Industry Initiatives Show Importance of Hi-Res Audio

Hi-Res MUSIC logo

Official logo

Hi-res audio is growing in popularity, leading the RIAA to introduce an official logo for product, and The Recording Academy to establish official guidelines.

The Recording Academy® Producers & Engineers Wing® is creating a series of Hi-Res Production Guidelines, with the goal of further clarifying the technology and techniques essential to producing great high-resolution music.

Topics to be addressed in these guidelines include:
• The importance of providing masters that have either been digitally recorded or re-mastered from analog sources at the highest resolution possible.
• The value of establishing workflow protocols and procedures for recording new projects at 96K/24 bit and higher.
• The need for utilizing best practices when transferring analog masters to hi-res digital formats.
• The importance of packaging Hi-Res files with high quality digital liner notes, credits, and other descriptive metadata that complements these recordings.
• The use of best efforts when documenting the origin format (“provenance”) of these recordings, in order to provide as much transparency to consumers as possible.
• A list of recommendations that support the minimum production requirements necessary to enable music labels to deliver hi-res content.

“Hi-Res Music is becoming more popular every day, and demand for these digital files is increasing rapidly,” said Maureen Droney, Producers & Engineers Wing Managing Director. “Our members want to ensure that there is enough music product in the pipeline to satisfy this demand. These professionals, who represent some of the best ears in the business, have volunteered their time, energy and expertise in order to demystify and simplify the overall process of creating Hi-Res Music. The guidelines they will create will go a long way towards realizing this.”

Additionally, the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) and its member companies recently unveiled a new logo designed to help music fans more easily identify the highest-quality digital music. This significant step forward in the digital listening experience allows digital retailers to mark recordings that meet the official definition for “High Resolution Music” that was agreed to last year, in cooperation with the Consumer Electronics Association, DEG: The Digital Entertainment Group and The Recording Academy Producers & Engineers Wing.

High Resolution Music is officially defined as “lossless audio capable of reproducing the full spectrum of sound from recordings which have been mastered from better than CD quality (48kHz/20-bit or higher) music sources which represent what the artists, producers and engineers originally intended.” This definition ensures consumers receive music that is delivered in a digital format that retains the highest quality captured during the creative process.

The new Hi-Res Music logo will be available to digital music retailers and record labels starting this summer. Interested parties should contact Shannon Gregory at [email protected]

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Sarah Skates has worked in the music business for more than a decade and is a longtime contributor to MusicRow.

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