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ARSCLIST  April 2015

ARSCLIST April 2015

Subject:

Re: Record Store Day and the Ambivalent Branding of Independence

From:

Tom Fine <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

Association for Recorded Sound Discussion List <[log in to unmask]>

Date:

Wed, 15 Apr 2015 08:36:39 -0400

Content-Type:

text/plain

Parts/Attachments:

Parts/Attachments

text/plain (159 lines)

Hi Jim:

The bitrate thing is very iffy. The only way you get a true "24-bit master" is if it was 24-bit from
the time it hit the first ADC. That means, each kid with a home studio recording each track had to
work in 24-bit, given how a lot of these indie projects work. It's possible today, and not that
expensive, but someone needs to make sure each kid knows to use a high-quality 24-bit ADC at each
stage of the project. I don't doubt that the mixing guy and mastering guy are set up for 24-bit.
There are plenty of starving musicians out there using old 16-bit protools rigs still. Also, a young
person gets bombarded with a bunch of digital propaganda and unless they have some knowledge, they
might get very confused. There's all this talk about sampling rates and claims of ever-higher
sampling rate capabilities, but less talk about 24-bit vs. 16-bit. To my ears, you're going to get
better results if you record 44.1/24 than you will 96/16. However, given that all current equipment
worth buying can do 96/24, that should be the minimum working format for a commercial release
nowadays.

Talking about graphics on vinyl is definitely not hijacking a threat about RSD! I think the point of
many of the "RSD exclusive limited release!" titles is the graphics.

Regarding Mike's point about pressing plants, it's not just indies! Those four new MLP records I
mentioned yesterday are a month late because of a backlog at the pressing plant. GZ added presses
last year and Chad Kassem (Analogue Productions) bought a bunch of presses in Chicago earlier this
year and says when he gets them online it will double his capacity. United claimed they were adding
presses but offered no details.

It'll be interesting to see if this new capacity is all absorbed. I get the sense that RSD has
"jumped the shark" and there may not be such a clog-up again.

These plant-capacity issues have an interesting history. Some people said that one reason SACD
failed in the marketplace is that hybrid discs didn't come out from the get-go and then when they
did come out, the manufacturing capacity for nearly the first year was clogged up with the Rolling
Stones (Abkco) and Bob Dylan (Sony). The result was, not enough variety of hybrid titles right when
the hybrid format was new and at maximum publicity hype.

-- Tom Fine

----- Original Message -----
From: "Jim Sam" <[log in to unmask]>
To: <[log in to unmask]>
Sent: Wednesday, April 15, 2015 2:12 AM
Subject: Re: [ARSCLIST] Record Store Day and the Ambivalent Branding of Independence


> Hey Tom,
>
> I hear where you're coming from, but I'm not sure in 2015 it's so much a
> problem. (happy to be wrong, because it just further proves my point! :) )
> What I've read on mastering boards (I know...) is that most cutting
> mastering studios that work from--or delay by--digital have upgraded their
> digital component to 24-bit, and given how cheap professional, 24-bit D/A's
> and A/D's have been the last ten years, this would make sense.
>
> Regarding artwork, that gets into subjectives and personal valuation, which
> I don't want to get into because, at the least, it would hi-jack the thread.
>
> Jim
>
>
> On Tue, Apr 14, 2015 at 5:33 PM, Tom Fine <[log in to unmask]>
> wrote:
>
>> Hi Jim:
>>
>> Don't bet on 24-bit. Many LPs are mastered from the CD or CD master file.
>> Only the careful bands and labels go with the 24-bit files.
>>
>> I can see your point, but I don't totally agree with it. If you like a
>> modern release, isn't there some value in 12x12 graphics, and perhaps
>> (again if the artist and label are careful and/or care anything about sound
>> quality) a less-crunched version of the music?
>>
>> To my thinking, unless an LP version of a recent release offers better
>> dynamic range, wider frequency range or some other sonic improvement over
>> the CD release, the only reason to buy it would be for the artifact. Some
>> cover art being produced today is quite compelling/ For instance Tanya
>> Donelly was recently interviewed in TapeOp mag talking about her recent
>> Swan Song Series of digital-only releases:
>> http://www.tanyadonelly.com/
>> She had artwork done to go with each song, and she commented it would be
>> neat to see them collected on vinyl, with packaging that showed the artwork
>> in greater prominance.
>>
>> -- Tom Fine
>>
>> ----- Original Message ----- From: "Jim Sam" <[log in to unmask]>
>> To: <[log in to unmask]>
>> Sent: Tuesday, April 14, 2015 8:17 PM
>> Subject: Re: [ARSCLIST] Record Store Day and the Ambivalent Branding of
>> Independence
>>
>>
>>
>> "I've attended three consecutive RSDs, but I'm not sure I'll participate
>>> in RSD this year. The manufactured exclusivity of the often overpriced
>>> records and their unequal distribution/availability are problematic."
>>>
>>> I'm in complete agreement with that.
>>>
>>> The other thing I'll add is, my tastes run distinctly modern, and I have a
>>> hard time paying money for releases on vinyl when the odds that it was
>>> 24-bit LPCM at some point are quite high (even for remasters, etc.).
>>> Especially when I know the albums might wind up on high-resolution
>>> internet
>>> stores a few months later.
>>>
>>> On Tue, Apr 14, 2015 at 5:05 PM, Aaron Levinson <
>>> [log in to unmask]>
>>> wrote:
>>>
>>> I found the article both right and wrong in approximately equal measure.
>>>> I
>>>> like the fact that my many friends who or work at these stores have a
>>>> Christmas in July moment but I dislike the often superfluous things that
>>>> are sometimes put out. His blanket contention that virtually any/all
>>>> unsold RSD releases hemorrhage in value every subsequent day is untrue.
>>>> Some will and some most certainly will not.
>>>>
>>>> Is it a marketing driven strategy?
>>>> Of course, but that doesn't make it bad...
>>>>
>>>> AA
>>>>
>>>> Sent from my iPhone
>>>>
>>>> > On Apr 14, 2015, at 7:39 PM, Eric Cartier <[log in to unmask]>
>>>> wrote:
>>>> >
>>>> > Hi all,
>>>> >
>>>> > The eighth annual Record Store Day (RSD) is set for this Saturday, and
>>>> Eric
>>>> > Harvey, Pitchfork contributor/Assistant Professor of Communication at
>>>> Weber
>>>> > State University, wrote an interesting article about RSD:
>>>> >
>>>> http://pitchfork.com/thepitch/736-record-store-day-and-the-
>>>> ambivalent-branding-of-independence/
>>>> >
>>>> > I regularly visit record stores to look for and buy used vinyl, I
>>>> > occasionally purchase select new releases with accompanying download
>>>> cards,
>>>> > and I've attended three consecutive RSDs, but I'm not sure I'll
>>>> participate
>>>> > in RSD this year. The manufactured exclusivity of the often overpriced
>>>> > records and their unequal distribution/availability are problematic.
>>>> >
>>>> > What do you all think about this recorded sound holiday?
>>>> >
>>>> > Sincerely,
>>>> >
>>>> > Eric Cartier
>>>> > Digital Librarian
>>>> > University of Maryland Libraries
>>>>
>>>>
>>>
>>>
>
>

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