An introduction to audio and music: learn about volume/amplitude, frequency/pitch, and harmonic spectra/timbre.
Making a great recording is the first step in getting better sound. Learn what the pros are doing.
Ever wondered what the difference is between TOSlink and S/P DIF? Make all the right connections.
What fidelity is possible with Vinyl LP, Analog Tape, CD, DVD, SACD, Blu-ray, Files, MQA, and Streaming?.
Your system is only as good as its weakest link. How to identify and upgrade your rig without spending a lot of money.
MQA, Tidal, Deezer, Sonos…where is audio headed? Let me share some insights.
1. About the Blu-ray Demonstration Disc
3. What Is Fidelity?
4. What Is High-End Audio?
5. Music Fundamentals
6. Audio Fundamentals
7. Pulse Code Modulation: Digital Done Right
8. Direct Stream Digital: 1-Bit Upstart
9. Music Production Techniques
10. Music Formats: MP3 to MQA
11. Provenance, Definitions and More
12. Acoustics, Rooms and Speaker Location
13. Source Components
14. Preamplifiers, AV Receivers and Amps
15. Speakers and Headphones
16. Hooking It All Together: Cables
17. Multichannel Audio
18. MQA: A Solution — To What?
19. Tips, Tricks and Treachery
20. Meet the Experts
Robert Margouleff - Grammy Winning Audio Engineer
Robert Margouleff is best known for his five years as recording engineer, synthesist and co-producer on Stevie Wonder’s most legendary albums, including Fulfillingness’ First Finale, Talking Book and Music Of My Mind. In 1973, Margouleff won the Grammy for his recording of Innervisions.
Robert Stuart - Chairman and Technical Director - Meridian Audio
J. Robert (Bob) Stuart was born in Belfast, Northern Ireland in 1948. He received a B.Sc. in electronic engineering from the University of Birmingham and an M.Sc. in operations research from Imperial College, London. In 1977 he co-founded Meridian and is now chairman and technical director of Meridian Audio. His recent work includes the co-invention of MQA (Master Quality Authenticated).
Ken Caillat - Grammy Winning Record Producer and Engineer
Ken Caillat is an American record producer, audio engineer, and writer best known for his work with Fleetwood Mac’s Rumours album, the third largest selling recording of all time.
Industry luminaries including: -
Andreas Koch (Playback Designs), Richard Schram (Parasound Products), John Siau (Benchmark Digital), Brian Lucey (Magic Garden Mastering, Gavin Lurssen (Gavin Lurssen Mastering), Sam Berkow (SIA Acoustics), Bob Hodas (Bob Hodas Acoustic Analysis), Jonathan Reichbach (Sonic Studio), and John Keane (musician, producer, and Emmy-nominated composer)..
Introduction to Multichannel Audio
Until the late 1950s music listening was limited to monophonic recordings. The introduction of stereo radio broadcasts and LPs in the late 50s opened the door to a whole new dimension in music enjoyment. Stereo has enjoyed a very long reign as the music delivery standard and has served the artistic intent of musicians quite well. But the arrival of high-end, consumer, multichannel audio formats such as DVD-Audio, SACD and Blu-ray promise to enhance music enjoyment in ways that stereo simply cannot.
Multichannel audio has been tried before. In the 1970s, ingenious engineers coaxed 4 channels from the grooves of a stereo LP using a matrix system. Channel separation and available recordings were not stellar but those who experienced CBS’s SQ or JVC’s CD-4 “quadraphonic” hardware and software were treated to a glimpse into the future.
The next step was realized at the turn of the new millennium with the introduction of the DVD-Audio and SACD formats. These new high capacity optical discs were capable of storing 6 or more times the amount of data found on the traditional compact disc and they featured HD-Audio and surround sound. Unfortunately, consumers were confused by two competing formats and ultimately neither format gained widespread popularity. DVD-Audio and SACD were catalysts for the production of multichannel music releases. Multichannel music lovers covet the releases that were released by the major labels and were inspired by the many independent 5.1 music projects that emerged from labels like my own.
This unique disc will provide a personal guide through the world of hi-res music.
Over a dozen REAL high-resolution audio tracks from the AIX Records collection.
Setup and calibration tones to help test and tweak your system.
Instantly switch between traditional stereo and two different 5.1 mixes.
Ever wanted to compare a variety of encoding formats by simply a button? This disc has it.
Listen to several tracks before mastering and after heavy…and typical…compression is added.
Most of the demo tracks have high-definition video as well as high-resolution audio tracks. See the musicians playing.
If you don’t have a Blu-ray player, you can simply download all of the files with the included coupon.
1. Let Them In – John Gorka
2. Is It Only Me? – Hanna-McEuen
3. We Just Disagree – Dave Mason
4. My Boy Lollipop – Alana Davis & Ernest Ranglin
5. Lulu’s Back In Town – Steve March Tormé
6. Mujaka – The Latin Jazz Trio
7. All the Things You Are – James Walker and Free Flight
8. Guitar Noir – Laurence Juber
9. Shostakovich – Piano Quintet Op. 57/Movement I – Chamber Music Palisades
10. It Was A Lover and His Lass – Zephyr: Voices Unbound
11. Mozart – Overture to the Marriage of Figaro – Cristian Mandeal – G. Enescu Phil.
12. Stravinsky – The Firebird Suite/Finale – Cristian Mandeal – G. Enescu Phil.
Channel ID Test - Stereo and 5.1/7.1 Surround
Want to confirm that all of your speakers are connected correctly. Use the test tones on this disc. They are available in Hi-Res PCM, Dolby TrueHD and DTS HD Master Audio.
Speaker Balance Test - Tones To Check That Your Speakers Are Balanced
It’s important that you have identical volume coming from all of your speakers. This section provides tones to balance stereo, 5.1 and 7.1 systems.
Speaker Phase Test - Confirm That Your Speakers Are In Phase
There are pairs of in phase and out of phases tones, which enable you to confirm that all of your speakers are in phase with each other. Available for stereo and surround systems.
Frequency Sweep Test - Use Sweep Tones To Check Your Entire System
There are pairs of in phase and out of phases tones, which enable you to confirm that all of your speakers are in phase with each other.
Stereo - Listen In Traditional Stereo
Each of the demonstration tracks on the Blu-ray comes with three different mixes. There is a 96 kHz/24-bit PCM stereo mix on one of the three parallel audio streams.
5.1 Stage POV - A Stage Mix Puts You Right On Stage
Imagine yourself sitting on stage with the band members. That’s what a stage mix sounds like. The sound envelopes you from all directions.
5.1 Audience - Experience The Music From The Best Seat In The House
If being in the middle of the band or on stage with the ensemble doesn’t feel right, then hit the AUDIO button on your remote and experience an audience 5.1 mix. You choose.
Have you ever wondered if you or your audiophile friends can tell the difference between a low quality compressed MP3 file, a very good lossy file, a CD, and a real high-resolution music track? Maybe your system isn’t up to the task? Test both using the format comparison section of the Blu-ray disc. Instantly switch between any of these formats playing the same music selection at exactly the same level.
This is a waveform of the same award-winning recording from the AIX catalog. The left half is the natural dynamics of the piece and the right is the same few minutes mastered for release through iTunes and on CD. Which do you think sounds more like the live recording?
Music and Tests Available As Files
If you don’t own a Blu-ray player, the eBook version of Music and Audio: A User Guide To Better Sound will include access to the test tones and comparisons. Note: you won’t be able to instantly switch between the formats, mixes, or mastered/unmastered files without a Blu-ray player.
Mark was born in Detroit, Michigan and grew up in Birmingham. His father was a corporate pilot for General Motors and his mother a housewife. Read Complete Bio.
Dr. Waldrep has been working professionally as a recording engineer and media producer since his late 20s, having studied at the Sherwood Oaks experimental college in Southern California with Brian Ingoldsby. Click here to see some of the projects that Mark has worked on.
A frequent speaker, Dr. Waldrep has been invited to give keynote addresses all over the world including the Latin AES Convention in Bogota, Columbia and the InterBEE in Tokyo, Japan.
Dr. Waldrep is one of the leading authorities on high-resolution audio/music. He has been recording and producing hi-res productions since 2000 with the arrival of the DVD-Audio format.
Dr. Waldrep has been a university professor in the California State University system since 1978 and currently is Professor of Audio Recording in the Division of Digital Media Arts at CSUDH. To see his university page, click here.
His daily blog posts can be found at RealHD-Audio.com. Mark writes about audio, high-end systems, high-resolution music, and music production. Over 5000 people read his daily articles. Visit site.
Take a look at some photos taken over Dr. AIX’s career. Pictures of studios, seminars, and trade shows. Take a look.
A large number of videos of Dr. Waldrep can be found online at various trade events or being interviewed on Home Theater Geek and other webcasts. Here’s a link to a few of the more recent ones.
Carlo La Rosa
The Absolute Sound
You've created what I now consider the "Bible" of audio. I spent all last night reading your book, and I learned more in that 6 hours than knowledge gained over multiple years of reading a patchwork of other sources online.
This is a staggeringly extensive but balanced and insightful work of outstanding merit. I would not say it will become a standard in its field but THE GOLD STANDARD.
This is the first book that I've come across that lays out so much technical and practical audio knowledge in such an approachable manner. Positively outstanding!
"...at long last a respect peer who speaks with clarity, insight and unhindered by the incestuous audio press."
"Mark Waldrep knows what he's doing."