musicandaudioguide
  • T.H.E. Newport Show Is Next Week!


    My university commitments are behind me for the summer. I've graded all of the final exams, read all the papers, and evaluated all of the senior projects...life is good! And next week is the Newport Audio show, which happens in Newport Beach, California from Friday to Sunday.
    This year the show has changed venues. In previous years, there were two adjacent hotels and attendees were forced to transit from one to the other to visit all of the vendors. Companies in the "secondary" location were always short-changed with regards to traffic and just about everything else. But that's changed. This year the Hotel Irvine, located at 17900 Jamboree Road, Irvine, California, will host the event.

    I've heard from Robert Stuart, one of the principals of Meridian and the developer of MQA, and hope to connect with him next week prior to the show. He's involved in a couple of panels as part of the "Audio University" talking about MQA. We agree to get together at the AIX Studios and explore the use of MQA and some of my files. The biographical statement on the Newport Show website says, "Bobís recent achievements include MQA (Master Quality Authenticated), the revolutionary British technology that brings a whole new meaning to the sound of music. No audio process in history has ever given us the full, intricate detail of a live performance. MQA goes all the way back to the original master recording and captures it completely. Every detail, every tiny drop of emotion, is authentically reproduced. This means, for the first time in the history of recorded music, music lovers are really hearing the artistís performance. Launched in December 2014, MQA is the technology future generations will take for granted."

    I look forward to chatting with Robert and hearing with my own ears the claimed merits of MQA. The hyperbole in the above statement needs to be verified. I'm sure that MQA is a wonderful technology but I seriously doubt that it will deliver sound better than what I get from my own recordings.

    And once again, I've been invited to give the keynote address on Friday morning at 10:30 am. My presentation is titled, "High-Resolution Audio Demystified" and will explore the same territory I covered during my presentations in Chicago and during the intimate sessions here at the studio. The blurb on the web site says, "The CEA, NARAS and AES have made High-Res Audio (HRA) an area of focus this year. Sony and other hardware/software vendors are entering the high-res audio marketplace and Neil Young and his Pono project raised awareness with their record breaking Kickstarter campaign. Presented by HD-Audio producer, engineer, author and authority Dr. Mark Waldrep, this seminar will explain what HRA is AND what it isnít! Avoid the spin and learn the reality behind HRA formats, how and where to get it and what hardware youíll need."

    I'll tee up the basic concepts of high-resolution audio on Friday morning and hope that attendees will retain some of the information as they hear other experts present their own sessions.

    Some of the most interesting are:

    DSD and Analog: The Great Convergence - This panel discussion on DSD will focus on the similarities between Single, Double, and Quad DSD and analog recording. Panelists have experience with both analog and DSD formats, and will be talking about their experiences with these two formats. Q&A encouraged.

    Understanding Recording Provenance: from first recording to the listener's home playback system
    - When you buy a download or disc, do you wonder how the audio was originally recorded? There several places a conversion or transfer can occur in the recording to delivery process. This panel will provide information so you will know what to ask before you make an expensive audio purchase.

    AIX Records will be selling our discs in the Grand Ballroom at spaces C08 and C09. I hope to see some old friends and meet some new high-res fans.