Audio News for June 5, 2006

by | Jun 5, 2006 | Audio News | 0 comments

Better Sound for MP3-type Recordings – Microchip-driven miniaturization and data reduction of digital music files is overtaking familiar large components and speakers in the home. But many users are beginning to realize that the musical experience is not as rich as the one that was provided by their old stereo equipment. Frank Zappa’s musician son Dweezil observed: “The thing that has changed is the consumers’ perspective of what they expect from audio. I think younger consumers aren’t familiar at all with really high-quality audio, because for them a CD is the best thing they have ever heard.”  The widespread use of HTiB speakers  for home theater systems is also a factor, with most of them optimized for movies not for listening to music.

Audistry is an Australian audio company which is now a subsidiary of Dolby Labs. They have a goal of improving sound quality on both portable devices and in the living room. Audistry’s President stated “We are trying to add back a layer of quality, a layer of experience that people don’t realize they are missing.” Different approaches are being taken by several electronic companies. Some apply special digital technologies to speakers, headphones and mobile music places to enhance existing data-reduced audio recordings. Psychoacoustic technologies are part of some of the approaches. Chipmakers are supporting PC-like platforms to aid musicians, engineers and producers to capture, store and mix music more accurately in digital form. They are improving the sound quality of computer sound cards.

A Grammy-winning studio engineer and producer stated he was so impressed with the audio possibilities of DVDs that he was pushing for the recording industry to release on them exclusively and phase out standard CDs. Creative Technology, a Singapore-based digital audio firm, is applying its signal processing capabilities to stereo headphones to create a more three-dimensional sound, and another of their processes can restore heavily-compressed digital music files to the fidelity of a standard CD without adding to the file’s size. SRS Labs of Santa Ana, CA, offers Mobile HD, which enables the small headphones made for mobile phones and portable MP3 devices to play audio in 5.1 surround sound.

Sonic Solutions Licenses DTS-HD Audio
– The new DTS-HD technologies for Blu-ray and HD-DVD formats have been licensed by Sonic Solutions, one of the leading makers of authoring systems for DVD production. Their Scenarist and CineVision products for professionals will incorporate both HD-DVD and Blu-ray disc authoring and encoding. DTS-HD streams higher resolution audio than allowed with standard DVD video. DTS-HD is optional in the specs for both hi-def formats, but a significant number of releases using it are expected.

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