Audio News for February 3, 2017

New Orleans Public Radio Station Restores Classical to FM Dial – WWNO in New Orlean has begun broadcasting classical music on their new stations Classical 104.9 FM. It therefore becomes the only Golf Coast area between Houston and Tallahassee where music lovers can hear classical music anytime thru the year. New Orleans Public Radio continues to transmit the same program on WWNO HD2 in metro New Orleans and the Northshore and beyond via the Internet at wwmo.org/classical. They will have local music features from 9 AM to 1 PM weekdays, and will carry Performance Today, Continuum, and the Met Opera. 

Music in NYC – The Budapest Festival Orchestra will appear at David Geffen Hall on the Fifth and Sixth. The Orpheux Chamber Orchestra will premiere Michael Hersch’s End Stages at Carnegie Hall, a tone poem reflecting on mortality, and also at Carnegie Hall, Jordi Savall will present early and modern Venetian instrumental music with his various ensembles on Feb. 12.

Glimpse Hardware Turns Any Glasses Into Smart Glasses – Their Kai gadget (now $130 at Kickstarter) sits behind one ear and allows you to access a smart voice interface. With its companion app you can make calls, text search and even request a Uber pickup without handling your smartphone. Glimpse hopes to raise over $55,000 over the next 40 days and help take the new hardware into production.

Is Hi-Res Audio All Hype? – Some people are investing in hi-res downloads and do not hear any difference from their standard CDs. While it is true that some of it is hype, not all is. It is an end-to-end ecosystem, starting with hi-res masters. It is still a subject of conjecture whether high-quality analog open reel tapes qualify as hi-res, but anything better than “CD quality” of 44.1K and 16-bit does qualify as hi-res. Most sites offering hi-res downloads vet the audio files to ensure they are indeed hi-res, but some are just upsampled from standard res sources. Your playback system is also important in hearing the true hi-res difference. You must have the best preamps, computers, DACs and speakers or headphones. If you don’t, you may not hear the difference. The signals need to be passed to the DAC at the correct sampling rate and bit depth. You will probably need programs like Pure Music or JRiver Media Center – a complete media player. Acoustic instruments and vocals make it easy to hear differences in equipment during listening sessions, which is why many reviewers use classical, jazz or roots/folk music for their listening tests.

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