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Highlighter. The first 24-bit HD-AAC album release. Ever.

Highlighter. The 8th album by People Under The Stairs. Available for immediate download in 24-bit HD-AAC direct from PUTS.

Dear Friend,

It is with great pride that we present to you the 8th chapter of the P, Highlighter. We would like to personally thank all of you for the enormous support and encouragement throughout the years. With not a single song leaked and no indication of what was coming, we were humbled by the amount of pre-sale orders that came in over the past few weeks. We don’t take your trust lightly, so we have worked hard in preparing a product that is both musically familiar yet technologically groundbreaking. We are extremely excited to announce that Highlighter is very likely the first fully HD-AAC commercial release in the history of music.

As many of you know, the album was pushed back one week from its initial release date, and as you are probably seeing, the download size is larger than a typical MP3 album. With no label to deal with, our ability to sell directly to you and with a little extra time and a whole lot of work, we were able to take advantage of the cutting edge Fraunhofer IIS HD-AAC codec directly from our Piecelock 70B studio. Put simply, almost all modern albums are recorded in high-resolution formats, only to be truncated down to CD format at their final stage – a leftover low-resolution format from the early 80’s that the bloated and greedy music industry is not willing to move beyond. While we have seen advancements in HD video, the dying music industry still is comfortable selling the outdated technology of CD’s because they cost about 10 cents to make. While professional studios have moved on and record audio at a minimum resolution of 24 bits, CDs are fixed at 16 bits. To put that into perspective, 16-bit resolution is equal to 216, or 65,536. Our album was recorded at 24-bit, which translates to 224, or 16,777,216. It’s a big difference between the two, both numerically and more importantly in what you hear, and it is heartbreaking to hear well-recorded albums forced down to a fraction of their native resolution, just to conform to the industry’s outdated technology.

By being able to present the album in HD-AAC, a revolutionary codec which allows us to encode at full 24-bit resolution and play in iTunes and on iPods, we are able to offer an exact replication of what we hear when we listen to the master tapes at our studio. The format is also future proof – this version of Highlighter will sound better and better as audio technology advances and is able to present more and more of the nuances preserved by 24-bit resolution. Most importantly, we feel that this is a great example of the vision of Piecelock 70 and People Under The Stairs working together to make the best possible product for the fans, the people who deserve it most and who support our vision with their hard earned money.

As promised, we have also included a Serato tagged traditional 320kbps MP3 which we took great care with as well. Please be patient with the download, we are hoping our servers can handle the demand. Either way, we think any minor inconveniences will be worth the trouble, so that you hear the album exactly as we hear it when we sit in the studio – with every crackle from the original vinyl intact, every squeak of the real piano in the room, the fan on the vibraphone and the mumbling in the background in between takes. We hope you enjoy listening to Highlighter as much as we enjoyed making it, and if you think the digital version sounds great, wait till you hear the vinyl!

Thank you again for your support and your trust. Time to get your Highlighter.

Thes One and Double K

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