September 30, 2006

Hey, go buy a record...

by Chris Randall

Since Diamond Dave is planning to have my Creative Commons license revoked (!?!) I better release everything now! In that light, my latest as Micronaut is now available at shopPOSI. Pick up a copy, and you'll be enabling my snobby gear habit. Digital only release, $6.00 a throw.

Note that if you want an audio demonstration of Audio Damage products, there's no better way than to pick this album up. Other than the Eclipse and the usual Waves limiting products, every effect on this album came out of our shop.



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Oct.01.2006 @ 2:11 AM
Do people buy mp3s outside of itunes? Is it a viable buisness?

As for CD vs. MP3, I used to like the CD on demand thing that used to have back in the day... I wish they hadn't gone out of buisness. They would have the mp3s (and you could purchase them), or if you wanted a CD, would handle printing a CD on demand, packaging, shipping, billing, etc. They would take something like $5 (or around there, this is off the top of my head), and the artist could set the price up to $30 and keep the difference.

I think there is a lot of room for a store that sells mp3s, or CDs printed on demand (so I don't have to worry about waiting 3 weeks for the online store to order one from the distributor, etc... and I don't have to worry about the album being to obscure for them to do a printing). Unfortunatly, the #1 digital music seller is Apple, and they don't want to sell on CD because they want to sell ipods.

Myspace has kind of replaced as the place artists post music, but it is nowhere near as good as the old used to be.


Oct.01.2006 @ 3:15 AM
I just checked out the demos of a couple of the tracks. I'm sorry if this is a stupid question, but, just to clarify, if I buy the album, the download files will not be mp3s, right? I can't stand the highs warbling on mp3s. Also, if it's not too much trouble, I'm curious about how you did the bass on it.

Oct.01.2006 @ 5:09 AM
Hey, I bought it. Six bucks, you can't go too far wrong. And if I can't trust this man to produce a high quality representation of his own band's music, then why do I bother reading his blog?

Oct.01.2006 @ 7:04 AM
Heh, yeah, Chris I get you completely. Personally I work on 48k because it's a slightly better and since none of my music appears on CD's I don't have to worry about downsampling it. Also because I'm lazy (Samplitude defaults to 48k/24b). People who work in 96k need to have their head checked, though. Why waste all that space and processor power for very little gain?

And to clarify, I don't like CD's because they sound better (as if), but because they tend to have artwork, and somehow I just find it more satisfying to have something physical - and not just pile of digital files.

And Space_Monkey, they will be MP3's, sorry. Hey, Chris, ever thought about having .APE or such files as possible choice for download just to satisfy snobbish audiophiles? (which is admittedly a small marginal) Of course, it'll kill when it comes to bandwith though. But if the server has enough to spare...


Oct.01.2006 @ 12:12 PM
Chris Randall
They're MP3s, but not like the samples. The samples are encoded at 96K, which is the best comprimise between load times and quality. (On a broadband connection, they should play instantly.)

The actual albums are encoded at LAME's alt-preset -standard setting, which is generally accepted by businesses that sell MP3s to be the best quality while still having a reasonable size. This is a VBR method (you can google that if you're not familiar) and really quite good. You don't get any of the aliasing you're talking about that is normal in a 128K straight-encoded MP3. They're much better than the AAC files that iTunes sells. We modelled our encoding process after Bleep, which is Warp's online store.

Also note that when you buy a hard copy CD in the Positron store, you also get the MP3s put in your locker, so you can download them right then. The CD will show up in a couple days (usually less than a week, no matter what country you live in, as we ship daily) but you'll get the album as soon as you purchase regardless.

As for's old DAM CD system, I'm sorry, but they were truly awful quality. We made thousands of dollars selling DAM CDs when first came out, but I was never happy with it. They just took the 128K MP3s you uploaded (that was all allowed) and whacked 'em on an Audio CD. It's nothing you couldn't do yourself.



Oct.01.2006 @ 12:17 PM
I just had a missive but deleted it because no one really cares about what I would have to say. But to summarize, mp3 = suck, CD = good, Vinyl = better.

I don't think it good business practice to offer download ONLY, but, it's not my business so I'll go pound sand.

It sucks that you're making the decision to exclude people that don't accept non-physical media, but I guess if it was really that big of a deal we could download/convert/burn/deal-with-the-quality.

Hope it works out.


Oct.01.2006 @ 12:28 PM
Chris Randall
Well, no doubt about that. But there's two things to consider:

1) We can't afford to press CDs every time I get a wild hare (hair?) up my ass to release something. Selling CDs is generally a losing proposition, unless you're BMG. Out of the thousand-odd indie labels, I'd wager you can count the ones that actually turn a profit on one hand. Warp is one, and their MP3 factory Bleep is a large reason for that.

2) MP3s suck more than vinyl, sure. But you can't play a record in your car. Most people listen to music in their car, and they'll take a a quality hit for the convenience.



Oct.01.2006 @ 6:00 PM
Having recently re-acquired a turntable for vinyl, I have been enjoying again that old platter-spinning ritual.

That said, I had forgotten how shitty the last song on a side gets on vinyl. What other recording medium offers continuously declining audio quality as the album progresses?


Oct.01.2006 @ 6:56 PM
Wade Alin
hey chris,

are these tracks recorded on 2" or did you use that fucking lame digital?? i'm not buying it if it was recorded digitally. did you use really old tape cuz' ever since ampex became quantegy, everything sucks. did you play everything or use one of those midi's to do it for you?

i'm absolutely kidding, of course. i guess i just want to point out that every technological advance in the last 20 years has garnered the same complaints. and really, if you just hate mp3s, good luck finding music 6-8 years from now.

i'm still a big fan of the CD, the visual aesthetics can really set up the tracks. that said, there's a lot to be said for dumping the new micronaut right to my ipod, hopping in my car, and getting a ticket or 2 for reckless endangerment.


Oct.01.2006 @ 7:43 PM
completely unrelated..

Chris, has your RSS feed gone strange? it doesn't read correctly anymore and looks odd too.
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