sábado, 30 de janeiro de 2010

The Vinyl Renaissance.


Acho muito importante o arquivamento de textos sobre o ressurgimento do vinil, antes que, simplesmente, sejam retirados de seus sites de origem. Tudo pelo vinil e seus apreciadores.
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The Vinyl Revival, By Natasha Aftandilians, on Nov. 16, 2009.

Have long been considered a dinosaur in the modern music world, an ancient relic of our parents and grandparents’ memories. In this day and age where even CDs are slowly being phased out and forgotten, it would seem there would be little hope for vinyl in a culture that values portability and ease when it comes to technology.
But the world of vinyl is undergoing a revival that is saving the format from total extinction. Nielsen Soundscan data shows that vinyl record sales topped two million units last week alone, a roughly 37 percent improvement from 2008 sales. Sales are on target to reach their highest mark since 1991, with genres like alternative and classic rock selling the most. The medium has gained some considerable momentum from the mid-to-late 90s when it was a format mostly utilized by underground musicians and DJs. Now many popular mainstream artists release their music on vinyl that comes with digital downloads of the tracks, giving fans a bigger bang for their buck.
Vinyl records and record players are no longer a thing of the past, and they have grown increasingly popular amongst the college crowd and those with a real passion for hearing music in its truest analog form. Retro-chic hipsters are flocking to independent record stores like Amoeba Records or Rasputin Music to browse the aisles overflowing with records from every genre and artist imaginable.
But it’s not clear if this vinyl comeback is being caused by those who see records as simply something kitschy and nostalgic much like Polaroid cameras, another technological treasure revived by the hipster set. Just go down to your local Urban Outfitters and you can see classic portable record players on sale, along with records by artists like MGMT, Sonic Youth and Fleet Foxes.
Undoubtedly, a large part of the appeal of vinyl records is their nostalgic value; it’s hard to put on a record and not instantly feel transported to a time of Mods, hippies and disco dancers. The vinyl revival is a way for Generation Y-ers to reconnect with the glamorous decades of the 50s, 60s and 70s, years that we try to relive through our fashion sense and music taste.
I was initially ambivalent about this trend when I first noticed it gaining popularity. I had not yet been “converted” to the way of the record player, and was quick to dismiss it as a fad that was being propagated by those trendy hipsters who embrace all things vintage. As I did some research online, I felt myself being drawn in. Images of sitting on my bed on a rainy day, reading a good book while listening to an old Bob Dylan record dreamily played out in my head.
Deciding to try it out for myself, I acquired a Crosley portable record player. Reminiscent of old leather suitcases from the 1950s, it truly had a vintage feel to it that was irresistible. I couldn’t wait to pop in a record and hear for myself what all the fuss was about. A classic album like “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band” seemed like the most logical place for a vinyl newbie for me to start.
Once the needle dropped on the thick black plastic, the faint baselines and drum-beats emerged. From that first rocking guitar riff of “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band” to the sultry, sitar-drenched “Within You, Without You”, and to the cacophonous orchestral explosion ending of “A Day in the Life,” I was completely absorbed in the music. There was something hypnotic about watching the record spin, as the grooves in the plastic slowly blur and fade. The subtle scratches, static and crackling sounds only added to the listening experience.
This is where vinyl truly trumps digital music. The rich and nuanced sound quality of analog recording is something that can’t be replicated by CD recording or MP3s. Vinyl records have grooves carved into them that mirror the original sound’s waveform, which means that no information from the original sound is lost. The science behind it gets even more technical but it basically proves that analog, vinyl recordings are the truest way of listening to music.
The most glaring disadvantage of vinyl record players, and one of the main reasons for their downfall, is their size and inconvenience. You can’t exactly take your turntable with you when you walk to class or go to the gym, and you can’t purchase individual songs with records, or listen to as wide a variety of songs as easily as you can with MP3 players. These obvious factors have kept people away from vinyl for so long. For people our age who have been exposed to the ease of iPods since our early teens, it’s hard to imagine any other way of listening to music.
But nothing tops vinyl when it comes to quality. It’s not just the sound quality either. Listening to vinyl is an experience that enraptures all your senses; running your fingers along the delicate grooves of the plastic, studying the album artwork and watching the record endlessly spin are all parts of the experience that make vinyl records so fun.
It only took one album for me to see the light and realize that the newfound attention that vinyl is receiving is well-deserved and not merely a fad. I suggest that if you really love your music, treat yourself to the joy of vinyl and let yourself get lost in the music.
Fonte: http://www.newuniversity.org/2009/11/entertainment/the-vinyl-revival/

Vinyl LPs make a comeback
Analog disks could outlive the CD format, say experts

By Lisa Engelbrektson

One of the first victims of the digital revolution was music on vinyl. The LP -- the format that brought the world Sinatra, Stokowski and the Sex Pistols -- declined in just a few years from the premier music format to a niche product, beloved by scratchers and obsessive audiophiles but mostly shunned by the public.
But a funny thing is happening on vinyl's road to extinction: It didn't die. In fact, vinyl is coming back so strongly some experts believe it will outlive the CD.
Wal-Mart and Amazon both recently added LPs for sale on their websites. Soundscan reports 2.2 million units of vinyl sold this year, already above 2008's figure, with the holiday shopping season ahead. Last year's vinyl sales -- more than 2 million units -- were the most since Nielsen SoundScan started tracking them in 1991.
It's still a small figure compared with album sales in digital format, which stand at about 69 million units year-to-date. But nonetheless, LP sales are growing just when disks were supposed to be disappearing.
"Vinyl business in the last four years went from 15% to 60% of our business," says Matthew Wishnow, president and founder of leading vinyl sales company InSound.com, which needed bigger offices to house its LPs.?
Artists are seeing the rise in demand for LPs, too. "Vinyl usually does better at shows than CDs. There's a market for it," says vocalist and guitarist Sune Rose Wagner of the duo known as the Raveonettes. "Pretty soon, I don't think we'll sell CDs at shows anymore."
Pete Lyman, co-owner of Infrasonic Sound Recording and a full service mastering engineer who prepares masters for pressing onto vinyl, says LP sales are "saving the album as a format. And I think (vinyl) will soon be the only tangible form of music delivery."
All this suggests what Wishnow calls "the vinyl renaissance" may have lessons for companies that want to sell disks -- ? even DVDs --  to download-happy consumers.
InSound.com, says Wishnow, approached the labels about offering a legal download with a vinyl LP. "With that option, purchasing becomes a no-brainer for consumers," he says. "We noticed a huge increase in catalog titles when we paired them with MP3 downloads."
By selling MP3 with an LP, InSound.com appealed to three demographics: the impulsive download buyer, the music-snob collector, and the young hipster -- and got all of them to actually buy music on disks.
"What seems to distinguish an avid music nerd at this point is whether or not they collect vinyl and what music they have to go out of their way to find," Wishnow says
In truth, vinyl never entirely went away. In 1989, while most of the world was migrating to CDs, Nirvana released its first album, "Bleach," on limited edition white vinyl. Later bands like Modest Mouse put out its fan favorite "The Lonesome Crowded West" on the same medium, as well as a slew of singles on 7". A niche was born.
"Bleach" got a 20th-anniversary reissue on vinyl, bundled with a CD. But if it takes the pairing of LPs with digital downloads to prod some iPod addicts to buy vinyl, are people actually playing those LPs they're buying?
The availability of turntables at such stores as Costco, Urban Outfitters and Bed Bath & Beyond, suggests somebody is spinning disks.
Lyman thinks about half of LP buyers listen to them. "There are people I know and people I see who are buying records but don't have record players, or they go out and buy a cheap record player. But they have the digital download, which is all they wanted anyway, and now they have this cool, tangible object with neat art."
That object is the 180-gram LP. "180-gram" refers to the weight of the vinyl record, which is heavier than most traditional LPs. Audiophiles swear by them, and Lyman says they sound better than standard mass-market LPs, if only because greater care is taken in their production.
Whether the vinyl renaissance is a fad or a long-term trend remains to be seen, but the return of the LP suggests there's hope for disk sales after all. For the record biz, that would be good news, indeed.
The past five years has witnessed a huge resurgence of interest in all things LP. There have been more turntables and phono cartridges sold now than at any time over the past 20 years. In some music stores vinyl is now out-selling CD’s.
So why has this happened? Many have rediscovered the sheer enjoyment possible from listening to their LP collections. The continuing availability of LPs often at the artist’s insistence has helped – new vinyl is now widely available both online and locally through stores like Real Groovy, Soundline Christchurch is also now stocking a selection of rare and high quality vinyl courtesy of Radiant Records. Above all it’s the sheer sound quality of vinyl on modern turntables that has brought on the resurgence.
Soundline Audio sells a range of turntables for most needs, from Thorens and the exciting new Well Tempered Amadeus turntable.
Arguably one of the finest turntables in the world, the Well Tempered Amadeus has a Soundline connection. Frank Denson, the founder of Soundline, is intimately involved in he revival of the Well Tempered name and designs.
The Amadeus includes a number of unique design features, including a “zero tolerance” platter bearing and a fully damped tonearm featuring a golf ball! “At anywhere near the price point, it is hard to fault the Amadeus. The combination of superbly quiet, stable, solid, low-distortion playback with unusually good bass performance tends to dissolve the critical faculties in
the pleasure of the music,” said The Absolute Sound magazine, while New Zealand’s own AudioEnz awarded the Amadeus with Product of the Year.

Thorens is one of the oldest and most famous names in turntables. Thorens turntables are built to last it’s that famous German engineering so if you’re still using your Thorens from the 1960s or 1970s then you’ll be pleased to hear that we have genuine Thorens turntable belts available to suit most models.
Perhaps the biggest upgrade you can make to your existing turntable is a better phono cartridge. Soundline is now stocking Nagaoka products from Japan including the MP110, successor to the famous MP11 phono cartridge. If your budget extends further than the $199 MP110, you cant go past the Dynavector range, Soundline have stocked and recommended Dynavector cartridges for twenty years. The range extends from everyone’s favourite high output moving coil (the 10×5 at $649) through to cartridges worthy of only the finest turntables finest turntables.

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