On the awarding of "Product of the Year 2006" by Electronic House Magazine
Hands-down one of the no-brainer purchases in this awards line-up is the two-sided DVD-Audio/Video, High-Resolution Audio Experience by AIX for $25. If you're looking to purchase a surround-sound system, you must have this DVD to test-drive the speakers. Even if you're not in the market for a sound system, this is a must-have for the great sound-tracks and information to help you understand high-resolution audio and video.
Cindy Davis, Editor-in-Chief
Electronic House Magazine
I just had to write and tell you what you no doubt already are well aware of. The AIX recordings I have recieved so far are just exquisite works of art. They have set the bar to the current high mark of any label I have yet to own. Truly distinguished in both content, and recording quality, I feel I have discovered a little bit of heaven here on earth. Count me among the VERY satisfied customers of a company that has been producing reference standard recordings in my favorite format, namely high resolution multi channel. In a world rife with mediocrity, your efforts are very much appreciated by this music addict. I anxiously await the arrival of the new music-it is a birthday gift to myself!
Sincerely, Jay Hauptman
In a forum dedicated to multi-channel audio and surround recording , I noticed the following posting about our work. Thanks Richard!
"Speaking as someone who has listened, and frequently does listen, to Mark's recordings on a great system or two (as well as my rather ordinary home setup), I can confidently say that I regard them as some of the best recordings I have ever heard. And while I would certainly say that the coding space he uses (ie DVD-Audio) is so much more extensive than human hearing capabilities that it can happily be regarded as transparent, there is more to it than 144dB dynamic range from DC to lots and the other technical benefits of the distribution medium.
I think Mark's attention to detail in the making of the recordings, from gear right down to choice of venues and the mastering, plus excellent performers and performances, is as important as the medium. I also think that few people go so many extra miles to produce a product with such massive added value with things like video and multiple mixes. Yes, I would like him to do some Ambisonic recordings, but other than that you really can't do any better. And best of all, Mark is putting his money where his mouth is and actually releasing records.
I am extremely happy to see him doing so well having taken such a gamble. I believe people do notice the difference. I can play his stuff to people who know nothing about audio and it makes their hair stand on end. Recording is partly about communicating effectively to the listener, and I think Mark's disks do just that.
Dorian Michael - Acoustic Blues with special guests Albert Lee and Laurence Juber gets selected as one of Stereophile's "Records to Die For" in the February 2004 issue by Kalman Rubinson. It is interesting to note that among the 80+ selections, this was the only DVD-Audio disc! What he said:
I've mouthed off about this disc in my "Music in the Round" column for its marvelously detailed and warm sound in two- and multichannel, with a choice of Stage or Audience perspective on the DVD-Video side. Nice as the video-supported tracks are, it's the 5.1-channel, 24-bit/96kHz Stage mix on the DVD-Audio side that lets me fully immerse myself in the gently grooving interplay among these gifted musicians. I particularly enjoy the uptempo "Broad Street Blues," in which the players toss the lead back and forth, and their slyly loping version of Miles Davis' "All Blues." But it's all good.
Kalman Rubinson - Stereophile February 2004
Wow! sums up my feelings about The Steve Huffsteter Big Band DVD-A from AIX.
I guess I was expecting something along the lines of my recordings from Dorsey, Kenton, etc. This is more like a "Jazz Ensemble" (described on this disc as the "Rhythm Section") and just happens to have a Reed and Brass section. There are (8) tracks and the sound ranges from Huge to Intimate. All of the music is composed and arranged by Steve Huffsteter and is simply magnificent! I found Mark's mixing on this recording to be very creative on some of the tracks and enjoyed it very much. On track (2) Circles I was caught off guard when the guitar appeared in the RR channel and the piano in the LR channel. I enjoyed it very much. I think the listening experience with this disc will be very perceptual. On some songs, piano and guitar notes appeared to start in the front and end in the rear, with great effect (and no I wasn't smoking anything when I was listening). I hope this is a disc that Jake will do a full review on. This is now my favorite AIX disc. LJ got dropped one notch. This disc has such a diverse sound, I think any "Music Lover" will like it, even the Smooth Jazz man. I highly recommend this disc!
Glen Hall - HomeTheaterSpot.com
I just wanted to tell you that I have received all off the items in my recent order. All items are in mint condition. Sound quality is ab-so-lu-te-ly fantastic! Also, I really like the music AIX chooses to record. I have a broad taste of music and this will result in ordering more discs! I show them to my friends and to fellow audiophiles from the audio society in the Netherlands. Not only as examples of how good DVD-audio really can sound but also what other audio/video/ recording and artist information the format can provide to the customer.
I also admire the intelligent and comfortable way you make use of the two sides of the disc - it should serve as an example for all other DVD(-A) producing companies! Even the DVD cases which AIX uses seem to be better than those of the competition because with other shipments I receive from the US it is more or less common that some of the plastic teeth which hold the DVD in place are broken and the lid of the case has suffered a lot also during the transport (crushed corners, etc). Unfortunately, this means I have to buy a replacement disc case Wishing you all the best and I will do my best to spread the word about AIX records here in the Netherlands! Thank you and till next time!
Rene Olivier - Customer from the Netherlands
This is a no brainer easy recommendation and a "must own" to all Spotties that would like a crash course in surround sound, recording, mixing or just plain enjoying the various music represented here. Included is something for just about everyone, Classical, Jazz, Acoustic, Vocal. Browse their site and take a good look at their catalog. Remember, you only need to buy one disk to get their demo disk, or as they call it: DVD-Audio/Video Start Here Demonstration and Test Disk! Can you tell they're proud of it? I think you will be too. Happy listening.
Jerry Rich - Senior Editor HomeTheaterSpot.com
AIX does it again with another fabulous jazz album, this time with a focus on Christmas. Prospective buyers shouldn't hesitate with this album as with this album's clear, crisp, and natural audio, excellent performance, multiple spatial mixes, and synchronous video the buyer cannot really ask for more. It may be a little early to consider buying a Christmas album, but this album is great any time of year. Overall Rating: 5 Paws! (best rating is 5 paws)
Jake Greisbach Surround Audio Reviewer HomeTheaterSpot.com
Chopin - The Four Ballades
This disc is a wonderful demonstration of just what high resolution plus surround sound can bring to recording even a solo instrument. The piano sound is superb, with great impact and natural timbre. I played a couple of these Ballades in recital in college, so I can appreciate the interpretive and virtuoso skills of Ms. Chang. She may not be well known but her performances are first class. All four pieces have a wider range of expression than most Chopin, with extremes of tempo and dynamics. They were intended to tell stories in sound; not specific stories but to give that feeling of a stirring tale of courage, treachery or whatever. While the session video is basically just a stationary camera focused on Ms. Chang and the keyboard, and there is no special effort at dramatic lighting or closeups, there is plenty to watch here.
The best piano sound of all (the others from Deustche Grammaphone and Decca! MW), with great presence and natural timbre, can be heard in the six-channel "Audience" mix of all four Ballades played very indeed by Anita Chang (AIX; Performance 4 Stars, DVD-Audio 4 and a Half Stars). The DVD-Video program on the flipside of the disc provides a "Stage" mix, multi-angle session footage, notes, and photos. Robert Ripps / Sound and Vision October 2003
AIX MATERIAL IS FANTASTIC!!
I listened to Michael Dorian last night... and watched him and Albert Lee and all on this AIX disc. To me this is the future, watching and listening to great music. Now I only listened to it in DTS but it is so great to be able to see the musicians working away. This disc is really great as it gives you the ability to play along on a separate track, gives you the sheet music you can print off and Michael Dorian gives a lesson on it as well. One of the best all round DVD's for me and I haven't even heard it in DVD-A yet! AIX should run the DVD-A marketing forum. That way we would get everything on one disc rather than having separate DVD video music discs, DVD-A discs and such all marketed separately, ultimately competing with one another. Now I realize at this time, not all the info can be put on one disc, ie DVD-A and video but to me, this is the future. Higher capacity discs and we could get all ...!!
Rick5 - AudioAsylum Inmate
I just received the Brahms and Nitty Gritty Surround albums. I was blown over by the Nitty Gritty album. It is simply the best sounding DVD-A I have heard, and I now own around 75. I've posted my thoughts on some boards. I only hope it sells well and others hear it. You are doing really great stuff. Thanks.
Charlie Thomas - Customer
"After all that talk, and some fairly raucous demos courtesy of the Dolby Theater system, it was a delight, and more than a little reassuring, to spend some time with the guys from AIX and Hi-Res music talking about how to offer the most enjoyable presentation of DVD-A in two or more channels. Mark Waldrep's little demo room, sequestered in a distant tower of the Westin-St. Francis, was an oasis of pleasure. Sure, there was a video screen, but the room-reasonable, Cardas-cabled system of Meridian 800/861 DVD-A/V transport-processor, Butler 5150 five-channel power amplifier, and Piega C-8 speakers and P Sub 1 subwoofer made it easy to appreciate why AIX's Waldrep prefers his "stage" mixes to his "audience" mixes. Perhaps because of the consistency of source and system, only a few of the larger demos could compete with this little room for sheer musicality."
Michael Fremer - Stereophile September 2003
You should indeed be very proud of this title. I want to thank you for producing such a wonderful product. I have been playing this disk for the past few weeks now and am continually amazed by the quality of the recording. I think your disk demonstrates for everyone how all acoustic guitarists should be captured. The camera work with the close-ups of the fretboard and the multiple angles has been helped me add a couple of LJ's tunes to my repertoire. The lesson, guitar demonstrations and the rest of the extra's make this a highly recommended DVD. I've recommended this title to our guitar societies members. Looking forward to seeing more titles from other fingerstyle guitarists in the future from AIX.
Mark Hawks - VP Michigan Fingerstyle Guitar Society
...it's an impressive debut DVD-Audio sampler from AIX, they've obviously gone to great lengths not only to provide an exciting audio experience but also to give the listener great insight into the recording itself and the methods used. Iım certainly looking forward to hearing more from AIX and experiencing one of their commercial releases.
Stuart M. Robinson - High Fidelity Review
[NJSO]...this is an impressive piece of work from AIX and I look forward with great interest to their forthcoming releases.
Nigel Pond - High Fidelity Review
There are a couple of other tracks that really trip my musical trigger -- one is the solo piano where it sounds like you're inside the piano. The other is the a capella choir, Zephyr...Wow! Man does Mark know what he's doing with recording.
John Kotches - Editor, PC/Home Theater, Secrets of Home Theater & High Fidelity
My high end audio friend, Tony, came over today and we thoroughly explored Nitty Gritty Surround...he was tremendously impressed...he doesn't like surround as much as I do in general, but we BOTH felt you had made the right choice in choosing the stage MLP tracks for the audio side. He has plenty of money but balks at spending $24.98 for an SACD or DVD-A from other companies..but he said you had a dozen releases out (he's heard the sampler) he would go out right away and buy a player and order the dozen discs and be happy.
Believe me, coming from him, that is an ultimate compliment! Thought you would like to know.
Rad Bennett - Reviewer for TAS and Sound & Vision
Mark Waldrep, Ph.D