Industry Voice

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Michael Lavorgna  |  Jan 16, 2013
Elliot Mazer (left) & Neil Young

Elliot Mazer's resume reads like a small army of overachievers. Grammy-award-winning Record Producer, Studio Owner, Recording Engineer, Inventor, Professor, and more, Elliot has worked with some of our best-known recording artists including Janis Joplin, Santana, Sinatra, The Who, and most famously Neil Young. He has also been involved in the developmental phases of the digital technologies of our time including work at Stanford University’s Computer Center for Research in Music and Acoustics (CCRMA), building what is regarded as the first all-digital recording studio, and more recently working with the Warner Music Group on their Archive Project, and consulting to OraStream and Pono. Elliot was kind enough to take time away from his busy schedule to answer some questions for AudioStream for which I am very appreciative. Thank you Elliot.

Michael Lavorgna  |  Nov 26, 2012
Steve Nugent is the founder of Empirical Audio and if you frequent Audio Asylum or AudioCircle, you'll have undoubtedly seen his posts as audioengr. Empirical Audio makes a number of products including the Overdrive® SE USB DAC/Pre, Synchro-Mesh Reclocker, Off-Ramp USB Converter, and the Short Block USB Filter. As you can surmise from this list, external clocking speaks to a certain design approach and focus on among things the elimination of jitter. We talk about this approach and lots more in this Q&A and I'd like to thank Steve Nugent for his time and for participating in this Q&A. Enjoy!
Michael Lavorgna  |  Nov 15, 2012
Gordon Rankin. photo credit: Art Dudley

Gordon Rankin, the founder and designer of Wavelength Audio, is responsible for among other things the first consumer DAC to employ Asynchronous USB. You can find his Asynchronous USB Steamlength™ technology in a number of highly regarded DACs including his own Crimson, Cosecant, Brick, and Proton as well the Halide DAC HD, AudioQuest Dragonfly, Grace M903, Aesthetix USB products, Ayre DX-5, QA-9 and the Berkley Alpha USB. I'd like to thank Gordon for taking the time for this Q&A and I hope you enjoy this peak inside Wavelength Audio.

Michael Lavorgna  |  Oct 24, 2012
The following article came about through a conversation with Mark Mallison, President of Resonessence Labs. Since the subject of digital filters is the cause for ongoing debate within the audiophile community, I was very pleased when Mark offered to provide this general introduction on the subject. Enjoy!

In any digital audio system a digital filter is needed to remove what are called aliases of the signal. These aliases are not imperfections in the design in any sense; they are a mathematical artifact of the act of sampling a continuous signal into a series of digital numbers taken at different points in time.

Michael Lavorgna  |  Oct 01, 2012
Charles Hansen of Ayre with their QB-9 asynchronous USB DAC, Stereophile's 2009 Product of the Year

Ayre Acoustics makes a complete line of electronics including amplifiers, preamplifiers, integrated amplifiers, disc players, DACs, ADCs and more. Our focus today will be on their digital side and specifically look at issues that affect file-based playback. The idea for this Q&A came about from a series of email exchanges I had with Charlie Hansen, Ayre's Founder and Designer, related to my recent post which contained a list of NOS DACs. You'll see that we touch on this topic and it was my hope that we could come to a better understanding of some of the underlying issues involved in the D/A process in general which might lead to a better understanding of why a list of NOS DACs is about as useful a grouping as four-legged animals when looking for the ideal DAC or pet. I'd like to thank Charlie Hansen for his time and very informative and detailed answers.

Michael Lavorgna  |  Sep 28, 2012
Blue Coast Records is one of a few companies to have fully embraced Direct Stream Digital (DSD) recording and delivery. Five-time Grammy nominated producer/engineer Cookie Marenco is the Founder of Blue Coast Records and we recently exchanged some emails and had a conversation about the increasing visibility of DSD in audiophile circles in part sparked by the introduction of the Mytek Stereo 192-DSD DAC at last year's RMAF. With companies like Playback Designs, EMM Labs, Fostex, and even Pioneer offering DSD-capable players, the next piece of the puzzle to fall into place is...the music.
Michael Lavorgna  |  Sep 04, 2012
I recently wrote about the Penderecki Violin Concerto, Horn Concerto which I purchased from Channel Classics Records in DSD format (there are 130 DSD titles available) in my review of the Mytek Stereo 192-DSD DAC (I called it "gut-wrenchingly gripping"). Soon after, I received an email from C. Jared Sacks, the Director, producer, recording engineer and founder of Channel Classics, and during the course of our exchange he agreed to the participate in this Q&A. I'd like to thank Jared for his time and hope you enjoy this peak inside Channel Classics.
Michael Lavorgna  |  Aug 25, 2012
For many computer audio enthusiasts, the choice of media player ends up being akin to most other choices in the world of hi-fi which is to say it comes down to personal preference. One thing is certain—using a third party media player is essential for getting the best quality from personal computer-based playback. I enjoyed getting a peak into the minds of some of the makers of our media player software and I want to thank all of the participants for their time and candor.

The participants: Damien Plisson of Audirvana, Tim Murison of BitPerfect Sound Inc. (BitPerfect), Dr. Rob Robinson of Channel D (Pure Music/Pure Vinyl), Josef Piri & Marcin Ostapowicz of JPlay, Jim Hillegass of JRiver, (JRiver Media Center), Jussi Laako of Signalyst (HQ Player), Stephen F. Booth of sbooth.org (Decibel), and Jon Reichbach of Sonic Studio, (Amarra).

Here are the 10 Questions which also serve as links to the associated Answers...

Michael Lavorgna  |  Aug 24, 2012
This is Q&A 10 of 10 with Media Player/Music Server Software companies. Each Q&A will be presented as its own post, one-a-day (think of it as your daily dose of vitamin geek) so we can digest and discuss one topic at a time. The participants are Damien Plisson of Audirvana, Tim Murison of BitPerfect Sound Inc. (BitPerfect), Dr. Rob Robinson of Channel D (Pure Music/Pure Vinyl), Josef Piri & Marcin Ostapowicz of JPlay, Jim Hillegass of JRiver, (JRiver Media Center), Jussi Laako of Signalyst (HQ Player), Stephen F. Booth of sbooth.org (Decibel), and Jon Reichbach of Sonic Studio, (Amarra).

Question 10...

Michael Lavorgna  |  Aug 23, 2012
This is Q&A 9 of 10 with Media Player/Music Server Software companies. Each Q&A will be presented as its own post, one-a-day (think of it as your daily dose of vitamin geek) so we can digest and discuss one topic at a time. The participants are Damien Plisson of Audirvana, Tim Murison of BitPerfect Sound Inc. (BitPerfect), Dr. Rob Robinson of Channel D (Pure Music/Pure Vinyl), Josef Piri & Marcin Ostapowicz of JPlay, Jim Hillegass of JRiver, (JRiver Media Center), Jussi Laako of Signalyst (HQ Player), Stephen F. Booth of sbooth.org (Decibel), and Jon Reichbach of Sonic Studio, (Amarra).

Question 9...

Michael Lavorgna  |  Aug 22, 2012
This is Q&A 8 of 10 with Media Player/Music Server Software companies. Each Q&A will be presented as its own post, one-a-day (think of it as your daily dose of vitamin geek) so we can digest and discuss one topic at a time. The participants are Damien Plisson of Audirvana, Tim Murison of BitPerfect Sound Inc. (BitPerfect), Dr. Rob Robinson of Channel D (Pure Music/Pure Vinyl), Josef Piri & Marcin Ostapowicz of JPlay, Jim Hillegass of JRiver, (JRiver Media Center), Jussi Laako of Signalyst (HQ Player), Stephen F. Booth of sbooth.org (Decibel), and Jon Reichbach of Sonic Studio, (Amarra).

Question 8...

Michael Lavorgna  |  Aug 21, 2012
This is Q&A 7 of 10 with Media Player/Music Server Software companies. Each Q&A will be presented as its own post, one-a-day (think of it as your daily dose of vitamin geek) so we can digest and discuss one topic at a time. The participants are Damien Plisson of Audirvana, Tim Murison of BitPerfect Sound Inc. (BitPerfect), Dr. Rob Robinson of Channel D (Pure Music/Pure Vinyl), Josef Piri & Marcin Ostapowicz of JPlay, Jim Hillegass of JRiver, (JRiver Media Center), Jussi Laako of Signalyst (HQ Player), Stephen F. Booth of sbooth.org (Decibel), and Jon Reichbach of Sonic Studio, (Amarra).

Question 7...

Michael Lavorgna  |  Aug 20, 2012
This is Q&A 6 of 10 with Media Player/Music Server Software companies. Each Q&A will be presented as its own post, one-a-day (think of it as your daily dose of vitamin geek) so we can digest and discuss one topic at a time. The participants are Damien Plisson of Audirvana, Tim Murison of BitPerfect Sound Inc. (BitPerfect), Dr. Rob Robinson of Channel D (Pure Music/Pure Vinyl), Josef Piri & Marcin Ostapowicz of JPlay, Jim Hillegass of JRiver, (JRiver Media Center), Jussi Laako of Signalyst (HQ Player), Stephen F. Booth of sbooth.org (Decibel), and Jon Reichbach of Sonic Studio, (Amarra).

Question 6...

Michael Lavorgna  |  Aug 17, 2012
This is Q&A 5 of 10 with Media Player/Music Server Software companies. Each Q&A will be presented as its own post, one-a-day (think of it as your daily dose of vitamin geek) so we can digest and discuss one topic at a time. The participants are Damien Plisson of Audirvana, Tim Murison of BitPerfect Sound Inc. (BitPerfect), Dr. Rob Robinson of Channel D (Pure Music/Pure Vinyl), Josef Piri & Marcin Ostapowicz of JPlay, Jim Hillegass of JRiver, (JRiver Media Center), Jussi Laako of Signalyst (HQ Player), Stephen F. Booth of sbooth.org (Decibel), and Jon Reichbach of Sonic Studio, (Amarra).

Question 5...

Michael Lavorgna  |  Aug 16, 2012
This is Q&A 4 of 10 with Media Player/Music Server Software companies. Each Q&A will be presented as its own post, one-a-day (think of it as your daily dose of vitamin geek) so we can digest and discuss one topic at a time. The participants are Damien Plisson of Audirvana, Tim Murison of BitPerfect Sound Inc. (BitPerfect), Dr. Rob Robinson of Channel D (Pure Music/Pure Vinyl), Josef Piri & Marcin Ostapowicz of JPlay, Jim Hillegass of JRiver, (JRiver Media Center), Jussi Laako of Signalyst (HQ Player), Stephen F. Booth of sbooth.org (Decibel), and Jon Reichbach of Sonic Studio, (Amarra).

Question 4...

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