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With more and more people getting interested in vinyl again, I'm wondering why most recording companies don't make two recordings of the same performance - one all digital (for a CD) and one all analog (for an LP).
Is it that much more expensive? Is there some technical reason why they can't do that? Do some already do that?
rlindsa - new vinyl freak
A while ago there was a thread about studios in LA and elsewhere who had an anolog machine gathering dust in the corner while 99% of the recordings are done on Protools. Sad but true, like Toto guitarist Steve Lukather said, there is no "studio scene" anymore with great musicians getting together and PLAY music on a pop/rock record. Beyonce a.o. take a drum sample here, a bass sample there and cut&paste everything together in Protools. You just can't do that in the analog domain, not even on a 24 track Studer machine. All this started in the 80s with Atari computers, Cubase, midi and Akai samplers used for making electronic dance music.
There was another thread with a link to a site where a pro studio engineer compared analog recording to digital in a very down-to-earth way. Conclusion: when you want to record a real group of musicians playing live in the studio, use analog.
There (below) has been a lot of moaning and groaning about the abandonment of analog recording. How about doing something about it? How can we encourage record companies do what we want them to do?
We will need to answer, at least, the following:
What's in it for me (recording company)?
I have to purchase, install, and maintain, additional equipment. My control room is full already. How can you expect me to add to the size of the room?
I need another 'engineer' to operate the tape machines and control the audio levels.
Recording 'takes' have to be such that I don't run out of tape in the middle of a take. Changing reels takes time.
And now the bummer - when it comes to edit time tape editting is a much harder, time consuming, and riskier, to do than digital. Time costs money.
Are you the record collector willing to pay the (very) high price to not only cover my additional costs and make a profit too?
What would YOU do?
with most of the stuff comming out lately i could care less, however if they generate something worth listening to again that would be a different story. actually i am pretty content with the current situation, i don't listen to digital and i don't feel i am missing out on anything, and i am re-discovering music which is "new" to me for cheap, from decades ago that i did not know existed!, and every now and then i get an audiophile re-issue from Classic, MFSL(old), ect. although i am getting picker about re-issues having gotten burned and finding original pressings from country of origin often to be better and cheaper. get to many people into this and those original pressings will be hard to find and pricy. prices have gone up 50% in the last 5 years already.
digital is better! Really.
Far too expensive and complex. And for what purpose? To make a handful of audiophiles happy?
Hmmm, that wouldn't explain why in the past year I've sold new turntables 5 to 1 vs dedicated CD players. The record companies are freaking out and people are waking up! That's why vinyl records are selling more than SACD, DVD-A and Dual-Disc combined. Why spend $15 on a new remasted CD when you can pick up the better sounding record for $5 used? If sound doesn't matter then get free MP3s, if it does buy three used records for the price of one new CD any enjy the music more. Damn...the vinyl must be rotting my brain!
. . . and you see how awful it can be when engineers used to one medium start working in another.
They are primarily interested in making money to the exclusion of anything else, as well as the fact that the segment of the market that would actually care about analog versions is analogous to a fart in a Hurricane.
However I should add the fate of analog (and music quality at large) was sort of settled when they started kicking the recording engineer's asses off management and put bean counters instead somewhere in the late 60s-early 70s. Then digital came in with its "cheaper-faster-better" (better?) approach, and we have just witnessed the consolidation of this money-driven business model and the futile dreck they try to market as "music" on which sound quality certainly isn't the most valuable asset (okay, not *all* new music is "futile dreck" but to find contemporary music that's worthy you have to dive deep into the underground of indie labels, and most don't lose sleep over sonics either).
If you want to find companies who actually give a hoot about analog these days, they will most likely be the ones marketing to the audiophile sector e.g. Chad Kassem's Blue Heaven Studios and its APO label. As someone said before, we've become a helplessly niche sector of the market, and a small one at that. The fact that there are still a bunch of companies willing to keep analog alive is rather a darned blessing.
Thanks, One bright spot is that despite being a "Niche" and a small one at that, we are consistently profitable unlike Digital, so I believe if anything we can likely look forward to being catered to by small highly motivated often enthusiast operated Niche analog suppliers.
The problem with Digital as I see it isn't the technology, as I have an AMC CD7a with a tube output stage and a Philips 963SA with Oversampling for Redbook CD playback and a Pioneer Universal DVD/CD
which handles DVD-A and I have a number of Redbook SACD and DVD-A's which sound fantastic on my modest digital front end.
But the recording industry is now either 2 or 3 Corporate entities
so while many of the small labels we're used to still exist but they're more or less in name only, those Corponazi beancounters aren't music lovers or even music business folks they aren't out there looking for undiscovered talent they're just shoving Britney Spears, Celiene Dion etc. down our throats, I don't think they give 2 shits about quality of the performance or the actual recording they just want numbers.
So before I got seriously back into analog I'd go out and spend a small fortune on Re-mastered re-releases thinking I was getting
better sonics, more often than not I'd find the $24.95 re-master had the life compressed out of it and half baked copy protection schemes that precluded listening on my PC and was in many cases either degrading the sound and or actually audible.
The avaricious bastards could care less what audiophiles think
beyond their own small spin off niche marketing efforts.
And the general public is clueless as to what constitutes good sound because they're listing to MP3's and their PC's car stereo's etc. So I'm not holding my breath waiting for Sony and the others
to start sourcing the best masters and the best engineers, etc. I don't think they have an iota of pride or probably even decency :-(
Cost, market, availability of analog and digital recording and mastering
equipment and pressing plant capacity. Vinyl has enjoyed a wonderful bubble for the last ten years but is now, and will forever be a niche market. The majors would have to get back into analog and vinyl in a big way for that to change. The small labels can't provide the critical mass to move the market.
Reference recordings did this very thing until about the mid 90's. I have several of their LP's, Dallas Wind Sym, and others. Really well recorded. They then stopped, I assume for financial reasons. Unfortunately the company is no longer. See thread in Music Lane.
....don't know how anymore, I bet the recording studio courses use mostly digital these days, but that's not first hand experience i'll add. The engineers from the 50's 60's 70's and maybe some of the 80's all knew analogue, anyone from then on would have probably brought up on digital in the majority of cases. Then look at the amount of engineers who know how to prepare the music for vinyl, then the master and vinyl making process, i'd imagine if these skills aren't passed down soon, they'll be lost.
was at meeting with recording company (small) and question came up, and they stated it was to difficult, too much work to justify. i think too that not very many know how any more.
don't look at me! I make my records on tape still but they dont make tape. Good digital is overvalued and good analogue is undervalued but most people make records on pro-tool which has a strangle-hold on the market place. Tom lord alge, an untalented man, in my opinion, who mixesmany hit singles wont accept a remix on anything but a protools file.
Mixing in a Pro-Tools system is a no-no, if you care about sound quality. This is true for all digital systems. The best mixes are still done in the analog domain, whether the original tape is digital or not. When two sounds are combined in the analog domain, they modulate each other, but not in the digital world since the programming algorithms simplify the blending of different sounds. Sounds always modulate each other in real life, as well in an analogue mixer. The best way to describe digital recording is "unnatural-sounding" IMHO...
and as usual I can't remember the source. The problem was that digital master tapes can age just like analog masters. When analog master tapes age they can lose high frequency info and just get very dull sounding.
Digital is another ballgame. Instead of a gradual loss of fidelity, digital can have unceremonious drop outs. They just dont have the bits anymore. The resulting symptom is gaps in the music. Nice huh?
Anyway if my memory serves me correctly (huge disclaimer) there were some operations that were making analog masters as well as digital ones for double backup purposes. If its all true.
We don't shush around here! (Siegfried)
apparantly gould's 81 goldberg recording was recorded both ways. the CD reissue that just came out as part of the "latest and greatest" gould series (i think it was called a state of wonder and had the 55 and the 81 and some other fun gould stuff) was actually made using the analogue backup and not the digital master. i don't have the book here with me now and i can't remember exactly why, but i guess this means the original LP would have been DDA or DAA and the current CD is now AAD or ADD.
how many albums can we say that about?
i still think i prefer the sound on my slightly beat up 55 6 eye to both the 81 LP and the 2 81 CD releases. (i do go back and forth on the performances but i think thats a different discussion for a different thread).
We have become an iPod/ MP-3 society. Audiophiles are just a tiny, annoying speck to dirt to most people.
There may be the occasional artist that cares for or is an audiophile, but by and large, we're by far a tiny minority.
maximize the possibilities of what are very flawed methods of sound reproduction.
Face it guys. Pressing an analog recording into a poorly designed 12" disc of vinyl that warps, scratches, gets moldy, and begins to degrade and age the moment it leaves the presses, then subjecting it to hundreds of pounds of pressure and extreme heat by a diamond racing around inside the etched grooves, is not an ideal situation...LOL
Luckily, audiophiles and the high-end exist for the sole purpose of maximizing the capability of capturing what has been pressed in that groove with as much fidelity as possible. We have come a long way in 60(?) years!!
Now we simply have a new challenge, or perhaps our yung-uns do. They need to expand the horizons of another hopelessly flawed format, digital audio. Sure there will be "flavors" along the way as we have had in vinyl, mono, stereo, SQ, QS, CD-4, DBX-encoding, Direct-to-disc, Half-Speed Mastering, etc...
This new flawed format will also have different flavors as we have already seen eg. SACD, 96/24, upsampling, MP3, etc...
We have had 60 years to get to this point with analog. Digital has had all of 25 years and look at the progress it has made.
Digital was originally sold as "perfect sound forever". Sony and Philips have gotten rid of that notion long ago. It's not perfect, nor is it forever. However, it is getting closer and closer to becoming an ideal medium and recorded bits and bytes do not degrade over time. They can be archived in data format forever. SO there is a definite PLUS to digital audio.
It's just our jobs as audiophiles to make sure that we keep pressing the niche high-end industry forward in developing high fidelity equipment that continually improve our capacity to render better sound from this new "flawed" medium.
...ok ok I'll step away from the keyboard now ;-)
while back someone mentioned total of Stereophile and Absolute Sound was about 100K and even then there is overlap. compare that to 300 million population and we are 0.03 percent! maybe 0.05 percent if you include those who do not subscribe. and then vinyl audiophiles are a smaller sub-set of that yet!(maybe 0.01 percent) at least we outnumber the hi-res people, and the greater non-audiophile vinyl people help us along.
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