Audio News for January 13, 2015

Immersive Surround Audio to the Palm of Your Hand – Auro Technologies and VuStar have created a mobile audio experience to deliver exceptional sound over regular stereo headphones. The Auro-3D format has been combined with VuStar’s mobile infotainment expertise to offer life-like audio experience to users of smartphones, tablets and other mobile devices. Not only can the scalable solution decode Auro-3D content, but it can automatically upmix mono, stereo or surround sound into an immersive sound experience. Auro-3D adds a height layer around the audience to immerse the listener in a cocoon of life-like sound in the feature films in which it has been used. In the mobile devices it is combined with binaural technology to add the height layer which envelops the listener.

Importance of Meridian Master Quality Technology – Recent presentations have shown that the music industry, digital companies and audio manufacturers find MQA encoding to be the missing piece of the hi-res audio puzzle. Bob Stuart, Meridian co-founder, has made presentations at CES and elsewhere. He says “…Vital elements of our music have been thrown away to fit thousands of songs into a pocket or millions in a cloud. With MQA there is no sacrifice; it brings us right back to the enthralling sound of live music. MQA captures and preserves nuances and vital information that current music files obscure or discard, but in a file that is small and convenient to download or stream.”

Stuart says that higher sample rates make improvements to the sound, but most of the ‘encoding space’ thus created goes unused. It’s like putting the music in a bigger box, most of which is empty. MQA begins with the original master. A completely new concept of sampling resolves the finest time divisions and delivers them to the player. The process is called “Encapsulation.”  It has an extreme level of time accuracy because the lastest research shows that timing details of only a few microseconds are important. Innovative lossless processing is used to build a file or stream which also delivers metadata on the recording. The metadata has details of the recording and instructions for the decoder and DA converters, plus how to create an authentic exact reconstruction of the original signal. MQA can be delivered inside any lossless container: a FLAC, WAV or ALAC file. The encoding works for all 16- and 24-bit PCM masters from 44.1K to 768K sampling, and reduces the 16/24-bit file to the equivalent data rate of the lossless container. DSD recordings have to be converted to PCM in order to be encoded with MQA. MQA files – static or streaming – will play on standard equipment without the fairly simple MQA decoder, at regular CD quality.

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