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AIX Records 3D Music Album Demo and Audio Calibration Disc Blu-ray 3D Review

  • Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1
  • Video Codec: AVC/MPEG-4 (2D); MVC (3D)
  • Resolution: 720p/24 (23.976Hz)
  • Audio Codec: Dolby TrueHD 5.1 (96kHz/24-bit) “Stage” and “Perspective” mixes, LPCM 2.0 Stereo (96kHz/24-bit), Dolby Digital 5.1 “Stage” and “Perspective” mixes
  • Subtitles: None
  • Region: ABC (Region-Free)
  • Rating: Not Rated
  • Runtime: 53 Mins.
  • Discs: 1 (1 x Blu-ray 3D)
  • Studio: AIX Records
  • Blu-ray Release Date: June 26, 2012
  • List Price: $34.98

Overall
[Rating:4.5/5]
The Performance
[Rating:5/5]
Video Quality
2D HD: [Rating:4.5/5]
3D Effect: [Rating:4/5]
Audio Quality
[Rating:5/5]
Supplemental Materials
[Rating:2/5]

Click thumbnails for high-resolution 1280X720p screen captures

(All TheaterByte screen captures are lightly compressed with lossy JPEG at 100% quality setting and are meant as a general representation of the content. They do not fully reveal the capabilities of the Blu-ray format)

The Performance

[Rating:5/5]

The AIX Records 3D Music Album Demo offers just a taste of the aural and video perfection that permeates the labels current catalogue of new releases. If you’re a music lover, audio- or videophile, whether you are 3D capable or not, this is the disc to check out to see which AIX title you will want to pick up. Warning: this disc may just convince you to them all up.

A mere taste consisting of 8 tracks, two of which are from 3D releases previously reviewed on Blu-rayDefintion (Goldberg Variations Acoustica/AIX All Stars and Mozart String Quartet k269/Old City String Quartet), the 3D album demo runs the gamut from Classical chamber music, Jazz fusion and acoustic guitar, to blues, country, and new age. My particular favorites here are the beautiful flute playing of James Walker on the classical/jazz track “Skeeball” and the melancholic piano playing of new age pianist Bryan Pezzone on “Berceuse,” full review pending.

Video Quality

2D HD: [Rating:4.5/5]

3D Effect: [Rating:4/5]

AIX captures all their performances live in the studio at 720p/60 high definition for these 3D releases, since there is no allowance for 1080i/60 3D on Blu-ray. As AIX president and founder Mark Waldrep told me himself, the 720p/24 format allows them to keep a live, life-like feel as a opposed to the film-like look of the 1080p/24 resolution. It is effective, if not quite as sharp and detailed as the higher resolution.

The 3D effect is natural and non-gimmicky. It adds an extra sense of “being there” in the studio with the players. I notice just a slight bit more crosstalk than usual with other, 1080p sources, but it is far from overly distracting. The solo-acoustic guitar performance of Laurence Juber, “The White Pass Trail” has the neck and head of the guitar coming out from the screen ever so slightly, just as it would be pointing towards you in a real life performance.

Audio Quality

[Rating:5/5]

What can be said that hasn’t already be said, really, about AIX recordings? You can read for yourself our full reviews of The Old City String Quartet and Goldberg Variations Acoustica to see exactly how we feel about how great these recordings sound. This demo disc is no exception. The recordings carry on the brilliance that it the AIX way of completely natural, non-processed, uncompressed recordings. The unbelievably full and dynamic sound of the piano in the “Berceuse” by Bryan Pezzone, where the natural spread is even more emphasized in the “perspective” mix, the only track where I prefer that version to the “Stage” mix, is a standout. The acoustic guitar of “The White Pass Trail” is both full and bright, and the country jam of Mark Chesnutt’s “It’s a Little Too Late” puts you in the middle of a hoedown. Spectacular.

Supplemental Materials

[Rating:2/5]

The disc comes with an Audio Calibration program, which basically runs through test tones that allow you to calibrate your surround system properly. There is also a brief 3D video of southern California that plays to the music of Bach Brandenberg Concerto No. 5 as performed by G. Enescu Philharmonic.

The Definitive Word

Overall:

[Rating:4.5/5]

AIX has once again set the standard for high resolution demonstration discs with this 3D Music Album Demo and Calibration Disc. Adding 3D brings the label right where they are most comfortable, at the cutting edge, but without comprising the quality of the music and audio.

Additional Screen Captures

Overall
[Rating:4.5/5]
The Performance
[Rating:5/5]
Video Quality
2D HD: [Rating:4.5/5]
3D Effect: [Rating:4/5]
Audio Quality
[Rating:5/5]
Supplemental Materials
[Rating:2/5]

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