Author Topic: Vinyl  (Read 24575 times)

mgriffin

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Vinyl
« on: January 17, 2008, 02:30:08 PM »
This topic isn't about vinyl siding, or those yellow vinyl pants you wore to the club last Friday... I'm talking about vinyl records.

I know this has been discussed on here before, but I'm thinking about it again.  Partly because I'm about to set up a turntable on my home stereo for the first time in over 15 years, partly because I've had Hypnos artists talk to me about vinyl releases, partly because I just received a charming 7" transparent vinyl release from Mico Nonet in today's mail.

So I'm wondering where people stand on vinyl now?

I know there are some people around here who talk about playing certain albums that are vinyl-only, but my question for them is, if that album were available on CD, would you have bought the CD instead?

Some have discussed using their turntable to play old records that don't exist on CD, and my question for them is, if most of those LPs were easily obtained on CD would you prefer a CD to the records?  Or would you say the LPs are good enough and just continue to play those?  Or would you prefer the LPs, and think I'm crazy for asking the first two questions?

If you're a recording artist or other "music biz" person, what are your feelings about your own releases on vinyl?
1. don't care or don't want your music released on vinyl
2. kind of curious about it, might like to have a vinyl release at some point just for the novelty
3. think it's quite cool and really love the idea of a few vinyl objects in your discography
4. much prefer vinyl and wish the dumb music industry would make it easier to release everything on vinyl

Myself, as a music lover, I can remember how great it was to look at big 12" record covers and liner notes, and one thing I didn't like about CDs when I switched, was the smaller space for artwork.  But I've never been a believer in the superior sound of vinyl, and yes, I've listened to turntables on stereo systems that cost more than my car, and even though those systems mitigate most of the problems with the vinyl experience, they don't get rid of the noise floor and "wear and tear" issues that are deal-breakers for me with vinyl.  So I guess I'd chalk myself up as #2 on the above list.

I might be crazy, but it seems to me that even as digital downloads are gaining momentum, vinyl records are re-gaining momentum as well, as more than just a retro curiosity, or a way of getting a copy of Kings of the Wild Frontier for 25 cents, or as a tool for DJs.  Curious what others say about this.
[ Mike Griffin, Hypnos Recordings ] email mg (at) hypnos.com | http://hypnos.com | http://twitter.com/mgsoundvisions

hdibrell

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Re: Vinyl
« Reply #1 on: January 17, 2008, 02:42:51 PM »
As mentioned before, I like vinyl more as a nostalgic thing. I, too, have great memories of getting a new album and rushing home to listen to it as I read the album cover. CD's don't give me the same feel. The CD cover as art just doesn't compare favorably to the LP cover as art as far as I'm concerned. That being said, I don't buy LP's of new releases anymore. CD's are just too convenient and the sound quality is better (yeah, I know, Heresy). My albums bring back memories, but I only get them out rarely to listen to.     Harry D
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jkn

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Re: Vinyl
« Reply #2 on: January 17, 2008, 02:45:19 PM »
Ha... good choice on Kings of the Wild Frontier... I have very fond memories of that album from back in high school days - specific parties and drinking games...  :)

I have a love/hate relationship with vinyl.   I still love them - I don't play them often.   I can't part with any of my records - I still have them all.  They're all in plastic sleeves.   I love the process of picking out one from the spine - pulling it out of the sleeve, pulling out the record, putting it on the turntable, putting the needle on the record... there's a physical 'love' there that I just don't get from cd's - (and lets not even bring up the whole mp3 thing...)

One of my "life goals" (for want of a beter term) has been to release my music on vinyl.  

It's definitely a niche market (as if we're not already knee deep in one...).
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Joe R

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Re: Vinyl
« Reply #3 on: January 17, 2008, 03:29:56 PM »
I got rid of my turntable years ago. CDs are easier to use, last longer, no hisses & crackles... and I never thought vinyl sounded better, though some people swear it does.

What exasperates me is that in some cases vinyl is the ONLY format available for a given piece of music. GRRR... what are these artists/labels thinking?! It HAS to be limiting their sales and exposure.
Vidna's Fear Falls Burning project and the Type label are two notable offenders here.

Once I e-mailed a complaint to the Type people, but all I got back was a spiel about the "superior quality of vinyl", and, blah blah blah... what's ironic about this is that the music in question was by Grouper, who purposely release ultra lofi, hissy, crackly stuff to begin with. ???   




Seren

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Re: Vinyl
« Reply #4 on: January 17, 2008, 03:34:46 PM »
I grew up with only vinyl and I too miss the covers.

Still unconvinced about the quality issue either way - I found listening to both sides of Vinyl Irrlicht easier then the digital versions - but I also hated, Hated, the pops, cracks and scratches.

But surely it's possible to release a CD with a vinyl size cover? something beyond the jewel case and digipak size, but even bigger than the amplexus 3" CD covers

As for releases - that would actually manifest one of my youthful dreams when I first got involved in recording, so for that I would see it as a sort of novelty with knobs on - but unable to play it as I have had no turntable since 1982....

mgriffin

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Re: Vinyl
« Reply #5 on: January 17, 2008, 03:38:52 PM »
Amplexus released a 10" square special package for one of their 3" CDs, I think it was Amon or Never Known, or one of his other aliases.
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Seren

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Re: Vinyl
« Reply #6 on: January 17, 2008, 03:55:19 PM »
I didn't see that one, just the folded covers for ones like Roach's 'the dreamer descends' and Tuu's 'frozen lands'.

I got all of the series except the first two by Robert Rich and Vidna Obmana - sold out by the time I discovered the series.

The covers are simply stunning and a work of art in themselves.

mgriffin

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Re: Vinyl
« Reply #7 on: January 17, 2008, 04:03:59 PM »
This is the Amon disc I'm talking about.  Apparently the reason the CD was released in a 10" sleeve was that the same recording was also released on 10" vinyl and they just stuck the CD into the same sleeve.

http://www.discogs.com/release/261610

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mgriffin

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Re: Vinyl
« Reply #8 on: January 17, 2008, 04:41:53 PM »
Just looking at this Mico Nonet record over and over makes me wish I had something cool like this with my music on it!

Speaking of which, this group is seriously great.
[ Mike Griffin, Hypnos Recordings ] email mg (at) hypnos.com | http://hypnos.com | http://twitter.com/mgsoundvisions

mgriffin

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Re: Vinyl
« Reply #9 on: January 17, 2008, 04:42:51 PM »
I'd ask anyone who wants to vote for "vinyl really does sound better, you CD guys don't know what you're talking about," to speak up.
[ Mike Griffin, Hypnos Recordings ] email mg (at) hypnos.com | http://hypnos.com | http://twitter.com/mgsoundvisions

LNerell

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Re: Vinyl
« Reply #10 on: January 17, 2008, 06:33:01 PM »
Funny this has come up right now, as you know I just hooked up my turntable and have been spinning lots of vinyl this week.  :)

I'm not of the crowd that thinks vinyl sounds better and I am willing to bet you won't find many of those types in this group as vinyl never was a very good medium for this type of music. Most of the vinyl junkies I would think are in the classical/jazz fields.

As for buying vinyl, I hardly ever do anymore. I can't think of a single LP that I have bought in the last five years, new or used. Most of my vinyl is as you stated older stuff not released on CD. And given a choice I almost always would take a CD over vinyl.

As for have I thought about releasing my own music on vinyl, yes I have. I almost did that back in the mid 1980s for my first album "Point of Arrival" but I didn't quite have the money at the time so I released it on cassette instead. In retrospect I probably should have released it on LP and just borrowed the money to do it.  I've also thought about releasing something new on vinyl, not because I think its a great medium for music but as a possible way to avoid downloads. It takes a lot more effort to rip an LP then a CD so you really have to go out of your way to do it. I think in the end I would probably do a DVD-A release instead if avoiding bittorrent sites were my main goal.
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Scott M2

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Re: Vinyl
« Reply #11 on: January 17, 2008, 06:41:33 PM »
I'd ask anyone who wants to vote for "vinyl really does sound better, you CD guys don't know what you're talking about," to speak up.

I am not one of those guys. I've kept my large vinyl collection to dip into now and then
for albums I don't have on CD or to enjoy the covers of ones I do - BUT
the pops and crackles outweigh any small sound quality difference for me.
Sometimes the CDs sound distinctly better too. Obvious examples are long-sided discs
like Costello's Get Happy which reveal all the great bass playing on CD.
When I set up a Technics 1200 that was given to me last year, Lynn was excited
to put on Layla but I was really disappointed with the sound. I have an SACD-surround
version now that blows it away. Maybe just a bad vinyl pressing? They certainly exist.
And Ambient!  Music for Airports with pops and crackles cannot compare to the CD experience.
Alright - I'll stop now.

Mark Mushet

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Re: Vinyl
« Reply #12 on: January 17, 2008, 10:38:44 PM »
Vinyl is great for some applications (deep-cut dubplates fur das disco etc.) and the cover art acreage is nice but you know, you can put a CD into a larger package easily so that you have CD quality sound AND graphic interest. Three examples staring me in the face right now are:

John Tilbury - Piano Solo in Barcelona
Alva Noto - Xxerox
David Sylvian - Ember Glance

I'm for CDs...but I must confess to admiring the new hi-fi turntables and HQ fresh pressings of new and old music.

Brian Bieniowski

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Re: Vinyl
« Reply #13 on: January 18, 2008, 08:50:12 AM »
I do enjoy vinyl and, since getting a new turntable, I've found myself picking LPs up more readily than I did in the past.  I have a sizable collection of old lounge records from the 50s—they're only available on LP and I play 'em pretty often.

Since so many artists are still doing vinyl-only (not to mention the tons of great stuff that hasn't made it onto CD), I think it's worth having the equipment around.  I would always prefer a CD over vinyl or CD-R, but I don't have any audiophile reasoning for it—it's all about convenience and accessibility for me.  I'm still stunned when I see guys buying rare LPs on eBay for a fortune when they're readily available on CD at a far cheaper price.   ???
« Last Edit: January 18, 2008, 01:43:00 PM by Brian Bieniowski »

mgriffin

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Re: Vinyl
« Reply #14 on: January 18, 2008, 09:30:06 AM »
I'm setting up a rather crappy Mitsubishi turntable grabbed up from my late great-uncle's home this weekend... nobody else wanted it.  So the quality is probably poor, but no poorer than the mostly worn quality of most of the vinyl I own.

I wonder whether the process of setting this up and listening here and there to my collection, will inspire me to buy new, expensive vinyl releases, or maybe upgrade to a better turntable, or if I'll just spin a few of my old Devo and Blancmange and Duran Duran 12" singles before letting the turntable start to gather dust.
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Seren

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Re: Vinyl
« Reply #15 on: January 18, 2008, 09:53:30 AM »
When I was into Vinyl, it was the bootlegs that I spent most money on - Paid £35 for a Throbbing Gristle bootleg in 1978(I think)....great quality and sound and very few made. Somehow even bootlegs were as difficult to make as fully pressed discs - so the rarity value was a real value, whereas with CDR anything can be made available very easily.....not sure if there is a point here, just reminiscing.....

Scott M2

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Re: Vinyl
« Reply #16 on: January 18, 2008, 10:09:41 AM »
Like many people, Lynn and I have the bad habit of piling CDs and DVDs onto the turntable
because it's a handy flat surface - and then it takes concerted effort (a round of CD filing)
to spin the next LP, reducing the odds that vinyl will be the next choice for tunage.   :(

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Re: Vinyl
« Reply #17 on: January 18, 2008, 11:09:45 AM »
I'd ask anyone who wants to vote for "vinyl really does sound better, you CD guys don't know what you're talking about," to speak up.


When I had a sweet moderately high-end system in the mid to late 80s, consisting of a Thorens TD-316 with a Shure Mark V cartridge, going through a Kyocera receiver and Boston A150 floor 3-ways, I have to say that some vinyl records sounded AWFULLY good, esp. soundtracks which seemed to sound warmer and more "real" than I have yet to hear on a CD player. The stereo "presence" also seemed better with vinyl. Of course, back then, I didn't have any really "ambient" recordings, although the Syntonic Research "Environment" series, which I had a few of, were ambient-like in that they were just sounds. The "Gentle Rain in a Pine Forest" LP (which I would die to have on a CD!) sounded VERY good...many a night I fell asleep to it.

I think it depends on the music, really. For orchestral/soundtrack and perhaps some kinds of jazz, I think vinyl is better as long as the snap/crackle/pop factor is low. And for older rock (that hasn't been re-mastered from the original analog tapes) vinyl is DEFINITELY the way to go. I remember buying the un-re-mastered debut album by Blue Oyster Cult and it sounded like utter shit compared to the vinyl. Thankfully, Columbia has remastered it and it does sound much better, but perhaps the vinyl still sounds the best. I don't know.

Finally, there are just too many obscure, rare, or relatively unpopular recordings that will never see the light of day on CD and for that alone I will never surrender to CD totally. Or, those rare recordings will get released on CD at inflated prices. For example, the debut album from the San Franciso hippy era-band It's A Beautiful Day was released on CD but the price is like $25 (which I still paid, shame on me). If I could have found it as a used LP for $5.00, I'd rather that because, while I like the music just fine, I really only wanted it for a few songs (remember the days of "filler" on LPs as an accepted practice?). There are many recordings that I would gladly pay a few bucks for on LP from those days but I don't want to buy for $20 (another one that comes to mind is Quicksilver's "Just For Love" which has that great song "Fresh Air" but also some wretched stuff like the title song. Yeah, I could download the songs I want I suppose, but damn, I'm nostalgic for the LPs (the cover of that Quicksilver album was pretty cool)



Anyway, some day when I'm finally done with a zillion home repairs/renovations/etc. and I have a dedicated music listening room, I will renew my love affair with records. Until then, well, it's still a fond memory.

Undershadow

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Re: Vinyl
« Reply #18 on: January 18, 2008, 11:33:15 AM »
I don’t buy much vinyl these days, but occasionally it suits me. For example, a couple of years ago I wanted tp pick up a copy of Yagya’s fab ambient-dub-techno opus Rhythm of Snow (2002, Force Tracks) - it had gone OOP, and I couldn’t find it on CD for a decent price. Current discogs prices are representative:

http://www.discogs.com/sell/list?release_id=31061&ev=rp

So I just casually picked it up on vinyl going for a song, and very happy I am with it too :)

I have a nice old Rega Planar 3 turntable, which they’re still making even now:



hdibrell

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Re: Vinyl
« Reply #19 on: January 18, 2008, 02:32:43 PM »
Like many people, Lynn and I have the bad habit of piling CDs and DVDs onto the turntable
because it's a handy flat surface - and then it takes concerted effort (a round of CD filing)
to spin the next LP, reducing the odds that vinyl will be the next choice for tunage.   :(
   ;D That's funny, Scott, because I do exactly the same thing. It takes me an easy 10 minutes to clear off the top of my old Kenwood turntable to play an LP. When I'm finished the cd's slowly start piling up again.   Harry
Never regret money spent on old books, old dogs or old friends.