Author Topic: Vinyl  (Read 24861 times)

hdibrell

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Re: Vinyl
« Reply #20 on: January 18, 2008, 02:41:15 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.




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.
     Bill, the first It's a Beautiful Day album is available on emusic.com. I've found quite a few old "hippie era" albums on there. I also bought the Quicksilver Messenger Service box set some time back. It's pretty good as most of the filler has been eliminated. I have to agree that was a great cover. Unfortunately, like you said, a lot of the music on it was crap. On a side note, I got to see It's A Beautiful Day live at the second Atlanta Pop Festival in 1971. They came on right before dusk. It was magical.  8)   Harry
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sio

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Re: Vinyl
« Reply #21 on: January 19, 2008, 06:05:36 AM »
As i occasionaly DJ, i still keep an interest and buy vynils. Also, as have been mentioned before, lots of great stuff and limited releases only get pressed on vynil (the Deepchord label Echospace comes to my mind this instant). My take on the subject is that lots of ambient music where sound quality is a must (except maybe the more noisier, edgier or experimental stuff where the cracks and pops of vynils can add to the listening experience or is intended) could lose out on a vynil. Surely, some Steve Roach for example, would be wasted on vynil. On the other hand, music like that of Basic Channel (again, quick example), or Yagya as Undershadow may have discovered are definetly more vynil material and to my ears sounds a lot better, warmer and livelier than cd.

My point and experience being, that in general, the more dynamic and minimal music has a better chance to translate well on a vynil. 12" inches pressed loudly at 45" RPM  with wide grooves are the best sounding. When too much music is packed on a side, the grooves will tend to get tighter and as a result, the dymanic and punch suffer ( Also, you're more likely to hear the scratches and cracks).  In general vynils sounds better when you have no more than 10 minutes of music by sides for a 12inches 45" RPM (15 minutes for 33 1/3 RPM). Often, when you listen to older LP recordings on vynil, where they used to force more than 20 minutes on the side, the music sounds so tiny. That's why now, Lp are often pressed on 3 or sometimes 4 vynils, with 2 or 3 tracks by sides.

Also, it is good to known that the sound quality is best at the edge and decreases as you get nearer the centre. It's especially the high frequencies that tend to suffer most..
Vynils need a special mastering, that differ from cd. For example, the stereo imaging should be a bit less wide than on a cd.

I am not working at a vynil pressing plant, but my experience as a buyer, and for having had one 12" pressed in the past has taught me some valuables lessons as to what, to my ears at least, and in the more electronic type of music could make a good vynil and the best listening experience you can have with them and as result  it does influences the music i rather have on a cd or vynils.

And if you want to press your music on a vynil, it can help to known those little details as it may influence your creative decision for your pieces you'd like to see spinning on the black, coloured, or transparent slice.
« Last Edit: January 19, 2008, 06:20:15 AM by sio »

ffcal

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Re: Vinyl
« Reply #22 on: January 19, 2008, 09:52:31 AM »
Most of the recent vinyl I've bought has been limited to releases that are were vinyl only releases, which can be really annoying if the pressings are subpar.  I agree, vinyl may not be an ideal medium for very quiet music such as ambient.  I first owned Aphex Twin's SAW II on vinyl, but switched to CD because the LPs were too noisy and at least one of them was pressed off center.  In terms of pure sonics, though, the LP still sounds better to me, at least if you have a decent turntable.  The LP pressings of the 70s were not that great because of the oil shortages of the time (LPs are made out of PVC) and tendencies of the big records companiess to recycle their vinyl (Capitol records was particularly suspect).  Ironically, when CDs started to crowd out vinyl in the late 80s, LP pressing quality improved significantly with more releases being "direct metal" masters.  ECM has also generally had good LP pressings, except for the brief period at the beginning in the early 70s when they were distribiuted in the US by Polydor.  I have had a B&O turntable since the mid-90s and have ab'd several LP and CD releases of the same album from the 80s and have to still give the nod to LPs for sound quality.

Today, there was an interesting article about LPs and Rick Ballard's record store specializing in jazz LP's.  I agree that LP's were an art form in a way that the CD is only its pale cousin.  The article can be found here:

http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2008/01/19/DDLNUFRL6.DTL

Forrest

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Re: Vinyl
« Reply #23 on: January 21, 2008, 08:08:54 AM »
Wendy Carlos wrote that vinyl could never have the dynamic or frequency range of a cd.  I tend to agree.  I also have to admit that my ears aren't as good as they were in 1972.  The only problem I have with vinyl is that after listening to cds for years now, I can't handle the sound of a diamond needle scraping across a vinyl platter.  Oddly enough, I do still expect a few pops when I listen to King Crimson "Islands".  The worst thing about a vinlyl release is postage.  My first band did an album on vinyl and spent all of our money having it shipped to us from the printer (of which, there were'nt nearly as many vinyl printers in 1988 as there are cd printers today).  Anyone want a Gothic Playground lp?  I've still got a case or two in my closet.

Quicksilver.... wow.  I have a German import of "Happy Trails" on cd.  Sounds great.  Much better than the 8-track.  (had to throw that one in :D)

If any of you are looking for old albums, check antique stores and estate sales.  I found a mint copy of Walter Carlos "Swithed on Bach" a few years ago.  I get them mainly for the covers.  Led Zeppelin's forth, Ringo Starr "Goodnight Vienna."  I was estatic when I found a copy of Chicago at Carnigie Hall with all of the posters.  One album of the four was missing, so they let me have it for $10!

I recently got Led Zeppelin III and Doobie Brothers "Toulouse Street" on cd in little tiny album covers.  I've actually got all the King Crimson up through "Red" in those.  Cute, but not the same.

If digital downloads do become the way to purchase music in the future, than the artwork, liner notes, ect, will sadly become a thing of the past, as well as Phil Austin put it, the memory of having to get up and turn "Don't Crush That Dwarf" over to hear the second side.

As for me and nostalgic sounds, I still have a stereo from 1972 in my closet that I keep debating to hook up to see if that "sound" is still there.  I'll let you know.
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mgriffin

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Re: Vinyl
« Reply #24 on: January 22, 2008, 10:48:22 AM »
My new exploration of the magical world of vinyl will have to wait a while.  The turntable I swiped from my uncle is in a worse state of repair than it looked like.  Needs a new needle at least and I'll probably just replace the cartridge entirely since it's a piece of crap. 

I got out a few Duran Duran 12" singles, some old Toy Dolls albums (so much fun, such cool album covers), Arcadia's So Red the Rose (man, what a great album), a few others.  Somehow my small remaining record collection now seems to include my brother's old Spyro Gyra and David Sanborn albums.  Not sure what I'm gonna do with those.
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Re: Vinyl
« Reply #25 on: January 22, 2008, 02:02:35 PM »
I traded most of my LPs back in the dawn of the CD age when you could get $7 or $8 per LP. I still have a handful that I kept for the covers or inserts, and some rare ones I've never gotten around to selling. I can't say I miss the sound, but I still have many scratches and pops ingrained in my mind so that when I hear the CD I still "hear" the imperfections. Then there are the LPs that were way too long and stretched the limits of the medium like Todd Rundgren's Initiation, which was about 30 minutes per LP side! But it never sounded good to me on vinyl.
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jkn

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Re: Vinyl
« Reply #26 on: January 25, 2008, 09:54:35 AM »

Toy Dolls - only track I remember is Nellie the Elephant, but oh my - what a great track... :)

Yeah - I admit to having Duran Duran 12" and 7" - most of them I inherited when a friend passed away.  Some great stuff (some not so).

My addiction was Depeche Mode - I have an absolutely stupid number of singles from the 80's...   I bought a large collection of Smiths and Erasure singles off of a friend who was tired of lugging around his vinyl every time he moved - I offered them back to him last year.. he didn't want them...  oh well!

I went through a phase where I bought a ton of 70's vinyl - mostly Bowie, Roxy Music, Steely Dan, and Return to Forever.    My 80's collection is by far the largest (no surprise since I was born in 1970...)

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vidnaObmana

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Re: Vinyl
« Reply #27 on: January 28, 2008, 01:10:39 AM »
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.

Something  I've learned with vidnaObmana is that, considering the limited commercial range, it's hardly impossible to keep all of your releases in stock.  To be honest, I never felt comfortable with carrying along my backcatalogue due to my constant search for development and creating something new.  When I stopped my vidna project, I got re-introduced to vinyl and this is why I felt so in tune with the concept that I decided to release an overweight of my fear falls burning works on vinyl and strictly limited.  Nowadays, with the return of vinyl, you can actually have high quality pressings which are almost equal to the soundquality of a compact disc.

There're actually two essential reasons why I prefer vinyl over compact discs these days.  First off is the superior packaging !  I just don't like the small format of a cd any longer (especially the awefull jewelboxes are so disrespectful to art - one exception is the japanese mini gatefold sleeve).  For a lp you can really work with visuals, photography and much more on a larger scale while adding a personal and handmade touch to it all, add to it the beautiful colors of vinyl you can have your music pressed on, and you've a luxurious release which is so more personal and unique.
Secondly, the limited length on a lp... Perhaps this sounds strange coming from a former ambient musician, a musicstyle which normally demands longform pieces and maximum cd times, but when you've only 40 minutes to your disposal (20 minutes per side that's) you do work much more focused and determined to make a statement that is to the point and much more condensed.  For the listener as well the attention span remains throughout the complete listening session, not mentioning the fact that you've to get up and flip the record to listen to the 2nd side.  This all contributes to a much more lively listening experience.

When I see how my fear falls burning vinyls are selling and how enthusiastic people respond to the covers, packaging and uniqueness of such releases, I can only conclude that vinyl is back.

And to make the circle is even more complete, I'm happy to announce that the very last vidnaObmana release will be a 8lp box-set.  1987-2007 chasing the odyssee will be the definite retrospective on Dutch vinyl specialist tonefloat. The box-set will contain 6 lps covering my solo work, selections from the releases on Projekt, Hypnos, Hic Sunt Leones and Relapse Records (thanks to the labels involved to make this all happen), 1 live lp and 1 remix lp.
After that the book is closed.

 
PS. It seems that my old loginname got deleted so that's why I re-registered myself...
   
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Seren

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Re: Vinyl
« Reply #28 on: January 28, 2008, 11:25:24 AM »
Vidna, the 8 lp set sounds a beautiful collectors item. I just don't have a turntable to put it on which is a pity....

I have always thought the artwork for CD's is compromised by the jewel box in many ways (thought the addition of leaves in a clear back is nice) which is why I loved the Amplexus series and other attempts to get beyond the 12cm x 12cm limits. Some of the Hawkwind digipaks have really tried to recreate the open up sleeves of the early 70's. The Umbra label covers are also an attempt to explore that same artistic direction.

I will always remember when I first bought 'Irrlicht' and there was more than 20 minutes a side of music, I thought that was great and felt many artists (possible quality arguments not being ignored here) were not putting onto the records as much music as they might  for fnancial or lack of music reasons- I know the 74 minutes CD length proved a great resource for musicians (myself included), but like anything, just because it is there it does not have to be used and some of the Amplexus and Penumbra releases are examples of this too. I have a sense from some places that getting a CD with only 20 -25 minutes can leave people's expectations feeling shortchanged, an expectation that perhaps the 20 minute a side vinyl can avoid.

when buying my CD player 11 years ago I deliberately chose a single disc machine so that I had to pay attention to the music and keep an active interaction by choosing each disc in turn, rather than put on five 74 minute discs and use the music as wallpaper.





LNerell

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Re: Vinyl
« Reply #29 on: January 28, 2008, 01:40:02 PM »
For the listener as well the attention span remains throughout the complete listening session, not mentioning the fact that you've to get up and flip the record to listen to the 2nd side.  This all contributes to a much more lively listening experience.


Not all of us had to get up to flip a record over. For years my turntable of choice was this player:





It has two sets of arms and when one side was done it would automatically start playing the other side of the disc. It was a great conversation piece in its time.  ;D I still have it but it doesn't work anymore.
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jkn

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Re: Vinyl
« Reply #30 on: January 28, 2008, 02:02:21 PM »
My bass player in my first band had something like that.   Interestingly - it could stand straight up and still play.   
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Undershadow

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Re: Vinyl
« Reply #31 on: January 28, 2008, 02:05:35 PM »
My bass player in my first band had something like that.   Interestingly - it could stand straight up and still play.

Probably better than your bass player could ;)

Joe R

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Re: Vinyl
« Reply #32 on: January 28, 2008, 03:44:12 PM »


When I see how my fear falls burning vinyls are selling and how enthusiastic people respond to the covers, packaging and uniqueness of such releases, I can only conclude that vinyl is back.

Obviously Dirk, you're entitled to do things as you see fit. If I were a musician however, I think I'd want my music released in the most accessible format. I know what you mean about a larger surface for artwork on the LP, but for me the music takes precedence.
« Last Edit: January 28, 2008, 05:59:58 PM by Joe R »

LNerell

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Re: Vinyl
« Reply #33 on: January 28, 2008, 07:13:53 PM »
My bass player in my first band had something like that.   Interestingly - it could stand straight up and still play.   

Yep he probably had the same player, it holds your record vertically instead of horizontally like most record players do. One draw back was if the record you were playing was warped at all it would bang against the sides of the player and create a very loud rumble effect. It could be quite annoying with quieter music like ambient type stuff.  :o Yeah another strike against putting this type of music on LP all be it a very limited one.
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vidnaObmana

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Re: Vinyl
« Reply #34 on: January 29, 2008, 01:37:11 AM »
True, Joe R.  I can relate to your point of view about making your music available in the most accessible format but without being pretentious (please do know that I'm not  ;) I've learned with vidnaObmana that this is just not what I want to do.  I feel much more comfortable with smaller-scale releases but ones which are totally in tune with my vision and not because I want to sell more copies.  Please know that I'm not against cd, on the contrary in April my new fear falls burning album will be released on cd (in a digipack) (but also on 2xlp  ;) and I'm sure that I'll do some more cds in the near future with one of my other projects I've lined up.

But if I may express my preference, I'm just so fascinated by vinyl.  For instance, tonefloat (the dutch label) released a few ambient-like albums on vinyl and they truly sound flawless and to some extend warmer (but I know we can discuss this for years to come whether it truly sounds warmer than a cd).  It's just probably my feeling towards vinyl.

And again to repeat myself, the ritual of how you interact with the music by opening the sleeve, taking out the vinyl, feeling the static, putting the needle on the record, starting its speed and waiting until the first sound is being send through the needle is just mesmerizing...  sorry, guys  ;D
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jkn

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Re: Vinyl
« Reply #35 on: January 29, 2008, 04:59:05 AM »
My bass player in my first band had something like that.   Interestingly - it could stand straight up and still play.

Probably better than your bass player could ;)

Unfortunately, I watched him grow into a fairly bad cocain addict during the course of the band... you hit the nail right on the head.
« Last Edit: January 29, 2008, 05:02:31 AM by jkn »
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jkn

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Re: Vinyl
« Reply #36 on: January 29, 2008, 05:09:10 AM »
And again to repeat myself, the ritual of how you interact with the music by opening the sleeve, taking out the vinyl, feeling the static, putting the needle on the record, starting its speed and waiting until the first sound is being send through the needle is just mesmerizing...  sorry, guys  ;D


I totally agree with that...  (see my first post... :) )
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Brian Bieniowski

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Re: Vinyl
« Reply #37 on: January 29, 2008, 10:01:56 AM »
I know the 74 minutes CD length proved a great resource for musicians (myself included), but like anything, just because it is there it does not have to be used and some of the Amplexus and Penumbra releases are examples of this too.

I hear you on that one, Seren.  I've found myself, lately, breathing a sigh of relief when putting on CDs and finding that they're only forty minutes or so.  That seems to me to be the perfect length when I listen to music, these days.  Very few albums hold my undivided attention over the sixty minute mark.

Wayne Higgins

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Re: Vinyl
« Reply #38 on: January 29, 2008, 11:43:55 AM »
Probably why not too many people are jumping at these 5 hour Oenyaw discs, huh?!?! :D
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Seren

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Re: Vinyl
« Reply #39 on: January 29, 2008, 11:48:12 AM »
Probably why not too many people are jumping at these 5 hour Oenyaw discs, huh?!?! :D

I think really long releases also have their role - such as the Somnium DVD......7 hours is great too.