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What is so special about Vinyls? :), Help a student out with her project?
nay_creative
post Oct 30 2013, 22:54
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Hello, my name is Nay.

I'm a 3rd year Graphic Design student working on a project.
We were asked to create a project that becomes a homage to something that is unappreciated or forgotten about and I picked Vinyls.

I don't know why, but I love them. There is just something so pure about the sound and so spiritual about the ritual of playing and storing them.

I need to generate some interest from people that feel the same way?
If youre a collector, or you find yourself thumbing through records in a record store week in week out, please get in touch and tell me why you are so in love with the format.
I need some tear-jerking testimonials from people that are fanatical about vinyls.

My end result will hopefully be a photo book which will be accompanied by your beautiful words.
I want this book to really celebrate the ritual of playing vinyls and the love that people still have for them.
I wish I was born in the era when vinyl was king, I really do.

I hope to hear back from people.

Nay
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TomasPin
post Oct 30 2013, 23:03
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Hi Nay, welcome to HA.

QUOTE (nay_creative @ Oct 30 2013, 18:54) *
There is just something so pure about the sound and so spiritual about the ritual of playing and storing them.

The ritual of playing and storing vinyl may be of great enjoying to some (I've read many accounts of that and I believe them), but I'm sure their sound is far from pure...

QUOTE
I need some tear-jerking testimonials from people that are fanatical about vinyls.

Not sure if this forum has the right community for that, but I may be proven wrong...

QUOTE
I wish I was born in the era when vinyl was king, I really do.

Why so? I'm only 20 and even if I share some of that feeling it's for other reasons that certainly don't involve vinyl playback... (I'm a big fan of 70's and 80's music though)

Anyway, wish the best comes of your project! smile.gif


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aztec_mystic
post Oct 30 2013, 23:24
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QUOTE (TomasPin @ Oct 30 2013, 23:03) *
Not sure if this forum has the right community for that, but I may be proven wrong...

Right. Maybe the original poster should try Discogs.

A lot of voodoophiles in the community there, though.

This post has been edited by aztec_mystic: Oct 30 2013, 23:26
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nay_creative
post Oct 30 2013, 23:28
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Ah alright,

I'm new to forums,
still finding my feet.

Thanks for your help!

Nay
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Hotsoup
post Oct 30 2013, 23:50
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This place has gobs of vinylphiles too:
http://forums.stevehoffman.tv/threads/peop...-at-end.225475/ wink.gif
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nay_creative
post Oct 30 2013, 23:54
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Thank you Hotsoup!

Nay
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db1989
post Oct 31 2013, 00:10
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To be fair, HA has precisely nothing against people who really enjoy vinyl as an experience, and there are probably some people here who full in that category. I think the sentiment being expressed above is that such strong sentiments might be relative scarce here, meaning that other sites would be more likely to give quicker and more plentiful replies.

My concern is that, somewhere without well-defined rules that all claims about quality must be evidence-based, you might get a lot of repetitive and technically unfounded answers that people prefer vinyl because it has glorious inherent analogue superiority. That is a debunked myth. People can like the particular sonic signature of vinyl, which is totally great for them, as long as they do not propagate the false idea that it has any advantage over CD-quality digital audio in terms of fidelity to the original signal, noise, frequency response, etc.

But anyway, I know you were looking for feedback about the experience and not technical allegations about sound, and that sounds like a nice thing to research, so I hope you can get the responses you want without having to worry about anything else!
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nay_creative
post Oct 31 2013, 01:06
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Thanks.

Sorry to have posted in the wrong place.
I'm new to all this.

But thank you for you help regardless.
You've all been very nice

Nay
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db1989
post Oct 31 2013, 01:14
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Erm, my point was that you havenít posted this in a wrong place, as such! tongue.gif I was just trying to clarify what I assume the other members meant when they said this might not be the ideal place for such questions, which is because we might have fewer experience-based users than technology-based ones, not because we have anything against vinyl in either sense. My wish of good luck was just a general sentiment, not an implication that you should abandon this thread.
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2tec
post Oct 31 2013, 02:53
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I still listen to my 'vinyls' since some of my music has never been re-released digitally. Really, I'm interested in the music, not the transport. Personally, I'd prefer a good recording over a bad one, never mind the medium. Actually vinyl and digital is an excellent combination, as digital is quite capable of transporting my old analog recordings. Recording my vinyls digitally, as needle drops, has allowed me to preserve my vinyl from degradation due to usage. Analog has its place for old timers like me, with established vinyl collections. I like vinyl, CDs and the net as sources, only because I so enjoy the music. mellow.gif

This post has been edited by 2tec: Oct 31 2013, 03:24


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binaryhermit
post Oct 31 2013, 05:12
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I hear vinyl tends to be distorted in a way (some call it "warm") that some might find pleasing.
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dhromed
post Oct 31 2013, 09:57
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QUOTE
What is so special about Vinyls?


It's a big, fun picture. That's all. I cannot stand the akward handling of vinyl and am puzzled why people enjoy it, but eh.
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mjb2006
post Oct 31 2013, 10:12
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Nay,

You posted in the right place. We're not all vinyl haters here. We're just a little more rational about it than most.

See, we anticipate people outside of this forum, when they respond to your survey, will make wild claims when they try to explain why they love vinyl records. They will say things about vinyl's sound quality and technical capabilities ... things that sound plausible and that they're very passionate about, but that actually are not verifiable in scientific testing. This is often based on misunderstandings and false assumptions about analog & digital technology, as well as poor methodology in their own listening tests.

This particular forum is unique in that it's full of skeptics who won't tolerate unsupported assertions about sound quality. You'll see many references to "TOS#8", the forum's rule that demands "ABX" test results to support any such claims; generally people are unwilling to do the testing, or they do the testing and find they were mistaken, so they're forced to abandon their unsubstantiated assertions.

We're also adamant about getting the science right—educating each other, and newcomers, about how acoustics, human hearing, and audio technology all work. Myth-busting is a high priority.

Most of us do consider vinyl to be technically inferior, with good reason, but many of us nevertheless still enjoy collecting, handling, and listening to it, for various reasons. I hope you get some good responses to your survey from the vinyl fans here; our perspectives may be a little different than what you get from other forums. Or not, who knows... smile.gif

Also, a minor nitpick: When referring to records made from vinyl, native English speakers generally will use the aggregate noun vinyl, or they'll use it as an adjective (vinyl records, vinyl LPs, and so on). The term vinyls sounds very "foreign", although I wouldn't say it's necessarily incorrect.

This post has been edited by mjb2006: Oct 31 2013, 10:25
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DotNoir
post Oct 31 2013, 11:07
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I was born in the beginning of the 80's and as a kid growing up, my brothers used to educate me on music and the medium then was vinyls. I had some old ones I had gotten from my brothers, but I didn't have a player until April of 2012 when I went ahead and bought a Pro-Ject 1-Xpression III Classic player. After that I have spent around 5000-6000Ä on records.

The reason for my vinyl enthusiasm is that I love to hold the records and look at the art work on them, but the real reason for me is that when playing vinyls, I concentrate more on the music, since it is not just a matter of pushing a button on my computer to start the music. I need to take out the record and put it on the turntable, usually I brush the record surface with the carbon fiber brush before placing the needle on it and then I just like to sit down and listen to the music, opposed to the background music I play on my computer while doing something else. I also have to change sides, nowadays not many albums are just two sides, but four.





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probedb
post Oct 31 2013, 12:09
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I find that an odd argument. Just because I don't have to go through a laborious process to listen to music on my Squeezebox it doesn't mean that I'm unable to enjoy and concentrate on music.

I guess it's down to the individual and why they associate music on a computer as somehow not being worthwhile listening to.
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DotNoir
post Oct 31 2013, 12:13
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It's not an argument, it's just how I do things. I didn't say that I don't enjoy music played back on my computer but I do concentrate more on the music I play from the vinyls. Every media has its purpose, I am constantly listening to music from my phone while I'm on the move and I find new artists and songs via Google Play Music, this was just my take on why I like vinyl records.


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Mach-X
post Oct 31 2013, 18:20
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@Dotnoir don't worry, I agree with your sentiment. Having only recently picked up a turntable, and a couple of lps it only took about 24 hours of reading and then calibrating (knew nothing of setting VTF or anti skate) before I could finally sit and try to 'get' what it's all about. And what you said is true, once I finally got it all running, and then did some supreme cleaning of a 40 year old copy of Tubular Bells, I 'got' it. The distortion and pops and clicks force you to concentrate, and I find I am more immersed with vinyl vs just 'pressing play'. I think I've listened to that one lp about ten times in the past couple of days, and each time it gets better as 40 years worth of gunk is peeled out of those grooves.

This post has been edited by Mach-X: Oct 31 2013, 18:20
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jarsonic
post Oct 31 2013, 18:53
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I know that in actuality CDs work in a similar fashion, but I think that it can feel like "magic" to have bumps and grooves in a piece of plastic translate into real, beautiful music. As a record is a physical object (and a large one, at that), vinyl records often have expanded gatefold covers and art that you can't have with a CD or a digital download. More modern vinyl often can come in different colors, including clear.

Mach-X isn't wrong when he says that the format can force you to sit down and actually listen to the music, as an act, rather than having it as something in the background. The distortions, pops, clicks, and static give it a different feel than clean digital CD-quality audio; you could say there is somewhat of a Wabi-sabi aesthetic going on. To others, vinyl harkens back to childhood or being younger when their parents played albums on a turntable, and using the format evokes those memories again.

In an era of digital, cheap and disposable music, it is easy to consume, forget, and never engage with the music one listens to. Vinyl is one way to force you to do that, to cherish every aspect of a musician's art: the music, itself, the album imagery, photography, and the packaging. It is an artifact that you pick up in your hand, slide out of the sleeve, place on the turntable, drop the needle, and devote yourself to just sit back and listen.


How's that? wink.gif
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probedb
post Oct 31 2013, 19:27
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Again it's how you classify it in your mind, just by saying "digital, cheap and disposable music" as if somehow it makes it not as good.
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Nessuno
post Oct 31 2013, 19:34
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QUOTE (jarsonic @ Oct 31 2013, 19:53) *
...the format can force you to sit down and actually listen to the music, as an act, rather than having it as something in the background. The distortions, pops, clicks, and static give it a different feel than clean digital CD-quality audio; you could say there is somewhat of a Wabi-sabi aesthetic going on. To others, vinyl harkens back to childhood or being younger when their parents played albums on a turntable, and using the format evokes those memories again.

No, actually, I don't get it: because listening from a file is as easy as snapping your fingers, it makes music become background? Does one need to suffer to appreciate a thing? I'll be tempted to define this masochism... or just snobbery! wink.gif

Maybe it's because I actually love music so much and I don't need anything else than music itself to be moved to tears. And the less between me and the music, the more it touches me deeply.
Or maybe it's because I started appreciating music when there was no alternatives to spend at least a couple of minutes (and a lot of care and finger crossing) to listen to every single track that crossed my mind and so many times I ended up to trascurate some LPs I had just because my lazy subconscious was hinting me that they were not worth going through all those annoying stuff!
Anyway, I know I'm experiencing and exploring at full my whole collection and as a consequence I'm pushed to buy more music since I switched completely to file based sources.

Just my two cents... smile.gif

This post has been edited by Nessuno: Oct 31 2013, 19:39


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jarsonic
post Oct 31 2013, 20:37
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QUOTE (probedb @ Oct 31 2013, 14:27) *
Again it's how you classify it in your mind, just by saying "digital, cheap and disposable music" as if somehow it makes it not as good.


Oh, I love digital music, don't get me wrong. I was just constructing an argument for what can make vinyl special. I almost exclusively buy CDs or FLAC / LAME V0 downloads. I don't even have a turntable, heh. That being said, I own a few vinyl albums because I love the art and the artifact aspect of them. Again, to restate: I was making an argument. I'm definitely a proponent of digital over analog when it comes to music, especially when it comes to distribution, portability, and the low barrier-of-entry to have great sounding audio.

QUOTE (Nessuno @ Oct 31 2013, 14:34) *
No, actually, I don't get it: because listening from a file is as easy as snapping your fingers, it makes music become background? Does one need to suffer to appreciate a thing? I'll be tempted to define this masochism... or just snobbery! wink.gif

Maybe it's because I actually love music so much and I don't need anything else than music itself to be moved to tears. And the less between me and the music, the more it touches me deeply.
Or maybe it's because I started appreciating music when there was no alternatives to spend at least a couple of minutes (and a lot of care and finger crossing) to listen to every single track that crossed my mind and so many times I ended up to trascurate some LPs I had just because my lazy subconscious was hinting me that they were not worth going through all those annoying stuff!
Anyway, I know I'm experiencing and exploring at full my whole collection and as a consequence I'm pushed to buy more music since I switched completely to file based sources.

Just my two cents... smile.gif


Per your first statement, again, I was just posing an argument. And certainly the imperfections in vinyl are not required to appreciate something. All I meant was that the set-up, as far as "ok, I want to listen to something. Let me get out the album. Let me queue up the vinyl on the turntable" when contrasted with the ability to play any of thousands of songs with a few keystrokes, can "force" you to actually pay attention to the music. It always bothered me when I was showing someone some new music that I thought was awesome, and they tried to talk to me all through it instead of listening, heh.

I didn't intend to make any judgement or infer that either digital or vinyl inherently is better for appreciating music. Like you, I'd probably argue the better fidelity of digital audio vs. vinyl has less stuff that would "get in the way" of appreciating the music. You have to admit, however, in our current age of multitasking and doing 1,000 things at once, flitting from this to that, a format that requires you to put more time and effort into something can force you into a particular mindset of appreciating music.
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DustMagnet
post Nov 1 2013, 01:58
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I was a teen in the 70's, and I amassed a great deal of vinyl. And in truth, I don't miss it much. I suppose you don't want to hear that. ;-)

It is true that going to a store to shop for an album was exciting. New releases were in big displays, often stacked. And taking an LP home, unwrapping it, setting on my turntable, cleaning it, and sitting back to listen while absorbing the cover and liner notes while the music played was pretty sexy. Gatefold covers were the best. Some bands were masters at packaging, such as Led Zeppelin and Pink Floyd. The cover to Physical Graffiti was endlessly fascinating.

But lost in the nostalgia of vinyl\ are lot of painful truths:
(1) Vinyl varied greatly in quality. Ticks, pops, and rumbles. A lot of releases were so flawed that I had to return it to the store for exchange. Then the store employee had to play the vinyl to decide or disagree. The quality control was atrocious.
(2) Vinyl was fragile. Beyond normal wear during playback, it was easy to overheat it, warp it, or damage it.
(3) Vinyl was heavy. This was probably my biggest problem. Moving was an immense pain. I swear I spent half of my 20's carrying boxes and bags of vinyl up and down stairs.
(4) The covers were fragile. The friction and inevitable bumps and accidents while moving my collection forced me to buy plastic covers for all of my albums.

Digital music may seem ephemeral, but the physical nature of vinyl and its packaging was an immense pain.



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mjb2006
post Nov 1 2013, 02:06
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I also agree with what everyone else has said, above. To add some thoughts of my own:

On vinyl, the music takes up physical space, covering most of the record's surface area. I really like having the audio be on something where I can see where it is. I can look at it, even when it's not playing.

The large sleeve art that comes with a 12-inch record is also nice to have. If all my records were in plain sleeves, I wouldn't appreciate them as much.

But it's not just the art... I would feel like it was a bit of a rip-off if I got large sleeve art, but the music was invisible, residing on a beensy little CD, USB stick, or digital download. So the music's physical size matching the artwork is part of the appeal.

The 12" size is more-or-less ideal ... large enough to make the artwork feel valuable, small enough to handle.

I like the fact that I can touch the music with my hands, without ruining it—not that touching it is completely harmless, but it's amazing to me that even if I fail to handle a record delicately, it will still play. The music is still there, despite damage (within reason) and grime, which creates noise that our brains somehow manage to filter out rather well.

The music and vinyl are inseparable; the vinyl isn't just a temporary resting place for the music. So handling the vinyl means handling the music. Same with CD, but not digital files. Since I have to put a little bit of effort into caring for the vinyl, it means I am also putting effort into caring for the music. I enjoy that experience, even though it doesn't really make me appreciate the music itself any more than I would if it were on some other format.

The stewardship of CDs is similar, but not as enriching. When a CD is scratched, it either keeps playing through the scratch without error, or it's ruined, so the CD and its music feels more like a "durable disposable," something you're supposed to toss in the garbage at some point. Same for digital files, which must be constantly backed up, because hard drives always fail, usually very suddenly. In contrast, a vinyl record will not hide the sounds imparted by dirt and defects, but the noise isn't as grating as the sound of a skipping CD or bad data in a digital file, scratches have to be really bad before it reaches a point of disposability. So this adds to the sense of value of music on vinyl.

I'm also often amazed at how much music is still only available on vinyl. I'm also amazed at how much music was mastered differently (and less appealingly) when it was eventually released digitally, or that was released digitally after having been ripped from vinyl because the records are actually the best remaining copy of the music. So there's appeal in the treasure-hunt aspect of vinyl collecting. Lots of things on vinyl are just inferior copies of what's on CD, but the exceptions to that rule really make a difference.

This post has been edited by mjb2006: Nov 1 2013, 02:07
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Engelsstaub
post Nov 1 2013, 03:23
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As a person who likes collecting vinyl but appreciates the perfection of digital I have a theory:

I believe one thing that's driving many people back to records is piracy. Yes, you read that right. I think that the availability of almost any CD (losslessly ripped and often including cover scans) in the usual places via torrents has devalued the compact disc. Sure, a CD collection can still carry much pride for the collector but it's really not the same anymore.

Even cassettes (now that's stupid IMO) are making a small comeback for the same reasons: people want something physical to collect in an age when most are just collecting 1s and 0s on a HDD (whether legally or illicitly.)


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cyberdux
post Nov 1 2013, 05:58
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mjb2006 has eloquently mirrored my feelings about the collection and playing of vinyl.

For me, the absolute game changer of digital vs the fun, art, ritual, collection of, and nostalgia of vinyl was that it is almost impossible to obtain vinyl pressings that are not pressed slightly off-centre causing intonation variation, particularly noticable on long notes.
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