Free Byrne / St. Vincent EP Download

Brass Tactics

Brass Tactics. Get the 5-track EP here. Cool tunes. Well engineered (if a bit compressed). In 320K MP3 (I didn’t notice).

Live concerts in Saratoga and Oakland – July 20-21.


Tuesday, June 11th, 2013 Audiophile, Bob, Downloads, Music Comments Off

The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly (ukelele)

(Thanks, Vince.)

Thursday, February 28th, 2013 Audiophile, Bob, Music, Video Comments Off

Cool “Live vs Recorded” Video and Free Downloads

Check out this thread on What’s Best’s audio forum. You’ll find the video by MA Recordings and the Pac NW Audio Society – featuring our own John Stone!wb logo

You’ll also discover a bunch of free high-resolution downloads, some in DSD. Todd G, like Cookie M, is sold on DSD.

The WB forum is one of the best IMO. Several BAAS members participate….


Thursday, December 20th, 2012 Audiophile, Bob, General, Music, Video Comments Off

WOW – The Craziest Record Ever?

For the vinyl person who has every thing – an LP consisting of one note.

That’s right, the whole record is a single pitch. 33.33 hz of course. But wait…you can play it at 45 RPM and get 45hz!

The price? 33.33 GBP of course.

Looks? 007-dapper.

More here.


Thursday, November 22nd, 2012 Analog, Audiophile, Bob, Music 1 Comment

GoTye Video & “”

Very cool music vid IMO.

Mac users: Download a free trial of “Hear” from Joesoft, and watch/listen with that. Amazing on my iMac.


Wednesday, August 15th, 2012 Audiophile, Bob, Music, Video Comments Off

The NPR “Tiny Desk” Concerts (Adele) and the Master of Autotune

Beautiful 3-song set, huh? The sheer power and authenticity of “live” is tough to beat. Masterful artists combining in real time in ways that machines never will.

For more of the same, I would urge you to explore all of NPR’s “Tiny Desk” videos – they are as cool as they are diverse. (Thanks to my brother Dave for pointing them out to me)

Contrast this with the world described in this NYT feature detailing the efforts of Kuk Harrell and the “vocal producers” of today’s major pop acts. Oh my, what a difference.

I’m not writing this to suggest which is better. And I’d guess that Adele has used vocal producers. I’m just contrasting (for the n-th time) the differences in approach and feel.


Saturday, June 30th, 2012 Audiophile, Bob, General, Music, News Comments Off

How musical are you – really?

Go to this link to take a very interesting “test” of your musical skills and proclivities.

You’ll also be helping the BBC with their research.

Hint: A couple of the tests take a while to load. Don’t do what I did and skip them. You will get a low score! (Like me….)




Tuesday, May 15th, 2012 Announcements, Audiophile, Bob, General, Music Comments Off

From uPenn, 007 Theme via Helicopters

Thursday, March 1st, 2012 Bob, Humor, Music, Video 1 Comment

iTunes Mastering – Apple Tells How

BAAS members have had the opportunity to meet several music producers and mastering engineers. The typical content of these meetings has been how to render a true-to-life recording. Clearly, the techniques vary for vinyl, tape, and digital delivery media.

Apple has now taken this concept a step forward (or backward, depending on perspective) with the launch of the “Mastered for iTunes” specification. As reported by Ars Technica, the specified 256K AAC format retains about 3% of the raw information af a 24/192K master.

Note that I use the term “raw information,” as supporters of high-bitrate AAC (or MP3) would claim – with some validity – that these formats retain well over 90% of the musical content. Of course, we audiophiles spend gobs of time and money chasing mils of fidelity. So the 90%+ talk is beside the point on that frame.

My quick perusal of the current “Mastered for iTunes” selections revealed that many of the recent offerings are from the Bowers & Watkins “Society of Sound” library. So presumably Peter Gabriel is on board.

Anyway, the Ars Technica piece summarizes the recent semi-popular embrace af audiophile values by Gabrial, Neil Young and other luminaries. A good read.


Wednesday, February 22nd, 2012 Audiophile, Bob, Music, News Comments Off

Mysterious High-Frequency Spikes in Recorded Music

Those of you who have attended events at my house know that I use this version of Sting’s “Fields of Gold” as one of my reference tracks (especially for bass).

I happened to be analyzing those bass peaks today, and noticed intermittent frequency spiking at 19khz (see image). To my knowledge, this behavior doesn’t occur naturally – certainly not in music.

For example, while so-called “mosquito ring tones” (19 khz) are all the rage with kids, real mosquitos beat their wings at about 500 hz.

Sure, FM uses a 19khz carrier tone to indicate the presence of stereo information. And Rich Pell has documented this and other high-frequency peaks on CD recordings. He cites speculation regarding the presence of video gear during the recording process. I think that there may be a tie-in to digital-audio tape, but there’s certainly no “smoking gun” in that regard.

My gut tells me that these peaks are simply an artifact of the digital filtering process. They are aliasing or some other frequency fold. But this too is speculation.

One thing that is not speculation is that they are prolific. I frequently (sorry) encounter them in my measurements. What’s worse is that they exist in some high-resolution recordings from famous and well-regarded sources. I don’t want to turn this article into an expose, so I’ll just leave it at that.

The good news is that I believe that these glitches are sonically benign for 99%+ of adult listeners. We simply cannot hear these frequencies, especially when they are narrow-band and 20dB-or-more down from the musical peaks. But they may drive kids crazy.


Sunday, February 12th, 2012 Audiophile, Bob, Music, Technical 2 Comments

Neil Young + Arcade Fire = Helpless

Friday, February 3rd, 2012 Audiophile, Bob, Music, Video Comments Off

Is Music Math (and vice versa)?

Physicist Glenn Elert has included a nice exposition on the mathematical basis of music in his online physics text (click here).

From Beck "Sea Change" DVD-A

Glenn keeps the tech description at a “Popular Science” level for much of it, but descends to undergrad-college-level in parts. So there’s something for everyone. (nice illustrations too.)

If you think about the content, I believe you’ll emerge with a thing or two to enrich your listening – at home or in live venues.


PS  The pic at right shows some anamolies I’ve detected on a popular DVD-A. I am shocked and amazed at what I find in some “hi rez” material. (At least this one goes above 22kHz – some don’t.)

Saturday, January 14th, 2012 Audiophile, Bob, General, Music, Technical Comments Off

The Ultimate Blind Reference Test – Pick the Stradivarious!

I want to introduce you to NPR’s new classical music blog, Deceptive Cadence, and to this article.

The article describes research in which professional musicians could not tell the difference between a centuries-old classic violin and one minted in 1980. In fact, most preferred the sound of the 1980 job!

Based on the sound clips, I don’t know how. I could correctly identify the more sonorous sound of the Strad after 3 seconds of playing. It was obvious. I guess I’m just that good a listener. Or maybe that lucky!  lol

Have fun with it,


[Thanks to member JeremiahH for pointing this article out.]

Tuesday, January 3rd, 2012 Audiophile, Bob, General, Music 4 Comments

A Godel-Escher-Bach Moment: Cello Music Made Geometric

I don’t think Hofstadter’s “golden eternal braid” book needs much intro – it’s simply one of the most well-read tomes ever on the correspondence between math, science, and art. It practically started a movement.

It’s also the first thing that I thought of when I saw the video below.


Bob J.S. Bach – Cello Suite No. 1 – Prelude from Alexander Chen on Vimeo.

Wednesday, December 14th, 2011 Audiophile, Bob, Events, Music, Video Comments Off

Where’s the dough in downloads? Ringtones!

Well, it’s nice to be HDtracks, Linn, or some other music download service. And it’s great to be Apple or Amazon – but not for their music download sales.

But being on top of ringtones? Now that rocks!

You may be surprised at the size of this market. Don’t be. Number of buyers is huge, size of sales channels (starting with cellphone companies) is huge, and most buyers just want the latest Ga Ga now and easily.

You might also be surprised at the movie and commercial soundtrack bizes too…but that’s another story.


Thursday, November 10th, 2011 Audiophile, Bob, General, Music, News Comments Off

Wheels Of Steel: Turntables in your browser

All eyes have been pointed at the entrance of Spotify into the US market. Rightfully so, as the subscription service is hot in Europe and looks to heat up the Mog/Rdio space here.

But there’s also a more avant garde entry to consider: Wheels of Steel. Gotta love those “Techniques” turntables. I’ll bet they have all the latest mods.

Finally, check out I thionk that this one might be the most interesting – canny blend of social and good music.

Enjoy. See you at the California Audio Show!


Thursday, July 14th, 2011 Audiophile, Bob, Music, News Comments Off

Korean Idol

I think that this performance really just speaks for itself…   – Bob

Monday, June 13th, 2011 Audiophile, Bob, General, Music, Video Comments Off

Google & Les

I was lucky enough to catch one of Les’ last performances at the Iridium in NYC.

See Google’s beautiful and tuneful tribute today.

Yes, that’s a RECORD button you see…press it and enable a keyboard “piano” mode.



Edit:  The logo is now permanently here.

Thursday, June 9th, 2011 Audiophile, Bob, Music, News Comments Off

Wither the Music Industry – David Byrne Speaks

I’m sure that D. Byrne needs no introduction to music lovers (hint: see the pic).

But some of us may not be aware of Byrne’s scholarly approach to the industry in which he participates.

In a comprehensive article for Wired, Byrne begins with “what is music” and then lays out the whys and wherefores of modern music-making – or, as he pointedly notes – modern CD-selling.

Recommended reading.


Thursday, June 2nd, 2011 Audiophile, Bob, General, Music, News Comments Off

More Free Lossless Downloads

Ramen Music Album #4 is available for free download in FLAC or MP3.

I really enjoy the eclectic selections Ramen provides, and I applaud their business model.

If you like the music, please do them a solid and subscribe.


Wednesday, April 6th, 2011 Audiophile, Bob, Music Comments Off