Contents of This Newsletter

AIX Records Newsletter Continues

AIX Records Has A New Website!

AIX Records Has A New Website!

new website It's been over ten years since AIX put up our original website. Since that time we've added a lot of new products, received lots of wonderful customer feedback, garnered industry recognition/awards and impressed a number of prominent reviewers, which weren't included in the outdated design…we were way overdue for a makeover.

While the new site is not perfected yet and still remains a work in progress, I'm very pleased to finally bring it online. I've personally labored for many, many hours designing, researching, writing and implementing this new site. It includes a scrolling navigation system and mega drop down menus so that you can access any product easy and directly. It includes music samples for every product and videos for most. There are reviews, customer comments, features lists and lots of articles about high definition audio and related topics.

Please enjoy the new site and the resources that it offers. Come back often and please help us spread the word about our new site and our amazing products. If you encounter any major problems (of even minor ones), please feel free to write to me or submit a comment on the FEEDBACK page. I welcome any and all feedback.

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AIX Records Christmas Specials!

Buy Two and Get One FREE!*

AIX Records Christmas Special Christmas is here, our new website is finished and our new Blu-ray titles are finally coming out! It's time for a Christmas special. This time we're repeating our very successful "Buy 2 and get 1 free" special.

*Simply purchase $200 worth of AIX Records discs (very close counts too) and then select another $200 worth for free! The free discs will be sent free of charge (including no extra shipping costs).

Those of you who have taken advantage of our past specials know that you have to identify the free disc(s) in the COMMENTS section of the order form. I do not have the ability to create a custom eCommerce modification to handle this offer. Of course, please feel free to contact us by phone (800) - 668-4249 (U.S. Only) and we can assist you directly.

Instructions and additional information on our special Christmas Special offer.  Check it out here.

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New Blu-ray Products: Delays and Delivery

mozart_cover In June of 2010, AIX Records captured the 3D video and HD-Audio of 8 artists including Rita Coolidge, Mark Chesnutt, The Old City String Quartet, James Walker and Free Flight, Bryon Pezzone, Laurence Juber and The AIX All Star Band. We managed to hustle the world's first 3D Music Album™ into the marketplace in August of that year. It was the first Blu-ray 3D disc to feature live human beings rather than animated characters. But since that time, we have not completed any of the other titles due to technical complications caused by a shift from Javascript to HDMV authoring [technical talk that allows the Sony PS3 player to be compatible with our titles]. So I've waited and waited all these many months…and many of you have been waiting as well.

Finally, after more than 18 months, I can report that things are moving forward again. The Mozart 3D Music Album by the Old CIty String Quartet is being reauthored. I have seen a preliminary version and it's working. There are only a few bugs but I expect it to be ready within about 4-6 weeks. At long last, out second disc in the Blu-Ray 3D format will be delivered.

You can check out our Blu-ray 3D titles at our website. Mozart 3D Music Album™

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The Absolute Sound Loves AIX Records!

mozart_cover Andrew Quint, one of TAS's senior editors, came to AIX Records studio this past summer and spent an hour or so sitting in our main studio listening to some of our recent work. He was researching AIX and myself for a feature article that came out in the December issue of the magazine. When I got the preliminary article I was floored by his reaction to our immersive HD-Audio surround music recordings.

The end of his first paragraph reads, "…the multichannel audio, emanating from five B&W 801 Matrix III loudspeakers, is quite simply the most realistic and involving instance of recorded sound I can recall, from any source format. Mark Waldrep knows what he’s doing."

You can check out the article Click Here

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Feature Article

Mark WaldrepA Year End Wrap Up In Audio

by Mark Waldrep, Ph.D.

Trends In Audio as 2011 Ends
I'm a lifetime member of the self-proclaimed "largest audiophile society in the world", the Los Angeles and Orange County Audio Society headed by the ever ebullient Bob Levi. Last weekend we all gathered at the Buena Park Holiday Inn for the annual gala…a chance to hear from industry luminaries, eat from the buffet, hand out awards, mingle with the 2011 Miss America winner and participate in a serious raffle for donated hardware and software.

This year John Atkinson, the editor of Stereophile, bassist and recording engineer, was invited to offer his take on the state-of-the-audiophile industry. However, as it turned out he had very little to say about the recording/music industry. Instead he performed a couple of very clever tunes after losing a bet to the society's president. I've seen John perform a number of times but this was clearly special. But given the short shrift that he gave to the topic at hand, I thought I would provide my own assessment of the trends and realities I perceived to be relevant to audiophiles and music lovers over the past year.

This was the year that two diametrically opposed trends occupied the main stage of the audiophile arena: vinyl and computer music. The number of serious music consumers that are purchasing and playing vinyl records, the number of bands that are issuing them and the number of labels releasing them continued to grow through 2011. It's true that vinyl occupies less than 1% of annual records sold (according to the CEA), it remains a popular format among audiophiles that yearn for the euphonious sound of the past. In spite of the excessive costs of turntables, phono preamps and vinyl records, the incontrovertible "standard definition" nature of vinyl's fidelity and the incessant tweaking that users must do to ensure accurate playback of vinyl, the format underwent a resurgence during 2011.

I read a piece by one of the main audiophile writers that stated that a high definition, digital recording would sound better when mastered to vinyl. This is just plain hogwash! I will agree that the sound of vinyl recordings when done right can be very pleasant and emotionally engaging…but to state that reducing the dynamic range, frequency response and increasing the distortion, crosstalk, speed fluctuations and noise floor is an improvement over the existing HD-Audio master is where audio journalism enters the twilight zone [which it frequently does] in my opinion. My plea is for all audiophiles and music lovers to appreciate each format for what each offers and not make blanket statements that fly in the face of reality.

Computer music is misnamed. In reality, it should be called digital music, which exists independently of physical media. The era of music servers is upon us as evidenced by the sheer numbers of these remarkable machines on display at the Rocky Mountain Audio Fest and other audio shows. The venerable compact disc is coming to the end of its product life cycle. The major labels have already stated that they will cease releasing new CDs after 2012. Music will continue to be available through DMRs [digital music retailers] such as Amazon, Rhapsody, Spotify and iTunes in highly compressed form. Other download sites offer better quality than CDs and even some exclude anything that is not a REAL HD-Audio files created using state-of-the-art HD digital recording equipment [visit iTrax.com].

Music of any quality, anywhere, anytime, on any device is the new paradigm for music consumption…unless you happen to care about the fidelity of the music you're listening to. For discerning music fans, there will still be room for SACDs and DVD-Audio discs [hybrid players from Oppo and others continue to play these older optical formats as well as the new Blu-ray format], Blu-ray music titles and even HD audio downloads. In summary, 2011 was really only about the recognition that quality/fidelity matter…awhether you want it on vinyl or through a server. I'm looking forward to 2012.

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Questions and Answers

Questions and Answers

Q. If 44.1 kHz/16-bit PCM digital is standard definition audio and your 96 kHz/24-bit recordings are high resolution, why don't you move up to 192 kHz/24-bits for the ultimate in fidelity? - Anthony DiFiore

A. I received an email recently from a customer asking why didn't AIX Records/iTrax.com use 192 kHz instead of our current top sampling rate of 96 kHz. I offered the following straightforward response. AIX Records was one of the very first record labels to capture, mix and release new HD tracks using equipment that was capable of the faster sampling rates and longer word lengths necessary to enter the world of high definition audio…namely 96 kHz/24-bits. Our release target was the new DVD-Audio format, which came out in 2000 after the success of the DVD-Video format. While most labels were simply rehashing older standard definition tapes from their archives (a practice that is still very much with us through so-called "HD download sites"), I felt it was necessary for consumers to have access to new recordings that would actually show an audible improvement over analog tape and vinyl.

The new audio-centric DVD flavor was supposed to be the replacement to the aging CD. But unfortunately, it failed due to a number of reasons not the least of which was the introduction of a competing format in the form of SACD, which was heavily pushed by Sony and Phillips (they have both ceased support of the format). However, the production path to DVD-Audio and SACD offered the "potential" for better fidelity. For advocates of PCM audio (the type used on CDs and DVD-Audio) if you wanted to produce music at higher sampler rates and longer word lengths, you had to acquire the new high resolution equipment. Unfortunately in 2000, there were very few choices. To rest of the article is located on our site Click Here

Upcoming Shows

Thiel Audio was so impressed with the demonstrations, audio quality and presentations that we gave at the summer CEA/AXPONA show last June, they invited AIX Records to share an exhibibition space at the prestigious CES show in Las Vegas. The show goes from January 10-13, 2012. The Thiel Audio space is located in the Venetian Meeting Rooms [Bassano 2601, Bassano 2602, Bassano 2603, Bassano 2605]. They are partnering with Bryston electronics. I will be playing back our software from an Oppo BPD-95 state-of-the-art Blu-ray player. If you're at the show, please make an effort to come by and listen to REAL HD-Audio through a great system.


AIX Records, JVC, Dolby Laboratories, B&W, Oppo Digital and DH Labs are bringing state-of-the-art surround HD-Audio and 3D Video projection to Jacksonville, Florida during the next AXPONA show, which will be held next March 9-11 at the Four Diamond Omni Hotel. My good friend Steve Davis has held the largest ballroom in the hotel [Salon D] for our demonstration and information sessions. If you want to escape the winter and experience some of the finest audio on the planet, you should come to the AXPONA show. See and hear why we had visitors lined up down the hall in New York City last June.


Customer Feedback

"I have recently (a few months back) discovered your products and I can't write you enough good things about them. I'm blown away not only be by the extraordinary quality of your recordings but also by your approach - absolutely nothing else available can compare. They are truly unique and as such deliver a truly unique listening experience. The details, the intimacy, the presence, the life-like [sound]are all unbelievable. Every person who walks in my dedicated home theatre is exposed to your unique recording world. It not only dramatically shows the quality of a an audio system but also what could be obtained and enjoyed in a broader fashion if sound engineers were dedicated and knowledgeable as you are. I thank you very much for your work and for sharing it."

Jean-Claude Benoit - Sherbrooke, Qc. Canada

John Gorka Cover

"I have never purchased an AIX product before but after reading Ralph's review of the John Gorka disc I decided that I would give it a try. I paid about $13.00 postage to get the package to Australia and when I opened it I had also received a DVD audio sampler. Pretty happy with that value as the sampler is fantastic. I am blown away by the clarity of this recording. Recommended! Oh, and John Gorka and accompanying artists are bloody fantastic as well!

Customer from Downunder

Real HD-Audio Graphic

Hi, 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.

Sincerely, Gene Thayer

Carl Verheyen Cover

Let us know what YOU think!


Chamber Music Palisades

Impressive Classical Release!

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Thinking about getting your favorite music fan or audiophile a great Christmas gift? Remember AIX Records Gift Certificates are available in any value. Get the gift of HD Music or let that special someone know what you want.

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