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Special AVS Deal From AIX Records - Page 3

post #61 of 595
[quote=Dr. AIX]The DTS and MLP mixes both start with the same basic mix...it's only the encoding that is different. I'm not surprised that the MLP "lossless" encodes are better. QUOTE]

Even MP3s sound better when played analog out from the X-Merdian. There is a long thread on modding the card in the HTPC forum. The DACs and the preamps are a lot better than what is in most HTRs so the deck is really stacked in favor of MLP over SPDIF DTS.

I really like your mix on the Brandburg disc, especially the way you place the harpsichord in the center channel. It really adds a lot of presence.
post #62 of 595
Quote:
Originally Posted by PaulT_BC View Post

And that is what is wrong with the music and audio industry these days.

I couldn't agree more and it worries me that the industry will move in that direction with the advent and ease-of-use in "downloading" music via the internet. And putting thousands of tunes on your portable player.

I meet lots of folks who just "love" their mp3/iPod players for the "sound". I have a mp3 player too but use it while at the gym, not for serious music listening. But that just may be the issue...very few people listen to music for other than background noise while they do something else.

Just my thoughts...

-t
post #63 of 595
Thread Starter 
That's why I'm so energized by the possibilities that media servers and digital distribution represent. The audio community won't depend on the success of a particular optical disc format to receive HD Audio content...or at least they will have the potential to get it.

The other side of the coin is that the recording companies, engineers and marketing departments are all very much entrenched in producing the same old thing...over and over again. There too much compression, auto-tuning, loop generated, non-human music being pumped out. The essential music qualities of dynamics, rubato, articulation, accentuation and ensemble have long since disappeared from most main stream music.

The music "business" has been selling widgets for too long. It's time to embrace the music once again and embrace the fidelity that is possible with new HD audio technology. To see a couple very intelligent presenters claim that there is more dynamic range present when an MP3 file is played using a 500 watt amplifier rather than a 250 watt amp is pretty hard to fathom.
post #64 of 595
There was something more special about music when you had to select an LP, put it on the turntable, clean it, start playing it and then sit in the sweet spot to get the best enjoyment out of it. It was a ritual that added to the overall experience.

Now with 5.1 hi-res I have put away my turntable and LP's and am able to really immerse myself in the music - it is not something to do 'on the go'. It is a relaxing, pleasureable experience to do in your home. With the advent of multimedia servers, it is possible to do this in more than one part of your home (with mostly the same equipment).

Having always been a 'I want the hard copy' of the products I buy rather than 'I'll download it' person I have been averse to some of the newer offerings of digital downloads (purchased). Maybe it is because I am old fashioned and want liner notes, albums covers, etc. There is no reason now that the liner notes etc could not also be served up via the multimedia server as is video these days, so I guess my old tired ways will come around slowly

As far as the "recording companies, engineers and marketing departments", they are only in it for the money (don't include yourself in that generalisation Mark as I don't imagine your love of your work and the product you are selling has made you rich). I don't discount capitalism, but when the marketers and lawyers are running the companies the product will suffer........

Based on recent confusion, poor marketing/mismanagement and pure cash grabbing on recent hi-res releases (the Genesis tour / SACD's come to mind) it is showing that even when we 'do' get hi-res releases from some companies they are pandering to the "modern sound" which means (quoting you above) "compression, auto-tuning, loop generated, non-human music".

Products such as you produce are a breath of fresh air in the middle of all the pollution Now please try and convince the others in the industry and get a couple of more mainstream artists listening to what you are able to do. Many Thanks.
post #65 of 595
Thread Starter 
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.
post #66 of 595
Any plans for 7.1?
post #67 of 595
Thread Starter 
Not at this time...I'm of the opinion that we should get surround in 5.1 accepted before moving beyond that. Additionally, I mix specifically for 5.1 using stereo pairs...everything would have to be redone for a new speaker arrangement.
post #68 of 595
I have commented on AIX discs on several sites now and see there is quite a following here. All I can say is I have about 100 SACD and DVD-a titles and the AIX discs are without question the best sounding of the bunch. I also have to say Dr. AIX uses the format to it's fullest. I love the extra content put on the sets. I bought the Lowen and Navarro "Carry On Togather" on blind faith and was very happy with the purchase. I really like to listen to the artists tell how a song came about and how they got to this point their careers. Dr. AIX please keep up the good work.

P.S. There are now 2 high end stores here in Oklahoma using your material for demo after hearing the sampler discs I had with me.
post #69 of 595
Dr. Waldrep, I don't know if you remember, but we spoke briefly at EHX in Orlando. In fact, I'm in the group you're speaking to in the may issue of CEPro magazine (page 82 if you haven't seen it.) I believe I mentioned Bela Fleck & the Flecktones as a group I'd love to hear you record. Well, a few nights ago, I had the pleasure of meeting the band and was able to speak with Bela for a few minutes. I was pushing AIX pretty hard. He said they're rather frustrated with the major recording labels right now, so it could be great timing! I really hope you'll contact them. I think you'd be a great fit for each other. Here's hoping!! Either way, keep the good stuff coming!!

Graham McCollum
Wow Factor
ISF & HAA Certified Home Theater Calibrator (and certifiable audiophile!)
post #70 of 595
Quote:
Originally Posted by GrahamMc View Post

Well, a few nights ago, I had the pleasure of meeting the band and was able to speak with Bela for a few minutes. I was pushing AIX pretty hard. He said they're rather frustrated with the major recording labels right now, so it could be great timing! I really hope you'll contact them. I think you'd be a great fit for each other. Here's hoping!! Either way, keep the good stuff coming!!

I'd purchase a Bela Fleck / AIX product in a second That would be cool.
post #71 of 595
Thread Starter 
It sounds like a good idea to me...I'll try to reach out to Bela. Right now, I'm talking to Dave Mason, Colin Hay [Men At Work], Raul Malo ]The MAvericks] and Al Stewart. I'm working on John Gorka and Albert Lee right now.

Thanks for the input.
post #72 of 595
I bought a Mavericks cd for Raul Malo's singing of "Blue Moon". He sings it beautifully.
Best of luck with these people.

Frank
post #73 of 595
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dr. AIX View Post

It sounds like a good idea to me...I'll try to reach out to Bela. Right now, I'm talking to Dave Mason, Colin Hay [Men At Work], Raul Malo ]The MAvericks] and Al Stewart. I'm working on John Gorka and Albert Lee right now.

Thanks for the input.

Mark - These sound like they will be good if you can line them up - good luck, I'll keep watching your site.
post #74 of 595
Thread Starter 
Raul Malo has one of the most incredible voices on the planet...absolutely amazing.
post #75 of 595
Last night I retrieved "Nitty Gritty Surround" from a neighbor who had had it for a couple months. I listened to most of it twice and you forget how good it is. The cut "The Oak and the Laurel" is one of the best on any Aix disk, and that is really saying something, as good as they are. It is a perfect perfomance. Not a note wrong. Her voice has an icy quality and her guitar and the mandolin go great together. What stunning fidelity! Geez! When they started high fidelity just after WWII they knew not how good it could get. Driving my big front main Allison Ones with my great Tandberg receiver is great enough. Can't wait to hear it with big iron from Emotiva, especially when I add my new B-W CDM 9NTs in the rear and hear it in 4 channel for the first time. I say again, Aix Records provides the highest fidelity recorded audio I have ever heard.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dr. AIX View Post

Raul Malo has one of the most incredible voices on the planet...absolutely amazing.
post #76 of 595
Jonathan McKuen-One Step Ahead.
post #77 of 595
Thread Starter 
We've done a bunch of projects with the musicians of the McEuen family. Jonathan is an amazingly talented singer/guitarist. He played and sang on the Nitty Gritty Surround album with his dad, John of the NGDB. We did a project with him alone...the one that you refer to. Then along came Hanna-McEuen, The Brand New Opry and BNO 2.

The track "Lowlands" from the Brand New Opry is one of my favorite tracks of all time. MCA Universal dropped these guys because the only sold 150,000 albums. The business isn't what it used to be.

Thanks for the heads up. Have you checked out the sample tracks on John Gorka? His project is coming along and should be ready by August.
post #78 of 595
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dr. AIX View Post

That's why I'm so energized by the possibilities that media servers and digital distribution represent. The audio community won't depend on the success of a particular optical disc format to receive HD Audio content...or at least they will have the potential to get it.

The other side of the coin is that the recording companies, engineers and marketing departments are all very much entrenched in producing the same old thing...over and over again. There too much compression, auto-tuning, loop generated, non-human music being pumped out. The essential music qualities of dynamics, rubato, articulation, accentuation and ensemble have long since disappeared from most main stream music.

The music "business" has been selling widgets for too long. It's time to embrace the music once again and embrace the fidelity that is possible with new HD audio technology. To see a couple very intelligent presenters claim that there is more dynamic range present when an MP3 file is played using a 500 watt amplifier rather than a 250 watt amp is pretty hard to fathom.

Have you considered 5.1 24/192 recordings? I think the new HD formats can carry it on TrueHD or DTS MA. Also was looking at specs and it seems computer could transfer it using ILink audio as well as HDMI1.1+.
post #79 of 595
Thread Starter 
It's true that the sample rate can be raised to 192 kHz and some engineers are looking at 384 kHz! However, while there may be a benefit to the finished presentation of the tracks...the essential elements that create great recordings are in the process prior to the encoding and in that case it doesn't really make any difference. Having a "bucket" large enough to hold frequencies up to 96 kHz doesn't do any good if the media that you're pouring into the bucket doesn't contain any information up that high.

I sat with a prominent UK writer in London a couple of months ago discussing an article that he wrote for Stereophile on HF digital filters. As source material, he used only recordings from my catalog because they were the ONLY ones that he could find that had frequencies above 25 kHz. In fact, several had frequencies above 35 kHz....all of which can be contained within the 96 kHz sampling rate of DVD-Audio.

My point is that simply raising the number doesn't impact the final result as much as avoiding excessive frequency and dynamics compression. I'm into natural sounding tracks that can be listened to over and over again.
post #80 of 595
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dr. AIX View Post

We've done a bunch of projects with the musicians of the McEuen family. Jonathan is an amazingly talented singer/guitarist. He played and sang on the Nitty Gritty Surround album with his dad, John of the NGDB. We did a project with him alone...the one that you refer to. Then along came Hanna-McEuen, The Brand New Opry and BNO 2.

The track "Lowlands" from the Brand New Opry is one of my favorite tracks of all time. MCA Universal dropped these guys because the only sold 150,000 albums. The business isn't what it used to be.

Thanks for the heads up. Have you checked out the sample tracks on John Gorka? His project is coming along and should be ready by August.


I saw Jonathan for the first time on the Nitty Gritty Surround DVD-A. I had searched high and low for a superb audio disc of anything closely resembling the gospel/folk/bluegrass that my dad was a fan of and so I bought it for my dad's home theater. We watched it a few weeks before he passed away. My dad was amazed at Jonathan's talent. So when I listen to his work I always think of my dad, who himself was an excellent guitarist and vocalist. Yes Lowlands is my favorite. Jonathan should be glad to be freed from the shackles of MCA low rez marketing. If he puts his mind to it I am sure he will come out far better than under their control.
post #81 of 595
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dr. AIX View Post

It's true that the sample rate can be raised to 192 kHz and some engineers are looking at 384 kHz! However, while there may be a benefit to the finished presentation of the tracks...the essential elements that create great recordings are in the process prior to the encoding and in that case it doesn't really make any difference. Having a "bucket" large enough to hold frequencies up to 96 kHz doesn't do any good if the media that you're pouring into the bucket doesn't contain any information up that high.

I sat with a prominent UK writer in London a couple of months ago discussing an article that he wrote for Stereophile on HF digital filters. As source material, he used only recordings from my catalog because they were the ONLY ones that he could find that had frequencies above 25 kHz. In fact, several had frequencies above 35 kHz....all of which can be contained within the 96 kHz sampling rate of DVD-Audio.

My point is that simply raising the number doesn't impact the final result as much as avoiding excessive frequency and dynamics compression. I'm into natural sounding tracks that can be listened to over and over again.

Have you seen real recordings which contain info above 48Khz?
post #82 of 595
Thread Starter 
No, I haven't. There are mics and preamps that can pass this level of audio but the chain starts to have difficulties at other points in the chain. That's part of the reason why I'm content with 96 kHz myself.
post #83 of 595
I was looking at a rip of my own copy of Close Encounters of a Third Kind earlier. It was transferred from a master tape and seems to have info above 96Khz. Do you think this is likely real data or just high frequency noise created due to the analogue nature of the original master tapes?
post #84 of 595
Any idea when the Itrax website/downloads will be available? I think this is a great idea. It may take a while to get going, but I think there's enough of a market to really take off if the service is marketed/priced right.
post #85 of 595
Thread Starter 
A couple of things:

If there was any audio on an analog tape above 96 kHz it is bias current used to linearize magnetic recordings...not audio.

iTrax.com is coming, painfully slowly...but hopefully in about a month.
post #86 of 595
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dr. AIX View Post

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.

No, you have not gone on too long. In fact, its refreshing. We have spoken before Dr. AIx on **********.com. I`m the guy that wants you to do the CTI?KUDU label. All I can say is, hopefully, like the gentleman who wants you to contact Bela, hopefully artists that I like, George Benson, Pat Metheny, etc. will contact you!! Keep up the good work.
post #87 of 595
Thread Starter 
I appreciate the support...and thanks to all of the AVS members that have written AND been willing to take a chance on our little label.
post #88 of 595
How could I resist after that post. It was awesome.

I just ordered a OPPO 970, should be here today, and Guitar Noir from AIX records. Really looking forward to it and the sampler. What a great forum this is.

Thanks
James
post #89 of 595
Thread Starter 
Please let me know what you think...the Guitar Noir title is one of our best sellers and has won a number of awards for audio quality.
post #90 of 595
I have been waiting on cables from monoprice. They are out for delivery now. I will have it all hooked up this afternoon. I will definately give you an update. I have listened a little bit, but I havn't calibrated the new oppo yet so I can't give a good review.

Later
James
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