Why Record Store Day Won't Revive Vinyl

Record Shop Day

The independent record store: Becoming a footnote in recorded music's history.
pic: dogwelder

Tomorrow is Record Store Day, celebrating the few remaining small, independent record stores in countries all around the world. There are special limited-edition releases available from dozens of artists (if you get there early enough), and free performances in some locations too. While it's all well and good, and certainly a fun slice of nostalgia for those of us old enough to remember record shops at their prime, I do wonder what the purpose of it is. The cynic in me says it's simply to prolong a fatally outdated distribution system for the benefit of those who still have a stake in it.

I watched a report on TV from a record store in Bristol, England this morning. On it, a typical record store employee (an earnest chap who looked like he'd never had another job in his life), and a retirement-age businessman who once owned a string of record stores in Scotland, were lamenting the demise of record stores since digital made buying music so much more convenient for everyone, saying "we're passionate about music at record stores, and that passion is what only record stores can give music fans".

(My partner, by the way, who adores music and clubbing, said she'd never been in an independent record store in her life, and that if she ever bought a record, she'd have had to play it on her dad's player - no, she was too busy taping music off the radio, and hanging around in Virgin...)

The report continued with a lady who looked like she's been listening to The Smiths since 1984 saying how "MP3s don't sound as good as CDs" (ironic because when CDs came along, vinyl aficionados said the same thing about them).

It all felt to me a bit like a group of vintage transport restorers bigging up a Horse and Cart Day.

Why cars replaced horse-drawn carriages

You can imagine the arguments when cars came along at the turn of the last century: "cars don't have lovely saddles", "horses don't need petrol", "you don't see the countryside as closely when you're travelling at those kinds of speeds", "cars don't recognise you and become your friend like horses do...". Yeah, all true. But cars were still a million times better. It's the same with digital music. Digital is fast, cheaper, instant, never out of stock, and therefore simply, logically, a million times better.

Vinyl kills the MP3

Erm, no it doesn't. Pic: Karola Riegler

People say vinyl sales are rising (maybe they are, from really low to just low), but hand-on-heart only the completely deluded would ever say they believe digital music will ever now be miraculously replaced by vinyl again. (Note how they want digital to be replaced by vinyl, not CDs. Two steps back, not one. Fat chance!) Yes, digital may still have its flaws; early cars did too; they were smelly, slow and unreliable in comparison to today's vehicles. So what happened? They got cheaper, faster, and more reliable!

So you don't like the sound quality of MP3s? If enough people agree with you, then (especially with higher bandwidth and storage), lossless audio will become a reality. Feel you can't replicate the record shop experience online? New services are springing up all the time for music discovery that aim to help you find what you want in ever-more innovative ways.

As for the elitist argument that the only place people are really passionate about music is in dusty old record shops? I'm not even going to counter that. Also, there's something that happens whenever new replaces old: people conveniently forget that they used to whinge about the old when it was all they had.

Through rose-tinted glasses, we tend to forget the downsides of record stores: the often surly, uninterested staff; the ridiculously high prices of imports and dance 12s (especially promos that DJs got given for free, sold to the shops for pennies, and which the shops then marked up sometimes ten-fold); the chronic lack of supply of the best stuff; the pure amount of time it took to find the music you wanted; the male bias; the sweaty smell; the queues for listening posts with broken, cheap headphones...

Downloads will soon be history, too...

There's another thing too, that really will put the final nail in the coffin of this tired old argument, and move the debate on to completely new ground: For those of us who've still got our eyes open, it's becoming clear that soon, practically nobody will buy music at all - they'll just subscribe to always-on services from which they can listen to anything they like, whenever they want.

Amazon Cloud Drive & Player

Amazon's Cloud Drive & Player mean you can now buy and play music without ever getting a local copy of it.

Your music locker will exist in the cloud, streamed to your devices (much as Amazon's Kindle keeps all your book purchases in a certain place, the company is now replicating the Kindle Store's success with its Cloud Drive and Cloud Player for music, that automatically keeps your Amazon MP3 purchases online for you. It will be the first of many).

Yes, DJs may continue to keep copies of music in set lists for DJing with, but we're not like the general public. Music purchasing as we know it, whether vinyl, cassette, CD, MP3, WAV or any other format, will eventually disappear pretty much entirely as a mainstream activity.

Maybe then there'll be an Online Record Store Day, when Beatport releases digital download-only one-offs and we all have to be there early to get them!

Nothing personal, it's just progress

Don't get me wrong, I really don't mean to denigrate the good people involved in Record Store Day, although despite having spent most of my youth in record shops, I don't particularly miss them myself. But Record Store Day is celebrating a culture that's been largely lost. It's still close enough in history to make people who remember "the good old days" sad, and I respect that, but I don't want them telling em their way is the only way.

Times move on. And vinyl will no doubt never completely die, just like horse-drawn carriages won't. But while people still go to horse fairs, you can bet they drive there in their fast, warm, reliable cars. And you can also bet that most people who go and buy a limited-edition record or CD at a "real" record store tomorrow then go right home and rip it to MP3 so they can play it on their wonderful, modern iPods.

Will you be visiting your local independent record store tomorrow? Do you miss "real" record shops? Or are you completely comfortable sourcing your music online nowadays and can't see what the fuss is all about? Please let us know your thoughts and experiences in the comments.

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Comments

  1. I predicted years ago that when the copyright police really get a grip on the DJ scene, that clubs would have to join some sort of online server based authorised music service, where DJs could only play what the particular venue was authorised to.

    For a lot of clubs this is probably fine. But for DJs wanting to play their own mixes or maybe music that is a little too underground, this isn't going to work too well. And for the emerging styles of DJing of playing loops and samples, this is going to be almost impossible to control.

    • Phil Morse says:

      In Italy, DJs have to submit a list of what they played to the copyright authorities who them apparently dish out the license fees accordingly (or not, as often happens apparently). As digital takes over from physical music entirely, the law is going to have a lot of catching up to do...

  2. I'm a DJ who uses turntables as well as a Traktor S4 and other digital tools, and I find a place for using all these tools. There are performance purposes for which a vinyl record is the perfect interface, just as other situations where I need to be able to juggle cue points, adjust loop sizes on the fly, etc. Sometimes I want the audio artifacts that come with using old vinyl. Using vinyl, for me, is not about resisting change- it is about artistic choices for a particular performance project. I have a hard time understanding the adversarial relationship to turntables/vinyl that I have been seeing so frequently in the digital DJ world. Why do we have to reject older tools if we embrace modern controllers? Obviously, we don't, but the discourse online sometimes seems to suggest this. Does anyone else see the richness of a hybrid approach to incorporating older recorded media or sound tools alongside the most cutting-edge digital ones?

    • Phil Morse says:

      In response to your point about throwing the old out and embracing the new, it's a valid one. The thing is, the "old school" is often so dismissive of the new (and I remember the Musician's Union rallying against Midi with "Keep Music Live"!) that those who "get" the new way of doing things sometimes can't resist throwing a bit of it back at them. But I see value in the approach of mix and matching - after all, if a DJ booth has CDs, turntables and laptops in it, why not use them all?

    • Kemomitoz says:

      When money and room space are scarce, buying equipment is a big decision (turntables or midi keyboards or MIDI DJ controller), therefore it is a human psychological defense to convince themselves they made a right decision, by bashing whatever item they did not choose.

      I'm sure most people (at least me) would love to have it all if they had no such constraints, not really that they hate other platforms.

  3. I love recordstores and buy loads of vinyl everywhere I go and it is my prefered media for listening. It does sound better than mp3 and CDs... It has plenty of contextual value to it, which is almost impossible to apply to a digital download. At the same time I am making a switch to djing with traktor from djing with cd's (most of the tracks I need are rather hard to get on vinyl) and I can't seem to understand the issue here...

  4. I've read the article above, and come to a conclusion. Either the writer has only listened to records after the invention of digital recording equipment, or possibly may not be as familiar with sonic science. Regardless of how you feel, depending on the format, scientifically for stereo recordings, older vinyl still has higher peaks and lower valleys, only rivaled by a live performance. Unless things have greatly improved, and I hope this is the case, re mastering and re working stereo recordings caused great distress to fans of the original music. Some recordings were flat due to the digital signal being limited at the peaks, others excluded frequencies originally heard in the song creating a crude facsimile of the work with a lower quality sound, or even became over produced. The quality of an MP3 is definitely lower, depending on the particular piece of music. If the recording process was digital, it really doesn't make a difference.

    You don't see the point in Record Store Day? Fine. You feel it's only progress. Agreed. The average consumer will no longer buy music, but the d.j. is not an average consumer. I couldn't agree more. The "average" d.j. is also not type of audiophile who generally becomes more interested in their craft now either. Though it may be nostalgic, the d.j.s who have come up through vinyl, and had to make due with crude makeshift set ups, generally know their craft inside and out to a greater degree than the one who just decided it was a good idea to buy equipment since it's easier now. And as I said, producers looking for a particular sound are more picky about their format too.

    It's not that I have a problem with the statements above, but they seem to discount people interested in Record Store Day as wasting their time with Tom Foolery. Not all encounters in a record store were negative. Actually, it was social networking, before social networking. We're just now finding out the effects of "social" networking and isolationism on society, but that's another topic. I doubt anyone believes Record Store Day will save vinyl. I do however, know that they're no less important or skilled for it. To the student who keenly honed their craft, they just become more efficient through that necessity, making them more valuable and prepared than a digital d.j. So really, who cares? If that same attitude were taken by artists, everyone would sound the same in an industry that's dying, such as the major labels are.

    I understand that digital formats are an important part of better music, more variety, or even finding something that has been unavailable for a long time. I love digital. I also feel that those who don't know their history are doomed to repeat it. There's nothing wrong with a little nostalgia now and then. We do much worse as a whole in society.

    My apologies if this may seem offensive. I just find it somewhat condescending to people who still have a preference. It not only makes them more prepared for laptop crashes, but can also serve as a method to make the most of every new tool, compared to being average and technology dependent. I think vinyl is neither a good or bad thing, but for the entertainment and presentation, vinyl turns more heads if not only from a strictly aesthetic performance. After all, the idea of being a d.j. is to entertain, right?

    Thank you for allowing me to express my opinion. As I eluded earlier, I did not mean to offend. I wanted to express a counter point to the seemingly dismissive nature of a celebration of History.

    • Phil Morse says:

      Thanks Larry, your viewpoint is just as valid as mine, and you haven't offended. And of course not everyone thinks this celebration of recorded music's history will save vinyl, at least I hope not.

      The only thing I would argue you're wrong about (apart from social media maybe being a bad thing) is the tired old "vinyl sounds better" debate. Better than a 128kbps MP3? Yup. But better than a decent lossless WAV? Don't agree.

      By the way, I wish I were young enough to not remember music before digital! :)

    • We have to remember the relevance of vinyl to the digital age. The music buying youth of today are tuned to a particular sound, and that sound is crystal clear digital. The gear they listen to is digital, thus their standard is digital. And that gear delivers enough highs and lows to keep them happy, especially as most of the listening is done directly into their ear canal.

      As for going to a shop to actually buy something physical - means nothing to them at all. In fact it's an inconvenience to have to leave their bedrooms to buy something that they then actually have to store, let alone get out to listen to. When I do have vinyl days in the office, I realise just how bloody wonderful the digital age is.

      I come from a time considerably before digital. And I do miss the days of buying vinyl, as well as the sentimental memories it has left me with. But those really are the good old days. And no end of banging on about how great vinyl is will bring those days back again, or entice da yoof to move en masse to vinyl.

      About the quality of vinyl - trust me, it's not all created equally. I've got a fair collection and it is a long way from all being mastered and pressed well. But at the time, it was all we had, so we lived with the less than pristine audio fidelity. Nowadays, I'd say the overall quality of digital music is considerably better than a lot of underground vinyl releases ever were. And when it's being banged out through a dodgy sound system to a floor full of wasted clubbers, the finer points of vinyl audio quality are to a degree irrelevant anyway. I'm with Phil - in a club environment, I cannot tell the difference between a 320K mp3 and vinyl.

      I love vinyl and always will. But I'm a realist. Vinyl will always be here to some degree, but it will never return to the heady days of 2 decades ago. And a moderate increase in minimal sales is not a comeback.

    • Regardless of how you feel, depending on the format, scientifically for stereo recordings, older vinyl still has higher peaks and lower valleys, only rivaled by a live performance.

      That's not actually true. The dynamic range of vinyl is limited, that's one of the limitations of the medium.

      The quality of an MP3 is definitely lower, depending on the particular piece of music.

      Again, that's not true. MP3 and vinyl are both lossy formats. High-quality (320bkps) MP3s are measurably less lossy than vinyl, and have greater dynamic range.

      If the recording process was digital, it really doesn’t make a difference.

      Again, incorrect. Digital recording doesn't involve any compression, and production workflows are massively oversampled. Recording and distribution format are very different issues.

  5. Sameoldsong says:

    not gonna argue about the pros and cons of vinyl. i'd just like to remark that you simply choose to ignore the facts and stats.

    vinyl sales have been on the rise in the US (the largest market for music in the world) for years. virtually the same happened in germany (which has the third-largest market, larger than the UK and trailing only the US and Japan). vinyl is alive and well with market share around 1% in most industrialized countries.

    remember, CDs outsold vinyl since 1988. over the last ~25 years, many have predicted the end of vinyl--well, so far, they've all been wrong!

    i've lived in a bunch of countries over the last decade. i've found independent record stores everywhere (the only city where the situation was relatively dire was Boston). many independent stores may be struggling, but if you think most will go away you, possibly, are off. the ones that were out there to make money are already gone. many of the remaining ones are doing it for the love of the music and the whole record store thing. it's the same thing about releasing vinyl. in the vast majority of cases, you're bound to lose money by pressing vinyl. however, people won't stop doing it--they love the music and the medium way too much.

    • Phil Morse says:

      What facts have I ignored? I agree entirely with you. Vinyl will never die! And it will never climb past that 1% by any significant amount, either. There will always be room for a handful of boutique stores selling vinyl. And you're right, when there's no money in it, people will do it for love. But their efforts, even if everyday was Record Store Day, won't save it from a future on the sidelines.

      • Sameoldsong says:

        The story the stats tell is not that vinyl is getting more and more marginalized. But marginalization of physical media, including vinyl, is what you are suggesting.

        I find the stats along with anecdotal evidence tell a different story. Vinyl is a niche product but that niche appears healthy, even seeing some growth. And DJs are still very much present in that niche. If you're a DJ and don't buy vinyl, you're seriously missing out on a lot of cool music. Like it or not but I don't think that's gonna change any time soon.

      • Whether producers will continue to release music on vinyl is a different story.

        I was reading an interesting analysis of the economics of production today, and your average vinyl release loses money (about $100US). Average electronic releases make about $1k.

        Producers will stop pressing vinyl well before the niche market of vinyl fetishists gets old and dies.

        I'd be curious to see whether existing vinyl presses will continue to be viable. They need a minimum market to break even, and from what I understand they're right on the edge of this now. It doesn't matter if there's a market, if that market is too small to sustain manufacture.

        To put it bluntly, economics will kill vinyl whether we like it or not :)

  6. Leetenant says:

    I'm cool with the majority of techno, house and other forms of EDM going completely digital. When we were buying tracks on vinyl it would fill up too much storage space. However, I like to buy old and reprints vinyl of 80's, punk, post punk, synth pop, new wave, rock,etc on vinyl. As long as bands like Depeche Mode are making new albums then I prefer them on vinyl at home and I'll use digital copies of albums when I am traveling.

    • Phil Morse says:

      From a collector's perspective, I understand that. I'm just not a collector (never was, even when I had a roomful of vinyl) so it's been easy for me to embrace virtual and get that "stuff" out of my house and mind.

      I accept that this approach isn't for everyone, and objects hold context and sentimental value for people who like to "own" something physical. It's just that digital has given me the chance to shift to a setup I'm more comfortable with. Having my life on a hard drive is very appealing to me.

  7. I won't knock the guys who love their vinyl and won't let go...but I will be honest and say I am so happy to live in a world where I don't have to race to Gramaphone Records on a Thursday or Friday night in the hope I can land a few new cool releases before they get sold out. I'm glad I can sit in my off time at work and listen to tracks off the online stores or blogs, and even when I do need an old vinyl (to turn into MP3s), I can go on eBay and find a deal.

    I think in ten years, vinyl will be more or less a niche thing or gimmick...as we'll see more DJs choose controllers over analog medium or even timecode. I started out on vinyl and bought vinyl religiously until 2005...but I don't miss those days.

    NOW...the one thing I will be a skeptic on is the idea that DJs can use the cloud for their music. IMHO, I would never trust any network to bring my music to a gig. Can you imagine if Tiesto was playing in front of thousands, and the cloud server crashed?

    Cloud means clubs, venues, and bars would have to invest in high speed internet and allow DJs to use it. Plus we still have the issue of carriers and ISPs trying to limit how much you can stream through. Even now ISPs are looking for ways to destroy Netflix, rather than boost their networks to handle the traffic.

    I'm not saying cloud won't ever happen...but it's going to be a while before it'll be trustworthy enough to be a reality. Not until it all gets as instantaneous as having the files there. If I have to wait a minute or more for a download/connection, then it's not worth it.

    • As a programmer in the day job, there's no way we'll be using the cloud for things like DJing.

      Local storage is getting ridiculously cheap. Network latency isn't going to decrease much. Streaming files instead of downloading them is ridiculously inefficient, and has no convenience advantage as HDDs become larger.

      By the time networks become good enough for it to start making sense, we'll be able to archive everything anyone has ever recorded locally.

  8. You know, I generally enjoy reading this blog but this article was disappointing. I get that some folks don't ever want to buy vinyl, that's their opinion, I certainly can't fault that.

    Your metaphor for cars vs. horse and buggies is pretty flimsy. Consider instead the difference between manual transmission and automatic transmission. Automatic transmission is easier, more convenient, and has been around nearly as long as cars have been around. But a certain percentage of people still prefer manual transmission, predominantly because they like the feel of it.

    I'd prefer many things in my life to be automatic, quick, convenient. But sometimes it's more about the experience, and sometimes listening to the music is that for me, and a growing number of people. I'm glad I live in an era where digital music is an option, but I'm also glad it's not the only option, and more and more people are thinking the same way.

    And while we're at it, understand that Record Store Day is not about saving vinyl. It doesn't need assistance. You can find vinyl in even big chain music stores now. What is in danger of going away is the mom and pop stores. It sounds like you've had some negative experiences with mom & pops, and that's a shame, but they have their drawbacks. However, plenty of folks have had enough good experiences buying music in record stores that we hope they continue to exist as an institution, at least for the near future.

    • Phil Morse says:

      I hear what you're saying, Brian. I am thinking about the distribution of music, and the act of searching for it, both of which I believe digital has improved, not denigrated. I simply don't see records (or possessions as a whole, I have to say, but that's another story) as things to be collected, or savoured, or "held and smelled", as it were - they're just things, and in this case, a medium for getting the sound out of the speakers. They're a tool of the trade. And digital gives me a better version of the same thing.

      I used to live in Manchester, England, that had some great record stores and some not so great ones - but they were all still constrained by the physical medium they traded in. That's what I think has had its day.

      I accept that people have sentimental attachments to objects and places that stock those objects - but I'm not one of them hence I can let go maybe easier than some. And I don't think the next generation will carry on this attachment to vinyl, except maybe out of fleeting curiosity.

      • Right, and I'm not trying to say there's anything wrong with your viewpoint. You may end up being right about everything, but I've seen a lot of younger folks I know (~21) grab onto the idea of vinyl with both hands. They seem into that though most of our lives are becoming digital, there are a few physical things to ground yourself with. This is largely why vinyl sales and turntable sales keep growing while CD sales plummet.

        • Phil Morse says:

          You're right, I have seen that too. also, when a person gets hooked on DJing via the mouse and a copy of Virtual DJ, they naturally dream of real gear, and many imagine that they'll one day get a DJ controller then, finally, real decks and vinyl. At that point they'll be "real" DJs. One of the points of this site is to promote the idea that while different, controllerism is as much "real" DJing as two-decks-and-a-mixer (plus vinyl) is.

  9. Belgian Jungle Sound says:

    Gosh, the analog/digital debate sure does create a lot of well, debate! One thing I'd like to point out is that even on djtechtools, their twitter feed picture is a bird djing with vinyl (or dvs), so whatever happens the image of a dj will always be of one who's spinning vinyl.

    • Phil Morse says:

      So is our favicon :)

    • And the symbol of saving a file on a computer is a floppy disk drive. The bulk of the people using a computer nowadays have never seen a floppy drive, or a floppy disk, in their lives.

    • Phil Morse says:

      I think what's more interesting about this point is how norms get carried across as methods change. For instance, the iPhone gives a shutter click when you take a photo of someone - turns out people wait for the shutter to sound tell them that the pic has been taken and so to stop grinning cheesily, and they miss it when it isn't there.

      Look at all the identikit DJ controllers than can't break from the two spinning wheels paradigm. Maybe spinny things IS central to DJing - who knows? But then look at the Novation Twitch. It'll be interesting to see if that particular DJ controller does take off past critical acclaim to sell well, because if it does, it's another step towards button pushing and away from things that go round for today's DJs.

  10. CNN had a "headline" this morning that said "Vinyl sales growing faster than digital." A friend saw and replied, "yea from 2 sales to 10 sales because hipsters think it's cool." lol

  11. I had a lot of time for the writer of this article - as a DJ, promoter etc... But this is just drivel of the highest order. It's absolutely ridiculous how tired this awful, awful argument is getting. I, like a lot of people, embrace all mediums and I know a lot of people who do the same. We sit on the sidelines laughing at how pathetic you all sound... "Vinyl is the best" "No, it's not, digital is the best". It is childish and ridiculous, get a grip of yourselves for god sake.

    • Phil Morse says:

      Thanks for your comment. If you did know my DJing, you'd know that by late 2004 I was DJing exclusively from digital; I adopted it really early and became an evangelist straight away. I don't mind what people DJ with, but I started thus blog because I personally believe digital is the way to go. The clue is in the title 😉 I don't expect everyone to agree with me but as a pro vinyl DJ for many years before that, I do know how I feel on the subject and am happy to stand by it.

      • MegaBore says:

        I don't mind someone being a digital evangelist whatsoever but please just stick to the tips part of "digitalDJtips" instead of fuelling this incessant argument. I don't normally comment on the internet but this article really wound me up.

        You say: "I do wonder what the purpose of it is" - What's the point of doing anything? What's the purpose this article? What's the purpose of throwing a party?

        It certainly sounds a hell of a lot better than the Beatport record store day you mention....

        I also take issue with this: "the chronic lack of supply of the best stuff; the pure amount of time it took to find the music you wanted; the male bias; the sweaty smell; the queues for listening posts with broken, cheap headphones…"

        The record shops I go to certainly don't lack a supply of the best stuff or working headphones. I also shop at Beatport and actually struggle more and take longer to find good stuff than at my favourite store. Just to re-iterate, I endorse digital but the argument about the "lack of supply of the best stuff" is such a bad one. Some of the best records are not even available digitally (new and old).

        It's obviously fine to be endorse something you are passionate about, I just don't see why you have to slag off vinyl on the way. I thought a pro DJ who used to play vinyl would be the last person to write something like this...

        • Phil Morse says:

          Not slagging it off, just countering the argument that it's in some kind of meaningful revival. And I was referring to record shops 7 or 8 years ago - not been in many since then (there are no record stores left where I moved to a few years back).

  12. I still buy and play vinyl... I don't mind...

  13. As a DJ, one is by definition a music lover, and thus has such an insatiable desire for that hidden track that they are constantly hunting for that lost tune, regardless of what form it exists in.
    Anyone who calls themselves a DJ, but closes themselves off from any possibilities in sound, based on format, I believe is a charlatan, and primarily interested in the monetary and social benefits of such activity.
    Ups to Bruno for keeping the sound alive in Sao Paolo.

    • Phil Morse says:

      Hey Jon, I used to make a living primarily from DJing before journalism, and believe me all I was driven by was the quality of tunes in my set for whatever event I was playing at. I bought plenty of vinyl and ripped it straight to digital (keeping it because it felt immoral to resell it, even though I then no longer wanted it - although unbelievable, that very act is illegal without a licence in the UK, even if you still own the original you ripped it from!), but I find there's very little that's only vinyl nowadays that interests me, possibly due to the types of sets I play now.

      I accept that there are still bubbles where presumably more music comes out on vinyl that is the norm across the board, where there is a case for searching for it in record shops, but I don't think that's generally the case for most DJs any more.

  14. For me, the only thing I miss about the vinyl days is the social aspect of visiting record stores. Yes, some of them suffered from the elitism issues mentioned in the article, but others (in my experience at least) served as a hub for like minded souls to meet and network and generally chew the fat. Not to mention the added value of building up a relationship with staff over a period of time so that when you walk in they could hand you a pile of relevant vinyl based on what they know you like. Sure Beatport et al's recommendations systems are coming a long but the indie store added value though the personal touch.

    • Phil Morse says:

      I agree, but social media can replace that - you just have to find the right people to hang out with. One of my favourite ways is to find internet radio shows - they tend to me made by the same kind of people who would previously have worked in the record stores - and you can have a dialogue with them instead about tunes, labels and artists, as they're just as accessible on Mixcloud, Facebook etc. Thus you strike up the same kind of relationships.

      But I accept they're not mano a mano. As a web worker, I guess I embraced that a long time ago so it's not an issue for me; I have a wonderful group of people I associate online with, most of whom I've never met.

  15. Also, I think that the move to digital has opened the floodgates for a lot of sub-standard music to flood the stores.

    Back when vinyl ruled, it took commitment to get your music out there: either get a proper deal, or press it yourself, get it distributed etc. You had to be serious about your product and there was a financial incentive not to release dross.

    I firmly believe that it is an exciting time for dance music at the moment, there are a lot of awesome tracks around but the signal to noise ratio is pretty bad. I must listen to 20 duff tracks at least for every one I'd even consider buying.

    This is just my two shillings worth. I embraced digital about 2004 and haven't looked back in many ways, I just think that the change has brought both benefits and a new set of issues.

    • Phil Morse says:

      That's absolutely true - there is more crap around nowadays. Do we want 10,000 tunes a year with 100 good ones though, or 1,000 with 10 good ones? My point is, would we rather find smarter ways to filter the exponential rise of crap to find an absolute number of better tunes, or see limited supply, curated through a knowledgeable record shop employee for us, so we always get handed a pile of theres or thereabouts when we enter the store? Me? Half the fun is the search, I love digital for that.

      • I play mostly psybreaks, which is a niche genre and could not exist without electronic distribution.

        Digital distribution lets me connect with producers in a community spread out all over the world, keep track of who is doing what, which producers I like and which I don't.

        I'm currently discussing signing to one of the psybreaks labels myself, in Greece, from New Zealand. Digital distribution is almost free, which makes it possible for me to release a single, whereas I couldn't afford to do a vinyl release.

        I think the biggest advantage of digital distribution is situations like this. Sure, there's complete garbage all over Beatport etc - but digital makes it easier, not harder to get involved in vibrant and talented communities.

  16. Matt Porter says:

    Hey Phil, Sorry but you are wrong. Cds and Vinyl still sound better than digital files. Period. One thing you never mention is the artwork. I feel the album is a work of art. Buying a digital album is like buying a painting cut in half. It is not real. If you cant touch it, feel it and see the art it is not the same thing and never will be. By the way IPODS sound horrible.

    • You do realise you can buy digital files at CD quality, or higher?

      Depending on the producer, you can often buy the original master in WAV, which is the source of both CD and vinyl presses.

    • Phil Morse says:

      It's not the same, it doesn't mean it's not real. I never watched music videos. Does that mean I am only getting half the experience of the song? Possibly, but it's the half I was interested in.

      We've answered the sound quality issue elsewhere ad infinitum.

    • A CD is a 44.100Hz 16Bit digital representation of audio... how can it sound better than an equivalent digital file?

  17. Ad Jones says:

    seems to be contradictions on this post. The title of the article implies vinyl will reach it's demise but on a comment further down you state it wall stay at 1% etc and won't die?!

    Each to their own with digital / vinyl etc but this whole article seems to be written in the same way 'an ex smoker' is after quitting!

    You also say digital has improved the searching for music... Yes and no on that point. Due to the ease of releasing digital music there is also music that prior to digital days would never have seen the light of day.

    And agree with what someone else said about not agreeing with the horse drawn carriage description?! I personally play a mix of vinyl and use serato but it seems completely misguided to think the digital era can be completely seen as progress.

    The digital era spawned the day of never having to pay for a track again, this in turn has severely hurt the music industry and those statistics of an average digital release making a $1k, how much would the average be if you took out the majors from that statistic no where near as high I imagine!

    Record labels may not always make money but for a long time artists have used labels as a platform to push the burgeoning dj careers and some people get this right.

    As for the argument that the only place people are really passionate about music is in dusty old record shops? I’m not even going to counter that.??? You don't find passionate people working on beatport etc when you buy tracks as you have no interaction! Buying digital music is a soulless but very convenient experience, and if you prefer that to the human touch well that is a reflection on yourself as much as it is about the music medium you prefer.

    I really don't think this article achieved much in all honesty. You didn't seem to mention once the most important thing when it comes to music is music!!! Mediums come and go but music will never die.. Spend some time focusing on the good parts of music not on slating a musical medium that if it never came along you probably would not have all the digital options and gizmos etc at your exposal :)

    • Phil Morse says:

      "This whole article seems to be written in the same way ‘an ex smoker’ is after quitting!"

      Kind of think I have to accept that! :)

      Regarding the payment angle, I think we're already moving past people not paying for digital music - it's not right and I think people realise that. We're in a transition between the old way (which was far from perfect - remember, for a $10 major label 12" the artist got pence back, and indie labels either aligned with the majors or tended to struggle with massive overheads just to survive) to something different.

      What that way is is still unclear, as the legal/moral framework for recompensing artists in the digital age is still unclear due to the speed of technological advance, but for instance the YouTube > Facebook > iTunes route to market if done properly can potentially yield far more money for the artist than the old way. Streaming subscription services offer another way of monetising too.

      I am not pushing Beatport as an alternative to record shops - the discovery goes on elsewhere, away from such places. It's only personal, but I really don't get on with Beatport for the exact reason you point out. But fulfilling music discovery online is possible, and is a big part of what we do here via our email newsletter.

      • Ad Jones says:

        The whole payment issue is another thing all together and will probably be decided by the majors as to how the music industry will operate in the future :)

        • Phil Morse says:

          That's an interesting point though - can the majors decide anything any more? Can they get the cat back into the bag as far as digital music distribution goes? The idealist in me hopes not, but you could be right - they'll find a way to stitch it all up again once the technology slows.

  18. I can understand the debate over the pros and cons of vinyl and cd/digital mediums. I also miss some things about discovering, sharing, and listening to music before the digital age. I also feel that the digital age has helped the ocean fill up... with a lot of bullsh*t fish. However, at the same time, I can't imagine my life now without the pros of digital files.

    What I find a bit ridiculous is the sound quality issue.
    As Will stated, the pressings of vinyl and CDs are coming from the same master wave file. This means they're getting exactly the same music. What people think is better sound quality from vinyl is the color of the sound.

    Vinyl discs employ techniques of EQ both on the Low and High ends; these are then counter-measured by the turntable/gramophone. These techniques allow both for a longer duration on each side as well as a better signal to noise ratio (SNR). Since it's a mechanic engine doing these changes and not a digital plug-in, like with studio equipment there's gonna be some coloring of the sound.

    Now I can understand that people like this particular character in sound. Just don't misinterpret character with quality.
    Even audiophiles have agreed that a 320kbps MP3 is very hard to distinguish from an uncompressed master, especially on the mediums of playback generally used. It is certainly not for the general public to distinguish.
    Those discussing the quality issue ad infinitum are normally not not the audiophiles, or audio engineers, or experienced producers. It's the general music consumer who has no serious ear training or knowledge of the math and physics of signals. They're getting fooled by the sound character of vinyl.

    • Good words Fred!

    • Exactly! One of the fascinating things about the audio quality debate is that amongst professional audio engineers there isn't one.

    • Ok, sorry Will, but I'm going to have to step in here and clear up a few points that are appearing to be misrepresented- on a purely technical scale vinyl is lossless, or at least nearly lossless if the production process is good. The only real loss is in the listening process. In the back of every phono in on an amp or mixer there is a special little circuit called an RIAA curve eq, and these vary in quality depending mainly on how much you spend. RIAA is a format that all record companies chose to use to save confusion for listeners as 78's were replaced by 33 and 45 rpm records so that all future releases could be listened to on standard turntables. basically it re-EQ's the audio from a record to make the sound suitable for human listening as the bass has been cut by around 20db- allowing narrower grooves so you can fit more music on a slab of vinyl- and treble boosted by 16db to drown out any high frequency noise added in the pressing process- and this is the reason why audiophiles spend hundreds or even thousands on a quality phono pre amp and expensive cables to connect- your audio is only as clear as your weakest link in the audio signal chain. The waveform on a slab of vinyl is without any doubt much more able to reproduce long curves from sub frequencys than mp3 or even wav format due to the mathematical way that the noise is processed, and only 1 bit recording is actually anywhere near as accurate- which is why lots of dubstep dj's and producers still swear by the vinyl format for big soundsystem style music.... so really it depends on what you are listening to as for the best medium for quality, im sure that music by 3oh3! and the like will sound just as pants on vinyl as it does on mp3 or even car radio......
      As for Digital it has lots of advantages, like not having to spend mucho dinero on preamps etc, as using very good software and an input with no riaa curve chip can digitise the vinyl and do a better job at restoring the sound to the way it was in the mastering studio than most phono preamps..so win win there.... Traktor does a great job of handling wav flac aiff and most other formats as well as mp3, and if you make the wise move and go for the DVS system rather than internal mixing or other soundcard alternatives you get a cirrus logic AD/DA converter in their soundcards which is a brilliant piece of kit suitable for 24 bit 192khz recording, which is the highest practical level at the moment until 1 bit technology takes over as it seems is likely... for those that are completely baffled by that last part, imagine a sound recording device is a camera and the bit part is the zoom lens with each bit doubling the zooming potential...the 192khz part is the number of photos taken per second so thats 192000..... which is a lot of detail and requires some pretty complex mathematics to handle it...
      1 bit however takes a different approach and doesnt really bother with the zoom lens, but takes nearly 3 million photos per second of the waveform and each photo is then simplified to an up or down value compared to the last photo taken, allowing very good waveform reproduction almost as good as vinyl, but not quite...
      In some ways digital will never truly be as accurate as analogue in the same way that we will never get a last digit in the Pi constant 3.1415926535 etc or a calculator will never be able to express a third on its display screen accurately.
      CD is not as good quality as vinyl by a long way, and certainly the early cd re-releases of vinyl albums fell a long way short of the mark, and only recently when digital source recording has improved have CDs become of decent quality.

      As Phil quite rightly points out though, It is all pretty redundant as its the music which is the most important part... and if it sounds acceptable to most people on their cheap home systems mp3 is fine for now, but as storage gets ever smaller and cheaper, mp3 players will be phased out for multi format players and flac will be more widely used, which will be great for the industry as there is a noticeable improvement in clarity....
      as for not allowing DVS at a gig (comments in wills post below) as you dont want needle skips, just book a good DJ, and they'll be well aware of this problem and know how to counter it.... You'll do yourself no favours by excluding people that unlike yourself have taken the time to develop these skills... As a promoter it is your job to make sure the equipment is right for the DJ
      Personally I am just about to professionally clean and Digitise my Precious Vinyl before mastering them to remove surface noise fit any scratches etc, and I look forward to the day that I never have to play them again and they can sit happily until the few times a year I get a turntable only gig, or my laptop dies unexpectedly. Vinyl Is Great. Digital is Awesome. Learn to respect and love them both for their good and bad points and you WILL be a better DJ for it, surely that we can all agree on...

      • Ok, sorry Will, but I’m going to have to step in here and clear up a few points that are appearing to be misrepresented- on a purely technical scale vinyl is lossless, or at least nearly lossless if the production process is good.

        Dude. It's an analog format. It is by definition lossy. There are hard limits to the resolution of data that can be encoded in vinyl and read by the needle.

        RIAA is a format that all record companies chose to use to save confusion for listeners as 78′s were replaced by 33 and 45 rpm records

        I'm familiar with RIAA pre-amps etc.

        The waveform on a slab of vinyl is without any doubt much more able to reproduce long curves from sub frequencys than mp3 or even wav format due to the mathematical way that the noise is processed

        Sub frequencies are something vinyl does poorly: as needle tracking needs to be accounted for during mastering or the record simply won't play.

        Digital audio can store an arbitrary curve at an arbitrary resolution. There's not even a need for oversampling for bass, as Nyquist frequencies aren't relevant at low pitches.

        Vinyl now is pressed from a digital file. The quality at maximum can only be as high as that file, but is lower due to the various vinyl-induced distortions.


        In some ways digital will never truly be as accurate as analogue in the same way that we will never get a last digit in the Pi constant 3.1415926535 etc or a calculator will never be able to express a third on its display screen accurately.

        Again, this simply isn't correct. Digital audio has resolution limits imposed by the samplerate and bitrate. Analog audio has resolution limits imposed by the amount of noise in the system. Guess which limit is lower?

        CD is not as good quality as vinyl by a long way, and certainly the early cd re-releases of vinyl albums fell a long way short of the mark, and only recently when digital source recording has improved have CDs become of decent quality.

        Again, this is incorrect. CDs have more accurate frequency reproduction, better dynamic range and no wow/flutter/dust/other distortion.

        In fact, a CD these days is usually a perfect copy of the mastered track, with the possible exception of dithering to reduce the bitdepth from 24bit to 16bit.

        There were quality issues with the remastering done on early CD releases, but this has nothing to do with the medium itself.

        Early CD players were also limited in quality by cheap DACs, but DACs are no longer much of a quality bottleneck.

        I'd suggest studying some signal theory, as you're misunderstanding how signals behave at low levels.

        as for not allowing DVS at a gig (comments in wills post below) as you dont want needle skips, just book a good DJ, and they’ll be well aware of this problem and know how to counter it…. You’ll do yourself no favours by excluding people that unlike yourself have taken the time to develop these skills… As a promoter it is your job to make sure the equipment is right for the DJ

        The DJs I book locally are all very good. A couple of them are old vinyl jocks, but like Phil Morse have moved on and are mostly using Traktor.

        I won't provide turntables for a variety of reasons, but reliability, space and audio quality are my biggest concerns.

        • Will, some of your points are kind of relevant but I think you misunderstood my intent, the explanation of RIAA etc wasn't really meant for you, as you obviously have at least a small amount of knowledge on the subject, but as a bit of technical info most new dj's wont have a clue about, and that's really who this Blog is for surely?.. Any points I have made about the quality of vinyl you seem to have come up with arguments of SNR tracking dust wow and flutter, all of which are variable depending on your personal playback system and not at all related to the topic of information storage, which is what a slab of vinyl is- in an analogue way...At no point am I trying to say vinyl is better than digital, only that BOTH have limitations and advantages in their own ways...if you spend more money on digital systems than analogue it will sound better and vice versa.. however one simple fact you seem to miss discussing is the way that vinyl continues to be playable and listenable even if there is some degradation, you may hear some surface scratches wow flutter dusty needle muddyness etc, but it still plays and generally sounds pretty listenable...try and remove a few bytes of data from an audio file and you'll find its instantly unplayable, and thats before you take into consideration playback issues such as jitter, dc rippling etc and the fact that any noise added by the digital process is more audibly disturbing than the analogue noise floor?.... how about before baffling people with comments about nyquist filtering and oversampling etc you break it down into easy to absorb info as I tried to do and back up your opinions with some technical references? It'll be much better than just insulting other peoples knowledge on a subject, arguing and spouting vague technical terms to prove your intelligence politician stylee- as you seem to have done on at least 10 occasions on this blog topic so far?....
          We could go on all day like this but I didn't make the original post to argue, just to try and clear up a few very biased seeming statements.
          If anyone is as interested in these things as I am and want more details on this topic, this white paper on 1bit recording is quite useful and in depth but understandable, and
          the wikipedia page seems to be a pretty decent starting point for research also.... ciao for now....Penance
          http://www.korg.com/services/products/mr/Future_Proof_Recording_Explained.pdf

        • Will, some of your points are kind of relevant but I think you misunderstood my intent, the explanation of RIAA etc wasn't really meant for you, as you obviously have at least a small amount of knowledge on the subject, but as a bit of technical info most new dj's wont have a clue about, and that's really who this Blog is for surely?..

          I'm aware of the technical aspects, yes. I agree this blog is primarily for new DJs, but with this particular topic the best advice they can have is "go learn some basic signal theory".

          I replied directly to you because your post contained several common misconceptions about vinyl (that it's lossless, that it represents low frequencies in more detail, that it's higher-quality than CD etc). These are incorrect statements and need to be cleared up.

          Any points I have made about the quality of vinyl you seem to have come up with arguments of SNR tracking dust wow and flutter, all of which are variable depending on your personal playback system and not at all related to the topic of information storage, which is what a slab of vinyl is- in an analogue way...

          They're very related to the topic of information storage. Capacity to read a format is as important as the theoretical data capabity of the medium itself. Unless you're hypothesising spherical cows or frictionless surfaces (physics jokes if they're more obscure than I realise), the data capacity of vinyl is limited by the ability of gear to read it. Unfortunately for us, quality improvements for gear by price are asymptotic.

          At no point am I trying to say vinyl is better than digital, only that BOTH have limitations and advantages in their own ways...if you spend more money on digital systems than analogue it will sound better and vice versa..

          However, you stated several ways in which vinyl is superior to digital formats: all of them incorrect.

          Prices are out by a couple of orders of magnitude, at least for studio/mastering gear. Digital gear is much cheaper for an equivalent quality, and it's relatively easy to overdo your digital signal chain such that it's nowhere near being an audio quality bottleneck.

          however one simple fact you seem to miss discussing is the way that vinyl continues to be playable and listenable even if there is some degradation, you may hear some surface scratches wow flutter dusty needle muddyness etc, but it still plays and generally sounds pretty listenable...try and remove a few bytes of data from an audio file and you'll find its instantly unplayable

          True but irrelevant. One of the biggest advantages of digital audio is that it's easy to avoid this. Degradation to analog formats is inevitable. Degradation to digital formats is unlikely, as they can be backed up, checksummed, copied perfectly, etc. There are even file formats that can survive serious damage with no quality loss: although only archivists care.

          CDs are fragile, but a USB stick is very difficult to damage, and can be easily checked for perfect copies.

          and thats before you take into consideration playback issues such as jitter, dc rippling etc and the fact that any noise added by the digital process is more audibly disturbing than the analogue noise floor?

          Both jitter and ripple are reasonably minor and solveable problems. Analog systems also suffer from ripple, and mechanical wow is much more noticeable than jitter effects with modern clock sources.

          If your digital process is adding noise that's audibly disturbing, you're doing it very wrong. Just increase the quality of your digital process and that noise will drop far below the noise floor.

          .... how about before baffling people with comments about nyquist filtering and oversampling etc you break it down into easy to absorb info as I tried to do and back up your opinions with some technical references?

          I'm reasonably certain that, this being the internet, if anyone cares they're willing to google some basic signal theory.

          It'll be much better than just insulting other peoples knowledge on a subject, arguing and spouting vague technical terms to prove your intelligence politician stylee- as you seem to have done on at least 10 occasions on this blog topic so far?....

          Watch the ad hominems, please.

          We could go on all day like this but I didn't make the original post to argue, just to try and clear up a few very biased seeming statements.

          To be honest, I think you've added a bunch of misinformation which has confused the topic further.

          If anyone is as interested in these things as I am and want more details on this topic, this white paper on 1bit recording is quite useful and in depth but understandable, and
          the wikipedia page seems to be a pretty decent starting point for research also.... ciao for now....Penance
          http://www.korg.com/services/products/mr/Future_Proof_Recording_Explained.pdf

          1 bit recording is cool, I'd agree. I might argue it's unnecessary, but HDD and cycles are cheap: so why not?

  19. I don't have anything against the concep of digital music or digital djing, but as a dj the last thing I want to be doing when I'm on stage at a party playing music is to be staring at a computer.

    And also as a promoter computers are a real hassle, they can and do crash, there is all sorts of wiring and de-wiring to be done between sets because djs bring their own pcs and use different software. It just does my head in.

    It's the same as with all progress, things get "easier" but way more complicated and a lot more information is needed to be learned and understood to operate it. And cars are not better than horse-drawn carriages, they go too fast and stink.

    People are just mad to think it's normal to be able to effortlessly travel at over 130km/h in a metal box, or to virtually talk to each other from accross the world on the internet.

    • And also as a promoter computers are a real hassle, they can and do crash, there is all sorts of wiring and de-wiring to be done between sets because djs bring their own pcs and use different software. It just does my head in.

      While computers do occasionally crash, there's much more that can go wrong with vinyl.

      Needles can skip, skate, break or otherwise track incorrectly. Vinyl collects dust, damage over time and can easily get unusably warped from travel.

      I recently learned to DJ on vinyl, and it was surprising to me how unreliable it was, given its reputation for "just working".

      If you care about reliability, realistically a computer or CDJs is a much better choice.

      Having learned this, on those sporadic occasions I promote I won't be allowing vinyl or vinyl DVS. Too much can go wrong, and the last thing I need is a DJ with a dirty needle in the middle of a set.

      • Yeah a needle can skip or be dirty. But all you need to do is just take it off and replay the track. The sound stops for a second or two, people scream "pull up!!!" and that's it. If it doesn't work properly, get your spare needle out and change it, which also takes a few seconds. And I've never seen a technics turntable fail.

        I've only been going out for 8 or so years so I haven't witnessed all of the possible failings of the system, but I've never seen or heard the sound stop for over a few seconds because of a dusty needle or a scratched vinyl.

        But in the last couple of years I've seen countless situations of a party being put to a halt because a computer crashed or the djs didn't wire his traktor properly or the software didn't pick the signal of the needle properly etc ...

        Then again if I understand your point well, you'd only allow cds to played at a party because it's more reliable, well you're probably right. I was just ranting about computers I don't have anything against cds, it's just as simple as vinyl.

      • Sorry mate but from experience this is just rubbish. Needle issues are fixed in seconds. I use Records and a Lap-top when I play out and over the years have never had a major problem with needles that can't be sorted out instantly. Of course vinyl gets scratched/warped but more often than not you realise it's unplayable before a gig rather than during it. Even if that happened, do a spin-back and instantly play another record. On the times a record has skipped often the crowd ackowledge it by having a bit of a laugh about it if anything. Everyone I know who DJ's with a lap-top has had issues, there's a massive amount more that can go wrong - it's a computer!! Things rarely go wrong with a magnet that rotates a platter!!

        I played at a wedding once and my lap-top completely froze for no reason then crashed. The music stopped and I had to re-boot the computer which was far from ideal. It's far from the only time its happened - even last night I DJed and had some issues (Traktor freezing, tracks taking ages to load, soundcard playing up). I remember thinking at the time that nothing like this had ever happened with my records. In fact, last night I had records with me as well so I was alright while I re-booted Traktor for the third time!!

        I'm not arguing which medium is best whatsoever, I use all the formats, it's just that I had to pull you up on this one as I see reliability and potential things that can go wrong as one of the disadvantages of digital, certainly not an advantage.

        • Stuff can go wrong with any medium, but I'm pretty convinced that vinyl is much less reliable than CDJs or a properly configured laptop.

          I've had this confirmed by a couple of old DJs who used vinyl as well. One of the big draws to digital for them was not having to deal with constant sound issues.

          I've seen DJs spinning freshly cleaned records having major issues with the general miasma of gunk found in DJ booths. My laptop may get dirty, but my sound won't degrade over the course of each track.

        • However, it's fair to say that while vinyl glitches often, it doesn't glitch badly.

          Computers don't glitch often, but a crash can be a big deal.

  20. Oliver Linley says:

    This could have been an interesting piece, but was let down by overly bias and pretty derogatory opinions. Most people have commented on those points already so no need to repeat - horse and carriage vs. cars comparison was lame though. Each format has their pros, cons and individual method of interaction. I dabble in both myself, but the personal overall feeling of ownership definitely favours towards the wax hands down. As convenient as the prospect of accessing music via the cloud is, how does that compare to having the physical thing in your hands? Record Store Day is a celebration, not a desperate plea to get vinyl sales from "very low to low".

    The whole digital vs. vinyl argument is getting a bit boring now. Each to their own at the end of the day and good music is paramount - as long as everyone continues to support and keep the cogs in motion then that's what really matters.

  21. horse> cars a good analogy! but as you can see after 100 years of deplacing horses with the more efficient cars, the horse industry is still a huge huge institution for people who prefer a certain kind of "consuming" and correspondencing with a passion.
    the sense of still playing vinyl is the same as still owning a horse. maximum passion!
    if you are a passionaded music lover you will always enjoy both worlds at the same time. there is no need to take a final decision.

    this discussion about what is better, is as ridiculous as the discussion at the beginning of the mobility revolution where cars took over the part of mobility which is connected to more effecience.
    so vinyl wont die and always will be a home for the most passioned music lovers of the world, who still want to enjoy both worlds!

  22. Chrisneil says:

    Even though i now use digital controller and format ,i did in the past actually own an online vinyl store,yes it was romantic and yes i do miss the searching and collecting the reaction sheets the promo's,white labels,the association with other vinyl addicts.

    But alas the whole senario with vinyl started to implode with the distributors and lack of interest in clubbing ,and the rise of mp3, audio galaxy and itunes ,labels needed to reach out to a new generation,streamline the system ,people didn't want to buy a whole ep or 12 inch just for one track,alot of business has now moved online,quick easy and efficient.
    And for artists and labels well ,lots of new faces have now been added a newer generation with new techniques and sounds keeping it fresh and exciting.
    Unfortunately i do believe the art of the dj has been cheapened ,the adoration and aspirations of youngsters to become music providers and entertainers is so easy,the lonely geek searching for tracks has now been replaced by finger pointing ,slickly dressed,internet savy kids influenced by this search for fame and stardom..

    A long ,long way from the service station gatherings ,illegal parties of yesteryr..and certainly a long way from the lyrics in rhythm controll-my house.

    • Phil Morse says:

      One thing we can't stop is times changing... from the dedication and enthusiasm of the people who get in touch with us here at DDJT though, I can assure you that not everyone DJing today is simply searching for fame and stardom.

  23. I had the opportunity to attend Record Store Day @ Rock & Soul in NYC. Even though I am a digital dj I definitely want to get some 1200's. I also posted some clips on my site.

  24. Vinyl Junkie says:

    I feel personally that this post is a complete waste of time. There have been debates going on about the whole analog vs. digital thing for as long as I can remember. We apparently aren't getting anywhere here........

    I am not just saying this either based upon the fact that I am a vinyl enthusiast. I am saying this based upon the fact that whether any of the specific formats die out or not, there will always be an interest in vinyl. Vinyl will never die out and for a lot of the people that think it will, not only do the Nielsen Soundscan sales speak for themselves, but this is also no indicator as to how many people are purchasing vinyl at second hand shops, flea markets/swap meets, record shows and most of them are college students under 25! One other thing that should be noted too is that vinyl record sales have been up in a way that has not occurred since 1990.

    If vinyl is on the verge of dying anytime soon, then you couldn't have put that past me, especially since the interest in them has increasingly been growing. People who buy vinyl aren't just music lovers, but they also appreciate the sleeve art, liner notes, larger printed lyrics, posters, stickers that bring the fans closer to the artists.

    For example, if you are a true music lover, if were in a music store and you saw an MP3 download vs. a very artful album cover, which one would grab your attention, the album art, or an mp3 card?

    The fact of the matter is, if you are not only a music lover, but you are also a fan of the band, you are going to want the physical product, due to the association between the fan and artist. If say the CD format is out, then to address this issue, the record companies have provided the alternative of a free download card inside vinyl albums for both home listening and download uses.

    Face it, the fact of the matter is, downloads are killing the cd. As far as the vinyl comeback is concerned. Well, we will just have to see what happens. If vinyl should have died in the 90's, then why is it still alive and well today? If there is anything that will be on it's way out it will be the compact disc before the vinyl record ever will!

    Obviously, there is something about the sound of the vinyl record if there has always been this vinyl versus CD war of the formats. As long as there is nothing to replace the way that people hear music on a vinyl record, they will never die. There are certain sounds on vinyl that are not comparable on any other format. it is a proven fact that CD's are compressed, can sound a little flat and at times, way too bright. Is the vinyl record a dying format? Once again, not by a long shot. Let not only the stats prove that, but let the fans and the sound of vinyl on a decent system speak for itself!

    Even if Record Store Day did not exist, I really highly doubt that this affect the sales of vinyl records one way or the other. If there is a vinyl comeback, this proves more than anything else that vinyl lovers have never needed any support from the sales of a Record Store Day to show their love or support for vinyl.

    Face it, vinyl is not dead. Then again,vinyl never really died in the first place, long before everyone assuming that the CD killed off vinyl.

    The funny part is, the same people that were lied to back in the 1980's, selling off their entire vinyl collections, being told that the CD was the next best thing, are now the same exact people that might just live long enough to see the compact disc take a crap...........

    Vinyl Junkie

    • Phil Morse says:

      Of course there will always be interest in vinyl. It won't be a significant force in creative culture again, that's what I'm saying. Digital has too much to offer in distribution and flexibility for finished works of art on vinyl to hold the same sway they did when they were all we had.

  25. Knew this one would cause debate!

    For me the big advantage of record shops was the filter they provided to cut through all the crap out there and narrow down your choices in what would otherwise be an impossible task.

    Once you had established a relationship with the guys behind the counter and trusted their tastes (and they understood what you personally liked) it was a really great way to find good new music. This is somethig that is missing from downloads and in my opinion even more relevant in the digital age with the amount of choice we are now exposed to.

    On a seperate point, downloading new music will never compare with the buzz of record shopping and tracking down some amazing new tunes - you cherish those purchases much more than you ever could with some thing as intangible as a computer file.

    I agree that record shops are doomed in their curent form but wonder if there's some way of them evolving......

  26. Vinyl Junkie says:

    @Jem

    Once again this proves my case in point correctly about the relationship being connected from the fan through the vinyl to the artist. How can you have a relationship with a computer or an mp3 download card, when there is not really too much interaction with those formats in comparison with the actual music formats you can feel?

    When you buy a vinyl record that comes complete with artwork and everything else that you cannot find with an mp3 download card, there is not only a relationship between you and that object, but also too, as a fan of that artists music, you will always feel that you are a part of that artist within your home. These things are impossible with download cards and computers.

    As long as live music exists and people enjoy attending concerts, whether it be on cd or vinyl, there are always going to be fans of music out there that are going to want to have the physical product in their hands to touch and feel. When the cd does die out one day and vinyl is still alive, if people still want that musical association, they will still want to purchase a physical product. If that physical product happens to be a vinyl record with a free download card, then what do you think people will do? They will want to purchase vinyl. If the CD is dead and gone, then what other physical products will still be left to purchase but vinyl?

    I am not saying that vinyl records will catch on the same way they did back in the 60's and 70's. I must say though that vinyl has not only been the longest living format in existence for the choice of listening to music, but I also must say, in spite of the criticism the format has received since the CD, vinyl also happens to be the one musical format that refuses to die and for obviously a good reason: there are more than one person that likes/swears by it!

    As I said before, come whatever may, if there is a vinyl revival of sorts, only time will tell.......

    However, I don't need Record Store Day to tell me the obvious of what is already known and that is: vinyl is not dead yet! And the likely chance of it dying anytime soon, is pretty downright slim....

    Vinyl Junkie

    • Phil Morse says:

      This is where I disagree with you Vinyl Junkie. Music is no longer lovingly crafted over months or years to polished perfection and then released in limited runs via elitist shops to an awed audience, who devour the gatefold sleeve, marvel at the lyrics, wink at each other when they spot the cryptic message the mastering technician has put in the outro grooves etc etc.

      It's not like that for consumers, who "consume" their music in video games, through streaming services, in hand-crafted playlists (the album format is also dead, but that's another post), and in ever cheaper and more fun DJ applications from smart phones upwards.

      But it's certainly not like that for DJs. Music is just building blocks. Let's face it, EDM especially is a highly derivative form. Samples from libraries or previous tracks form the basis of new tracks, then they gain traction outside of the producer of the music among DJs who take those elements and again twist, remake, mashup and turn them into something new themselves, the best of which feeds back into the machine to come round again later on... where does it end? At what point and in what sense is the music ever really "finished" any more, ready to be packaged, pressed and sold to a loving, reverent audience?

      Witness the acoustic cover versions on YouTube of Earworm's mashups as this concept going deliciously further than normal.

      No, a track's life is only just beginning when it's released, and who know where it will end up? Certainly not the composer of the initial version. Thus in this sense a track is never really "finished". To me, records (or more accurately, recorded music) form the building blocks which can be added to and reformed to make something new. I don't want a relationship with the artist; I want his or her music so I can form a relationship with that. And I don't need anything physical to do that - I don't want record shops, or sleeves, or sleeve notes, or lyrics, or artist interviews, or the smell of vinyl, or record labels. I just want the audio. I just need my ears, my imagination, my DJ equipment, and an audience I can observe and learn from as I'm playing the songs.

      • Excellent response, and as a DJ rather than a fan, its spot on....much as I love a great sleeve etc, its not required, especially as I'm in a way working more as a marketing tool for record companies by playing their product and generating interest for them whilst earning very little from my passion, taste and hard work to get to this point. I love the fact that I can pretty much get free music by supporting emerging artists before they get radio plays and deals....However, for the musician selling music to make a living as I may one day be myself, I hope those who dont dj still appreciate things like a hand crafted limited run cd release or slab of plastic in a funny colour, otherwise, especially in upfront, experimental or niche genre's people could be selling tons of downloads and continue to live like paupers...
        Vinyl, Cd's and T-shirts etc are still necessary I think if the scene is to continue to grow and not get inundated with mass market appealing pop...
        Im pretty sure that you ran an article a while ago talking about the economics of Freejays devaluing the scene and making it harder for people to earna semi decent living, does spending 79p on an mp3 release not do the same for musicians? by the time a record company, manager, online distributor etc have taken their cut, that cant leave much for the artist...say the artist gets 35% of retail price, which is a purely iluustrative figure and probably much higher than the reality... at that rate 10,000 copies would net approx £2500, and believe me, some artists do spend 9 months working on their music, even if its 3 months thats still less than £850 per month to show for it....
        supposedly, according to popular culture, Picasso once was asked to draw a sketch of a rich woman who recognised him whilst he was sketching in a park, after refusing several times he agreed to do so when pressed, and within a minute or 2 had finished, the woman was very impressed, but when asked for 5000 dollars was aghast and rejected it saying it was ridiculous for a minute or 2 of work and one pencil stroke, he replied that it had taken him his entire life to be able to do it.
        ... Im not saying every musician is a picasso, or every record is worth a load of money and having physical media, but surely if you work hard and your music sells in those kind of numbers, you might hope to earn enough to eat and pay rent.....
        As a non exclusively digital dj, I'm happy to accept free tracks people want me to promote and push the scene forward, if its a track i want for a dj set, I'll happily pay for it if its available at a reasonable cost, but if i think its something special, I'd also happily pay a lot more to get it in a limited run physical version that may or may not be worth some money in the future...
        If the woman in the park had paid $5k to Picasso, how much money would she be sitting on now?
        Maybe people should see their music collections as an investment and Art, rather than less than a quids worth of music to sit on their overcrowded hard drive alongside their porn collection....

      • Vinyl Junkie says:

        @Phil:

        I can understand your view regarding vinyl losing its importance amongst DJs. Unfortunately, I cannot see where you think that vinyl has lost its important value amongst consumers who are not only true fans of the artist but also of their music. Chances are, most of the people who buy vinyl records are serious audiophiles. However, with that said, I do understand that the most casual listeners in the record-buying public are not going to always purchase vinyl, but are more content to purchase MP3 downloads. Once again, if vinyl is really on its way out, only time will tell. There will always be a market for a physical format, as long as there is a consumer who has a demand for it. Frankly in that sense, I cannot foresee vinyl on its way out anytime soon. There are still people out there who are younger than the age of 30 who still view music as art. Vinyl is no exception from the inside contents to what is on the outside.

        Again, in the sense of a DJ, you are right. I don't know where you are located Phil, but it seems to me as if you are somewhere in the UK. If so, then I question the strength of vinyl sales in the UK.

        In the US, particularly in California, where I am from, for the exception if you are in a small town, the vinyl culture is a big deal. Los Angeles boasts over 300 some odd shops, if not more since the revival. In San Francisco Bay Area, there are hundreds of countless shops. The place I frequent often, the state capitol of Sacramento, had 7 shops and since the vinyl revival has opened 3 more! Over here, at least in the U.S., I don't see vinyl sales slowing any time soon.

        On a final note, when I think of the artistry behind what a DJ is, in my book, they are always more closely associated as someone who spins vinyl. When you see a DJ at a show regarding their stage presence, there is absolutely nothing in that regard that can replace vinyl. Seeing a DJ with either a laptop or CD player on stage looks completely tacky in my book. I feel personally, as time goes on, people, little by little are beginning to forget the importance of what a DJ once was, and sadly, humans in the sense of a stage show presence are being replaced by computers, and the act of spinning an actual product perhaps may be a dying art in the future.

        Again, to emphasize my point, yes the vinyl record is no longer a viable format to a DJ who is a consumer, when the vinyl and the turntable are being replaced by machines. Yes, in that sense, maybe it is dying, but then so is the art of a DJ then too. However, I will highly disagree with anything you say from a consumer's standpoint of a person who is not a serious music listener or a true music fan that vinyl is dying. Again, as long as there is support for live artists or bands in concert, there will always support for a physical format. If that format isn't CD, then good riddance. I personally won't miss them any time soon. If the vinyl LP does in fact die out any time soon, I hope it is the CD first. This if anything will prove the longevity of either format, regarding which one dies first.

        In conclusion, I must say this though: CD sales are down quite a bit, even more so than last year and the year before that. There are only two things that I see in a lot of new music shops: New vinyl & MP3 download cards. The point is, even if I do see a lot more download cards than CD's, at least vinyl is still there, regardless if it is hanging on by a thread.

        Only time will tell............

        Vinyl Junkie

  27. i still like vinyl
    i will still buy it if it's things that i like to listen to.
    copped two Raekwon records, Diamond D's Stunts blunts and Hip-Hop, a Dizzy Gillespie Portrait of Jenny.
    FYI, in the U.S., the Library of Congress backed up thousands of documents on vinyl recently because they realized, if proctected properly, vinyl stands test fo time versus magnetic tape, optical media, and digital disks. just put the vinyl in metal containers deep underground. thank you come again!

  28. Vinyl Junkie says:

    I have something regarding the vinyl vs. digital theory from a technical stand point I would like to share with everyone here. I figured this might just be interesting and of some merit for those DJs who are choosing to spin vinyl:

    Why Vinyl Records Sound Better Than CD's:
    ---------------------------------------

    Some people have a bit of an obsession with vinyl. Maybe it's just because they think it is vintage and therefore cool. Maybe they are just old school and not want to move on. Maybe they are complete audiophiles and love their music that much.

    Most people understand that vinyl sounds better then CD's and other modern digital equivalents such as DVD, mp3 and other software based recordings. However, the actual reasons why it sounds better are not so widely known. At first glance it might seem a bit complicated but it is in fact quite simple.

    It basically comes down to the difference between analog and digital signals. Analog, by definition, is a continuously variable signal. This means that changes in frequency are represented by a smooth wave. Basically, this means that a change in frequency between two values will occur by moving through the complete range in between them. The result accurately sounds out every tiny change.

    Digital Encoding:
    ----------------

    In order to encode a similar signal onto digital media such as a CD or DVD, a conversion from analog to digital is required. No matter how good the conversion is, there will always be losses which occur through the transition. Technology may get better and better, reducing these losses but it is effectively impossible (at least in modern times), to reproduce an analog signal exactly with digital data. Take our previous example of a gradual change between two frequency values. Now, we have a series of discrete changes between them. Imagine if you were told to sing from as low as you can up to as high you can using only three different tones. You would sing low, a medium note and then high. This is a very extreme example, but shows what we mean by discrete steps. Improved technology would allow you to change frequencies more often in the same period, say 5 times. Now you have a closer reproduction of the original smooth variant, but it still isn't great. This is shown by the second graph in the picture above.

    Given that the human ear works at a higher resolution than our current technology, a trained ear can easily hear the difference between an analog and even a high resolution digital signal. This is exactly the reason why so many people prefer vinyl records to their digital equivalents.. We haven't even got to the point of software level encoding. MP3's and other files incur yet another layer of losses which further reduces the quality in audio. Try listening to a vinyl record after an equivalent mp3 and if you can't tell the difference, there might be something wrong with you! Just kidding, but there is a very clear difference. There are certain audio formats such as FLAC, which are higher resolution digital encodings, but this is when compared with a CD track. In other words, it is still digital, and still does not replicate the sound in the same way as a live performance or a vinyl record.

    Now you know why a vinyl record is that much better then any digital equivalent from a scientific front. I didn't even mention their inherited greatness just for being a vintage item!

    Vinyl Junkie

    • Analog, by definition, is a continuously variable signal. This means that changes in frequency are represented by a smooth wave. Basically, this means that a change in frequency between two values will occur by moving through the complete range in between them. The result accurately sounds out every tiny change.

      In practice, this isn't true.

      The resolution of this signal is limited by the physical properties of the vinyl, as well as the quality of the audio that was pressed to it.

      Record grooves look like this: http://www.synthgear.com/2010/audio-gear/record-grooves-electron-microscope/

      Those lumps and bumps aren't part of the music. They're noise, and they prevent a vinyl record from being the perfect carrier of signal you describe.

      No matter how good the conversion is, there will always be losses which occur through the transition.

      This is true of all recording processes, both analog and digital. As I described above, the inherent noise in an analog signal also causes a quality loss.

      Take our previous example of a gradual change between two frequency values. Now, we have a series of discrete changes between them. Imagine if you were told to sing from as low as you can up to as high you can using only three different tones. You would sing low, a medium note and then high. This is a very extreme example, but shows what we mean by discrete steps.

      This is not how digital audio works. I will try to better explain the example you have described, as there's something important you're missing!

      To "store" the notes in your example digitally, we would need two pieces of information: the highest note and the lowest note. We could then instruct the singer to sing a smooth curve between the two notes.

      This is called "interpolation", and is what happens when a digital signal is sent to a DAC (Digital Analog Converter) or sound card, before being sent to speakers.

      In practice, in order to perfectly represent a signal oscillating at 1 cycle per second (1hz), we would need to store the highest and lowest points of that frequency. The means we would need to store 2 points per second (2hz). This is called the Nyquist Frequency (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nyquist_frequency).

      The number of points stored per second is called the sample rate.

      The DAC would then smoothly interpolate between those values, and give us the exact same signal as if we had stored that curve on a piece of vinyl.

      In more practical terms, in order to store a frequency of 5000hz (a high pitched tone), we would need a digital file with a sample-rate of 10,000hz.

      Given that the human ear works at a higher resolution than our current technology, a trained ear can easily hear the difference between an analog and even a high resolution digital signal.

      CD quality audio has a sample-rate of 44.1khz. This means the highest frequencies it can represent are around 22khz. Human hearing is between about 20hz and 20khz. This means that standard CD audio can contain frequencies too high for a human to hear.

      So in fact, even basic CD audio is at a much higher resolution than human hearing. Of course, digital audio in studios is usually higher quality than CD audio.

      MP3′s and other files incur yet another layer of losses which further reduces the quality in audio.

      While MP3 does slightly degrade quality, very few listeners can hear the difference between 320kpbs MP3 and WAV (http://gizmodo.com/#!5273332/the-great-mp3-bitrate-test-+-results).

      Additionally, the quality loss of an MP3 is much less than the quality loss of vinyl, which has characteristic distortion, making it easy to recognise.

      • Will, I believe he was walking about amplitude resolution (Bit Depth) which is 16bit only in CDs. And (in theory) infinite for vinyl.

        I imagine it's possible for some people to distinguish changes in amplitude smaller than the changes possible in a 16bit recording. But like I said in another post, it's not for everyone, and I imagine it makes no difference when the master used to press the vinyl was a digital recording from Pro Tools to start with.

  29. RSD may not stop the demise of a few stores or save vinyl. But it stopped me to think, I need to go into some stores today and buy some wax, rather than just buy from ebay and trade with others across the world.

    It's all well and good that releases now come at a high quality (though I have my on thoughts on this vs vinyl), problem is, a lot of the gear I want, hasn't made it onto this type of format. Yeah, comps are great for those 'big' tracks from more obscure artists, but what about those lesser known songs on the LP? Often appealing to a fan of the music, not just what they've been told is good.

    • Vinyl Junkie says:

      @Perish

      As long as there is still support for an artists music, vinyl records may not really ever truthfully fade away. The day that artists, bands or DJ's stop performing live, is when I think that vinyl will be laid to rest, but until then, as statistics have been showing strong vinyl sales, they won't be going anytime soon.

      Also, when you say that record stores are dwindling in number, again, this is also co-dependent upon the area you live.

      One other thing that should be said too, is that there are a lot of songs that can ONLY be found on the vinyl format and cannot be found anywhere else out there. It is for this reason Perish as to why I also agree with you regarding finding rare obscurities not found elsewhere in the digital world, especially really rare or obscure funk/northern soul breakbeats, guaranteed won't be found ANYWHERE on CD, unless of course it is bootlegged!

      Vinyl Junkie

      • Filesharing communities such as the (now deceased) Oink have actually been steadily working through old vinyl and lovingly digitizing it.

        You'd be hard pressed to think of a vinyl release that's still for sale, or available second-hand that isn't on the internet, at least on the private torrent trackers.

        • Vinyl Junkie says:

          @Will

          Yep, you're right Will! There are a lot of people out there who illegitimately import tracks to private download torrents! So, I guess if people care to support bootleggers, that's their gig NOT MINE! Almost all of what they do is NOT legit and the people that support those torrents are NO better than those that post them!

          VJ

        • Hi Will, just had a look at that hydrogen audio site, not really any great detail on the topic there , and certainly no scientific references to back up certain things...
          ambiguous statements such as

          "The dynamic range of CDs, ""when evaluated on a frequency-dependent basis and performed with proper dithering and oversampling"", is somewhere around 150 dB. Under no legitimate circumstances will the dynamic range of vinyl ever exceed the dynamic range of CD, under any frequency, given the wide performance gap and the physical limitations of vinyl playback."
          elsewhere on the same site, just a few clicks away
          "Digital processing of PCM audio such as normalization, compression (or expansion), equalisation, etc' is 'destructive', not 'lossy', although both mean 'irreversable'. It has to be said, this seems as much a matter of semantics or even philosophy as much as exact engineering terminology."
          you also state in your posts earlier that all vinyl is now recorded from a digital file....as you are a psybreaks niche dj who has only recently learned to dj using vinyl and obviously dislikes the whole medium of wax and turntable, I'm going to assume that you are unaware records were being made before you were born, before I was born and before most of the people on this site were born and the pulse code modulation format (PCM) was used in Japan by Denon in 1972 for the mastering and production of analogue phonograph records, using a 2-inch Quadruplex-format videotape recorder for its transport, but this was not developed into a consumer product.
          I'm sure we're all waiting with baited breath for your breakdown of the finer points of basic signal theory or some good scientific references at the very least...
          hers a good one for you
          The 16-bit digital system of Red Book audio CD has 216= 65,536 possible signal amplitudes, theoretically allowing for an SNR of 98 dB (Sony Europe 2001) and dynamic range of 96 dB, a little different information coming from cd manufacturers than hydrogen audio there...maybe sony got it wrong as a clever marketing gimmick to put people off the format they make lots of money from...
          The reason i mentioned one bit recording was to emphasise my belief that digital is the way forward, just not 44.1 khz pulse code modulation format, and i think the white paper points out the flaws in even 24 bit 192khz recording....
          Before you come back with another bullet point based analysis of my statemants with weak counter arguments you could try researching the topic further than you obviously have, ditch the basic signal theory that you cant explain properly, and read something like this, which may clear up your current misunderstandings of the way things actually are...http://ebookee.org/Advanced-Topics-in-System-and-Signal-Theory-A-Mathematical-Approach_871975.html

          On a final note, Digital has its advantages over vinyl, here are three advantages that vinyl has over 44.1khz pcm format that are not up for discussion and are a fact...
          Absence of aliasing distortion.
          Absence of quantization noise.
          Behaviour in overload conditions.
          I will not be bothering to respond to any further comments from you until you learn your subject material before pontificating further, and collate tour opinions into a well thought out flowing response, rather than a disjointed, childish, I know some long words, poke at other peoples comments...
          Also I'm really glad you mentioned the fact you think pirating music is the same as lovingly restoring, remind me never to put you on my mailing lists for promo's.....
          BUY SOME MUSIC STOP STEALING IT!

        • Vinyl Junkie says:

          @Penance

          Sure beats the crap out of me as to why Will would encourage anyone here Penance to illegally download music. At this point, the post you witness here has gone bust........

          V J

        • you also state in your posts earlier that all vinyl is now recorded from a digital file….as you are a psybreaks niche dj who has only recently learned to dj using vinyl and obviously dislikes the whole medium of wax and turntable, I’m going to assume that you are unaware records were being made before you were born, before I was born and before most of the people on this site were born

          Surprising as it may seem, I know this. I own a fair bit of vinyl that's older than me.

          I do dislike the medium, but I dislike it because I care very deeply about audio fidelity.

          Before you come back with another bullet point based analysis of my statemants with weak counter arguments you could try researching the topic further than you obviously have, ditch the basic signal theory that you cant explain properly, and read something like this, which may clear up your current misunderstandings of the way things actually are…http://ebookee.org/Advanced-Topics-in-System-and-Signal-Theory-A-Mathematical-Approach_871975.html

          I'm vaguely amused that you just shared a file, having scolded me for discussing filesharing. Are you encouraging me to illegally download books? 😉

          That link is dead, but I've several textbooks that are equivalent. I've read them.

          I will not be bothering to respond to any further comments from you until you learn your subject material before pontificating further, and collate tour opinions into a well thought out flowing response, rather than a disjointed, childish, I know some long words, poke at other peoples comments…

          It's always a shame when disjointed, childish comments ruin a thread.

  30. Vinyl Junkie says:

    @ Will

    If your comment is directed towards my theory of you trying to prove that anything I say is incorrect, then if I am wrong and what YOU think I say is based upon perceptive opinion and biased observation on my end, then I cannot exactly say that what you present to the table is conclusive either. If you are insinuating I have nothing to back up what I say, then what's to say that what you bring to the table is by any stretch comparable?

    Then in the end, it is all relative perception and to each their own. However, the vinyl purists have seen, heard and know better. Unless someone is totally tone deaf or cannot hear, let the way the music sounds on a decent sound system speak for itself, rather than all of these scientific theories being said, of which, both sides may or may not have valid points, but in the end, it is a NO win situation if it is all biased in the end to begin with.

    Again Let the way the music sounds on a decent sound system speak for itself. For an audiophile that listens to music at leisure, this will matter to them. However, if it is a DJ, then it won't matter I guess anyway because they are just recreating disposable remixes from things that have already been pre-recorded..

    Vinyl Junkie

    • If your comment is directed towards my theory of you trying to prove that anything I say is incorrect, then if I am wrong and what YOU think I say is based upon perceptive opinion and biased observation on my end, then I cannot exactly say that what you present to the table is conclusive either. If you are insinuating I have nothing to back up what I say, then what’s to say that what you bring to the table is by any stretch comparable?

      Then in the end, it is all relative perception and to each their own.

      This is a question of basic physics. It's not complex, it's not contentious and it's not subjective. There are facts, they are well-documented and trivially discoverable.

      • Vinyl Junkie says:

        @Will

        Yep, you are right Will. They are very well documented for all to see, and of course because you are not exactly a fan of vinyl, your opinions are in fact going to be biased and not balanced. However, if you want to lay the facts out on the table, then the facts are clear that you are using your perception coupled with the ideas of what others are saying too online. The fact of the matter is, everything you are trying to prove is still NOT conclusive, but rather your own opinion.

        There are plenty of facts to back up what I say. But what is the point in me digging anymore extra information out there, when it is in fact pointless to prove anything to a closed mind that lacks balance in the way they see things.

        Vinyl does in fact have a superior sound, regardless of surface noise. But, of course you are going to say that digital sounds better and struggle to try to back up your points with no cold hard evidence in what you say, which is NOT based on the facts, but rather somebody else opinion here online and not yours. If that is what you are basing your opinions on, then that is exactly what it is, opinion. Facts are the facts, you are right and I agree, but whether they are factual or backed up properly is another matter. Audibly the proof is in the way each format sounds. The fact is, why does it matter to you anyway what anything sounds like since you are clearly not listening to the music in the sense of a way an audiophile listens to music, as opposed to just being a DJ that likes to dissect things and remix them? It shouldn't matter to you then.

        So, your argument is technically a MOOT point and is completely invalid if you are a DJ and NOT an audiophile. Any reason to defend yourself? I am beginning to have my doubts on that.

        So, again where is the argument? I don't see any. We can go back and forth about this all day and still no point would be proven. The minute I have something to back up what I say regarding vinyl being superior, then you will come back and say that it isn't based upon whatever you decide to bring to the table, when I damn well know better.

        If your idea of a DJ is scratching on a CD or playing music on an MP3, then great, more power to you, but this also means that since you don't listen to vinyl and the primary means that you listen to music is for the purpose of being a DJ, then you aren't exactly an audiophile to really determine what is good or what is not when it comes to listening to a certain format.

        Based on the facts concerning your remarks and snobbish competitive attitude, I highly doubt you are somebody whose opinion that I am going to really respect anyway, even if you could prove what you have to say as fact!

        Will, the way you approach people is really out of line and comes off as antagonistic to some people in here, and I am not the only person that shares that opinion either.

        After, this post, I will no longer be responding to any more of Will's commentary. For all I care, you can go talk to yourself and be impressed with yourself, by yourself........

        Well, it's been fun guys. I am out of here.

  31. Vinyl Junkie says:

    I have some final words to conclude what I have to say on my end.

    As I said before, there have been analog versus digital wars since the beginning of the compact discs inception. Most likely the wars may never end...........

    As a summation concerning the vinyl versus compact disc debate. If you are a DJ, whatever tools you choose to use is up to you, whether it be vinyl, cd or mp3/ipod. Whatever the case, it just doesn't really seem to matter in the end doesn't it? So, frankly who really gives a damn. That makes this post all the more pointless. People are just going to use what they are going to use regardless of a scientific explanatory hypothesis.

    If you are a serious audiophile or a serious fan of a band or their music, chances are you will own them on vinyl and less likely CD. If you are a less serious, but more leisurely music listener, it won't matter to you, so you will probably just buy it on a cd or a worthless download card. For people who want instant gratification, this seems to also work the best.

    So, if you are a DJ, then why does sound quality even matter if it has nothing to do with being an audiophile? If that is the case, then what is truly the whole point in a biased post discussing either format when it doesn't matter?

    I guess vinyl will only matter to those few DJ's who refuse to convert to digital like what everyone else seems to be doing these days. However, as I had mentioned before, if there is still support for vinyl in all the different varying uses it still seems to utilize to this day today, the CD looks more or less, out of any format, to say goodbye before vinyl ever will. If you want proof? Look at the Nielsen Soundscan reports for this year alone and this will tell you that the compact disc is dying a surefire slow death! Amazingly, the vinyl record is up a million more stronger in sales than last year!

    If vinyl is going to die, then how much you want me to bet any of you digital purists in here a million dollars that CD's will be the first to go. Then, if all of the formats leave, then I guess there won't be any uses for a DJ, especially if a computer or robot is doing all the work for you..........

    The funny part is, when I see kids who are under 21 years of age buying vinyl, I find it funny in a way that there must be something to the format, if most of them say that they prefer the sounds more than digital. Also, I kind of see it too as an anti digital establishment protest to see so many people purchasing vinyl. And, man it sure is music to my ears..........

    V J

    • Even though it's perfectly fair to prefer the sound of one over another, most kids under 21 will say anything to look cool. The vinyl sales increase is probably due to a fad hipsters have once again created to be cool and different. It may last for a little while or a long while.

      • Vinyl Junkie says:

        True Fred, but c'mon, regardless, vinyl out any format besides the cd has had the most longevity. There mus t be obvious reasons for that, otherwise it would have been truthfully killed off by the cd like so many people projected back in the 80's & 90's. And, that's to say that the kids are the only ones thinking it is a "cool" thing to purchase them.

        Again, there are far more obvious reasons than just one and the evidence is clear, otherwise we would not even be having this stupid ridiculous debate, that we are so lovingly trying to defend on such a senseless post!

        That is where the case rests....

        V J

  32. Bloody hell Phil, you must be knackered after responding back to all those people..

    ...keep up the good work mate.

  33. recordfanatic says:

    Yeah well, even the most succinct perspectives can still be based upon a biased perception.

    Nuff said on that..........

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