Philipp Straub on ‘vinyl vs. digital’

Philipp Straub is from Vienna, Austria. We’re glad that he also shared his thoughts with us on one of the most discussed topics in DJing: vinyl records or digital? Philipp, as a former record collector with a collection of 26.000 records tells us from his own experience, how the way of DJing changed since the rise of Traktor, Beatport and lightweight Laptops.

What do you think? Do you prefer playing MP3 tracks and CDs or do you count yourself to those audiophiles who still keep to the old tradition and play vinyl records in clubs?

Philipp:
“I started DJing in 1993 but already bought the first records for my future electronic music record collection some years before. At some point I had to get the tunes that moved me the most on my weekend events. From 93 I bought almost everything that I somehow liked vinyl wise and due to this until around 2000 my collection grew up to around 26.000 copies which is still the current status. Some releases I bought twice – one for my gigs and one sealed copy for my collection.

Due to reconstruction work in my old apartment the whole system got messed up somehow and for a while I had no time to get things right. The girl I was dating back in the days then surprised me totally when she spent a full weekend with 2 of her friends sorting my complete collection in alphabetic order again. Of course I had to marry her and we had our wedding some years later in Thailand on a nice hidden island. Since some years I do not even get any new record anymore so I for now I call the collection finished.

turntable-traktor-console
turntable-traktor-console

In the year 2000 I was asked by Richie Hawtin if I want to become one of the selected beta tester for a new system with which you can manually control digital files. I of course joined the team and the system became Final Scratch which is now known as Traktor. So after 7 years of playing vinyl I switched in 2000 to coded records and digital files. Around 2005 or 2006 I switched to playing totally digital with the support of some controllers due to a deal with Allen & Heath. Around 3 years ago that got boring again and I found a challenge in manually syncing CDs, but it was not as easy as I thought to deliver the set I wanted so I kept playing and enjoyed it as much that I switched completely and now play on CDJ-2000 which made my work perfectly easy.

For me personally there is no right or wrong nor bad or good. In my opinion every artist has to chose his individual setup that helps him expressing what he wants perfectly. The equipment is the instrument for a DJ – nothing less and nothing more and the only point is to spread your message to the crowd in the way you want.

Personally I am not sad about the good old days of vinyl. No doubt this was a great period of time but I always try to look into the future and go with future trends and challenges. This is very important to me. Also I think some people simply do not got the message when I hear them play vinyl sets on huge completely digital sound systems which of course cannot work such as it should. I have seen that for instance in Miami on Ultra and it was obvious for everybody that this was not the perfect choice from the artist. Also I think it is poor how some of the young kids try to insist on vinyl culture in a nearly militant way. They were not even born when vinyl had the big and dominating years! I am missing tolerance for the others and honestly tolerance was one of the key messages for the scene back in the days when it was founded. For me vinyl is still great due to its history, it’s feeling and the touch of it, but I think it is limiting a Dj as an artist nowadays. Also because many tunes are simply not even available on vinyl anymore. But of course, such as I said, everybody should chose the equipment and music format they like for themselves ;)”

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Wood Slices Record player

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Music from mother nature – At the first it feels a little bit odd to see a wood slice on this record player. But this is something special. Bartholomäus Traubeck rebuilt a record player for playing sound from unique and thin wood slices with his ‘Years’ art project.

The tone arm analyses the wood slices year rings strength, thickness and rate of growth. This data serves as basis for a generative process that outputs piano music. Every wood slice and every year ring is unique, so the music will always play differently.

Check out the video for a look and feel of this outstanding audio and design project setup:

If you want to read more about the designer, visit his page http://traubeck.com

cassette, vinyl, records, cassette culture, hiss, groove, tape hiss, groove noise, cassette, hissandgroove, hiss and groove

Antistat record washer

More common and established way to clean your records is by using something like the Knosti Disco Antistat record washer. You can order these packages in Germany since 1978! With this set you get everything you need, to wash and dry your records in an easygoing way.

You can order it directly through AMAZON to get rid of the dust on your records.

Save your needle, save your sound – get rid of the dusty grooves!

cassette, vinyl, records, cassette culture, hiss, groove, tape hiss, groove noise, cassette, hissandgroove, hiss and groove

Stefan Sagmeister and the art of album covers

Stefan Sagmeister is graphic designer and typographer that made album covers for many famous musicians. He co-founded Sagmeister & Walsh Inc. a design firm based in New York.

Sagmeister vinyl cassette

Here´s the man himself telling the story from playing in obscure prog rock bands to designing covers for Lou Reed, OK Go, The Rolling Stones, David Byrne, Jay Z, Aerosmith and Pat Metheny.

cassette, vinyl, records, cassette culture, hiss, groove, tape hiss, groove noise, cassette, hissandgroove, hiss and groove

Iconic Album Covers

Is the design of album covers important?
Who are the people who create the vinyl and cassette covers?
Can we go so far saying that people buy records because of their look?
What makes an album cover become iconic?
These are just a few question for a future debate.

beatles vinyl cassette led zeppelin vinyl cassette

King Crimson vinyl cassette pink floyd vinyl cassette

rolling stones vinyl cassette nirvana vinyl cassette

elvis presley vinyl cassette the clash vinyl cassette

iron maiden vinyl cassette metallica vinyl cassette

green day vinyl cassette rage against the machine vinyl cassette

Emerson Lake and Palmer vinyl cassette sex pistols vinyl cassette

and more…
cassette, vinyl, records, cassette culture, hiss, groove, tape hiss, groove noise, cassette, hissandgroove, hiss and groove

A guided tour of Bucks Burnett’s Eight Track Museum

akai_8trackiavscanda.com_

Growing up in the 1970s, Bucks Burnett never even owned an eight-track tape: When his parents purchased their first post-LP stereo console, they went straight for a cassette player. “They were visionaries,” he says.

But that hasn’t stopped Burnett from becoming the eight-track’s most vocal champion, amassing an incredible collection of Stereo 8 cartridges, and opening the world’s first museum devoted entirely to the format. Located in the Deep Ellum neighborhood of Dallas, Texas, Burnett’s original Eight Track Museum opened in 2011, offering visitors a peek at an often overlooked medium plus an archive of every audio recording format created since the earliest wax cylinders of the late 1800s. In October of 2012, the second outpost of Burnett’s homage to the 8-track opened at the Orphic Gallery in Roxbury, New York, expanding the reach of his crusade for lesser known forms of audio recording.

Eight-Tracks-from-the-Bucks-Burnett-Collection-photo-©-Allison-V.-Smith

Burnett’s obsession with Stereo 8 tapes began after a chance encounter at a garage sale in the ’80s, and he’s never looked back. The quirky vibe of each Eight Track Museum is perfectly matched by Burnett’s outsized personality (when the Oxford English Dictionary decided to remove the entry for “Cassette Tape” in 2011, Burnett retaliated by banning the dictionary from his museum). During the ’80s, Burnett befriended such music world notables as the ukelele-playing Tiny Tim, as well as Chris Frantz and Tina Weymouth, the founding members of the Talking Heads who went on to create Tom Tom Club in 1981. Among others, each of these stars is a part of Burnett’s unfinished documentary on the 8-track tape, called “Spinal Tape,” which is expected to be completed in 2013.

cassette, vinyl, records, cassette culture, hiss, groove, tape hiss, groove noise, cassette, hissandgroove, hiss and groove

The Vinyl Experience

A short movie that shows the vinyl creating process in about 8 minutes. We think this is one of the best videos to show how our LPs and maxis are made out of little black pellets. Pure eye candy for every vinyl lover.

The movie shows Pallas Records in Germany, one of the last vinyl manufactories there.

cassette, vinyl, records, cassette culture, hiss, groove, tape hiss, groove noise, cassette, hissandgroove, hiss and groove

Worlds Largest Record Collection

the_archive

Yes, some of you already had the chance to view this video, but it’s absolutely breathtaking for all of you who did not watch and feel it, yet. Paul Mawhinney, founder of Record-Rama in Pittsburgh, Pennsilvania is the owner of the worlds largest record collection. It contains about 3 Million vinyl records from the last decades and was valued at 50 Million $. As the record store was closed in 2008 and his health was of great concern, Paul tried to sell all the records, again. The collection went for sale on eBay in March 2008 but did not end in a sale…

The most current plans for The Archive were enacted by William Vanden Dries. Vanden Dries, decided to do something to save the collection by forming a non-profit organization, The Audio Preservation Fund, with the intent to open a museum, online database, and shop under the name The Worlds Greatest Music Collection, while expanding the collection via both donations of records by individuals and by incorporating other major record collections from around the world.

Paul is still working on archiving his records to the database every day.

cassette, vinyl, records, cassette culture, hiss, groove, tape hiss, groove noise, cassette, hissandgroove, hiss and groove

For the record

for the record

Short documentary about the love of vinyl records and their manufacturing process. 16 minutes, recorded over 6 weeks, travelling through Germany, Switzerland, Austria and the UK.

“For The Record exposes a number of notions about why vinyl is such an indelible medium and how it continues to remain popular in the the face of opposing format change.” Must see!

Featuring: Dr Dub, Vinylium, Vinylrecorder.com, Audiowerker, MY45 vinylpress, Centraldubs, Duophonic, Metropolis Studios, The Vinyl Factory and Dub Studio. For The Record is an ongoing research project exploring the world of vinyl.

cassette, vinyl, records, cassette culture, hiss, groove, tape hiss, groove noise, cassette, hissandgroove, hiss and groove

Submerged Turntable by Evan Holm

Evan Holm

Artist Evan Holm uses vinyl in his projects a lot. He built this stunning art installation combining nature elements like water and wood covered with moss. The spinning turntable creates a huge whirl in the black inked water basin.

“There will be a time when all tracings of human culture will dissolve back into the soil under the slow crush of the unfolding universe. The pool, black and depthless, represents loss, represents mystery and represents the collective subconscious of the human race. By placing these records underneath the dark and obscure surface of the pool, I am enacting a small moment of remorse towards this loss. In the end however this is an optimistic sculpture, for just after that moment of submergence. Tone, melody and ultimately song is pulled back out of the pool, past the veil of the subconscious, out from under the crush of time, and back into a living and breathing realm. When I perform with this sculpture, I am honoring and celebrating all the musicians, all the artists that have helped to build our human culture.” Evan Holm

The making of

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Bruce Springsteen’s Nebraska recorded on a cassette-tape

Bruce Springsteen’s Nebraska sixth studio album was recorded on a Portastudio 144 cassette 4 track. The tracks were originally intended as demos of songs to be recorded with the E Street Band.

“I got a little Teac four-track cassette machine, and I said, I’m gonna record these songs, and if they sound good with just me doin’ ’em, then I’ll teach ’em to the band.” Bruce Springsteen

However, he and the producers felt that the essence present on the home tapes was lacking in the band performance, and so they decided to release the demo version as the final release.

cassette bruce springtsteen

“It’s amazing that it got there, ’cause I was carryin’ that cassette around with me in my pocket without a case for a couple of week, just draggin’ it around. Finally, we realized, “Uh-oh, that’s the album.” Bruce Springsteen

In 1989, Nebraska was ranked 43rd on Rolling Stone magazine’s list of the 100 greatest albums of the 1980s

cassette, vinyl, records, cassette culture, hiss, groove, tape hiss, groove noise, cassette, hissandgroove, hiss and groove

Why tape

On Record Store Day 2015 the best-selling release was a cassette!!! Metallica’s “No Life Til Leather” is a replica of the demo tape that would eventually get them their first record contract.

Metallica Record Store Day cassette release

Cassette tapes are here to stay. Great way for bands and labels to put out an analogue release that is way cheaper than a the vinyl production.

Probably we’ll see more cassette-only releases…

cassette, vinyl, records, cassette culture, hiss, groove, tape hiss, groove noise, cassette, hissandgroove, hiss and groove