High Res Audio

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Michael Lavorgna Posted: Aug 25, 2014 9 comments
Three people from the Guardian, Tim Jonze, the Guardian’s music editor, Jason Phipps, the Guardian’s head of audio, and Samuel Gibbs the article's author, sat down in Graham’s Hi-Fi in London’s Islington with a Linn hi-fi and listened to a few tracks in MP3, CD-quality, and high res.

Here's what Jonze had to say:

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Michael Lavorgna Posted: Aug 21, 2014 7 comments
From the Press Release:
New York, NY, August 20, 2014 — The 137th Audio Engineering Society Convention (October 9-12, 2014, at the Los Angeles Convention Center in downtown Los Angeles) will feature a High Resolution Audio (HRA) program Friday, October 10, 2014. The direct result of a collaborative effort between the Audio Engineering Society (AES) and DEG: The Digital Entertainment Group, the HRA program will include a number of panels and sessions that address the current and future direction of HRA from various perspectives, including content creation, digital distribution, licensing of hi-res music files, archiving, subscription models, marketing/promotion of hi-res music, compatibility of playback devices and more. These panels and sessions will feature some of the brightest minds in the business as they discuss some of the most current and controversial issues concerning the rapid adoption of high-resolution audio across the industry.
Michael Lavorgna Posted: Aug 08, 2014 1 comments
O my. Talk about a dynamic duo...Two of Norway's finest singer/songwriters, Jenny Hval (we loved and still love her Innocence is Kinky) and Susanna have teamed up for what sounds to me like a concept album of extreme proportions. Intimate, jarring, noisy, lovely and challenging filled with fluids (milk, blood, honey, spit...), body parts, and enigmas (e.g. where do I end and the world begin? Or so I imagine). Jo Berger Myhre joins in on double bass and zither, and Anita Kaasbøll is the third voice you hear while everyone is credited with the effects and noise that scar these songs. Lovely.
Michael Lavorgna Posted: Jul 11, 2014 21 comments
You could write a book about The Freewheelin' Bob Dylan but I find it much more enjoyable to just listen to the album. When I saw that Acoustic Sounds had it in DSD, I jumped and boy oh boy am I happy I did. The DSD version of Freewheelin' sounds simply spectacular through the Auralic Vega DAC. It is at once immediate, present, rich, full, and vibrant. It makes the CD sound pale in comparison. If you're a fan of early Dylan, I am, and you have the ability to play DSD files, you'll want to add this to your library.
Steven Plaskin Posted: May 23, 2014 3 comments
I have always enjoyed the Linn Records’ recordings of the Dunedin Consort. The JS Bach Matthew Passion has been a particular favorite of mine.

This latest release from Linn features the Dunedin Consort, John Butt conductor and director, performing a reconstruction of the Mozart Requiem as it was performed in 1793. This recording also provides separate reconstruction of the first two movements of the Requiem as performed at Mozart’s funeral in 1791.

Michael Lavorgna Posted: Apr 04, 2014 9 comments
I looked up badass in the dictionary:
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Michael Lavorgna Posted: Mar 03, 2014 21 comments
Thanks to reader Juergen R. for alerting me to what appears to be the fact that two of the tracks from Beck's wonderful Morning Phase included in the 24/96 download from HDtracks are sourced from MP3. Juergen commented in the original DotW post:
"Besides the high compression for this kind of music, where the bass drum kicks extremely often into hard limiting and the bass notes most times also, I have recognized, that for example the Track 10 and also Track 11 of the 24 Bit 96 kHz HighRes versions are 100 % for sure from 44k1 MP3. They show all the typical 44k1 MP3 artifacts of modulating a 16 kHz low pass filter with level. So we have 2 MP3 tracks sold as 24/96 HighRes. This 2 MP3 tracks are also valid in the other releases, not just the HighRes release, All other HighRes Tracks are based on 44k1 sources with the same DR and Bandwidth, as with the CD release."
Michael Lavorgna Posted: Feb 28, 2014 14 comments
Popular music and the album. Two concepts that may have seen better days, at least if we try to connect to popular music that isn't from our youth. Perpetually renewed while we go about getting older, popular music can be hard to keep hold of over time. Beck's new album Morning Phase (Capitol) is a true album's worth of pop tunes that flow seamlessly from one to the next. At once emblematic and earthy, Morning Phase unfolds to reveal a slow growing intensity while remaining so easy to love it feels as if we've known each other for years.
Michael Lavorgna Posted: Feb 21, 2014 4 comments
"Stately, plump Buck Mulligan..." Some things are easier than others which makes some things more difficult than others. That's in no way a value judgement, it just is the way it is. Conquistador!, Cecily Taylor's second classic record on Blue Note, Unit Structures being the first, recorded in October 1966 (19 freakin' sixty six) may initially sound like music that's not very easy especially if we look at the top of the charts from that same year which included "Last Train to Clarksville" by The Monkees and "Born Free" by Roger Williams. I first listened to Conquistador! many years after its initial release, coming to it from trumpeter Bill Dixon's music who is part of Cecil Taylor's sextet here. In this context, Conquistador! is positively generous, with plenty of repeated themes to hold onto amid all of the beautiful clatter.
Steven Plaskin Posted: Feb 07, 2014 3 comments
Croz is David Crosby's new album; his first new solo studio release in 20 years. In spite of Crosby’s run-ins with the law, this rock legend has endured and has produced a wonderful solo effort with significant contributions from his son James Raymond on keyboards and vocals. A stellar group of musicians were enlisted for Croz including Steve DiStanislao on drums, Shane Fontayne on guitar, Marcus Eaton on vocals and guitar, and Steve Tavaglione on woodwinds, with Wynton Marsalis on trumpet. Also contributing to the album was bassist Lee Sklar and Mark Knopfler on guitar.
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Michael Lavorgna Posted: Jan 23, 2014 2 comments
What's the bad news? As I see it, the bad news about the fact that Mogwai's new album Rave Tapes is available as a 24/96 download from HDtracks (get it here) is the fact that Mogwai and Sub Pop don't tell anyone about it on their respective websites. What better way to promote the availability of higher quality versions of your music than to promote the higher quality versions of your music?
Michael Lavorgna Posted: Jan 10, 2014 7 comments
Miles Davis + Jeanne Morreau + Louis Malle = Smoldering hot jazz.
Michael Lavorgna Posted: Dec 27, 2013 5 comments
Some of the most outstanding musicians representing the different cultures of this part of Eastern Europe, together with the soloists of Hespèrion XXI and myself, have delved into this extraordinary historical, traditional and even modern musical heritage to study, select and perform it, thereby creating a genuine intercultural dialogue between the different cultures that have so often been torn apart by dramatic, age-old conflicts.—Jordi Savall
Voices of Memory: Bal·Kan: Honey & Blood: Cycles of Life fills 3 SACD's-worth of space, over 3 hours of beautiful, effusive, wild, and passionate music from Eastern Europe. You can read more about this wonderful collection on the Alia Vox website and I recommend reading all of what Jordi Savall has to say about it.
Michael Lavorgna Posted: Dec 20, 2013 3 comments
Ali Akbar Kahn is a master of Indian classical music. His main mojo making machine is the sarod which you can see pictured in the album cover's art. Indian Architexture is a stunning recording of Ali Akbar Khan playing his sarod with tabla accompaniment by Swapan Chaudhuri. Together they present four ragas each nearly a half hour in duration. Originally released and recorded by Waterlily Acoustics, you can think of Indian Architexture as a spiritual journey in sound, a meditation, spritely ambient drone, minimalist music maximized, background music for practical flights of fancy, foreground music for awakening, or simply L'invitation au voyage.
Michael Lavorgna Posted: Dec 17, 2013 47 comments
I think its fair to say that Charlie Hansen, Ayre's Founder and Designer, is not exactly a fan of DSD. Thankfully, that didn't stop him from offering DSD-capable versions of Ayre's QB-9, DX-5-DSD, and now the QA-9 thanks to AlpineSoft's VinylStudio DoP vinyl ripping software. What the guys at Ayre have gone and done is ripped parts of three tracks to single-rate DSD and 24/192 using the QA-9 so we can compare DSD to PCM. But there's more...

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