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Thread: "Beautiful Friction" - vinyl edition

  1. #1
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    "Beautiful Friction" - vinyl edition

    Hi All! Just wondering if anybody has heard anything about the vinyl edition of "Beautiful Friction". I pre-ordered it from Amazon.com back when it was first listed. It was initially listed as being due in August, then got pushed back. I just got an email from Amazon saying that they are "still trying to obtain" my order, and that I could cancel if I no longer wanted to wait. Anybody have any news on this? Really looking forward to hearing this amazing record on vinyl.

    - Chris

  2. #2
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    Whoa. Vinyl? I didn't know that vinyl recordings were even made anymore. Shows how technologically out of the loop I am. I have a rather large vinyl collection that I gave up on many years ago because my turntable died and I was unable to find a replacement. I haven't looked in years, but is vinyl making a comeback? Are they selling turntables again (at a reasonable cost) or is it a retro thing where they are selling them for outrageously big bucks?

    Label me astounded.

    Best wishes,
    Bill

  3. #3
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    Vinyl has made a HUGE resurgence in the last decade or so. Some of it is nostalgia. Some of it is that (for whatever reason) mastering engineers aren't under the same pressure to maximize the hell out of the recording like they are on CDs and iTunes (i.e. "The Loudness War"), end result is that often the vinyl is better: not because of the format, but because of the mastering. For older material, sometimes the original vinyl pressings sound better than the CD that was mastered 30, 40, or 50 years later, where age has taken its toll on the master tapes.

    Take a look here and compare some of the vinyl versions with recent CD versions of some newer recordings. For example, search for "The Black Keys" albums. The Red Hot Chilli Pepper's Stadium Arcadium is also a good example, the vinyl kicks the CDs butt.

    And then there's the DJ market, where they want to live remix vinyl with other beats.

    Anyway, the result are both tons of new albums coming out on vinyl, as well as lots of new hardware out there. I currently have one of these, and love it:

    http://www.audioadvisor.com/prodinfo...er=MHMMF5%2E1C

    p.s. I still have my pre-order for the Beautiful Friction vinyl at amazon. Hope it comes through (knock on wood).

  4. #4
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    Great info Jeff, thanks!

  5. #5
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    A quick follow up on this discussion...

    Jeff, you mentioned "the loudness wars" and as soon as I read it, I knew what you were talking about. Any idea why there aren't any standards as to the loudness that a CD will play at. (If I'm using general terms, it's because I lack the technical background)

    I have noticed, with some irritation, that some cds that I have put together for a mix to listen to in my car can range from "barely heard" to "whoops, better change my shorts" in loudness.

    Is there any inexpensive (and straight-forward) way to create mp3s from my cds (and other mp3 files) where I can equalize the volume across the span of all the files?

    Thank you for anyone who can answer this.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Patric View Post
    A quick follow up on this discussion...

    Jeff, you mentioned "the loudness wars" and as soon as I read it, I knew what you were talking about. Any idea why there aren't any standards as to the loudness that a CD will play at. (If I'm using general terms, it's because I lack the technical background)

    I have noticed, with some irritation, that some cds that I have put together for a mix to listen to in my car can range from "barely heard" to "whoops, better change my shorts" in loudness.

    Is there any inexpensive (and straight-forward) way to create mp3s from my cds (and other mp3 files) where I can equalize the volume across the span of all the files?

    Thank you for anyone who can answer this.
    Heya Patric,

    As for the first part: "back in the day" the standard was dictated literally by the physical characteristics of the vinyl itself. If you cut vinyl with, for instance, the bass too loud, the needle would physically jump out of the groove. Likewise, if you cut things too loud it shortens the time you can put on a side. So there was a happy medium, and mastering engineers worked their magic to optimize for the format.

    With CDs, that restriction was removed. You can literally push the level to 0 DB (or above, clipping/distorting the signal) and there's nothing to stop you. Here's a good overview: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u9Fb3rWNWDA


    As for how to deal with it: Your best, easiest bet is to use something like ReplayGain. Many MP3 players have ReplayGain built into them, and it will scan all the songs normalize the volume. iTunes has a similiar technology - click on the "Sound Check" checkbox under Preferences->Playback.

    Now that said, I don't just rely on ReplayGain. If it exists, I work hard to try and find an earlier or difference source of my favorite music... hence buying vinyl and doing my own rips, or hunting down pre-loudness war CDs. On the plus side, used CDs are dirt cheap on Amazon and eBay, and there are a few sources out there for tracking down the pressings to look for.

    This can even work for *some* new music. The latest Foo Fighters album, Wasting Light, sounds *spectacular* on vinyl. It easily has twice the dynamic range as the CD.

    Ok, and how's this for crazy: the Foo Fighters CD, "One By One", sounded SO bad that I hunted down the DVD-Audio surround sound disc and made my own stereo downmix, and it sounds dramatically better. Whoever did the surround sound mix obviously didn't feel the pressure to compress the hell out of the music, knowing it'd be played back higher-end systems and no mp3 players.

  7. #7
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    Jeff,

    Excellent, useful information. Thank you so much.

    Bill

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