• Bits & Bytes

    by Published on 11-15-2016 10:06 AM
    1. Categories:
    2. Bits & Bytes


    Just a real short post today. If you haven't heard about the new PBS series called Soundbreaking, you must check it out. Here are some paragraphs from PBS about the series. In addition, I've embedded the first video into this post. I hope members of the CA Community from locations that don't receive PBS can watch this series. It's very cool.

    Note: If you're a supporting member of PBS, you can actually watch the other episodes before they air.

    "The eight-part series explores the art of music recording, and offers a behind-the-scenes look at the birth of brand new sounds. Featuring more than 160 original interviews with some of the most celebrated recording artists of all time, Soundbreaking explores the nexus of cutting-edge technology and human artistry that has created the soundtrack of our lives."

    Episode 1: Soundbreaking begins where a recording does — at the intersection of inspiration and execution. Profiling some of the most accomplished and revered producers in the recording industry, “The Recording Artist” offers a study in contrasting styles and approaches.
    ...
    by Published on 10-28-2016 03:09 PM
    1. Categories:
    2. Bits & Bytes
    Article Preview



    This morning I visited Prince's Paisley Park compound for the first time. The fact that this was my first visit is a shame. I've lived in Minneapolis all my life and for as long as I can remember, Prince was always around. He would throw late-night parties at Paisley Park, inviting his fans and sometimes even the public, assuming one could get there before the place reached capacity. People I know would go to the parties and once in a while Prince would feel the urge to entertain everyone with a private concert or even a little medley of rare tracks. I took all of this for granted. I never felt the need to go to one of these special events. I always told myself there would be another time and I felt like the supply of Prince and his music was never ending. Prince even stood behind me at a Sheryl Crow concert several years ago. Again, it seemed like he was always around and always releasing music. I don't doubt there are many of us in Minneapolis who thought the same thing prior to April 21, 2016 when Prince passed away from an accidental overdose of fentanyl. Suddenly our endless tap of creative genius was turned off and the chance of going to Paisley Park to see him was less than zero. ...
    by Published on 08-11-2016 04:42 PM
    1. Categories:
    2. Bits & Bytes
    Article Preview



    In the summer of 1991 Pearl Jam's album Ten was released and it changed my life. Since then, Pearl Jam has been my favorite band. I've seen them play around the country many times. Each Pearl Jam show features a new setlist created by singer Eddie Vedder on the day of the show. To more experienced concert goers, who attended shows in the 1960s and 1970s, this type of setlist is nothing new. But, for younger music aficionados like myself, a new setlist at every concert is something special. My first concert was a Motley Crue show at the long gone Met Center here in Minnesota on March 06, 1990 (here's my ticket stub). Motley Crue played virtually the same 17 songs two nights earlier in Omaha as they did in Minnesota and three nights later in Madison, Wisconsin. Over the years I've seen more band's with fixed setlist than I've seen those who mix it up on a nightly basis. Anyway, when Pearl Jam announced it would be playing Boston's Fenway Park this summer, I immediately logged into my Pearl Jam fan club account and entered the drawing to purchase tickets. Weeks later I was notified that my name had been drawn for two tickets to the August 05, 2016 show. Flights were booked, hotel reservations were made, and as Pearl Jam sang in the song Corduroy, the waiting drove me mad. ...
    by Published on 07-28-2016 01:49 PM
    1. Categories:
    2. Bits & Bytes
    Article Preview



    While the prices of many HiFi goods continue to go up, the prices of high tech goods continue to go down. In addition to prices going down, high tech goods almost always increase performance and features while decreasing in size for this reduced price. I wish the HiFi world was like the high tech world in this respect, but I completely understand the nature of building something by hand at the highest quality in low quantity versus building something for the lowest price at incredibly high volume in parts of the world where labor is extremely inexpensive. That may be a discussion for a different day because today is about the convergence of HiFi and high tech.

    I've always recommended that people start by purchasing the least expensive products and move up the ladder until they are satisfied. It simply makes sense. Some people know they will only be satisfied with the best and possibly most expensive options while others feel rewarded by finding a the best value. Neither way is right, it's all about choice.

    Before we get started with this cool new product, I want to address a misconception that some people have with CA covering items like a $7.99 audio endpoint. I've been told by some manufacturers that I shouldn't write about this stuff, it's too DIY and DIY'ers don't spend money, and that it isn't HiFi enough and that they don't like the direction of CA. I believe that type of small-minded thinking is what old-school HiFi is all about and it's something that old-school HiFi must get over if it wants to succeed in the future. CA isn't a DIY site, but we feature cool products when we seen them. Plus, these articles do wonders for bringing in a new audience to the CA community and HiFi in general. CA has a huge contingent of readers in Silicon Valley (and Australia, G'day mates) who love music, are a bit geeky, have technical aptitude, have disposable income, and would likely never have heard of most of our favorite HiFi brands without content like this that bridges the gap. Furthermore, when people purchase $7.99 audio endpoints, they need DACs to make music. Purchase five of these inexpensive endpoints for different rooms, and one will need five DACs. The money saved on endpoints can also be spent on other items such as software, music, amps, cables, loudspeakers, etc... I could go on, but I don't want to derail an otherwise cool product introduction with my rant about why products like this are good for HiFi. Either one believes it or not. The world is changing. ...
    by Published on 07-12-2016 04:00 PM
    1. Categories:
    2. Bits & Bytes
    Article Preview



    I stumbled on a site named Polygraph a few months ago. Polygraph actually operates completely opposite from the way CA operates. I usually elect to use prose over graphics and photos, while Polygraph tells stories with data and code to produce fabulous visuals. Polygraph describes itself as, "a publication that incites water cooler discussion about complex topics. We avoid long-winded essays at all costs, using code, visuals, and animation to construct a different sort of story, one that's often reader-driven, embeddable, and open-source." What makes Polygraph so interesting to me and the CA Community is the use of technology to tell us something about our favorite music.

    A few of the topics covered by Polygraph include:
    The Evolution of Music Taste
    Wikipedia Pages On Which Miles Davis Is Mentioned
    Using Spotify To Measure The Popularity Of Older Music
    When Music Becomes Popular, Faster
    This Is What Hip Hop Sounded Like In 1995
    Using Playlists To Crowdsource The Definition Of Punk
    Hip Hop Labels Sorted By The Success Of Their Artists On Billboard
    Rappers Sorted By The Size Of Their Vocabulary ...
    by Published on 07-06-2016 03:59 PM
    1. Categories:
    2. Bits & Bytes
    Article Preview



    Last week the McIntosh Group hosted its first ever convention in Sardinia, Italy. The Group consists of six brands including McIntosh, Audio Research, Sonus Faber, Wadia, Pryma, and Sumiko. Thus, there was quite a bit of audio being discussed at the event, from analog to digital to all-in-one speaker systems to large flagship loudspeakers. It was a great opportunity to dig deep into the product lines, talk to product designers, and get a glimpse into the future of each brand. For some brands like Sonus Faber the future is now, with the introduction of the Sf16, while other brands like Wadia are undergoing a makeover for an upcoming transformation. Here are my highlights of the McIntosh Group convention 2016. ...
    Page 1 of 32 1234511 ... LastLast