Michael Lavorgna

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Michael Lavorgna Posted: Feb 01, 2012 8 comments
Thanks to reader Mr. T for pointing us to this more recent and more extensive interview with Neil Young on AllThingsD.com where he expands on his distaste for the MP3.
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Michael Lavorgna Posted: Sep 16, 2013 0 comments
Yours truly penned a four-page intro to computer audio that appears in this month's Sound & Vision. This marks the first edition of the new merged titans Home Theater + Sound & Vision and it's chock full of sights and sounds to explore.
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Michael Lavorgna Posted: May 11, 2012 18 comments
I had a fairly lengthy and pleasant exchange (30 some emails back 'n forth) with reader Tom D. that began with Tom asking how he could get iTunes-based music to play through his recently purchased Marantz AV7005 AV Preamp/Processor. But that was only the beginning. While we came to a workable solution for Tom's specific situation (which I believe is rather unique so not worth getting into the details here), I found his comments in one of our most recent emails well worth sharing:
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Michael Lavorgna Posted: Apr 14, 2015 26 comments
If you ever read an article about sound quality and music and it includes "On my laptop's speakers I could not tell the difference...", I'd recommend taking everything said related to sound quality as being relevant only under those same conditions. After all, it's important to realize that any test is only as valid as the conditions under which the test was performed.
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Michael Lavorgna Posted: Feb 18, 2015 6 comments

moDernisT_v1 from Ryan Maguire on Vimeo.

When the Moving Pictures Experts Group first developed the MP3 codec way back in 1993, they didn't just base it on theories. They also listened to some of their favorite music to help determine which was the least offensive perceptual model. Listening to music was used to tweak the science. One of the tracks employed for these purposes was Susann Vega's "Tom's Diner". The above video by Ryan Maguire, a Ph.D. student in Composition and Computer Technologies at the University of Virginia Center for Computer Music, was created using the sounds that MP3 encoding (at 320kbps) discards from "Tom's Diner" while the video portion was created from the data discarded during mp4 video compression. Give it a listen.

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Michael Lavorgna Posted: Jul 25, 2013 11 comments
In his article for the NY Times, Steven Kurutz presents an interesting case for the future of high-end audio. He essentially offers up two distinct listening options; one representing convenience and poor sound quality, i.e. lossy compressed download and streaming music formats, and the other the "scratchy joys of vinyl". What Mr. Kurutz obviously misses is the growing number of CD or better quality downloads being offered by non-audiophile sites including Boomkat, Bleep.com, and Soundcloud. And if you want to find music-loving audio geeks, what better place than computer audio!
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Michael Lavorgna Posted: Jan 22, 2014 7 comments

Regardless of how you look at the data, the truth of the matter is hard drives fail. Some sooner than others which is the good news/bad news aspect illustrated by this fairly exhaustive, more so for the Seagate drives apparently, 27,000+ drive study by cloud storage provider Backblaze. While this is certainly worth a full read since Backblaze talks about specific models (hint: if you want the most reliable, pick Hitachi) the take-away point that anyone with music stored on a hard drive should take away is—Back Up Your Music!

Michael Lavorgna Posted: Dec 14, 2011 41 comments
Want to play music from your iPad or wirelessly stream through your iPad at 24 bit/96 kHz? Well you have to tether your iPad to your DAC with this dock and it's gonna cost you all of $29.
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Michael Lavorgna Posted: Nov 11, 2011 3 comments
Crazy Clown Time is filmmaker David Lynch's first official solo record and it's a doozy. Think American Gothic Blues twisted. Or maybe the home recordings of Tom Waits' crazy influential uncle. I've been enjoying it and I think you may too. But if you need more convincing...
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Michael Lavorgna Posted: Dec 12, 2012 0 comments
Larkin Grimm Parplar
Larkin Grimm's Parplar released on Michael Gira's Young God label in late 2008 is a study in simple, contained strangeness. Guitar, strings, and backing vocals all spare and sparse like a cold wind blowing over an open field. I picked up Parplar when it came out and have been enjoying its strange fruit for years. Available from Bleep.com in FLAC format.

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