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The new music industry paradigm

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posted on Sep, 27 2015 @ 07:12 PM
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I've pretty much gone over exclusively to Spotify. I'm OK paying $9 bucks a month for unlimited music. It's really rare that I can't find a song I want, and I can even set the songs I want to listen when I don't have data or wifi. I'd probably be spending $9 a month anyway on a CD or something anyway. I also like that people make playlists to share. I found one recently called, "Rap Caviar". I also found a playlist with all of the songs on the "Rock the Arcade" playlist from Ernest Cline's book "Armada".

I think when music went to a digital format, it was inevitable that something like the original Napster would come along. It wasn't quite so easy to make a duplicate of a vinyl record. Even cassette tape copies weren't that great, and recordings from the radio even less so. When he first burnable CDs and burners came out, I remember using Nero to burn my first "custom CD'. It seemed like forever ago. And now? We're not even using CDs in our homes and cars. Most new cars come with Bluetooth wireless streaming, and adapters are widely available.

Music is moving to a totally digital format, just like all physical media seems to be. I think the illusion of "ownership" is finally coming to a close, and the reality that we "rented" our media all along is becoming evident.

Sure you could "own" a physical CD or tape -- but you weren't supposed to copy it or use it in any other way than just listening. We're finally cutting out the layers of illusions that we simply were paying for the privilege of listening all along.

I was going through some of my music and came across MC Lars. I remember meeting him at a small show up here in Alaska, we chatted a bit and I told him about some of my own music that the DJ'ing I do. He hooked me up with a bunch of CDs and told me to send him some of my stuff...I never got around to it though. Anyway, I think this is a great song that talks/deals with the music industry in the digital age.



edit on 27-9-2015 by MystikMushroom because: (no reason given)




posted on Sep, 27 2015 @ 07:21 PM
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a reply to: MystikMushroom

My problem with digital distribution is that you cannot actually listen to the full resolution audio at all anymore.

It has always been difficult to listen to CDs correctly since most CD players don't have wordclock synchronization and amps have to rely on deriving clock from the spdif input and cheap phase locked loops but, for audiophiles and professionals, CD or better hard media is still the only distribution format.
edit on 27-9-2015 by greencmp because: (no reason given)



posted on Sep, 27 2015 @ 08:38 PM
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a reply to: greencmp


My problem with digital distribution is that you cannot actually listen to the full resolution audio at all anymore.

This is true. Even at 320kbps for mp3, there's a lot missing. FLAC or similar comes the closest, if it's ripped properly. We already have a generation coming up that doesn't know the difference between compressed crap and full fidelity.


edit on 9/27/2015 by Klassified because: correction



posted on Sep, 27 2015 @ 08:59 PM
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In order to enjoy FLAC or high-fi audio, you need quality speakers, amps or headphones. I'm not an audiophile, but I do love my Sennheiser HD-25's. I had a pair of Allen & Heath's before that broke :-/

I find it frustrating that most head units for cars now don't even have CD players, and all of the great brands now make crap. I refuse to upgrade my older Alpine deck for a new one because of how much better it sounds. Nakamichi got bought out by a Chinese company, and I haven't heard anything good about them in a while.

There's a certain price/'worth it' ratio for me. Is it really worth spending all the cash for a bit more fidelity? I could buy an expensive tube amp for my headphones and get an even more expensive pair, and listen to uncompressed audio files -- but how much better would it really honestly sound? Would that really make the price of all that stuff worth it?

Then you have to consider the original source recording. Is it even recorded in such a way that the enhanced fidelity would be appreciated? Is it mixed down and mastered with skill?



posted on Sep, 27 2015 @ 09:14 PM
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Good thread.
I still have my vinyl collection. You feel like you're getting wrapped in a blanket of sound when you crank up an
album on the turntable. I'm not a fanatic, and I still listen to MP3s on the computer, but vinyl is way better.



posted on Sep, 27 2015 @ 09:25 PM
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a reply to: MystikMushroom


Then you have to consider the original source recording. Is it even recorded in such a way that the enhanced fidelity would be appreciated? Is it mixed down and mastered with skill?

This is the crux of the matter. There are too many studios doing crap work now. They don't leave any headroom, and all they care about is blowing out the mid-range and highs for bass, and more bass. They're certainly not the masters from the 60's and 70's, or even the 80's. Nevertheless, there are still some good studios out there, and artists who care about the quality of their music go to those studios. Or mix it in their own studio. You won't hear a Fleetwood Mac, or a Pink Floyd album sounding like crap.

Is it worth it? Depends on the individual, I guess. I've always wanted the best sound I could afford. At the same time, if it weren't for Spotify, and others, we wouldn't even know some great musicians and bands exist, because we would never have heard of them. In that sense, I like the "new paradigm". I just wish they cared more about the quality of their product.



posted on Sep, 27 2015 @ 09:45 PM
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a reply to: Klassified

Good points!

I think Spotify is great for my phone and on-the-go (car, airplane, gym). If I find an artist I really like, I'll go and buy physical media or seek out the highest quality version of their music.

Using Spotify or something similar lets me listen to a ton of music without taking up large hard drives. It can also 'suggest' new stuff for me to listen to as well that I may never have heard of.



posted on Sep, 27 2015 @ 09:51 PM
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a reply to: Klassified

Yes, multiband compression is a useful tool is skilled hands and a blunt instrument in others.



Digital recordings of the professional variety (assuming high quality ADs, pres, mics and signal path) can sound fantastic if you can listen to the stream in a stable distributed clock environment with no drift. There aren't many CD players that are capable of it but, some have good enough internal clocks and DAs to approximate what is really there.

In general, a good CD player with XLR outputs will sound better through an analog amp than a good digital amp with a free floating spdif input.



posted on Sep, 27 2015 @ 10:13 PM
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a reply to: greencmp


Yes, multiband compression is a useful tool is skilled hands and a blunt instrument in others.

LOL!!! Well put.


Digital recordings of the professional variety (assuming high quality ADs, pres, mics and signal path) can sound fantastic if you can listen to the stream in a stable distributed clock environment with no drift. There aren't many CD players that are capable of it but, some have good enough internal clocks and DAs to approximate what is really there. In general, a good CD player with XLR outputs will sound better through an analog amp than a good digital amp with a free floating spdif input.

I think that was what MFSL tried to accomplish when they went to CD from vinyl, wasn't it. They tried to use remastering and mixing to make up for consumer level equipment that wasn't capable of reproducing what was there. At the same time, they tried to bring back vinyl's ambiance. They did some fine work, that sounded great on lower end equipment, and fantastic on high end equipment.



posted on Sep, 27 2015 @ 10:24 PM
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a reply to: Klassified

Just looked them up, I imagine they are just good engineers with top end gear maintained correctly, knowing the shortcomings of low end consumer devices you could customize a mix for optimal performance on modern gear.

If you can remix or remaster from the original analog tapes, you can do just about anything.

For digital audio, you need to have a reference word clock to synchronize the data or else the receiver is just guessing what the words are. Besides pops and clicks which can happen in particularly bad scenarios, unclocked digital sounds thin and lacks low end substance.



posted on Sep, 27 2015 @ 10:46 PM
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en.wikipedia.org...

Loudness War



posted on Sep, 27 2015 @ 10:58 PM
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originally posted by: FlyingFox
en.wikipedia.org...

Loudness War

Got that right. And it has ruined the recordings of some good musicians. Oasis is one that comes to mind. Decent band. Really bad studio work. No headroom whatsoever.



posted on Sep, 27 2015 @ 11:11 PM
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a reply to: Klassified

I should mention that excessive limiting is at least in part a response to radio broadcast compression which was about +-3db.

Since recordings might go through such a processor, the decision was made in some cases to preemptively squish the program in the hopes of getting a more controlled limit than would be produced by compressors and brick wall limiters at radio stations.

The problem is that the dynamic range is sacrificed for all legitimate non-broadcast performances.
edit on 27-9-2015 by greencmp because: (no reason given)



posted on Sep, 27 2015 @ 11:57 PM
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I buy around 2 songs a year at 99¢. I guess I'm a music snob. Occasionally, I'll buy a used or discount CD by a consistently good artist. That's less than 99¢ per song. I get a lot of interesting stuff from giveaways as well.



posted on Sep, 28 2015 @ 12:21 AM
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Mick Guzauski On Mixing Daft Punk's "Random Access ...

www.uaudio.com...



posted on Sep, 28 2015 @ 12:27 AM
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NewOrder Music Complete dropped on friday, ftr.

www.theguardian.com...

In the Depths of The Mire....






posted on Sep, 28 2015 @ 05:07 AM
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When I used to DJ, I would spend a lot of money on music. You would go to a record shop then walk away with about 50 quids worth of vinyl only to realise you didn't like every track you bought. Then every club started installing CDJ decks alongside the usual technics decks. So it became pointless spending most of your wages on vinyl, when you could down load high quality wavs and use the CDJ decks. They didn't have the same sound as vinyl, but when your short of cash and being paid in drinks you take the cheaper option. My vinyl took a hammering too, by the end of a night they would all be in a pile stuck together by spilled drinks, all out of their sleeves or in different sleeves, but that was just how it was. Music almost became a throwaway item. Then once iPods came out people just moved to mp3s. It's all become more convenient, but that doesn't always mean an improvement in quality. I admit I do download from file sharing sites only because you can get older tunes that iTunes doesn't have. I never went to Spotify, because I liked to take samples from tracks and the quality of Spotify was pretty poor. I also hate subscription services for anything. I can't stand commitment. It is a shame that we sacrifice quality for convenience, but that's the world we live in a guess.



posted on Sep, 28 2015 @ 07:21 AM
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a reply to: MystikMushroom

Humph. The existence of torrents says that you are wrong. I have 100 gigs of music on a portable hard drive. I know people with terabytes of music on hard drives. People will still own music in the future.
edit on 28-9-2015 by Krazysh0t because: (no reason given)



posted on Sep, 28 2015 @ 07:31 AM
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So many variables when it comes to a listening experience so blanket statements about music never work for me..

I know that the process of listening to a record on my setup through my headphones is more focused then say streaming the same album from my phone via Bluetooth .

What i know for sure is that at $7.99 a month I have access to everything I ever wanted musically via Google Play and that convenience can't be argued with.



posted on Sep, 28 2015 @ 08:06 AM
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I'm 48. I've been writing and recording music most my life, and I've never been an audiophile. I've made and listened to music on low to very low end devices. It's a thrill for me to listen to a simple crystal radio. It's not like I haven't been exposed to the audiophile world, it just hasn't excited me.

I've always said that good composition sounds good played on a Casio fun machine over a pocket AM radio. I write music with Casio samples and other LoFi synths. I usually replace the sounds, but the LoFi stuff seems to get a better reception from listeners.

When I'm ready to let others listen to my music, I'll EQ tracks for separation and pan frequencies. I'll then throw multiband compressors, using presets, on tracks and the master. Mastering is like higher math, I could do it, but it's not enjoyable.

I remember hearing Foo Fighters' The Colour and the Shape for the 1st time. I was blown away. I looked over at the spectrum analyzer display (had to look that one up). It was a solid bar.

When I EQ for pleasure, I put the sliders in a V, find a low mid preset, or crank the bass and high. However, I frequently walk around with my Tracfone in my pocket enjoying the music pumping out.

My daughter would rather listen to music on her computer or tablet speakers than her Bose amp. It never gets used. It's going to replace my dying garage sale Sony bookshelf system that I was using as an amp.
edit on 28-9-2015 by gentledissident because: (no reason given)




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