Quick: What’s the most misused term in audio next to “subwoofer”? You, yeah, you in the back there – did you say “hi-res”?
Almost lost in the firestorm of publicity about Dolby Atmos, that company’s new surround sound technology, was an announcement by a consortium of industry organizations that purported to de-confuse the world of high-resolution (“hi-res”) audio. The industry organizations include the Digital Entertainment Group (DEG), the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA), the Producers and Engineers Wing of the Recording Academy (the folks who bring you the Grammys), and major record labels such as Sony Music Entertainment, Universal Music Group, and Warner Music Group.
In an effort to avoid a descent into minutiae, this writer traveled to Portland, Maine to talk with Bob Ludwig, a mastering engineer par excellence, a person whose accomplishments in preparing more gold, platinum, and Grammy winning music arguably exceed those of most competent people in that demanding confluence of science and art. The fact that he has a bachelor and a master’s degree in music gives him the sensibility that augments his technical expertise.