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Ariel Bitran
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Another one of those questions...

In one of SM's most recent blog posts , he talks about buying a ton of vinyl for CDs he already has. This is definitely cool, as I'm in the process of doing the same thing. But many of the LPs he's buying are really new (past 10-15 years), and this reminded me of a conversation I had a few months back.

I was talking to my friend Oresti, a student at the NYU Clive Davis Department of Recorded Music, and he mentioned to me his disdain for buying vinyl on albums recorded digitally. He said, "You should buy the format for which the recording intended. Digital recordings are meant to be put on a CD, and they sound better on a CD."

This question isn't the typical "what sounds better, vinyl or CD." Instead, the questions are: how does the method of recording influence the medium? How does the medium influence the recording? And is my friend Oresti right in his statement?

rvance
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Re: Another one of those questions...

Why would I assume they'd master it differently for equalization curves, etc? Maybe? BTW, I got stoned with Clive Davis' first wife at Cerritos College in 1970! Small freakin' world, or what?? She was very nice and very proud of her ex-husband. No hanky-panky.

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Re: Another one of those questions...

It depends on when the digital master was made. The early digital, limited to 16/44.1 is generally dismal. I just relistened to some early Telarc vinyl from the late 1970s and it was really poor. OTOH, my SACDs made from RCA analog masters from the 1950s and 1960s are wonderful.

IMHO, digital recording and mastering has caught up with great analog. Most studios are now recording at least at 24/96 and higher, with many using 1-bit DSD at 5.6MHz sampling rates. Such recordings are truly wonderful.

Combine that with the fact that most vinyl pressings are made with great care and attention to detail than their CD equivalents. I mostly listen to jazz, but I've got recent recordings by Nora Jones, Jane Monheit, Diana Krall, Herbie Hancock and others that sound superior to their CD versions, base on my sampling of both.

The digital world is moving fast. Your friend is chanting a mantra that was once true, but is now out of date. I'm set up for all formats, but my preferences are:

    1-bit DSD @5.6MHz, unfortunately next to impossible to buy
    LP, DVD-A and SACD tied for 1st place
    CD next and closing the gap as up-converting replay devices improve
    FLAC or WAV
    Apple Lossless
    mp3
bifcake
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Re: Another one of those questions...


Quote:
In one of SM's most recent blog posts , he talks about buying a ton of vinyl for CDs he already has. This is definitely cool, as I'm in the process of doing the same thing.

Don't listen to SM. He's just a kid. He romanticizes vinyl because he's not old enough to have dealt with it when it was the only medium available. Just get CD's and save yourself the headaches.

smejias
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Re: Another one of those questions...


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he's not old enough to have dealt with it when it was the only medium available.

Thank goodness.

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Re: Another one of those questions...

Be quiet, Jr. Play nice with Mikey L and Johnny D.

dbowker
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Re: Another one of those questions...

Yeah- I think I might be older than you are Alex, and I never bought into the CD bandwagon even though they came out in a big way when I was in High School.

As to the original question- as usual it depends. I have some lp and CD copies of a number of albums and in some cases the LP definitely sounds much better. Lately I've bought a couple of albums and right on the liner notes you can see they had two different mastering engineers- one for analogue, one for digital. As a general rule, the vinyl version, because it's for a niche market is going to get better care and made sure to have the best production IMO. Thye alos use less dynamic compression in many cases.

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Re: Another one of those questions...

This is probably blasphemy, but both formats at their best are really good. I feel that the format makes far less difference than the mastering. The vinyl often gets more loving care, by better people, using better equipment who know the small market that they are trying to please.

I've heard 15ips master tape and it sounds NOTHING like a CD, unfortunately it doesn't sound anything like vinyl either. Master tape has an effortless flow, that no format to date has been able to recreate. I have hope for 24/192 fully uncompressed, carried by Blu-ray.

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Re: Another one of those questions...


Quote:

I've heard 15ips master tape and it sounds NOTHING like a CD, unfortunately it doesn't sound anything like vinyl either. Master tape has an effortless flow, that no format to date has been able to recreate. I have hope for 24/192 fully uncompressed, carried by Blu-ray.

There's 24/192 right now via DVD-A.

Ariel Bitran
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Re: Another one of those questions...


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As a general rule, the vinyl version, because it's for a niche market is going to get better care and made sure to have the best production IMO.

As we've all been experiencing lately, that niche market is growing so we can all hope for the best. Are you saying there's a separate mixdown process for the vinyl record, or just...


Quote:
Thye alos use less dynamic compression in many cases.

Well, I'm off to Santiago Chile! I'll definitely be bringing back some sweet Latin American prog rock and folk LPs that you can't find in the US.

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Re: Another one of those questions...


Quote:

Quote:

I've heard 15ips master tape and it sounds NOTHING like a CD, unfortunately it doesn't sound anything like vinyl either. Master tape has an effortless flow, that no format to date has been able to recreate. I have hope for 24/192 fully uncompressed, carried by Blu-ray.

There's 24/192 right now via DVD-A.

DVD-A does have that potential but few have used it. Most stereo mixes have been 24/96. Plus digital compression had to be used (Meridian lossless) for space reasons. With Blu-ray that won't be necessary because of the outrageous amount of space available. They could offer 24/192 surround, stereo, and still have TONS of disc left for whatever the record companies THINK we want. Maybe they would even offer a straight copy of the master with no EQ or compression just for us audiophiles. Ya right, but one can always hope.

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Re: Another one of those questions...


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Are you saying there's a separate mixdown process for the vinyl record

From what I understand -- someone please correct me, if I'm mistaken -- there are different mastering processes. The idea is that because vinyl appeals to those who care about sound quality, it is generally mastered with sound quality in mind. Thus, vinyl recordings won't suffer from the same loudness issues and compressed dynamics typical of their CD counterparts. For instance, the latest Red Hot Chili Peppers CDs suck ass, while the LP versions totally don't suck at all. Just an example.

In addition, there are plenty of albums being released today that just feel as though they were recorded with vinyl in mind. The new Black Keys album, for instance, and the Bon Iver album both cry to be on vinyl.

And, yes, I think the format does influence the recording. Albums released specifically for vinyl have an artistic coherence that CD releases sometimes lack. The artist has to work within the time limitations of the vinyl medium. You have 20-something minutes to say what you want to say on side A, another 20-something minutes to say what you want to say on side B, and you have to decide how those two sides are going to interact. Which, to me, is just beautiful.

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Re: Another one of those questions...


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For instance, the latest Red Hot Chili Peppers CDs suck ass, while the LP versions totally don't suck at all.

I do remember Mikey's review of this on Music Angle and how excited he was that they didn't suck. In fact, he said they sounded pretty good. Sometimes, I'm inclined to blame Rick Rubin for dynamic compression. I know the loudness war has been happening for decades, but whenever I listen to his stuff, he manages to take it to another level--see Mars Volta "Deloused in the Comatorium" or "Stadium Arcadium" by the Chili Peppers or any of those Johnny Cash recordings, which also sound depressingly flat. I think producers believe that compression is a substitute for clarity since you can hear everything that the singer is saying clearly and see their mouth moving and the spit drooling. But really, it just makes the music less clear, less exciting, and less "real."


Quote:
In addition, there are plenty of albums being released today that just feel as though they were recorded with vinyl in mind. The new Black Keys album, for instance

I have it on CD. I'll have to give the vinyl a listen. It seems that album would make more sense on an LP though.


Quote:
And, yes, I think the format does influence the recording. Albums released specifically for vinyl have an artistic coherence that CD releases sometimes lack. The artist has to work within the time limitations of the vinyl medium. You have 20-something minutes to say what you want to say on side A, another 20-something minutes to say what you want to say on side B, and you have to decide how those two sides are going to interact. Which, to me, is just beautiful.

The best part about vinyl. You nailed it. Two sides can have such different personalities. Also, you eliminate the "filler" songs that you have on CDs these days. A common conversation I have with my friends back home is how Led Zeppelin has no filler. NO FILLER. but thats probably because they're the best band of all time.

(all done in JFK while waiting for my flight as a standby passenger)

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Re: Another one of those questions...

Led Zeppelin...best band of all time? Hardly, they where a great COVER BAND, as most of their stuff was taken from the original Blues dudes who never made the fortunes that Led zeppelin did, on the music that they pioneered. Led Zeppelin has not aged well at all. Rolling Stones has em beat big time, in ORIGINAL music and covers. Whole Lotta Love...exact ripoff of You need Love, all they did is speed it up, add some effects...hardly worthy of being called great, it's a COVER BAND

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Re: Another one of those questions...


Quote:

In addition, there are plenty of albums being released today that just feel as though they were recorded with vinyl in mind. The new Black Keys album, for instance, and the Bon Iver album both cry to be on vinyl.

The Bon Iver album is on vinyl - http://www.scdistribution.com/cat/scd_catalog.php?usersearch=Bon%20Iver&pagerequest=

ordered mine today

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Re: Another one of those questions...

Would like to hear what you or others think about Bon Iver on vinyl, especially if compared to CD of same. I like my analog and my digital sources. IMO, the strengths and weaknesses of each format, as a whole, often become irrelevant since the quality of individual recordings varies so much.

for instance, the Bon Iver might sound better on CD and Led Zep on vinyl (or vice versa) - depending on many recording/mastering/production factors besides the format.

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Re: Another one of those questions...


Quote:
Led Zeppelin...best band of all time? Hardly, they where a great COVER BAND, as most of their stuff was taken from the original Blues dudes who never made the fortunes that Led zeppelin did, on the music that they pioneered. Led Zeppelin has not aged well at all. Rolling Stones has em beat big time, in ORIGINAL music and covers. Whole Lotta Love...exact ripoff of You need Love, all they did is speed it up, add some effects...hardly worthy of being called great, it's a COVER BAND

Once again I have to STRONGLY disagree with you. If they had stopped after their first two albums you might have an argument. Many songs on those albums were strongly influenced and took some of their lyrical content from specific Blues standards. But the musical statements were ALWAYS original. Even when the lyrics were NEARLY a straight cover as with "You Shook Me." On "You Shook Me" the music was completely different and innovative. The original didn't have guitars with backwards echo and wasn't in a 3/4 time signature. Led Zeppelin NEVER did straight covers they always added their own unique elements. If anyone is "guilty" of doing straight covers (there's nothing wrong with straight covers as far as I'm concerned, but you seem to feel differently) it would be The Stones.

Led Zeppelin was sued a number of times for not crediting others for lyrical contributions, and probably rightly so. However, it is common in the Blues indium to take a portion of a song from another artist, make some changes, and call it your own. In fact it's considered a compliment, even Robert Johnson did it. So why was Led Zeppelin singled out and sued? Two reasons, first they were white. Second and more importantly, they were rich. They never held it against those who had sued them. When Willie Dixon was in the process of suing them and was ill they visited him, they visited him again after the suit was settled.

With respect to musical ability EVERYONE in Led Zeppelin was far more accomplished at their individual instrument than The Stones. Zeppelin also evolved much further in 10 years than The Stones have in 46 years! There are many songs on Zep's last three albums that couldn't have been predicted by listening to their first album. Led Zeppelin played blues, folk, hard rock, punk, reggae, country, and pop.

Led Zeppelin has sold 111.5 million albums, almost twice as many as The Stones 66 million. Don't get me wrong The Rolling Stones are great, but they aren't even close to Led Zeppelin when it comes to Sales, musical ability, and diversity of style.

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Re: Another one of those questions...

I agree that a lot of the time it just depends on the recording. Most of the time (now with my turntable) I will buy vinyl, just because it seems more natural to me (especially voice)

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Re: Another one of those questions...

Yeah- but they also recorded some of the most cliched, overblown, heavy-handed songs ever written! Stairway to Heaven ALONE earned them many days in musical purgatory, and was probably one of the key elements to galvanize the punk rock backlash, along with all of Floyd's Dark Side of the Moon. I supposed we could thank them for ushering back in the raw energy they started out with...

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Re: Another one of those questions...

"Led Zeppelin has sold 111.5 million albums, almost twice as many as The Stones 66 million. Don't get me wrong The Rolling Stones are great, but they aren't even close to Led Zeppelin when it comes to Sales, musical ability, and diversity of style."

Hahahahahahahaha!

Then Mariah Carey is better than Zep, eh?

Garth Brooks, too!

Most importantly, who vomited this lyric upon the world?

"How years ago in days of old
When magic filled the air,
T'was in the darkest depth of Mordor
I met a girl so fair,
But golem, the evil one crept up
And slipped away with her.
Her, her....yea.
Ain't nothing I can do, no."

Golem?

Mordor?

Worst. Lyric. Ever.

Give those losers some twenty sided dice and send them on their way.

The answer is not "Zep" or "Stones," it's both. No stop that!

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Re: Another one of those questions...

Mariah Carey is no where near Led Zeppelin, but she is dangerously close to The Stones. I could understand being sick of "Stairway to Heaven" because it is over exposed but if you just listen to it as a good song and forget the hype it is still enjoyable.

Artist Certified Units in Millions
BEATLES, THE 170
BROOKS, GARTH 128
PRESLEY, ELVIS 118.5
LED ZEPPELIN 111.5
EAGLES 100
JOEL, BILLY 79.5
PINK FLOYD 74.5
STREISAND, BARBRA 71
JOHN, ELTON 69.5
AC/DC 69
STRAIT, GEORGE 67.5
AEROSMITH 66.5
ROLLING STONES, THE 66
SPRINGSTEEN, BRUCE 63.5
MADONNA 63
CAREY, MARIAH 61.5
JACKSON, MICHAEL 60.5
METALLICA 57
VAN HALEN 56.5
HOUSTON, WHITNEY 54
ROGERS, KENNY 51
U2 50.5
DION, CELINE 50
FLEETWOOD MAC 48.5
DIAMOND, NEIL 48
TWAIN, SHANIA 48
KENNY G 48
JOURNEY 46
ALABAMA 46
SANTANA 43
CLAPTON, ERIC 42.5
JACKSON, ALAN 42
MC ENTIRE, REBA 40.5
SEGER, BOB AND THE SILVER BULLET BAND 40
PRINCE 39.5
GUNS 'N ROSES 39.5
SIMON & GARFUNKEL 38.5
CHICAGO 38
FOREIGNER 37.5
STEWART, ROD 37
DYLAN, BOB 37
BACKSTREET BOYS 37
2 PAC 36.5
DEF LEPPARD 35
NELSON, WILLIE 35
BON JOVI 34
COLLINS, PHIL 33.5
TAYLOR, JAMES 33
KELLY, R. 33
DENVER, JOHN 32.5
QUEEN 32.5
MC GRAW, TIM 32
DOORS, THE 32
BOSTON 31
SPEARS, BRITNEY 31
MATTHEWS, DAVE BAND 31
DIXIE CHICKS 30.5
PEARL JAM 30
RONSTADT, LINDA 30
OSBOURNE, OZZY 28.75
PETTY, TOM & THE HEARTBREAKERS 28.5
MANNHEIM STEAMROLLER 28
LYNYRD SKYNYRD 28
BOLTON, MICHAEL 28
'N SYNC 28
MELLENCAMP, JOHN 27.5
MANILOW, BARRY 27.5
EMINEM 27
BOYZ II MEN 27
BROOKS & DUNN 26.5
ENYA 26
JACKSON, JANET 26
BEE GEES 26
CREEDENCE CLEARWATER REVIVAL 26
JAY-Z 26
SINATRA, FRANK 25.5
ZZ TOP 25
RUSH 25
NIRVANA 25
HILL, FAITH 25
CARPENTERS, THE 24.5
VANDROSS, LUTHER 24.5
MILLER, STEVE BAND 24.5
CREED 24
GILL, VINCE 24
EARTH, WIND & FIRE 23.5
CARS, THE 23.5
MOTLEY CRUE 23.5
BUFFETT, JIMMY 23
CHESNEY, KENNY 22.5
POLICE, THE 22.5
SADE 22.5
HENDRIX, JIMI 22.5
R.E.O. SPEEDWAGON 22
TLC 22
GREEN DAY 22
BEASTIE BOYS 22
RICHIE, LIONEL 22
OUTKAST 22
KEITH, TOBY 22

http://www.riaa.com/goldandplatinumdata.php?table=tblTopArt

dbowker
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Re: Another one of those questions...

Yeah that list has two HUGE problems.

1) Depending on the time they were sold (and how much marketing machinery was put behind it), the numbers are skewed by population counts and mass distribution channels that vary greatly over time.

2) Quantity has not, EVER, had anything to do with quality. You want Wal-Mart (or Micheal Jackson or Celine Dion) to be your measuring stick for quality? Me neither.

I don't hate Led Zep, BTW, but no one deserves best band ever. Even best for a certain era is dubious, but forever? I think the Stones have a measured catalogue myself and still can rock pretty hard after all these years.

BTW: Julio Iglesias has them ALL beat with 250 million albums sold, having recorded 77 albums in 14 languages. Take that Garth and The Beatles!

mrlowry
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Re: Another one of those questions...

I do feel that Led Zeppelin is the BEST BAND EVER, but I also recognize that as an opinion. I was just being a smart ass and proving that Mrs. Carey hadn't outsold Led Zeppelin. I was crushed to find out that Garth Brooks had past the mighty Zeppelin.

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Re: Another one of those questions...

Mariah Carey is said to have passed Elvis in #1 hits 18?......Hey Elvis, get back here and get another hit will ya? But let's see Mirah Carey get a #1 hit after she is DEAD. Elvis had the remake song in England go to number ONE, and he was DEAD!!! What dead musican ever had a new number one hit, while being DEAD!!! On his old song, that he sang on, while being DEAD..now that's being KING! And it was

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Re: Another one of those questions...

Wes Phillips blogged about the theft of music Zep did, and the site he linked to had some amazing sound bites.

I actually own Jake Holmes' original version of Dazed and Confused.

I have been trying to find the link. I'll keep looking. It's kind of mind bending!

Ariel Bitran
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Re: Another one of those questions...

So I guess its time I explain my comment.

First of all I stick by it. Led Zeppelin is not my "favorite" band (see other forum post "Missed Opportunities" for that doozie), although I cant say they that they are not in my top 5, because they are. So yes, this is bias, but I will try to explain myself.

As to the copying the other blues artists. This is entirely true. I have heard the sound clips, and I'm always surprised to hear what they got away with. Yet, ask! any! any! any! musician about whether they think themselves as original. Hardly any musician or artist will say yes. Honest creativity is a farce. We all build upon each others ideas, and those who do it the best, create reactions, movements, and elaborations on previous art. These are the people who are truly creative. As MrLowry explained perfectly before:


Quote:
But the musical statements were ALWAYS original. Even when the lyrics were NEARLY a straight cover as with "You Shook Me." On "You Shook Me" the music was completely different and innovative. The original didn't have guitars with backwards echo and wasn't in a 3/4 time signature. Led Zeppelin NEVER did straight covers they always added their own unique elements.

After exploring their truly bluesy roots in their earlier albums, Zeppelin proved themselves to be INCREDIBLY capable of writing original material. It took them till IV to really nail it, but on that album, you can find the best of the best. Beautiful ballads like Going to California, rock and roll on Black Dog, and epic nature that would make Homer proud in Stairway to Heaven. Stairway is overplayed but rightly so. All still opinion, but to some degree this is where the record sales numbers prove something. These guys were playing hard rock. Loud electric guitars, drum solos, and some skinny guy wailing his head off: not what I call mass appeal.

As to the Battle of Evermore "crappy lyric." I honestly believe its unfair to judge a rock artist on their lyrics in such a way. Robert Plant is all about delivery, which he undeniably gives. Bruce Springsteen and Bob Dylan are excellent lyricists. But many rock musicians can

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Re: Another one of those questions...

I'm flattered that you would quote me when you've made the case much more effectively than have I. You are right Robert Plant wasn't about lyrics. His voice was an instrument, and what an instrument! In fact I can't think of a single great songwriter that is also great vocalist or instrumentalist. If you are great at one the other side never develops because it doesn't have to. Even the great composers didn't write the lyrics to their operas. John Paul Jones was the glue that silently held it all together in my opinion, he's so under appreciated. "Since I've Been Loving You" is also a personal favorite along with "In My Time of Dying" they are both Tour de forces.

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