Bob Stuart, creator of MQA, talks in detail about this revolutionary British technology that sets a new standard in capturing, delivering and reproducing digital audio.
MQA is a superb technology for distributing high-quality audio, as we have shown in the worlds of download, streaming and physical releases (on MQA-CD). Our goal is always to bring listeners the sound of the studio, whether for new or old recordings and to allow confirmation of that delivery with the MQA light. In all areas […]Read more
Welcome to Insight, a series of posts about the entire process of recording, mastering, distribution and playback of live and recorded music in the highest possible sound quality. MQA represents a Paradigm Shift and the scope is wide, so we aim to cover these topics at a few levels – introductory overviews, perspectives and occasionally a deep dive into […]Read more
High resolution is an experience, not a specification … In common audio parlance, ‘High Resolution’ has incorrectly become associated with recordings that use higher-than-CD data rates (i.e. PCM sampled higher than 44.1 kHz or using more than 16 bits). These simplistic definitions are stuck in the digital domain and tell us nothing about resolution in sound […]Read more
Once the recording has been ‘de-blurred’, MQA uses a process we call ‘Music Origami’ that focusses on maintaining the information in the orange triangle (plus a substantial safety margin), thereby making this large, high-resolution file both manageable, and compatible with any service or playback device. This section reviews the ‘origami’ used to make a single-speed […]Read more
MQA Encoding When audio is encoded into MQA, several things happen, the most important of which are: ‘Deblurring’ of the source to remove audible artefacts introduced by analogue-digital converters, mixing and mastering. Identifying the musical information and encapsulating it for the highest quality sound. ‘Origami’ – folding content into a PCM stream for distribution. Embedding […]Read more
MQA Catalogue We often use high sample-rate examples, such as 192kHz, to explain how MQA ‘Origami’ packs the recording into a more efficient form. But the end-to-end system benefits of MQA are just as important when the sample rate is low. This matters a great deal because the music catalogue includes many masters that were originally […]Read more
Everyday Life is the 8th studio album by British rock band Coldplay, released in MQA from the 96-kHz 24-bit Master by Atlantic/Parlophone on 22 November 2019. Q. “Was this recording upsampled”? A. Absolutely not! So far in this Provenance Series, I have highlighted three other cases where the creative work of an artist had received technical […]Read more