Originally Posted by Dr. AIX
Thanks Paul for the post. I've been a music guy ever since I sat in front of a monophonic record player in Mrs. Gurie's kindergarden class listening to Burl Ives and refused to go outside for recess. I cried when I heard that recording. The magic in that voice, the songs and the essence of musical expression flowed from that crude machine in a way that really got to me. It may be hard to believe but my parents searched long and hard for that album and I still have it today. In fact, it's sitting right in front of me right now. Capt. Burl Ives' Ark [DL 8587] featuring such notable tunes as Bongo and His Baboon Drum, Old Moby Dick and my personal favorite Old Doctor Wango Tango.
I got the same magic from my Dad's old monoaural records in the late 50's and was really lost when I received a new Garrard Stereo Record Player in the early sixties. I used to lay on the living room floor with one speaker on each side of my head listening repeatedly to the Beatle's Something New and the Sounds of the Strategic Air Command [stereo records were hard to come by]!
I learned to play the guitar and piano during my teenage years, came to California to be a rock star and ultimately found myself in music school studying the string quartets of Elliot Carter and the electronic music of Mort Subotnick...both of whom I worked with! Again, it was music...especially the music of J.S. Bach [he and I share the same birthday although several hundred years apart]... that brought intellectual and emotion satisfaction. I cried again. I've written two symphonies, lots of chamber music and completed the first doctorate from UCLA in electronic music.
I've been an audio engineer for almost 30 years now. I've had a rim-drive 3 1/4" reel to reel recorder/reproducer, a 4-track Dokoder, a 16-track 3M 56 machine, a stereo IV-S Nagra and now a 36 track Euphonix R-1 capable of 96 kHz/24-bits. Maybe I should I feel like the old guy that longs for the "good old days" but I find myself doing things that are all about the future...and it's exciting everyday!
So you're right...AIX Records hasn't yet broken even much to the chagrin of my very supportive wife [she's the accountant for AIX]. The thought of generating a profit [isn't that what being an entrepreneur is all about?] seems like a pipe dream. Luckily, I have lots of other clients and full-time teaching gig to pay the bills. I chose to produce the recordings that I do because there is so much more potential in the reproduction of music than we're currently getting. And I won't complain if we someday sell 10,000 copies of something [John Gorka's The Gypsy Life is on the launch pad for this summer and may be our biggest yet...check out the audio samples on the web site...I've cried listening to his songs too].
And I continue to spend my weekends and evenings editing, mixing and authoring my products because I get emails and phone calls almost evey day from supportive customers:
"My overall impression: These are fantastic quality recordings." and my favorite lately...
"All I can say is "Wow". Even on my fairly modest system, the sound is startlingly lifelike. It's a rare occasion to find products that not only live up to the hype, but exceed expectations as much as these discs."
I take every opportunity to spread the message about HD Surround Music by demoing for one set of ears at a time...and listeners are always amazed. However, the mainstream audiophile mags, the equipment manufacturers and most supporters of "high end" audio are bound up with the commercial needs of advertisers, the available library of CDs, reviewer salaries etc. and have to sustain the status quo to remain in business.
I'm trying to imagine an end to the world of the compact disc [25 years is a long time for a particular playback technology] and know that one piece is the fuel that goes in the tank...AIX Records is an oil company producing a few precious gallons of high octance racing fuel every year. For people that like to go fast and have their systems perform...we pump the right stuff.
I will not settle for MP3 quality, I will not start releasing CDs...I will continue to push the envelope and maybe, just maybe enough people will start listening, talking to their friends, writing to the editors of Stereophile and Absolute Sound letting them know that there is life beyond stereo vinyl and CDs.
I've gone on too long...especially on a day when the work load is too high to spend ranting about audio fidelity and my obsession with it. Thanks for the bandwidth and again thanks to everyone at AVS for the support.