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Old 07-06-2007   #1
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Default Chime in on my debate with AIX Records

My friend Mark Waldrep and I have an argument going about recording quality and the cutting edge. He makes the FINEST sounding records you can buy on the highest resolution formats on the market with the most expensive recording equipment going. ANYONE who buys one of his discs (check out his website at will be pleased yet left wondering why all labels don't make music in this way. Surely, they have the resources.

Our argument is over the technolgy versus the music. My side of the arguement is that assuming you (or anyone) wanted to sell high resolution music - that the technological story of 5.1 surround, DVD-Audio or whatever format, the complicated connections etc... is tough enough to sell thus you should stick with music that people already know and want to buy. Dark Side on SACD was a perfect example. It was backwards compatable to CD, had SACD suround and sold over 1,000,000 units. Queen's Night at the Opera on DTS DVD-Audio also sold well (not as well) based on the hits on the album.

Mark's take (and I am putting words in his mouth now - feel free to chime in Mark) is that the audio quality needs to come first and people should find you that way. And on many levels, people DO find AIX that way.

In the end, what I want is AIX recording quality applied to the best of today's music and worked into back catlog music as best it can. Mark suggests that you can't make a 1968 recording sound like what he does. And he is right but if you could get Electric Ladyland or Sgt. Peppers 6/10's of the way there - would you the reader buy a copy? I would!!!

Chime in on the debate.
Jerry Del Colliano
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Old 07-06-2007   #2
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Default Re: Chime in on my debate with AIX Records

I would buy sonically upgraded versions of favorite older albums in my collection. There are many discs in my collection that are simply other mixes /releases of previously owned albums. I think the caveat here is that if I give myself a budget when shoppping for albums I personally would look at purchasing music I do not own in any form yet and then look for better versions of music I already own.
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Old 07-06-2007   #3
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Default Re: Chime in on my debate with AIX Records

I would!

I must also agree with you on AIX recordings, they are amazing sonically!

Ken Taraszka, MD
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Old 07-06-2007   #4
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Default Re: Chime in on my debate with AIX Records

Honestly, I'd settle for better recorded current tunes as a start. My back catalog seems fine in comparison to some of today's garbage. Truthfully, I feel the art of producing a solid album from start to finish is becoming lost with the advent of iTunes etc. Music, like movie theaters, has lost the feeling of occassion.

But I agree, if they can't all be winners then at least make some of the classics even better.
Andrew Robinson

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Old 07-06-2007   #5
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Thumbs up Re: Chime in on my debate with AIX Records

As Andrew says, in a perfect world, more attention needs to be paid at the very beginning of the cd release. However, this brings into account what I`ve been talking about all along, if we had ONE format, (cd, sacd, dvd - a, whatever) that probably would be made MUCH easier. However, I would definitely buy an upgraded classic from back in the day, if there was significant improvement in the sound.
But Mark makes a good point, I`m sure all the 60s and 70s stuff, might be hard to reproduce to sound like today. But if he could do it, I would buy it!!

Example, I`m jazz, soul, some classical, gospel, and soundtracks. If Mark could do something with the CTI JAZZ/KUDU label, that would be great. First of all, the lps are recorded great, thanks to one of the best, Rudy Van Gelder and Creed Taylor. Early George Benson, Grover Washington Jr. Hubert Laws, Astrud Gilberto, even Diana Krall, the list goes on.
So, yeah Jerry, I would definitely do it. Mark, are you listening!!
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Old 07-06-2007   #6
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Default 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 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.
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