Audio Myths

To pare down a long (but great) post into something that you might actually read, here are some points about why the Hi-Fi industry is full of crap.

  1. Exotic/expensive cables, interconnects, or power cords don’t make your system sound better.
  2. Expensive CD players do not improve sound quality.
  3. Virtually all audio amplifiers/receivers sound the same (sans EQ). They do not have their own sonic signature that must be carefully paired with speakers.
  4. “Burn in” factor—the idea that speakers or electronics sound better after X hours of use—is likely a delusion.
  5. Expensive vacuum tube electronics may add character to your system, but if clarity (less distortion) and reliability is what you’re after, stick with transistors.
  6. The look and feel of CDs or computers can’t compete with vinyl, which can sound amazing for what it is. But there is no music lost “between the bits.” High quality digital formats are sonically superior to vinyl in every measurable way.
  7. Audiophile higher bit audio formats are not likely to offer audible improvements over compact disc 16 bit/44.1 kHz quality (though there are valid reasons for using these formats in recording).

And I’ll be happy to debate any of those points.


Rave Mode (Mac OS only)

Rave ModePut your computer into rave mode!

A fun little tool to make your Mac screen light and keyboard light react to sound. A great addition to any party.

Just download and install Max/MSP (free), download and open audeyoe_ravemode.mxf ($1), and have fun.

You can set it to react to incoming sound from the built-in microphone, or play an audio file from right there in the app. Set the sensitivity, and choose whether to control the screen, the keyboard light, or both.

Accidentally set your screen brightness to zero and can’t see? No problem, hit the spacebar to stop Rave Mode, and it’ll set your screen to the brightness it was when you opened the app.

See it in action:

PM5D iPad Control

PM5D iPad Control v0.5

In recent years, console manufacturers have started developing iPad remote controllers for their consoles, giving engineers much more flexibility on how they mix. But one great workhorse still used throughout the world has been left behind: the Yamaha PM5D. It’s still a great console (and has a much easier price point than some of the newer consoles), but it lacks any sort of networking to allow the same sort of iPad control that newer consoles have.

Until now.

PM5D iPad Control ($10), built on Mira ($50) and Max/MSP (Free), allows you to make use of the PM5D console’s built-in MIDI capabilities to control most of the typically-used parameters of the console. Set levels, mute and unmute channels, adjust mix levels, change scenes, and more from anywhere in your venue. Don’t be the one engineer you know who’s stuck behind the console all the time.

Get it now, and start walking around the house while adjusting levels to make sure it sounds good everywhere. Let someone use your console (when they make you), but still have a way to fix things if they do something wrong. Even more importantly – leave the console and go sit in a comfy chair for those long events that are just one mic on and off.

Please see this page for usage instructions. Don’t forget to read the notes.


  • PM5D iPad Control is still in testing. There are many features which are not added yet, and some other features that will not be added because of the limitations of the MIDI protocol. This controller is not designed to replace the functionality of the PM5D, just to give you some flexibility.
  • Expect bugs. Please let me know if you have bugs (comments below are fine, or an email to so that I can fix them.
  • PM5D iPad Control has only been tested with a MacBook Pro running OSX 10.9.5. It SHOULD work just fine with other versions of Mac OS, and it SHOULD work just fine with most versions of Windows, as long as they meet the requirements for installing Max/MSP. But, it has not been tested, so purchase at your own risk. I highly recommend testing out just the computer-console part of it before spending the money on Mira.
  • Mira is a great application that allows you to send data back and forth between your computer and iPad. As of this writing, it costs $49.99. I do not develop or support this software, and I do not have any ability to change the price or even give out free licenses. You must purchase it separately.
  • I am working on a way to sync state between the PM5D and the computer, but at this moment, they start up independently. As soon as any fader or button is touched on the PM5D, it will update in the software, but do not be surprised if you have faders or buttons up on the console that do not get reflected on the computer right when you first start it up. The controller opens with the following settings, so I recommend having your console in this state when starting up: All channel and stereo mix faders down, all “on” buttons off. All Mix and Matrix “on” buttons active, with their dials at unity. Stereo Mix A Fader at Unity, “on” button active. Stereo Mix B Fader down, “on” button off.
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