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Audio News for December 29, 2015

The Problem With Vinyl Pressings – is that all the pressing machines being used by the dozen or so plants in the U.S. and the several in Europe are old and wearing out. The last new machines were made in the early 1980s, and most of the present pressing plants bought their fire-sale style machines when it looked like vinyl was disappearing. Even so, used presses now cost double what they cost a decade ago. Though in the UK for example, only 1.5% of record sales are vinyl. (Last year it was 1%.) Vinyl sales have surpassed those of hi-res discs such as SACDs. And it’s increasing every day, and there are even some labels (not reissue labels) who issue only on vinyl. It used to take about a month for masters arriving at a factory to be pressed into vinyl records – now it runs as much as three months. New presses (which nobody makes as yet) would cost from ten to 20 times as much as an old one. And there’s doubt that it would pay off for the pressing plants. The industry is in for a major struggle to survive the big and growing interest in vinyl. Vinyl albums are seen as more prestigious, collectors may buy fewer but they will be ones that matter the most to them. It’s sort of similar to a bound book vs. a paperback. And on a good (expensive) turntable the sonics can be better than most CDs, expecially in good remasterings, not to mention original pressings.

Video Game Becomes Reality with Auro-3D – The spectacular action-adventure video game Pixels will have an immersive 11.1 Auro-3D surround mix on the Blu-ray from Sony Pictures. It has been remixed specifically for the home theater environment with an added height layer in front, above and all around the listener, dramatically increasing the emotional impact. Consumers will need an Auro-3D-enabled AV receiver and speakers. The game’s plot has aliens misinterpreting video feeds of classic arcade games as a declaration of war against them, and they attack Earth using dated computer games such as Pac-man and Donkey Kong.

Handy Guide to Voice-Over Equipment – Neoseeker magazine has a useful article Here if you are interested in trying to break into the voice-over area. The mic you use is critical to your success or failure.

2016 New Technologies – According to The Monitor Daily, the technology market in the next year will be dominated by OLED screens, augmented reality and improved smartphones. Rollable displays are expected to be launched, and batteries on devices will last for days. Only OLED screens have the ability to be rolled and flattened out. Smartphones will stop being just communication devices and become more powerful than ever. They will also have computing power. Virtual assistant like Siri will be on many different devices. Even Facebook is working on its own virtual assistant, called M. HoloLens, designed by Microsoft, will make high-def holograms. Images of a real-world environments can be supplemented by computer-generated sensory input such as sound, video, graphics or GPS data, giving the user information about the surrounding real world.

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