Just been sent this by one of the twisted ecommerce support people:
“we don’t have decks in our offices any more as we only have a very small handfull of vinyls left now once they’re sold that will be the last. no more vinyl thats it. “
Someone please tell me this isn’t true… i can’t live with the thought that I might not be able to get the new Shpongle and Younger Brother albums on vinyl… this can’t be true it must be a mistake, right? Who wants to listen to shpongle on a crappy 44.1khz cd?
Why bother to make limited edition coloured editions of the Shpongle albums if you want to abandon vinyl? I really really hope this is a mistake.. you’ll be losing sales if it isn’t!
Well, CD is a good medium, if it would be used correctly. I’m talking about the loudnesswar, an effect that causes artists to remove the dynamic range on their songs. This is devastating on sound-quality.
It’s expensive to make vinyls and if they can distribute their music in a better way while still offer good sound quality i think it’s a good decision. Please keep in mind not everyone likes to enjoy music in crappy car-stereos or on a mobilephone with earplugs, some people actually have nice stereos at home.
Psytrance (ofc i mean all Twisted music, not just psytrance) played by a real nice setup on high volume is better than sex. Ok i lied, almost better atleast
Edit: You could call me audiophile, but it would be unfair. I’m a music lover.
Equipment-building engineer and audiophile here. My two cents:
The ‘vinyl is superior to digital formats’ argument is rather contingent on the original masters being recorded and processed in the analog domain. In this case, a vinyl pressing is arguably the most accurate representation of this original (at least the very first time it’s played - the grooves on a record are slowly but surely worn down by the turntable stylus). However, in the case of electronic music, which is nearly always made on a computer, and thus in the digital domain, there’s really no sound quality advantage to vinyl - the ‘missing’ audio info is not magically restored upon conversion to analog.
Vinyl also involves several stages of potential degradation that CD players do not have. To name a few:
-Turntable outputs have very small signals that are sensitive to noise, so the signal-to-noise ratio on the output isn’t great. They need to go through a phono stage to boost the signal to ~2Vrms, or ‘line level.’ This first stage of amplification will amplify any noise in the original, small signal.
-To circumvent physical limitations of the turntable mechanism (viz. the needle would jump off the record), vinyl records are purposefully un-equalized via something known as the RIAA Curve. This basically attentuates the low frequencies a lot and boosts the highs so that the needle can stay in the groove. So, right off the bat, vinyl pressings actually have the *wrong* frequency information. Fortunately for us, every phono stage has an RIAA filter that is designed to restore the equalization to what it’s meant to be. However, any signal theorist can tell you that converting Signal Type A to Signal Type B and then back to Type A will not give precisely the same signal than if Signal A was left alone.
-‘True audiophiles’ listen to audiophile-grade turntables, phono stages, stylii, cables etc, which cost monstrous amounts of money, probably more than the cars that folks on this forum drive.
-Vinyl records change over time from thermal expansion/contraction and from the force of the stylus - what you hear the on the second play of a record will be ever-so-slightly different than what you hear the first time. Many prefer the ‘it’s either working or it’s not’ aspect of digital formats.
Please bear in mind that I *love* vinyl. I was a DJ when Technic 1200s were the de-facto standard and CD turntables were fairly immature, and I probably have 5 or 6 crates of progressive, breaks, jungle and other stuff. Vinyl offers a tactile experience of mixing and manipulation that no format even comes close to. I just don’t think it offers any sound quality advantage.
I do own all 3 Shpongle records on vinyl. I can’t say I’ve done a careful side-by-side, but I do think they sound slightly different. I just attribute that to the fact that the CD goes through one set of playback equipment and the vinyl goes through a completely different set, with not one component in common.
If nothing else, vinyl gives you big, pretty cover art. :D
I agree with what you’re saying up to a point, but even though the original mastering is largely digital (perhaps not entirely so in the case of Younger Brother? im not sure..), I still think that vinyl would capture a higher resolution image of the sound than a CD would. I’m sure that our wonderful sound deities use higher than 16bit 44.1KHz resolution (i.e. CD quality) for mastering/sampling, why wouldn’t they if the technology permits? I’ve seen the Twisted DVD where Simon P and Prometheus were showing us their studios, there’s no way those guys are limited to sampling at 44.1KHz, and I’m sure they have huge banks of samples and synths that are much higher resolution than CD’s. So on that basis, if even half of the sound was original in 24bit 96Khz, twice that of a CD, I think that from a technical point of view vinyl would offer a better, more accurate reproduction of the sound.
On an entirely subjective level, I really believe that my Shpongle/YB vinyl records sound much better than the CDs, although that’s subject to far too many variables (including my own ears) to be entirely scientific or accurate. As I only play digital audio from a computer with a less-than-fantastic soundcard and the obvious noise through the signal route, it’s not really an accurate comparison. But the vinyl definitely sounds really warm and rich.. I will be truly gutted if they don’t release the upcoming Shpongle/YB albums on vinyl.
My 2 cents: We always use Kevin Metcalfe for the mastering for both CD and vinyl… he is an incredible engineer, and mastering for vinyl is a real art… kevin is the man, as you can see by his client list: http://www.soundmasters.co.uk/ClientsGenre.htm
Both Benji and i always work at 44.1Khz and 24bit… I find i can get a higher track count in the computer (and we use a LOT of tracks…around 200) If you work at higher sample rates it all has to get reduced down to 44.1Khz for CD anyway… Kevin thinks it doesn’t make a lot of difference, but perhaps to work at 88.2Khz is good because the data reduction algorithms seem to be better than for 96Khz… but we give him 44.1 Khz masters straight from my hard drive, because i think anything kevin does will have far more impact than the negligible difference of giving him a 96Khz master…He plays them from ProTools thru prism converters into an entirely analogue signal chain… EQs, compressors, valves, limiters and de-essers can all get used…. i will sit with him and make sure we get the CD sounding how i want… for the vinyl i leave it totally up to him, as he is the expert! There are a lot more physical restraints in converting sound to a vinyl lacquer; sometimes he will have to narrow the bass, because phase is represented by an up and down movement by the needle, and if a low waveform is too out of phase the needle can literally jump out of the groove…....but obviously we want to keep it sounding as stereo as possible…. Also any sudden high transients can blow the needle cutting the record… these used to be made by neumann, and are gradually becoming extinct… since we have blown at least a couple, we have contributed to the death of the vinyl industry! Once those needles run out, that’s it…..
As the needle moves across the vinyl from the outer edge to the inner edge, the sound quality decreases (because less distance of vinyl will be traveling under the needle per revolution). So we will change the running order ( i will leave this to kevin ) in order to fit the music in optimum quality for the vinyl space… the engineer can vary the space between the grooves, and if he fucks it up the grooves can get too close together and once again cause the needle to jump out of the record…. Kevin will constantly be tweaking the spacing as the vinyl is cut, to get the best quality: maybe giving the grooves some more space for the bassy bits or loud bits…
So the end result is that because of the different mediums and methods, of course vinyl and cd will sound slightly different. Which is ‘better’ is a subjective thing… but because vinyl has slightly less top end and rounds off the bumps a little, and even though it’s harder to get as much sub-bass on vinyl as on CD, it does appear ‘warmer’ and more ‘rounded’... a well cut record seems more pleasurable to my ears than most CDs… but for me it varies, according to the material and the mastering - sometimes i even prefer an mp3! By removing some of the information that you are ‘not supposed to be able to hear’, converting to mp3 seems to make some tunes more focused, in a way… to my ears….Anyway, let’s not forget that a good song - imagine, by john lennon, say - translates on ALL media… it doesn’t matter if you hear it as an mp3 on shitty speakers from outside the room… you can still tell it’s a good song!
Si please give us some new YB samples (I mean of course I went to your first live show with Brownie n Benji and the crew in NYC and that kicked ass but still!) Your music It’s an addiction a drug I’m a Shpongle addict and I’ve completely lost my self in ShpongleLand I’m helpless =p
Well, in my experience the DA-Converter matters a lot. I’ve got a stereo setup, with a DAC between my computer and amplifier. I usually rip music to 320kbps MP3. I’ve done a few ABX blindtests to see if I can hear the difference between FLAC, WAV and various bitrates on MP3.. In all 3 tests I can’t hear the difference between 320kbps, FLAC and WAV. However, there’s no doubt there’s a big difference between 320, 256, 128kbps… And that’s not mentioning the acoustics in a room, positioning of speakers, possible sources of distortion on the signal (PCs being especially prone to this).
All this techno-talk leaves me dreaming of a new age of 5.1 surround sound music… Might there be a future of Twisted releases in multichannel?
i feel like there’s something a bit more spiritual about having something on vinyl then having something on cd. Though the quality lasts from vinyl to cd or even gets better, something is definitly lost. and yes, i am amused by how corney that reference sounds. that’s why i posted it…lol.
Update : the new Younger Brother album, we are working at 48Khz 24bit WooHoo! Do you think you’ll hear the difference?
Simon! Please have the full quality version available to purchase from twisted downloads! A *few* of us have very expensive gear at home for the sole purpose of listening to excellent music in high quality. I am really looking forward to this album too
So I’ve been waiting for my paycheck to come in…
I just went to preorder Ineffable Mysteries and wanted to order a bunch of other goodies with it.
They took the Tales of the Inexpressible LP off the store site!
I’m pretty pissed about it.
I was going to order it, and have been waiting for months for the extra cash to do so.
Well…there goes the opportunity to own an exclusive audio gem.
Last Days of Gravity LP is also gone.
Hopefully, I’ll have the money to jump on the Ineffable LP right away…
Very nice response Simon!
I’ve downloaded the new Shpongle album and i think it sounds great. I really want to think it’s the best of all Shpongle albums, but it would be unfair towards the older ones. They are very good each one of them, and every album has their own ups and downs. They just shouldn’t be compared to eachother, they should be enjoyed as they are.
Anyway, i’m gonna preorder it, and the DVD, and that Eclipse album i found browsing your catalogue. Impressive bass in that one. My speakers can only deliver down to 34Hz, but i get the feeling it goes deeper than that. One should not underestimate real heavy deep bass! It’s like massage for the soul
Really, i gotta say that album is a rare gem. And it includes my favourite Shpongle track, “...And the day turned to night”. Magical.
I heard of a guy who unintentionally blew out a window with 4 subwoofers
Probably not with music but maybe a movie.
Edit: Just to clarify, i buy ALL music i like. I believe in moral. Downloading is just for browsing. But i know the majority of all people can’t handle that responsibility and it makes me very sad to hear about your financial problems. You deserve a lot better. I’ll do what i can to help.