Audio News for September 30, 2011

by | Sep 30, 2011 | Audio News

Surround Sound—The Holy Grail of Home Entertainment? – That’s the heading of a recent Australian newspaper article, which points out that most people with large-screen HDTVs don’t have surround sound and many not even stereo. They are listening to the tiny speakers built into the TV set, which are pretty bad on even the most expensive sets. There are many different five-speaker systems available now at all price points. Home-theater-in-a-box speaker systems (HTiB) are getting better, but you can probably put together something superior on your own. You don’t necessarily need a subwoofer to start, and there are many entry-level 5.1-channel AV receivers to handle powering the speakers. Yes, the center channel is important, so don’t forget it. And the effect is always better with identical or very similar speakers all around.  It’s difficult to appreciate what you’re missing on recent Blu-ray movies when you don’t have surround sound, and it can enhance all music listening as well, even without discrete multichannel music sources such as SACD.
Passive 3D Kit Introduced – One of the CEDIA booths showed the Flexible Picture Systems’ Image AnyPlace-3D passive viewing kit for theater-quality 3D projection in the office or home. It is based on the firm’s line of video scalers and uses the inexpensive polarized glasses vs. shutter glasses. The is designed to be used with any two identical 2D video projectors plus a 3D digital signal source. The kit includes two signal processors, an HDMI distribution amp, HDMI cables, polarizing filters and glasses,an IR remote control and rack mounts.
Free conversion of DSD/SACD Files – Korg’s free v2.2.0 of their AudioGate software is now available for all listeners and content creators, enabling the real-time playback of DSD/SACD files on any computer with any audio hardware. I can burn the new DSD Disc Format (2.8 MHz sampling rate) which can be played on the Sony Planstation and Vaio computers, and can also burn standard audio CDs. New features include support of Mac Lion OS, auto sample rate switching, a songlist function, Apple Remote support, and support for the new WASAPI*1 Microsoft audio driver. AudioGate software is part of all Korg MR Series recorders.
Festival of New Music by Composers Age 40 and Under – SONiC—Sounds of a New Century—is a festival of 21st century music by more than 100 composers which will be held in NYC’s Carnegie Hall from October 14 thru 22. There will also be a free symphony concert at the World Financial Center Winter Garden and other concerts at 11 difference venues in NYC. The opening concert features five world premieres. Q2 Music—the contemporary online music stream of NYC’s leading classical station, WQXR—is the media partner and digital venue.  Q2 Music will present live international audio webcasts and a full sensory immersion into the sounds of these younger composers who are charting the course of 21st century music.

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