Paying for recorded music is a voluntary act -- you can get almost any tune you want on demand from streaming music services or YouTube. Of course, musicians wind up making little or no money from this arrangement, but thanks to crowd-funding, bands can get paid in advance of making a record. At least initially there are no freeloaders, so the band really has an incentive to record! The same Internet that made it harder than ever to make a living from recorded music has made it possible for bands to directly connect to their fans.
Last Wednesday, I went to the Clive Davis Institute of Recorded Music at NYU to meet with Young Guru. He was in New York with The Recording Academy's Grammy U 13-city tour visiting colleges across the country. The tour started on April 8 in Philadelphia and concludes on April 28 in Memphis. Young Guru has collaborated with Beyonce, Drake, Jay-Z, Rick Ross, and Snoop Dogg, among others.
I didn't know how much time I would have with the engineer/producer/DJ, so I went straight to the heart of the matter and asked him to define what good … Read more
If you still buy music in a physical format, Record Store Day is for you. Stores stock special releases and have sales on LPs and CDs, so if you're lucky enough to live near a record shop, drop by on Saturday and see what's up. Check the RSD Web site to find participating stores, and touch some (physical) music.
Here in NYC, two of my favorite shops, Downtown Music Gallery and In Living Stereo, are pulling out all the stops. Downtown's Bruce Lee Gallanter and Manny Maris are two of the guys I count on for their … Read more
Pop a properly manufactured CD into a CD player, and you'll hear music in a second or two. In more than 30 years of playing CDs I've never once encountered scanning, searching, or error messages; after I press "Play," the music starts. Stick a properly manufactured DVD or Blu-ray in a working player, and you always have to wait a while to start watching the movie -- or it might not play at all. You might have to do a firmware update to play the disc. With DVDs and Blu-rays, there's no such thing as … Read more
Have you heard? Vinyl is making a comeback. No, really -- a growing number of artists are releasing (or rereleasing) albums on honest-to-goodness LP platters.
So maybe you're into that, or maybe you've got a milk crate full of your old records and want to enjoy them again. Either way, this deal is groovy, man. (Groovy. Get it?!)
For a limited time, Shoptronics.com has the Electrohome Archer Turntable Stereo System for $79.96 shipped. That's after applying coupon code ELEBRIEF at checkout. Regular price: $99.99. (And I've seen it elsewhere for as much as $… Read more
I've heard the naysayers for years, the ones that say vinyl is a fad, or that kids buy records just because they think LPs are cool. But the fact is vinyl sales keep going up year after year. I'd be the first to admit that playing an LP is more of a hassle than listening to Spotify, so why do people who grew up listening to CDs and files invest in a turntable, and search out their favorite music on LP? Why do they do it?
Recently, I talked with a few music lovers who grew up in … Read more
You don't have to be the Audiophiliac (CNET's resident hi-fi guru Steve Guttenberg) to know that vinyl is cool again, but one band has taken this idea to its extreme.
Swedish indie band Shout Out Louds has announced that the first 10 copies of its new single "Blue Ice" will be made out of, appropriately, ice.
The band, with the help of the TBWA ad agency, created a silicone mold from which the listener could freeze their own 7-inch single. Apparently normal tap water resulted in air bubbles and other contaminants that could make the needle skip out of the groove, so the band includes a bottle of distilled water in the package.… Read more
I can't bear to part with my record collection. It's got gems like Steely Dan's "The Royal Scam" that sound better on a turntable and amplifier than on MP3.
Maybe analog sound can feel better because we're analog creatures. Whatever the reason, vinyl's recent popularity has led to events like Record Store Day and DIY projects like Amanda Ghassaei's 3D-printed records.
An editorial staffer at Instructables.com, Ghassaei managed to lay down digital audio files on 3D-printed 33 rpm records that she played on a standard turntable.
The results, as heard in the video below, sound about as clear as phonograph cylinders from the 1880s. The audio output has a sampling rate of 11kHz and 5- to 6-bit resolution, but tunes like Nirvana's "Smells Like Teen Spirit" are easily recognizable. … Read more
Great audio can be expensive, but Ben Carter's ambitious Kickstarter project aims to make a serious dent in the price of quality turntables. A $150 pledge secures an Orbit belt-drive turntable, fitted with an Ortofon phono cartridge. As I write this blog, and just a few days after the Kickstarter project was launched, Carter has already passed the halfway mark to reaching his $60,000 goal!
I spoke with Carter on Thursday; he has a background in marketing and consulting, and Bob Hertig is handling the engineering for the project. Orbits will be manufactured by U-Turn Audio in the … Read more