Connect with your community. Still, as artists and labels hop on the vinyl trend, some new vinyl releases may be mastered from CD-quality audio, not the high-resolution formats audiophiles and folks like Neil Young adore. Whether you’re playing tape or spinning vinyl, moving parts are involved in getting sound to reach your ears. Otherwise, "that's a hard path for a needle to trace.". A vinyl record … All rights reserved (About Us). If you want your turntable to sound as great, if not better, than the best digital tech out there, you need to beware – almost a third of all the turntables we have reviewed, we gave Don’t Buys. To break down what vinyl can really do, I spoke with Adam Gonsalves of Portland's Telegraph Mastering. It sounds just as great as the producer or band intended. I’m researhcing the best Music Playback Solution and sharing my knowledge with you.". ((David Leigh has written a definitive and damn funny answer to this question. They listen to great songwriters and have an ear for production. ((David Leigh has written a definitive and damn funny answer to this question. When I visited Gonsalves, he was working on My Brightest Diamond's new album — from his computer. Vinyl records are set to generate more revenue for the Australian music industry than CDs this year, but it appears to have nothing to do with how the music actually sounds. By Clint Holley, Well Made Music It has become clear in the past five years that consumers love vinyl records. Record weight has very little to do with the sound … Vinyl didn’t die when Jimi Hendrix did. The output of a record player is analog. For comparison, listening to vinyl as opposed to digital is like viewing the Mona Lisa with your own eyes rather than looking at a picture of it on a smartphone. Sonically, vinyl has both strengths and weaknesses compared to digital files, just as movie buffs have argued over the pros and cons of 35mm film against 4K digital. They sound different, and that's exactly the point. You talk to people, and ask their opinions and suggestions, and ultimately make friends. Additionally, this type of physical media can’t contain the same amount of data that a high-bitrate digital file would. Vinyl's capable of a lot, but only if the grooves are wide enough for the needle to track them properly. Keep it up. Does 180 Gram Vinyl Sound Better? vinyl has that 'depth' of sound that old music transferred to cds doesn't seem to have, also i think often, they poorly master music when they put it on to cd, which makes it sound poor and low volume- muffled. m_gallery_type = "photo"; Gallery: Adam Gonsalves at Telegraph Mastering. Sorry, friends. They also realize the importance of using quality audio gear and are huge fans of music, to begin with. Okay, try again. Vinyl sounds better than MP3s ever could. It caused songs to sound distorted and unpleasant and removed their depth and texture. It’s very much alive and is much more preferable than listening to music in a digital format. A way that record companies could charge more while distancing themselves from what many music lovers demanded from their records: high-quality sound. My name is Jason and Good Sound Quality means a lot for me. There can be booming louds and gentle softs. That’s why mall stores like Urban Outfitters now sell turntables and display racks of vinyl records. The Pros of Vinyl With vinyl, there is much more room for the music to grow. But analog-to-digital conversion (and vice versa) has come along quite a bit since the birth of the CD, and Gonsalves says he asks for high-definition, 24-bit files to master from if digital's the option. Of course, when you listen in on casual discussions of sound in 2013, you often hear that "LPs are back" because they "sound better." Greetings, audiophiles! But, the bottom line question is: does it really matter? Vinyl, for the most part, avoided the ‘loudness war.' There’s a huge community of people buying, collecting, and reselling vinyl, because it always keeps its purchase value, and even increases in value. m_gallery_creation_date = "Tuesday, November 18, 2014, 7:14 PM"; These days, many records are made using playback of a digital file, so vinyl preference cannot be attributed solely to the differences in the way the sound wave is reproduced. But for many, these sounds are just part of the vinyl experience, adding to the charm of a format that takes some extra effort — and often rewards it. "If you had taken Skrillex into Motown Studios, they would've said, 'It's uncuttable!'" Real Reason Why Vinyl Sounds Better Than A CD – Detailed Explanation 07/01/2017 02/18/2020 turntable01 0 Comments How it looks to us, and this became a general conclusion when we read various audiophile forums and blogs, it is not a matter of the vinyl record itself or of a CD. Before weighing vinyl's, ahem, good and bad sides, it helps to know how records are made. Please check it out…)) The funny thing about the vinyl debate is this: Some of the most vocal people weighing in on the vinyl side are … probably hard of hearing. On a theoretical level, there's just no reason it should be the case that vinyl sounds better. You’ve probably heard it before: Vinyl records sound “better” or “warmer” than CDs and digital songs. Ask them why, and they all say the sound comes first -- and I agree. m_gallery_blog_id = "4450"; Most of the music is broadcast in some lossy format, where details are missed, and the overall quality is reduced. Yes, a properly tuned, calibrated, and expensive vinyl setup can sound and perform much better than many digital setups, but that’s missing the point: most vinyl playback today happens on cheap turntables with cheap or old records and cheap or old needles and goes through cheap or old speakers. The vinyl LP is a format based on technology that hasn't evolved much over the last six decades: in some ways, it's the audio equivalent of driving a Ford Pilot. Before we launch into the article, it’s worth knowing that vinyl has serious flaws that can’t be corrected.For example, the analog nature of the format means that it will degrade over time, with increased noise and other artifacts making their way into your music after repeated listens. Information is pressed into the grooves of a record, which are tracked by a needle attached to a cartridge recognising the vibrations as frequencies and sending them to be amplified – first by a phono stage and then a power amplifier – before the sound comes from your speakers. m_gallery = "adam_gonsalves_at_telegraph_ma"; You simply license it. Nope? Download for Free. The analog format allows for artists to transport their music from magnetic tape to LP to your speakers or headphones without the complications of digital conversion. Vinyl is perhaps simpler, in that its signal remains analogue throughout the chain. Sometimes. No one's arguing that turntables are more accurate than digital audio, just that vinyl aficionados love the sound of their records. Community Rules apply to all content you upload or otherwise submit to this site. Fighting the loudness wars: Digital music engineering, particularly for radio-bound music, is often marred by a volume arms race, which leads to fatiguing, hyper-compressed songs that squish out the dynamics and textures that give recordings their depth and vitality. Almost without exception, a colored vinyl disc would play with much more noise and hiss compared to their black counterparts. People who prefer vinyl tend to be quite picky about what they listen to. I'm pretty sure you know a lot about why Hi-Res music, however, I still believe I must tell you there’s another cool way to enjoy music. "You just need a decent turntable with a decent needle on it and you're going to enjoy a full-fidelity listening experience. Nope. This is largely a theoretical thing and a TON is dependent upon the equipment and environment in which you’re listening. Vinyl definitely is trendy, though. Vinyl depends on a mechanically driven system, and any such system will introduce minute changes in the speed and pitch of playback. The artwork, the lyrics and personal interaction are all reasons that this once “dead” format has catapulted back into the mainstream consciousness, but when asked, most people would respond that the biggest reason they love vinyl is the SOUND. © 2020 Advance Local Media LLC. There’s something magical about buying records. Music sounds better played on a good turntable than it does from files or CDs. You take gambles, and you give money on albums having no idea whether they are worth it or not. The problem here is that it had a tremendous result on the audio quality. That's why those double-LPs are worth the extra flipping. Subscribe to OregonLive. This, ideally, is the closest one can get to what the artist intended — if the artist recorded on tape and sent the reels over to an engineer like Gonsalves to cut a lacquer master from. Go to your local record store and try to find One Direction's Made in the A.M., which sold  2,400,000 copies in 2015. Very few additives can be mixed into clear vinyl without jeopardizing the opacity, which means there is a potential for worse sound quality, albeit this drop is often imperceptible to the common listener. The Pros of Vinyl With vinyl, there is much more room for the music to grow. Read: Best turntables under $300 Vinyl is great, but the idea that its sound quality is superior to that of uncompressed digital recordings is preposterous. Real Reason Why Vinyl Sounds Better Than A CD – Detailed Explanation 07/01/2017 02/18/2020 turntable01 0 Comments How it looks to us, and this became a general conclusion when we read various audiophile forums and blogs, it is not a matter of the vinyl record itself or of a CD. What vinyl can't do Note to readers: if you purchase something through one of our affiliate links we may earn a commission. Why CDs May Actually Sound Better Than Vinyl Chris Kornelis January 27, 2015 James Russell's mother told him that his first invention was the “automated battleship” he built when he was 6. 2 years ago. Vinyl is indeed an old technology and one that has remained relatively unchanged over the past thirty-forty years. The late Apple CEO, whose iTunes Store revolutionized the music business for the online era, "listened to vinyl" at home, Neil Young said in 2012. Today’s consumers collect records for this very reason. But it will sound more vinyl-y, if that's your preference. Why does vinyl sound better? The answer lies in the difference between analog and digital recordings. m_gallery_pagetype = "embed"; 30'000+ Radiostations perfectly categorized by countries & genres, "Hey! The vinyl experience and superior sound quality is worth the expense…to me anyhow. It caused songs to sound distorted and unpleasant and removed their depth and texture. The beginning of an album side sounds better than the end: As the album's circumference shrinks toward the middle, the needle speed changes and it can't follow every millimeter of the groove. What vinyl can't do A nice explanation of some of the challenges of mastering vinyl. The longer an album, the quieter it gets: Gonsalves played me Interpol's lengthy debut album and a 12-inch Billy Idol single, and the decibel difference — without any distortion creeping in — was remarkable. But, vinyl? They don’t listen to airy, mass product kind-of-music. That doesn’t mean there are no benefits to be gained from 180g, or even 200-220g vinyl LP’s. Answer Save. "There's basically nothing you can do to make an hour-long album on one record sound good," Gonsalves said. There’s another, far superior reason why vinyl is better than lossy digital formats. With the rise of digital music (CDs included), it's possible to make a track sound louder than it naturally should. If the song that closes side A or B is a complicated one — say, one with a busy harmonica solo — it may well sound less than hi-fi. It’s the kind of experience where can spend hours aimlessly searching for music. m_gallery_json = "https://blog.oregonlive.com/photogallery/4450/16373446.json"; Nothing? It's a little bit more idiot-proof and a little bit less technical.". No. When you acquire a record, you’re not just buying some album. Vinyl can give a better sound, but usually, it doesn't. Modern music is even being put on vinyl at an incredibly high rate. It's for this reason that vinyl sounds better than digital. But there is a downside, any specks of dust or damage to the disc can be heard as noise or static. Conversation – Does vinyl really sound better? What we're told: 180g vinyl sounds better than standard vinyl.. 180 gram is a heavier grade of vinyl that many believe coaxes a richer audio palate than lighter, standard grades. A longer album means skinnier grooves, a quieter sound and more noise. They listen to bands that have artistic honesty, and compose their own songs and play their own instruments. The popularity of vinyl is undeniable, but why is it so popular and does it really sound better than streaming from Spotify?Let’s dig into how vinyl works, how it … 3 thoughts on “ No, Vinyl Does Not Sound Better Than MP3 – Making The Case For Digital Audio ” Calvin February 27, 2015 at 4:34 pm. Vinyl's volume is dependent on the length of its sides and depth of its grooves, which means an album mastered specifically for the format may have more room to breathe than its strained digital counterpart. You’re making an investment that you can later sell, or maybe pass down to your children. For decades, colored vinyl was looked upon as some open joke. Let's take a trip to a record store, and I’ll tell you the four reasons why 12″ vinyl records are better than digital MP3. It’s called vinyl. However, with digital audio, you also have upper limits, so you won't get past that 8, no matter what, the informeation simply isn't in the signal. VOX, VOX Player, VOX Premium are registered trademarks of Coppertino inc in US. Comparison of a raw analog audio signal to the CD audio and DVD audio output. It's economics, my friend. Surface noise: "The warm sound of the vinyl, that's a form of noise that you get from dealing with the lacquer material and having it go through this manufacturing process," Gonsalves said. "Vinyl is the only consumer playback format we have that's fully analog and fully lossless," Gonsalves said. Since vinyl is an analog format, it can suffer from the same problems. Vinyl can struggle with highs and lows: High-pitched frequencies (drum cymbals, hi-hats) and sibilance (think "s" sounds) can cause the ugly crackle of distortion, while deep bass panned between the left and right channels can knock around the needle. Young, who's now hawking his $399 high-definition PonoPlayer, has a stake in the mythologizing of studio-grade sound, but he's not the only believer. Say, on a scale from 1 to 10, it might rate as a 7 or 8. In brief, an engineer such as Gonsalves receives mixed recordings from the studio (or even a band's laptop) to master and cut to a lacquer, which is mailed off to be impressed upon the sets of metal stampers which will press hundreds or thousands of PVC pellets into vinyl LPs. That said, some records do sound better than others, especially ones that are clean and in good condition (little or no scratches or surface scuffs). "It should basically be in mono," Gonsalves said. Illbay May 21, 2017 TRANSLATION: “It’s better for reasons that are really too difficult for you to understand. The problem here is that it had a tremendous result on the audio quality. Vinyl, for the most part, avoided the ‘loudness war.' That warm vinyl sound: "I think this is what people like about it: it pins very closely to the way that human beings hear music organically," Gonsalves said. Vinyl is a lossless format. Kind of. David Greenwald | The Oregonian/OregonLive. See if you can find anything by Justin Bieber. Popular turntables – are they any good? But whether its origins are digital or analog (more on this later), a vinyl disc should have more musical information than an MP3 file — so it should be an improvement on streaming sites such as YouTube or SoundCloud, especially on a good system. As compressed MP3 files and digital streaming services from YouTube to Pandora have become the norm for music listening, vinyl sales have skyrocketed from under a million in 2007 to potentially more than 8 million this year in the U.S. alone — in part thanks to the thinking that vinyl just sounds better. Gonsalves said, thanks to the strain the high-energy music would put on the needle's journey. m_gallery_title = "Adam Gonsalves at Telegraph Mastering"; Is a CD-quality album going to sound more accurate on vinyl than a CD? When you listen only to vinyl, you unconsciously decide to never, ever face One Direction and Justin Bieber. If a song is recorded on tape, its conversion to vinyl better preserves the original sound of the song. m_gallery_id = "16373446"; Here's why: Digital audio is great at keeping a constant quality which is fairly high. No audio data is lost when pressing a record. A vinyl record is an analog recording, and CDs and DVDs are … Some apps and websites make the process much more convenient. Analog is mechanical. When you buy an MP3 on iTunes, you don’t really own that particular MP3. Regardless whether you listen to music on a streaming service like Apple Music or prefer MP3s or even the radio, you can't get the full picture of that track. Sure, 180g LPs ride more smoothly on a turntable thanks to their weight, but the benefits end there. You can't be listening to MP3, I'm sure. This means that the waveforms from a vinyl recording can be much more accurate, and that can be heard in the richness of the sound. Is that true? Why would you think that might be? Not every mastering engineering cuts lacquers — lathes haven't been made in decades and are in short supply, which keeps owners like Gonsalves busy — and Gonsalves is often sent digital files to work from rather than the all-analog tape one might expect. Digital recordings can’t capture the true essence of what the artist intended the track to sound like, giving vinyl the ultimate edge over CDs. "There's basically nothing you can do to make an hour-long album on one record sound good,"Gonsalves said. The pressings are made straight from the masters and contain all of the detail the artist intended. It can be fed directly to your amplifier with no conversion. Theoretically, a groove in a vinyl record is a continuous analog series of arcs and curves that the needle follows. The music floats within the middle range of pitches, which is comfortable for humans to listen to. Likewise, the ear-rattling sounds of dubstep weren't really meant for your turntable. Coppertino Inc. 300 Delaware Ave, Suite 210-A, Wilmington, DE, 19801, USA. A few exceptions exist: Clear vinyl, picture discs and glow-in-the-dark pressings are more susceptible to poor playback. The material on this site may not be reproduced, distributed, transmitted, cached or otherwise used, except with the prior written permission of Advance Local. Vinyl is a carburetor in a fuel-injected world. Vinyl is far more high-quality. "It's very mid-range-y and very warm," a sound that flatters the fuzzy guitars of rock 'n' roll. A turntable’s basic function is to pick up the vibrations, emitted by the grooves of your records, via the tonearm and cartridge.The stylus then measures and converts these vibrations into an electrical signal that is amplified into sweet, sweet music, via your loudspeakers. Gonsalves has worked with artists ranging from Sufjan Stevens to Steve Aoki and proudly owns a '60s Scully lathe, the ruby-tipped device that cuts lacquer discs for plating and vinyl reproduction. What, a whole shelf’s worth? Vinyl is back, no doubt about it. I also think that in today's world a lot of the remasters of the old 60's stuff put out on CD is way better than them vinyl originals especially as most were in mono and even the ones done in stereo was pretty much tin pan alley recordings in comparison with today's standards of how sound quality as improved over the years. "All-analog" doesn't always happen: Many modern vinyl records are produced from digital masters, either recordings made natively in software such as Pro Tools or converted from tape before being sent along for mass production. No, no. Let’s play a game. Why Vinyl Sounds Better Than CD, Or Not According to Rolling Stone magazine, sales of vinyl albums continue to grow, setting a new record in 2010. Bands who meet those criteria are the ones you can find in a record shop. The vinyl format can generate other issues: crackles and pops, records that skip and the whine of a needle against the LP, all problems that the CD advertised itself on solving decades ago. Vinyl records sound better than CDs because they don’t experience a conversion like a compact disc. Sound quality depends on a lot of factors, and it is impossible to definitively state that either analog or digital is fundamentally better. Is the sound on vinyl records better than on CDs or DVDs? why does vinyl often sound better than cds? Okay, now check if you can find anything by Pink Floyd. any thoughts? It depends. Whether you’re playing tape or spinning vinyl, moving parts are involved in getting sound to reach your ears. Earn a commission ve probably heard it before: vinyl records sound better, maybe... S why mall stores like Urban Outfitters now sell turntables and display racks of vinyl with vinyl, discs... 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