Audio News for June 17, 2014

by | Jun 17, 2014 | Audio News

Classical News – On doctors’ orders, 84-year-old maestro Lorin Maazel has cut short his contract as music director of the Munich Philharmonic by one year. But they said has should be fit as a conductor by the following season. Rafael Frühbeck de Burgos died June 10 in Pamplona, Spain. Met Opera General Manager Peter Gelb has predicted that the Met will face a bankruptcy situation in two or three years if its does not cut labor costs, which constitute 2/3 of the Met’s $300 million annual budget. Musical American’s 2014 Musician of the Year, Audra McDonald won the 2014 Tony Award for Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role in a Play for her portrayal of Bilie Holiday in Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar & Grill. It was her sixth Tony award, breaking the record of five-time winners Angela Lansbury and the late Julie Harris. The Chicago Symphony has received two grants totaling $32 million, but the orchestra’s President and CEO, Deborah Rutter, leaves her position at the end of this month to accept a similar position at the John F. Kennedy Center. During her 11-year term she nabbed Riccardo Muti as the Symphony’s music director.

Music & CE Industries Supposed to “Bring Clarity to Definition of Hi-Res Audio” – That’s according to the blurbs on the decision. We’ve already reported on this. But is it really clarity? They have standardized four categories and first is from a PCM source of at least 48K/20-bit. Nobody uses that anymore and it may not be considered by many to be hi-res (nor even 48K/24-bit). The second category is from an analog master source, usually open reel tape at 15 or 30 ips. Well, many consider that to be the last word in analog recording, but many others don’t consider it hi-res at all. The third allows upsampling of 44.1K/16-bit masters to hi-res. That’s plain silly and not hi-res. Upsampling anything, audio or video, really has little effect since the original was still made at a low rate.  Evidently no one with experience in digital audio was involved in these confusing standards. See more on the subject at the AIX Records site.

BMW Offers B & O Edition Sound System in Their Individual Collection in the U.S. – These BMW cars offer higher levels of luxury, finish and equipment. The sound system gets customized aluminum speaker grilles, an exclusive black brushed finish and LED illumination. A motorized tweeter rises from the dashboard, featuring 180-degree horizontal sound dispersion. There are 16 active speakers, including seven tweeters, seven midrange and two subwoofers, driven by 1200 watts. Noise-compensation technology uses an onboard mic to adjust the system’s response to compensate for internal and external noise. Buyers also get a pair of black BeoPlay H6 high-end over-ear headphones, finished in the same brushed-aluminum as the car’s speaker grills. B & O audio systems are also in selected Audi, Mercedes-AMG and Aston Martin vehicles.

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