Friday, November 2, 2007 - REAL HD Audio Downloads Have Arrived

It's actually our soft launch but I would encourage music fans that appreciate great fidelity and surround music mixes to check out the new site. Yes, it's taken a lot longer to complete than we could have possible imagined but it's finally here. is a place to check out music that has been recorded specifically for the HD Audio consumer. These are not tracks that have been upcoverted from earlier standard definition analog or digital tracks, these were recorded with the musicians present at 96 kHz/24-bits and then mixed in three different versions. You can choose to listen in stereo or two different versions of 5.1 surround...stage or audience.

The site also allows you to select the quality level of the downloads between PCM and MP3. It's worth taking a look. I'm very open to suggestions or please let me know what you think.

Saturday, April 21, 2007

Music: Better With Or Without Video?

My little audiophile label records our projects in a single session. There are no overdubs or later processing of the tracks to correct mistakes or replace less than perfect performances...we capture real music making. Because of this single session methodology, I have brought video equipment into the auditorium during virtually all of the recording sessions. In the beginning it was pretty basic videography, no fancy lights, no set dressing or even camera operators. Things have changed in the past two years, however, I shoot all of the sessions with HD Video equipment, have real lighting [although not the concert arena look and feel]. Because we release our titles on DVD, it seemed natural to include the video of the music making...and we do.

My question is this. Do music fans like to experience the music alone or do they embrace the idea of having the performance on their video monitor, plasma or big screen projection? It takes a lot of extra money and time to capture the video, edit it and sync it up with the audio. Perhaps I should just think like a traditional label and put out music only. It certainly would save a bunch of effort.

Sunday, April 1, 2007 Promises First REAL HD Audio Downloads

I have spent the better part of the last 7 years recording and releasing HD Surround Audio on DVD-Audio/Video discs. My small label AIX Records didn't have a "back catalog" to exploit when DVD-Audio was introduced so I had to go out and create one. As of 2007 we've recorded 58 album projects. All of them were recorded using HD Audio recording equipment and a philosophy of recording that is non-traditional. I bring all of the musicians into an acoustically rich performance space and let them perform for each other [and for our microphones]. There's no live PA system, no audience, no isolation booths, limited use of in-ear monitors and no overdubbing [adding or replacing parts later]. That combined with the purist approach we use during the post production phase of the projects, means that the recordings are "better than reality'.

Consumers, reviewers, and judges at competitive conferences have raved about the quality of our recordings. We sell them through our web site [] on DVD-Audio/Video discs. However, these optical disc formats are problematic for customers in distant parts of the world. So, I've been actively building the first REAL HD Surround Music download site. It's still a couple of month off but will allow visitors to search, select, audition and download new HD Audio recordings according to their preferences.

I'll keep you posted as things continue to develop, but the future is looking good for those interested in HD Audio. I expect to launch iTrax in June of this year.

Saturday, March 24, 2007

Defining HD Audio

I recevied an email yesterday from a member of the Intel "Platform Architecture" area asking about my definition of HD Audio. As you may or may not know, Intel is very big in this space and if you google HD Audio you will get a whole lot of search results that point to them. However, there seems to be some imprecision as to the definition of HD as it applied to audio. I thought it might be useful to express my frustration with the terminology and application of HD as I currently see it.

FIrst let me ask a question? What does "HD Radio" stand for? If you answered that it mean "High Defintion" radio, I would not be surprized. The good folks behind this technology [iBiquity] want you and I to believe that there are delivering a completely revolutionary form of radio that is capable of high definition. It is most definitely not high definition...or even close. The digital sidebands that they use to create KLOS-1 and/or KLOS-2 along side there main analog transmission are created from a digital bandwidth of 96 kbps [kilo bits per second]. They do use a new codec to improve the quality of the audio but the quality of the signal is barely as good as the worst quality MP3 download that you can get from Napster or iTunes. Even if you grant them the possibility that the music is "CD Quality", that stills falls far short of the new high definition or high resolution standards.

So I would ask of anyone that trips across this blog. What is HD Audio? I'll give my take on the definition in the next post.

Saturday, December 9, 2006

Welcome to the world of HD Surround Music!

My name is Mark Waldrep. I founded and run a small media label that speciailizes in recording and releasing music that can elevate your listening experience beyond anthing that you've ever heard before. AIX Records is the name of the label that I started about 7 years ago. The thing that makes our tracks different than the stuff that you hear on the radio, on your iPod or even on your CD player is that we don't follow the usual recording studio techniques [I teach the subject at a SoCal university and have worked in professional studios for years]. Instead AIX Records captures "live" performances using multiple stereo pairs of microphones in a performace space...but without any audience. We mix the results in a couple of 5.1 surround sound perspectives and make them available on DVDs. I think we're the only label on the planet that doesn't release anything on CDs...they just can't deliver the kind of fidelity and immersive experience that has won AIX Records a loyal following and lots of awards.

I'm completely new to the world of blogs...although I do know what they are. This one is going to be my opportunity to share my passion for music, my desire to advance the art of recording through new technologies and spread the word that the music industry is not the end all, be all of recorded music.

If you're curious can visit and get ahold of our FREE sampler. One listen and I think you'll find that music in surround and high definition is the only way to go.