November 27, 2007

Tuesday Open Thread...

by Chris Randall

Argh. I just got done reading the Underworld article in the new issue of Remix, and someone needs to clean house in their proofreading department (if they even have one.) That thing is so riddled with errors that, well, it's riddled with errors. It's fairly sad. A sample sentence:

The 60-plus lights Cruickshank used at Central Park are mostly Robe 700s, joined by Molefay, ACL, and Par Can strobes."

The thing with that sentence is that you'd have to have a reasonably deep knowledge of concert lighting to see the errors. That's fine, of course. Obviously the writer isn't a concert LD. But there's the rub: the information is for concert LDs, who are the only ones that would find it interesting at all. Thus, it would perhaps behoove the writer to not just Make Shit Up that would necessarily cause a concert LD to ROFL.

The phrase "par can" is capitalized throughout the article; I assume that these fancy "Par Can strobes" are all the rage with the touring electronic-based progressive whatever bands. This isn't really a big deal, but a pretty fair portion of the article, maybe 30% of the four pages, are given over to talk of lighting and video, and I'd say that roughly 30% of that information is correct. He talks about the 20-by-2-inch tubes that cover the stage for a while. Fun, when you change that "inch" to "feet," as prominently displayed in the 2-page picture right above the paragraph they're mentioned in.

This is the reason I find American music magazines (with the obvious exception of TapeOp) to be stupid in general. It seems that the entire point of the magazine is to provide a convenient mechanism by which to fling Sweetwater, M-Audio, and Korg advertisements at the reader. The writing is, it seems, something of an afterthought any more. I'm not bothered by the actual errors. The thing that bothers me is that if I can catch this many errors (I count 23 factual errors in the video and lighting sections of the article) in the talk of shit I know about, how many errors are there in the shit I don't know about, and can I actually trust them as an information source?

Anyways, rant over. I'm going to Portland this evening to catch Chemlab and USSA. By virtue of the two long-ass tours I did with them, I've probably seen Chemlab perform more than any other band, I'd say roughly 125 times. So that'll be a trip down memory lane. In the unlikely event you're at the show and can manage to find me, come and say "hi" and buy me a mojito. But just one. I have to drive home.

Oh, and, the open thread topic (and this should be a hot one...): we're coming up on the release of a couple albums at the ol' Positron HQ, and we're discussing the interesting fact that the only real reason to press CDs any more is for licensing houses. There's really no question at this point that hard media as a delivery mechanism will go away. What's the time frame? How long before a label doesn't even have to consider CD pressing at all?



Page 1 of 5

Nov.27.2007 @ 6:11 AM
dan s
Obviously vinyl is the way to go.
On a slightly more serious note, it seems that vinyl has a good chance of outliving CD.

Nov.27.2007 @ 6:21 AM
US magazines are so damn thin as well. Course Japanese musician mags are like half a kilo of ads and about as much content as a US mag. As for me, I only buy the UK Future Musician on import. 2,000 Yen a pop, but tends to be worth it.

Nov.27.2007 @ 7:30 AM
Free subscriptions to TapeOp. Signed up yesterday. link []">link []

Nov.27.2007 @ 7:56 AM
While i prefer digital dl because the price is right in most cases, i.e. $9.99 etc through Apple or a guess a price via Radiohead, I still prefer cds because of their archival purposes (as compared to the fragile and short longevity of cdrw media) as well as the... well, "physical" aspect to it. Plus being able to rip at whatever bitrate i want from the master is nice.

Nov.27.2007 @ 8:06 AM
We're wrestling with the "to press or not to press" issue ourselves. We built this fancy-shmancy website to present and license our catalog, but the question we hear most often is "Can I get these on CD?" It's frustrating. Why drop so much money into a dead (or soon to be dead) delivery mechanism? I think what we're doing at the site is much cooler than skipping through tracks on a CD, but... oh well. Hopefully some day we'll have that "I told you so!" moment.

Nov.27.2007 @ 8:30 AM
We primarily release our albums through digital channels, but I still get a batch of discs made. Those are sold through amazon and cdbaby, but a lot of the physical discs are used to send to magazines for promotional purposes. digital sales have been pretty good for us, far outstripping that of cd's. It's a shame as I love seeing my releases on cd with nice artwork. ho hum the times are changing.



Nov.27.2007 @ 8:35 AM
I actually hope the change writ large happens soon, just because it seems like an unnecessary (and money losing) cost at this point.

Part of the equation will depend on when magazines, newspapers, licensing houses, etc will move away from CDs. Most reviewer websites, let alone print, even still only accept CDs.


Nov.27.2007 @ 8:53 AM
The only music tech mag I bother reading nowadays is TapeOp which obviously rocks, SOS ain't half bad but somehow I don't care about it too much nowadays.

I actually bought the CR album from Positron as a CD because:

1) The mp3s are included in the price and the CD wasn't that much extra, so I could listen to it right away and wait for the CD to arrive from the other side of the pond.

2) Even though CDs feel pretty much like a waste of natural resources and the few hundred I currently have are going from my shelf to a cardboard box in the closet as soon as I get ripping done, I agree with Jaysen. Getting something physical is still nice somehow - you get the paper covers to browse, a backup of the music and something to show to your friends.

Plus you get the tracks at lossless quality on CD (good quality mp3 ain't bad though and there are some FLAC digital downloads available already). I think that something many people seem to have an issue with is that downloading music from P2P networks for free is so widespread and easy that you don't really get anything extra when buying digital downloads. On the contrary - download 128kbps DRMed AACs from a download store and your friend tells you he just got a FLAC rip of the CD from P2P for free. Yeah, obviously you do the right thing by supporting the artist and label and he doesn't, but it still doesn't feel too nice...

As for the timeframe, no idea whatsoever.


Nov.27.2007 @ 9:00 AM
I think we're still in a transitional phase as far as physical media, while everyone I know on or running an indie label is making more money from digital downloads then selling actual physical units, like Shamann mentioned above reviewers, licensors, college radio still expect an actual legitimate pressed CD.

One possible solution is to find a place to press 300 or 500 cd's and keep manufacturing costs down (though not as much as you'd hope it would) and limit the number of physical units sitting around. I know two labels who are going this route right now.


Nov.27.2007 @ 9:16 AM
huge cd fan here. sayin

Page 1 of 5



Sorry, commenting is closed for this blog entry.