Michael Lavorgna Posted: Apr 03, 2015 4 comments
Solo is Berlin-based pianist, composer and producer Nils Frahm's gift for a holiday he invented, "Piano Day will happen on the 88th day of the year, which most of the time is the 29th of March. Piano Day is intended to be the most joyful of all holidays." Solo features Frohm improvising on a very special instrument, the Klavins M370, recorded live in one take with no overdubs. Bravo! But wait, there's more....
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Michael Lavorgna Posted: Apr 02, 2015 8 comments
the Antipodes
Unlike computers, music servers have but a few simple jobs to do—store, stream, and serve music. This seemingly simple task, easily accomplished by the even the doggiest of computers, is actually fraught with issues. Noise, noise, and noise being just three of them.
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Michael Lavorgna Posted: Apr 02, 2015 2 comments
If you read my CES 2015 Show Report Wrap, you'll have read this, "One of the most thought-provoking and convincingly awesome demo's I experienced took place in a bar at the Mirage after hours on a laptop and I cannot talk about it." Here's what I was talking about from today's press release:
Describing the vision for his new company, Roon Labs Co-Founder Enno Vandermeer said ‘Roon Labs produces software that lets music enthusiasts interact more deeply with their collections, by exploring the music, the people who composed, performed, and recorded it, and the multi-dimensional connections between them.’ Commenting further Vandermeer said ‘We are excited by the opportunity to reach a broader audience and support their choices, both in terms of music content and audio hardware. We look forward to making important partnership and product announcement to the market very soon.’
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Michael Lavorgna Posted: Apr 01, 2015 61 comments
Robert Mitchum from "The Night of the Hunter"

I was going to write an April Fools' Day post, making fun of all of the press over Tidal, Pono, and Ethernet cables but I just couldn't be funny. The fact of the matter is, the "press" no longer deals in facts, they deal in the same kind of base divisiveness that plagues our political system. If you've read any of the articles on the recent Tidal news, you'll see all manner of nonsense and misinformation thrown around as fact. And the main criticism? Rich musicians are bad and we don't want to have to pay them any more.

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Michael Lavorgna Posted: Mar 30, 2015 15 comments
Let's get right to it. Here's guest Editor, Jamie Fletcher, from a new article on HotHardware in response to Cables, Bits, and Noise: How Cables Can Make A Sound Difference:
"The article is a classic case of misunderstanding. It starts off by complaining about switch mode power supplies causing problems with RCA cables - well, yes, that can happen. Why? RCA cables are analog and provide a direct path to the audio pipeline (DACs and Amps). They are streaming AC signals, in the audible range, not digital data."
That's their opening point and it's just plain old fashioned wrong.
Posted: Mar 30, 2015 10 comments
Go to Tidal now! to watch their live broadcast on the future of TIDAL.
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Jon Iverson Posted: Mar 30, 2015 77 comments
Register to win an Audioengine B2 Bluetooth Speaker (MSRP $299) we are giving away.

According to the company:

"The audio quality of most Bluetooth products isn't usually very inspiring and their limited range can be frustrating. The B2 solves these problems by implementing the aptX codec, which is a high-quality audio converter designed specifically for audio. The B2 also has special circuitry and a precision-tuned antenna to extend the wireless range, providing much more versatility than other Bluetooth speakers."

[This sweepstakes is now closed.]

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Michael Lavorgna Posted: Mar 30, 2015 3 comments
Alan Lomax (right) with musician Wade Ward during the Southern Journey recordings, 1959-1960. photo credit: Shirley Collins/Alan Lomax Archive

Folklorist Alan Lomax spent about 60 years, beginning in the 1930s, traveling around this country and the world recording our musical heritage. From a 1991 interview with Lomax on CBS:

"The modern computer with all its various gadgets and wonderful electronic facilities now makes it possible to preserve and reinvigorate all the cultural richness of mankind."
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Michael Lavorgna Posted: Mar 28, 2015 2 comments
Tyll Hertsens has done an outstanding job in his review of the PonoPlayer. Anyone interested in learning more about how Pono measures up for use with various headphones, how it fared in Tyll's blind tests, and Tyll's answer to the question does Pono live up to the hype, I encourage you to read his review. Also, make sure to read Charles Hansen of Ayre's response where he goes into some detail about how the PonoPlayer's design makes it sound so good.
Michael Lavorgna Posted: Mar 27, 2015 4 comments
The Chopin Project is a re-interpretation of Frédéric Chopin’s music by Ólafur Arnalds and pianist Alice Sara Ott. The recording, produced by Arnalds, employs vintage microphones, analog recording equipment, non-traditional microphone techniques, and subtly prepared piano. In part, Arnalds and Ott wanted to bring "humanity" back into their recording. I think they've accomplished their goal.