Author Topic: libraries, collections, & listening rooms  (Read 6748 times)

darren bergstein

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libraries, collections, & listening rooms
« on: March 06, 2008, 12:37:31 PM »
While recently reading through the "gear talk" section of the hypnos forum, I got to thinking about originating a posting for the 'other side' of the music-making continuum: the listeners (and/or collectors, or what have you). With many of this forum's artists offering glimpses into the inner sanctums of their recording studios, I thought perhaps it might be interesting to see everyone's listening spaces, their collections, libraries, etc. After being made privy to where the act of sonic creation takes place, the flip side is viewing where all those silver & black discs finally end up.

My intention here is really one of curiousity over the collection/library obsessions of my fellow forumites & colleagues; no doubt reading all of your posts over the years has led me to believe many of you have large collections, housed in some sort of area where you also do your home listening. The whole idea & act of collecting is a human jones I am always fascinated by (coming from parents who themselves are collectors, from music and books to antiques and nautical interests), and, even more interestingly, *everyone* seems to organize and create their libraries wholly uniquely according to their own perspective. In fact, there was an extremely amusing piece in an old issue of Tower Records' "Pulse" mag some years back (written by David Greenberger, of The Duplex Planet - http://www.duplexplanet.com/visitorcenter.html) which discussed the various bizarritude encountered amongst record collectors & how they file/organize their recordings, which can be the topic of a whole other thread entirely, but we're getting off the point.

Below are pictures of my collection/library (or as my wife calls it, the Bunker, as it resides in a walk-out basement we finished when we first moved into the house some 3+ years back). And, yes, my CD collection is large (comes from now 20+ years acquiring CDs), as was the vinyl collection that predated it (which has shrank considerably). This room functions as my library/home office, and is the main place where I do the majority of my listening.

Explanatory notes: my audio system is visible in the first two photos, all components spread out horizontally on a long, antique chinese table; to the left are shelves holding large boxsets. The rest is the bulk of my collection, nearly 17,000 discs & counting - yikes!



« Last Edit: March 06, 2008, 09:31:27 PM by darren bergstein »

jkn

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Re: libraries, collections, & listening rooms
« Reply #1 on: March 06, 2008, 12:56:24 PM »


This is a fantastic topic.   Sadly - my collection is scattered - I keep most of it at work in cd drums, cases, or cdr spindles... :)   My vinyl is stored in the basement and my cassettes are stored in boxes somewhere in the basement.    I've lost count - it's large compared to many people and small in comparison to a lot of people on the forum.   I'll hazzard a guess of a couple thousand titles.

 
« Last Edit: March 06, 2008, 02:27:59 PM by jkn »
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jblock

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Re: libraries, collections, & listening rooms
« Reply #2 on: March 06, 2008, 01:00:39 PM »
Wow Darren, that's impressive. I'm trying to move in the opposite direction and consolidating as much as possible. I've sold about 200 CDs in the last six months and hope to cut the collection in half by the end of the year.
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jkn

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Re: libraries, collections, & listening rooms
« Reply #3 on: March 06, 2008, 01:31:51 PM »
I tend to mainly listen in my car and at my desk at work on either a Sony boombox or headphones.   At home if I'm doing serious listening (whatever that means...) it's on my Mackie's or my Polk surround system in the living room.   
« Last Edit: March 06, 2008, 02:28:26 PM by jkn »
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darren bergstein

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Re: libraries, collections, & listening rooms
« Reply #4 on: March 06, 2008, 09:36:18 PM »
Wow Darren, that's impressive. I'm trying to move in the opposite direction and consolidating as much as possible. I've sold about 200 CDs in the last six months and hope to cut the collection in half by the end of the year.

Sold 200? Christ, I'm lucky if I can sell a CD to any of the now-worthless NYC shops...they take virtually nothing, including things they already sell new. And, no, I've no desire to go the eBay/equivalent route, not as of yet - there's not much I'm looking to get rid of at the moment. I actually did a pretty large purge (about 185 discs) at Amoeba in SF when I visited there last August...

Still...where's your pix, John? What's your listening area/library like? I'm hoping there will be more significant response to this topic...git those cameras out, folks :)

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Re: libraries, collections, & listening rooms
« Reply #5 on: March 07, 2008, 03:48:59 AM »
wow, that's a lot of CDs...... 8)

Our new house is so small that my studio is my listening space - not great as it needs a different space to listen comfortably...

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Re: libraries, collections, & listening rooms
« Reply #6 on: March 07, 2008, 08:52:35 AM »
While recently reading through the "gear talk" section of the hypnos forum, I got to thinking about originating a posting for the 'other side' of the music-making continuum: the listeners (and/or collectors, or what have you). With many of this forum's artists offering glimpses into the inner sanctums of their recording studios, I thought perhaps it might be interesting to see everyone's listening spaces, their collections, libraries, etc. After being made privy to where the act of sonic creation takes place, the flip side is viewing where all those silver & black discs finally end up.

My intention here is really one of curiousity over the collection/library obsessions of my fellow forumites & colleagues; no doubt reading all of your posts over the years has led me to believe many of you have large collections, housed in some sort of area where you also do your home listening. The whole idea & act of collecting is a human jones I am always fascinated by (coming from parents who themselves are collectors, from music and books to antiques and nautical interests), and, even more interestingly, *everyone* seems to organize and create their libraries wholly uniquely according to their own perspective. In fact, there was an extremely amusing piece in an old issue of Tower Records' "Pulse" mag some years back (written by David Greenberger, of The Duplex Planet - http://www.duplexplanet.com/visitorcenter.html) which discussed the various bizarritude encountered amongst record collectors & how they file/organize their recordings, which can be the topic of a whole other thread entirely, but we're getting off the point.

Below are pictures of my collection/library (or as my wife calls it, the Bunker, as it resides in a walk-out basement we finished when we first moved into the house some 3+ years back). And, yes, my CD collection is large (comes from now 20+ years acquiring CDs), as was the vinyl collection that predated it (which has shrank considerably). This room functions as my library/home office, and is the main place where I do the majority of my listening.

Explanatory notes: my audio system is visible in the first two photos, all components spread out horizontally on a long, antique chinese table; to the left are shelves holding large boxsets. The rest is the bulk of my collection, nearly 17,000 discs & counting - yikes!






Wow, how did you pack 17,000 CDs (or whatever the total was then) when you moved? I moved house recently and had about 14 small plastic containers filled with CDs - and that was just for a collection of ~1000.

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darren bergstein

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Re: libraries, collections, & listening rooms
« Reply #7 on: March 07, 2008, 10:46:55 AM »

Wow, how did you pack 17,000 CDs (or whatever the total was then) when you moved? I moved house recently and had about 14 small plastic containers filled with CDs - and that was just for a collection of ~1000.


It was, well, time-consuming. Can't remember offhand how many I had when I my made the move into my current space, but having moved more times in my lifetime than I can count, I had that packing thing down to a fine art. For CDs, I've always used the cardboard boxes they ship reams of paper in (perusing the local copy/print shops for months to acquire them before the move); the boxes fit 2 layers of CDs (if memory serves, roughly 160-180/box, I think), and for this last move I believe I used something like 65, 70 boxes.

But that's done, thankfully.

So: where's your photos? :)
« Last Edit: March 07, 2008, 10:51:40 AM by darren bergstein »

Bebbo

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Re: libraries, collections, & listening rooms
« Reply #8 on: March 08, 2008, 11:00:51 AM »

Wow, how did you pack 17,000 CDs (or whatever the total was then) when you moved? I moved house recently and had about 14 small plastic containers filled with CDs - and that was just for a collection of ~1000.


It was, well, time-consuming. Can't remember offhand how many I had when I my made the move into my current space, but having moved more times in my lifetime than I can count, I had that packing thing down to a fine art. For CDs, I've always used the cardboard boxes they ship reams of paper in (perusing the local copy/print shops for months to acquire them before the move); the boxes fit 2 layers of CDs (if memory serves, roughly 160-180/box, I think), and for this last move I believe I used something like 65, 70 boxes.

But that's done, thankfully.

So: where's your photos? :)

Unfortunately I haven't got all my CDs unpacked yet, and they are usually spread about the house anyway.

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Dene

zzzone.net

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Re: libraries, collections, & listening rooms
« Reply #9 on: March 09, 2008, 07:47:24 AM »
Hey.

I run http://zzzone.net which is a site devoted to ambient artists & music.

I recently moved to Austin and spent quite a bit of time unpacking and trying to organize my collection of antiquated optical discs.

Jim

PS If you are in the links section of the site and want to be updated, just let me know


LNerell

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Re: libraries, collections, & listening rooms
« Reply #10 on: March 09, 2008, 11:33:21 AM »
PS If you are in the links section of the site and want to be updated, just let me know


You can start by updating my link to www.lorennerell.com. BTW impressive collection of CDs you have their.
Take care.

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Scott M2

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Re: libraries, collections, & listening rooms
« Reply #11 on: March 09, 2008, 02:00:10 PM »
Holy smokes Jim - What do you do when you need more space in the Ns for your new Numina CD?
Shift everything over?

darren bergstein

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Re: libraries, collections, & listening rooms
« Reply #12 on: March 09, 2008, 05:47:34 PM »
Holy smokes Jim - What do you do when you need more space in the Ns for your new Numina CD? Shift everything over?

Glad you posted your photos, Jim! I wish you luck with your reorganization. It also appears from your photos you have a goodly amount of the little silver suckers yourself... :)

Yeah, as per Scott's comments, it can be an issue, tucking a recording into the collection at a given point, particularly if, as it appears in his photos, Jim has something of a space issue.

Fortunately, what I have done (if you look at the photos in my initial post) is leave space at the bottom of each shelf unit, so that when I file I don't have to move/shift the whole bloody collection over! I *used* to have to do that, but now with the rather large space I am thankfully in (the room itself is a converted basement, 14' X 36'), it is no longer necessary.

It's actually taken many years to finally be able to have a dedicated space for my collection that I can call my own, rather than all of it being housed in a spare bedroom or equivalent. I keep everything very organized (by genre & release date, & alphabetical - don't know any other way to logically file), so the retrieval system is pretty uncomplicated.

Of course, the problem remains what happens when I run out of room, which isn't anytime soon, but perhaps in the next year or two or three...(gulp).
« Last Edit: March 09, 2008, 05:50:57 PM by darren bergstein »

jkn

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Re: libraries, collections, & listening rooms
« Reply #13 on: March 10, 2008, 06:50:54 AM »
With both my cd and dvd collections - I just couldn't keep them in their cases and not be tripping over them all the time - which I used to do.  I'd have them piled up in my studio (which is our 2nd bedroom or a 2 bedroom house - so I just don't have that much space!) - and yeah - the day that I kicked Steve Roach's Early Man "slab 'o slate" edition with my bare feet... holy cow.   :)

I have all of my dvd's loaded into various media holders (mostly these things called "pods" which are white round drums and work really well).  I keep all of them in a software app called DVD Profiler (if you really, really want to see the collection - I'll give you a link via pm...  why you'd want to... ha!  don't know. )

My cd's I also purged all the jewel cases (except for "special artwork" ones) - and those are all in cd drums.    I started various lists of tracking what I owned - but I always seemed to fail on that.    I do have a chunk of them up at discogs ( http://www.discogs.com/user/jkn ) but that's probably less than a quarter of the whole collection.

I will take photos one of these days - but it's just not as exciting as Darren or Jim's walls of music.   
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Bill Binkelman

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Re: libraries, collections, & listening rooms
« Reply #14 on: March 10, 2008, 07:32:08 AM »
Whew! I now realize my collection is pretty tiny by many people's standards. I can't imagine a collection the size of Darren's. Yikes! I don't mean that in a bad way at all. I just have a hard time deciding what to play in MY small collection (I'll guess between 2,000 and 3,000 discs). Plus, they're scattered everywhere. Some are upstairs in a cheap flimsy vertical wooden holder (looks like it will tip over any second).There are several plastic boxes of CDs to be reviewed always sitting around upstairs, too. In the basement "dungeon" (which Dene visited when he came over here a few years ago), there are built in shelves on one side of the only finished room in the basement which served as my publisher's office when i was publishing the magazine. The CDs that get the "honor"  ;D of being shelved are either those that I've purchased or that I've reviewed. There is a huge one-shelf collection (CDs stacked two deep) of CDs that almost made the cut for review or may someday down the road "graduate." Then there are assorted stacks on several tables, some of which are total rejects (e.g. some stuff from Staaplaat plus more cheesy new age music than any one person can probably imagine) and yet others are CDs that I simply will probably never play again after reviewing so they don't need to be on the shelf since I don't feel a need will ever come up to "find them."

This last batch I don't know what I will eventually do with...probably give them away to a person or persons someday because I can't donate them to an institution (in Minnesota, it's against the law for libraries and schools to accept recordings stamped "promotional copy") and I steadfastly REFUSE to sell these on ebay or to Cheapo. But they're just gathering dust right now, literally.

I'm a little reluctant to part with them all, though, because I have it in my mind to one day do my version of Jim's "TATU." Waduda Paradiso, one of two heads of New Earth Records, has been after me for several years to write a book. Not sure if I'm up for it, but who knows? Anyway, as a result, even with CDs I will never play again, I'm thinking "Well, if I DO write that book, I may need to reference these things."

If, and it's a big "IF," I can get the room cleaned up enough to take a picture and not worry about one of you calling the health dept. to complain about the squalor, I will do so. However, it's not much to see. I sort the CDs alphabetically by artist name with V/A comps on one shelf. I don't segregate ambient from new age or world. But I do have a small section for the other genres, i.e. blues, jazz, rock, pop, soundtracks.

I don't have a listening room...wish to hell I did. Most of my listening is done via headphones, or in the car, or else played on the back sunroom stereo while I cook. With our house laid out as it is (more or less all on one floor) and Kathryn being a TV fanatic, I don't get much chance to listen to music unless she's gone. Someday, I may turn the basement office into a media center for movies and music, but that may take winning the lottery to happen! :D

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Re: libraries, collections, & listening rooms
« Reply #15 on: March 12, 2008, 09:34:42 AM »
My collection has been reduced to 3 milk crates' worth of CDs, 2 pocket books of CDs, and about 2.5 shelves on my newest bookshelf for DVDs and cassette tapes.

My CD collection used to be bigger; but I got rid of around 500 discs after I stopped DJ'ing back in 2001.

No pics to share...as my apartment isn't in the most tidy condition right now.  :)

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Re: libraries, collections, & listening rooms
« Reply #16 on: March 12, 2008, 10:52:14 AM »
Whew! I now realize my collection is pretty tiny by many people's standards. I can't imagine a collection the size of Darren's. Yikes! I don't mean that in a bad way at all. I just have a hard time deciding what to play in MY small collection (I'll guess between 2,000 and 3,000 discs). Plus, they're scattered everywhere. Some are upstairs in a cheap flimsy vertical wooden holder (looks like it will tip over any second).There are several plastic boxes of CDs to be reviewed always sitting around upstairs, too. In the basement "dungeon" (which Dene visited when he came over here a few years ago), there are built in shelves on one side of the only finished room in the basement which served as my publisher's office when i was publishing the magazine. The CDs that get the "honor"  ;D of being shelved are either those that I've purchased or that I've reviewed. There is a huge one-shelf collection (CDs stacked two deep) of CDs that almost made the cut for review or may someday down the road "graduate." Then there are assorted stacks on several tables, some of which are total rejects (e.g. some stuff from Staaplaat plus more cheesy new age music than any one person can probably imagine) and yet others are CDs that I simply will probably never play again after reviewing so they don't need to be on the shelf since I don't feel a need will ever come up to "find them."
[...]

I can attest to how cheesy some of the new age music Bill mentions actually is. IIRC one CD was by a husband & wife duo, and the wife's singing was even worse than her husband's music. Saying that, I did find a gem in Bill's "dodgy" pile - Continuo's Meditations on Pachelbel's Canon.

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Dene