Records are skinny things, but once you have more than 100 or so they start to take up a lot of space. Some vinyl philes just leave them on the floor, or lean them up against furniture. Yuch! The nice folks at Atocha Design build gorgeous hi-fi furniture. Each piece is made to fit your needs, contact Atocha Design to get a price quote. Finish options run to American Maple, Walnut, Oak, and Bamboo; handles are solid brass. Atocha Designs are hand crafted in the U.S.A.
CNET has written several times over the years about Audacity, a free, general-purpose sound-editing tool. I've known people who have used it to manipulate sound for podcasts and the like. But I'd completely forgotten about it until today.
One of my colleagues been looking for a tool to split recorded audio presentations into portions to go with the corresponding individual PowerPoint slides. I thought Apple's GarageBand might work, but he found it too opaque, and our office (like most) is PC-heavy, which would have complicated efforts to train other folks on how to do this job.
Then … Read more
Having just acquired a tube amplifier, I've been contemplating switching from CDs to vinyl to further elevate my music enjoyment. However, the above exotic concoction from New York's High Water Sound is something of a different magnitude. Modified from a TW-Acustic Raven AC turntable, it features four arms and companion cartridges from different manufacturers tailored for specific music genres.
(Via Crave Asia)
I keep hearing about how the LP is having a comeback, and that's great, but Jerry's Records has been keeping the faith for more than thirty-three years selling used vinyl in Pittsburgh, PA. I spoke with Jerry (Weber) himself last week to learn more about his shop.
It's a big place, with 13,000 square feet filled with LPs and there's a 16,000 square foot off-site warehouse with even more stuff. Jerry says 70 to 80 percent of his inventory is priced around $3. So clearly, he's not dealing in the rarities or the … Read more
I'm talking about listening to music, as opposed to having music serve as background to other activities. "Listening" when you're on the computer, making dinner, reading, driving, running, working, etc isn't the same thing as listening at home without doing anything else.
A friend who owned a record store in the 1980s put it best when he said, "Recorded music is the worst thing that ever happened to music." At first I thought he was kidding, but he explained that before Edison recorded sound most families played music, on their own instruments, at home. Most middle class families had a piano, or at least a guitar and sang and played at home. Involvement was on a whole different level than it is now for most people.
Records changed that, so fewer and fewer people played instruments, but at least they were listening to records. They'd put a LP on the record player, sit down and listen to music. Yeah, I know that seems a little strange in 2008, but people actually did that on a regular basis. Especially when they bought a new LP or 45, when they really wanted to take it in, they listened with their eyes closed.… Read more
It's some kind of weird contradiction, but for some reason I really loved Tower Records. I say that because I have a long standing thing about indie record shops, and I never bought much at Virgin or HMV, but when Tower opened its two Manhattan stores I became an even bigger vinyl junkie. I lived just a few blocks away from the uptown one and would spend many nights there just looking at music and talking with music buyers. The social scene was part of the trip.
Tower's two gigantic shops were initially filled with groovy records, and later in the 1980s the CDs started to eat away, aisle by aisle, at the vinyl paradises. It must have taken three or four years before CDs occupied most of the bins. Granted, vinyl's decline was mostly market driven, but remember CDs typically sold for double the price of LPs, so Tower, like most stores figured that even if the vinyl title was still available they'd rather you bought the CD. If the LP wasn't there you'd have to pony up the extra dough for the CD. During that time I'd get my vinyl from indie shops.
One rainy spring day walking through Central Park I was listening to a classical radio station when they played Aaron Copland's "Concerto for Clarinet, Strings, Harp and Piano." It so perfectly framed the misty day and green grass I had to buy the music. I exited Central Park, walked a few blocks over to Broadway and bought the CD. That was twenty years ago and I still have the CD to trigger those memories.… Read more
NASHVILLE, Tenn.--When people think of the Beatles coming to America, they usually conjure up images of The Ed Sullivan Show and screaming teenage girls chasing the Fab Four on the streets of New York.
But here in Music City, there's something else to commemorate the earliest stages of the British Invasion: the fact that the first American Beatles 7-inch record was produced by United Record Pressing--then, as now, one of the largest makers of vinyl in the world.
Compared to iPods LPs are a lot of work. First you have to put the record on a turntable platter, cue the tonearm over the lead-in groove, and then gently lower the "needle" into said groove. When the record's over, you have to raise the arm and return it to the rest. If that sounds like hard labor stick with your iPod. But to audiophiles the turntable/record playing ritual is part of the analog experience, a preamble of good sounds to come.
Thing is--the stylus tracing the microscopic world of groove wiggles encounters more than just wiggles--whatever dirt and assorted crud that's adhered to the vinyl adds its own noise, clicks and pops to the music. Sure, when things are really bad you could gently wash the LPs with baby shampoo, rinse with lots of water and dry. That might help, but the deep down grime at the bottom of the groove will still be there, and still audible. The ground-in crud can dramatically increase what we perceive as "record surface noise." Record brushes can sweep some of the surface dirt off, but at the end of the day the only way to get the deep down stuff is to use special record cleaning fluid and suck it off with a vacuum. that's exactly the way record cleaning machines work--they squeeze more analog juice from used and even new records. … Read more
My brother and I used to walk up to our local drug store and buy LP records from a rack next to the candy bars. One day he bought Pink Floyd's Dark Side of the Moon and I bought the live Rush album Exit Stage Left. When we opened them, I became jealous of the stickers and posters in Dark Side, so we arranged a trade, which seemed fair because the Rush record had two LPs in it. He became a Rush fan, I became a Floyd fan, and the rest of our lives followed from that fateful decision. (… Read more