Re: Chime in on my debate with AIX Records
You caught my attention Jerry! So I've registered for this forum and will check in every once in a while.
My two cents. I don't really have an argument with Jerry over the issue of wanting the best artists recorded in the best possible way [and this varies depending on the type of music, commercial intent, marketing approach etc]. Having started a "no compromise" HD Audio/Video label 7 years ago, I record musicians that are world class musicians without "A" level celebrity.
Laurence Juber, finger style acoustic guitarist extrordinaire, formerly with Paul McCartney and Wings is a wonderful example. His project with us has taken some of the highest honors in the DVD and audio world...including the first and only "Demmy" from the CEA for "Best High-Resolution, MultiChannel Audio Track". The track beat out Diana Krall, Sting, Wynton Marsalis and The Grateful Dead...not bad for an "unknown artist [even AV Rev rated that disc a 9 out of 10].
This is my reality...I can only record musicians that are capable of presenting their music in a single session, are free of label commitments and restrictions AND don't want a boatload of money up front. This limits the artists that are available to our little label. Although we've recorded Willie Nelson, Paul Williams, Albert Lee, Wallace Roney, John Gorka and Carl Verheyen].
But those artist that have collaborated with us and our unique approach have become a part of a catalog of HD Surround Music with HD Video that comes as close as any recorded tracks ever will to acoustic reality. In my opinion, they are actually better than acoustic reality. And they include video, interviews, photos, lessons, discographies and lot more interactive stuff!
As for pre-existing tracks like DSOTM and A Night At The Opera...they will never be HD Audio tracks. They can't! The fidelity of the those analog recordings was locked in at the time the musicians played in the studio into an analog recorder. With mixing and mastering and safety copies, consumers never got to hear them as the musicians and engineers did. With HD Audio, we can hear everything that was there on the analog masters BUT they simply cannot approach the fidelity of new state-of-the-art mics, preamps, recorders and processors. It's a different time and the POTENTIAL exists to make better recordings. Some labels/artists/engineers do and but most don't.
The best commercially available analog multitrack machines on the planet [Studer, Ampex, Nagra] can only achieve 12-13 bits of dynamic range hardly the same thing as current 24-bit converters [which only provide a realistic 22 bits of resolution]. I'm not knocking older sources, there were many incredible recordings made by amazingly talented musicians and engineers. But making recording in this century offers more options for consumers AND producers of music.
At AIX, I took a different road. I decided to produce "no compromise surround music" in spite of the lack of a viable format, lack of interest on the part of many audiophile magazines and their readers and a very narrow market segment. That was 50 records ago. But I get emails every day from enthusiastic AIX fans pleading with me not to stop making these things. My favorite quote came from a new customer. He had waited and waited to purchase one of our releases...but when he finally did, he wrote to me and said, "Dear Mark, Finally got home long enough to listen to the Laurence Juber and Carl Verheyen Band discs. 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 had almost given up hope for the DVD-Audio format, so it's a real pleasure to see a company keeping it alive with such great music."
That about says it. We exist by word of mouth advertising...there's not budget for fancy banner ads or retail promotions. AIX recordings are the high octane fuel that allows owners of exotic automobiles to get the full potential from their Ferraris. And it costs a lot less.
With power cables costing $500 and $30K players and amps...my contention is that the biggest audible difference in your playback can be had for $25. Simply try one of our discs.
Time to go back to work. Later.