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mm-news » Articles for March 2008 Year
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Multichannel Music News
Surround Sound : Cirlinca Launches First DVD-Audio Authoring Plug-in for Windows Media Player
Cirlinca, consumer and prosumer DVD-Audio authoring software company, announces today DVD-Audio Solo WMP, the plug-in version for Microsoft Windows Media Player of its press nominated DVD-Audio Solo authoring software.

Windows Media Player's users can now create high definition and surround music DVD discs, easily and affordably. Available as a plug-in, DVD-Audio Solo WMP features a streamlined user interface within Windows Media Player to burn playlists to DVD-Audio discs in as few as three clicks.DVD-Audio Solo WMP meets the increasing excitement and awareness for high definition media with support for audio tracks up to 24 bit/192 kHz, 5.1 channels, from a variety of audio file formats. As an option, still pictures can be associated to tracks. In a typical use case, DVD-Audio Solo WMP provides the last but not least step in a download to burn delivery chain from a high definition music download site.

Essential DVD-Audio Solo WMP Features:

  • User interface in the "Now Playing" pane of the Windows Media Player
  • Direct import of Windows Media Player's playlists, 1 to 9 playlists, 1 to 99 tracks per playlist, for a maximum total track count of 314.
  • Gapless playback between tracks
  • Input audio file formats supported: WAV, WMA (non DRM), FLAC, AIF, MP3 and OGG
  • Sampling frequencies, sample sizes and channels supported: 44.1, 48, 88.2, 96, 176.4 and 192 kHz, 16 bit or 24 bit sample size, 1 to 6 channel (not all combinations permitted, 5.1 up to 16/96)
  • Integrated DVD writing engine to write directly to DVD disc using a standard DVD writer. Disc types supported : DVD /-R/W and DVD R DL (Double Layer)
  • Supported operating systems: Microsoft's Windows 2000, NT, 2003 server, XP, Vista
DVD-Audio Solo WMP is priced at U.S. $39.95
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Equipment : Onkyo Debuts Entry-Level A/V Receivers TX-SR576 & TX-SR506
Onkyo has introduced two affordably-priced A/V receivers that deliver a remarkable array of high end features for home theater and multichannel music reproduction. The 80 watt-per-channel TX-SR576 and 75 watt-per-channel TX-SR506 are the lowest priced receivers ever to include the company's Powered Zone 2 capability and front channel bi-amplification features, and are among the first receivers available anywhere to include Audyssey's new Dynamic EQ loudness correction technology. These receivers each include three HDMI inputs, Audyssey 2EQ automatic room correction, and also mark the company's first implementation of its new Music Optimizer software, which improves fidelity for MP3 and AAC encoded digital music sources.


The Onkyo TX-SR576 and TX-SR506 are the first receivers at these price points to include the company's dual-source Powered Zone 2 capability, which allows the receiver's rear surround amplifier channels to power stereo speakers in a second room while still listening to 5.1-channel sound in the main zone. The receiver is capable of processing separate multichannel and stereo sources simultaneously for the main and second zone, or processing a single source for both. There is also a Zone 2 pre-out that can be used in conjunction with a dedicated zone amplifier or receiver. Finally, for those with premium "biampable" loudspeakers, where the bass and midrange/treble drivers are each driven by separate amplifiers, the rear surround channels can be reconfigured for this more powerful operating mode.

Onkyo TX-SR506

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Surround Sound : NAB Show to Feature New Surround Broadcast Conference
altThe National Association of Broadcasters and Pro Sound News have teamed up to offer the Surround Broadcast Conference on April 16 at the NAB Show in Las Vegas. This new conference will focus on the production of digital, multi-channel broadcast audio and related issues including capturing and mixing, the consistency of the listener experience and transmission and distribution of 5.1-channel audio, which will accompany high definition video.

The Surround Broadcast Conference will feature some of the biggest names in broadcast audio and surround technology. Leading companies in the development of broadcast surround tools will offer presentations and demos dispersed between sessions.

Conference panelists scheduled to participate include Jim Starzynski, principal audio architect of the NBC Universal Advanced Engineering group; Jim DeFilippis, senior vice president and principal engineer for the FOX Entertainment Group; Robert Seidel, vice president of engineering and advanced technology for CBS Television; Sean Richardson, post production manager and audio engineer for Starz-Encore; and Michael Nunan, director of post production for CTV; among others.
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Music : New No-Man album - 'Schoolyard Ghosts' on DVD-Audio
alt No-Mans sixth studio album, 'Schoolyard Ghosts', is scheduled for release on KScope/Snapper Records on 12th May 2008 as an double CD/DVD-Audio package with 5.1 surround sound.

Compared to its predecessor (2003's atmospheric Together We're Stranger) Schoolyard Ghosts shows the band moving towards an altogether purer and more personal place, far removed from the art pop/indie dance experiments of its acclaimed 1993 One Little Indian debut release, Loveblows & Lovecries.
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Equipment : HHB Releases The UDP-89 DVD-Audio/SACD PLAYER For Professional Installations

HHB Releases The UDP-89 DVD-Audio/SACD PLAYER For Professional Installations HHB returns to Musikmesse/Prolight and Sound with an innovative new professional universal DVD/CD player and a ground breaking new dual drive CD recorder.

The UDP-89 universal DVD/CD player combines broadcast-quality audio and video replay, a full complement of video and audio outputs and a massive feature set to create a compact 1U rack mounting player that systems integrators and AV professionals can install with complete confidence.

With a sonic performance rivalling that of high-end audiophile players, the UDP-89 is the only DVD player on the market equipped with balanced stereo and surround sound outputs with a built-in preamp for direct connection to an active 5.1 or stereo speaker system.

The ultimate in digital video quality comes courtesy of an HDCP-compliant HDMI output and superb analogue picture quality is assured by six 14-bit 165MHz video DACs. Both 480p/576p Standard Definition and 720p and 1080i upscaled High Definition are available from the HDMI and component outputs.

Features including professional cueing functions, DVD-Audio and SACD compatibility, RS232 and touchscreen X-Y coordinate control equip the UDP-89 for use in a wide range of applications and demanding installations in which consumer DVD players simply wont cut it.

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Music : OPETH: Two-Disc Edition 'Still Life' with multichannel sound
A new two-disc edition of OPETH's "Still Life" album will be released on March 31 via Peaceville Records. The set features a remastered stereo mix of the album on CD, plus a DVD with a new 5.1 Surround Sound mix and performance footage of "Face Of Melinda" filmed live in London. The artwork has been re-worked by original designer Travis Smith.

"Still Life" was OPETH's first outing for Peaceville. Like "My Arms, Your Hearse" before it, "Still Life" was originally recorded under the watchful eye of engineer Fredrik Nordström at Gothenburg's Studio Fredman and Maestro Musik and has now been remastered and remixed by Jens Borgen.

A special mini-site for the release can be accessed at this location.

OPETH has set "Watershed" as the title of the band's forthcoming album, due out on June 3 via Roadrunner Records (one day earlier internationally). The CD, recorded in the band's native Sweden and produced by frontman/guitarist Mikael Åkerfeldt and Jens Bogren, is a masterwork that follows the time-honored OPETH tradition; its modern yet timeless, progressive yet paying homage to the sounds of classic rock.

"Watershed" track listing:

01. Coil
02. Heir Apparent
03. The Lotus Eater
04. Burden
05. Porcelain Heart
06. Hessian Peel
07. Hex Omega

All the songs were written by Åkerfeldt apart from "Porcelain Heart", which was co-written with new guitarist Fredrik Åkesson. One additonal track, "Derelict Herds", was also recorded and this was written by Mikael Åkerfeldt and Per Wiberg. On top of this, three cover songs were recorded. "Bridge of Sighs" from ROBIN TROWER's 1974 LP of the same title, "Den Ständiga Resan" (sung in Swedish) by MARIE FREDRIKSSON as well as the classic ALICE IN CHAINS song "Would?"

The album was recorded at Fascination Street studios during November 1 and December 13. Some additional recording was done between January 3 and January 7.

Says Mikael Åkerfeldt: "I've worked so hard with these songs for quite some time now, I've listened to 'em a zillion times. I don't hate them just yet! The album sounds great sonically and I think I can hear us evolving as the record plays on. It is taking us somewhere musically and I don't know where. It's very exciting to say the least! I can't remember having enjoyed a recording this much ever before."

The cover was (as usual) designed by Travis Smith in co-operation with Åkerfeldt.
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Music : Blue Man Group releases second concert DVD
On April 1st, 2008, Rhino Records will release HOW TO BE A MEGASTAR LIVE!, a two-disc CD/DVD of Blue Man Groups wildly popular concert tour. This two-disc collectioncomes with a live performance DVD, CD, andbonus features including 5.1 Surround Sound, the video for I Feel Love, the comedic parody Mono Makes a Plea Save the TVs campaign and the documentary Inside the Tube, which provides an intimate look inside Blue Man Groups creative process and history. This release will be in standard DVD format and a Blu-ray release will follow soon after.
Blue Man Groups How to be a Megastar Tour has played to sold out crowds around the world, taking audiences through a satirical workshop on how to create the perfect rock concert experience. The double disc DVD/CD HOW TO BE A MEGASTAR LIVE! was filmedin front of over40,000 fans during a two-daystop at the American Airlines Center in Dallas, TX.
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