile Fidelity would try to claim trademark infringement, considering that the term "original master recording" is "purely descriptive" - and thus cannot be owned, any more than the word "sugar" can be - in terms of trademark law.

I trust that you agree that digitizing analog masters at 96/24 does sound better than doing it at 44.1/16 both because of the greater dynamic range/subtlety of 24 bit and because the higher sampling rate avoids introducing as temporally-wide a ringing transient, by rolling off at 48khz rather than 20khz. (There's an interesting short paper on the subject from 1997 here that points out that the ringing pulse is one-tenth as wide in time with sampling at 96khz, resulting in far less temporal "smearing" of the high frequencies we use to locate sounds in space.) I suspect that the ringing energy may be part of why we find some CDs harsh and tiring to listen to.

I found that having Winamp burn a standard CD from the HDtracks stereo 96/24 sampler produced a very nice-sounding disk - not quite as spacious as writing the 96/24 tracks to a DVD-Video disk (I did it both ways, once I learned that the PCM space on a standard DVD can accomodate 96/24 stereo), but not bad.

This may account for why the CD-compatible layer of a hybrid SACD sounds pretty good - by downconverting in the digital domain, Nyquist filtering at 20khz is sidestepped.

One thing that exercise did convince me of was that my old Denon 2410 "universal" DVD player has a subtle but real warmth and depth to its sound, even on standard CDs, that my Panasonic BD50 does not. (My Yamaha amp is pre-HDMI, so I use the analog outputs of both players.) Now I want an Oppo, so my Blu-rays can sound as good.

PS I suspect that there must be something other than hiss above 20khz on good analog masters, or there would be no need for 20khz filtering, since the use of Dolby-A suppressed most hiss anyway.
post #510 of 595
Quote:
Originally Posted by Philnick View Post

...I found that having Winamp burn a standard CD from the HDtracks stereo 96/24 sampler produced a very nice-sounding disk - not quite as spacious as writing the 96/24 tracks to a DVD-Video disk (I did it both ways, once I learned that the PCM space on a standard DVD can accomodate 96/24 stereo), but not bad.

This may account for why the CD-compatible layer of a hybrid SACD sounds pretty good - by downconverting in the digital domain, Nyquist filtering at 20khz is sidestepped.

One thing that exercise did convince me of was that my old Denon 2410 "universal" DVD player has a subtle but real warmth and depth to its sound, even on standard CDs, that my Panasonic BD50 does not. (My Yamaha amp is pre-HDMI, so I use the analog outputs of both players.) Now I want an Oppo, so my Blu-rays can sound as good.
...

Why bother with a disc and transport if you already have the digital files... Just purchase a high-quality digital media streamer.
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