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MP3
Old 4th May 2008
  #1
Gear Head
 

MP3

How do you feel about Beatport? What do you think about the business and where it's heading? I run a label and I have made 7 vinyl releases,, but I can't keep losing money, and even with good distro it's VERY hard to sell vinyl now.
What can a label/artist do to survive during this transition/ the death of vinyl as #1 format?

Thanks,
Levon Vincent
Old 4th May 2008
  #2
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DarkPlasma's Avatar
ALL the BEST and most exclusive music is still only coming out on vinyl. To be honest, if I was going to start a label in the near future, I would not deal digital at all.

digital is killing the industry...on the other hand, all the 'real' djs (im not talking about those who download a cracked version of ableton live, have no dj experience, and call themselves djs) are still buying vinyl.

imo, that is the only way I see making serious money of productions alone. Unless your topping #1 on Beatport 'constantly'...then you are also set.

Cheers.
Old 4th May 2008
  #3
PHR
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Quote:
Originally Posted by n***N View Post
ALL the BEST and most exclusive music is still only coming out on vinyl. To be honest, if I was going to start a label in the near future, I would not deal digital at all.

digital is killing the industry...on the other hand, all the 'real' djs (im not talking about those who download a cracked version of ableton live, have no dj experience, and call themselves djs) are still buying vinyl.

imo, that is the only way I see making serious money of productions alone. Unless your topping #1 on Beatport 'constantly'...then you are also set.

Cheers.
If you go start producing electronic music for the fame and money, you are not going to succeed. What is wrong with going digital?

C2, Dennis Ferrer, FK, Garnier, A-Trak, etc are still rocking dancefloors, even if they use laptops or spin digital. Innervisions, Wave, Planet E, Ovum, etc all release both digital and physical, still rock.

In the end it is about the music and how good it is, that will keep a label or an artist "alive".
Old 5th May 2008
  #4
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inthere's Avatar
 

I went CD last summer and I was one of the last to do it. Not going to go laptop because there's not really a need. And people watch me too closely when I'm playing for me to just sit back pushing buttons.

Reason I went CD is because my classic vinyl was getting scratched up going through baggage claim and I couldn't find replacements for ANYTHING. Record companies are now doing runs of 200-300 copies and the one copy you get is usually the last one you'll ever see.
Old 5th May 2008
  #5
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lockdown's Avatar
 

not to play devil's advocate, but digital distribution isn't killing anything. at this point it's the direction the industry is taking, and labels/artists are just adapting to the changing marketplace. if you don't want to release mp3s, more power to you. but if you do, i don't see how it's harming the marketplace.

i don't miss lugging around those heavy record crates that's for sure. there are plenty of DJs who spin digital and this isn't a direct indicator of their skills. i've seen plenty of DJs who equally suck regardless of their chosen medium to deliver the music.
Old 5th May 2008
  #6
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DarkPlasma's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by lockdown View Post
not to play devil's advocate, but digital distribution isn't killing anything. at this point it's the direction the industry is taking, and labels/artists are just adapting to the changing marketplace. if you don't want to release mp3s, more power to you. but if you do, i don't see how it's harming the marketplace.

i don't miss lugging around those heavy record crates that's for sure. there are plenty of DJs who spin digital and this isn't a direct indicator of their skills. i've seen plenty of DJs who equally suck regardless of their chosen medium to deliver the music.
here's an example of how its harming the marketplace:

someone buys a track on beatport (wav) $3.49
They then take it and post it on a file sharing server and distrubte the link to anyone in the world who knows that site. That is literally hundreds of throusands of people who will download that track illegally in the next few days. Now keep in mind that that copy is the same quality as the person who bought it. Now picture if that track was purchased by all those people.

99% of DJs are playing digital now. But the majority of them (not those who rely on software and would not be able to spin without it) are still buying Vinyl, and then digitize it. That is a skill to do it right, and you need pre's, compression, limiting, just like you would record a track. People who will take the time to do all that, will not be the ones to share that file on the net with anybody. Those who will, will be the ones who use low-end software like LAME encoder, and vinyl rip sounds like crap, and will not be played in the club.

And now think about all those DJs who get that top quality .wav or mp3 from a file sharing place (from someone who bought it on Beatport) and then just play it no problem, because the sound quality is perfect to play at a club. They are playing a producer's track who put hours and hours into their music, probably spent a fortune on equipment, and they did not pay a penny to play it to the crowd, when they LOVE that track. How is that for the 21st century?? Not just people at home downloading music for their pleasure, but playing illegal tracks to a crowd!!!

Those who want KILLER music will pay the price for vinyl, if they cant find that track on digital downloads. DJs all over the world are still buying records weekly, both inside the store and online, and then take the time to properly turn them into digital that will be th best quality possible.

I dont believe in digital downloads, period. Vinyl all the way. If DJs choose to turn them into digital, that is their choice, but distributing digital is a whole other story.

But for those who really suffer from digital downloads, there is only one thing left to do, and that is ban all file sharing servers. If that happens, people will begin to buy more music and the whole situation will stabilize. If not, and the music continues the way it is now, well, there will be no music soon enough. Music is passion no doubt; but you still need to make money. There will always be piracy out there, just like there was piracy 10 years ago. But in todays levels it is just ridicolous beyong belief.
Old 5th May 2008
  #7
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sure, i'm not unware of file sharing. now picture a guy who buys vinyl, digitizes it, and then posts it on a file sharing network. just because a release is only on vinyl doesn't mean it won't show up on file sharing sites. vinyl, the medium by itself, isn't protecting anything. i don't buy the black/white categorizations of music buyers versus music pirates that you've presented in your post below.

in fact, i bet a lot of 'music producers' have partaken at least once in music piracy. like they say, he/she who hasn't committed 'music piracy' may throw the first stone.

seriously, the root of this issue is the advent of digitizing technology, and that isn't going away. either artists/labels need to adapt with it, or go the way of the dodo. but that's only my opinion.

you're making a ton of generalizations in your post that don't hold any water (including made up stats). but, i feel you and understand where you're coming from. i'm only commenting on the realities of the current marketplace.

there's crap music only on vinyl. again, the medium doesn't dictate the quality of the music or the DJ.



Quote:
Originally Posted by n***N View Post
here's an example of how its harming the marketplace:

someone buys a track on beatport (wav) $3.49
They then take it and post it on a file sharing server and distrubte the link to anyone in the world who knows that site. That is literally hundreds of throusands of people who will download that track illegally in the next few days. Now keep in mind that that copy is the same quality as the person who bought it. Now picture if that track was purchased by all those people.

99% of DJs are playing digital now. But the majority of them (not those who rely on software and would not be able to spin without it) are still buying Vinyl, and then digitize it. That is a skill to do it right, and you need pre's, compression, limiting, just like you would record a track. People who will take the time to do all that, will not be the ones to share that file on the net with anybody. Those who will, will be the ones who use low-end software like LAME encoder, and vinyl rip sounds like crap, and will not be played in the club.

And now think about all those DJs who get that top quality .wav or mp3 from a file sharing place (from someone who bought it on Beatport) and then just play it no problem, because the sound quality is perfect to play at a club. They are playing a producer's track who put hours and hours into their music, probably spent a fortune on equipment, and they did not pay a penny to play it to the crowd, when they LOVE that track. How is that for the 21st century?? Not just people at home downloading music for their pleasure, but playing illegal tracks to a crowd!!!

Those who want KILLER music will pay the price for vinyl, if they cant find that track on digital downloads. DJs all over the world are still buying records weekly, both inside the store and online, and then take the time to properly turn them into digital that will be th best quality possible.

I dont believe in digital downloads, period. Vinyl all the way. If DJs choose to turn them into digital, that is their choice, but distributing digital is a whole other story.

But for those who really suffer from digital downloads, there is only one thing left to do, and that is ban all file sharing servers. If that happens, people will begin to buy more music and the whole situation will stabilize. If not, and the music continues the way it is now, well, there will be no music soon enough. Music is passion no doubt; but you still need to make money. There will always be piracy out there, just like there was piracy 10 years ago. But in todays levels it is just ridicolous beyong belief.
Old 5th May 2008
  #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DivineChemical View Post
I for one see no legitimate purpose in the file sharing sites still being alive. Even the ones with that ridiculous twenty dollar monthly fee aren't fair as the person downloading can still download an entire terabyte's worth of music before the end of a month.
I know honestly. And its more like twenty dollars for 3 months! lol

How is the MPC?? Did you try the drums on that thing yet?
Old 5th May 2008
  #9
its a miracle that vinyl still exists. its big, unhandy to carry and is easily beeing damaged.

the only pure advantage is that its nice to put hands on them buy djiing them. and its kinda cool to spin it. soundquality doesnt differs anymore today since everything is digitally produced/mastered.

sooner or later vinyl is just a relic. like it or hate it, wont matter.

the advantage of beeing more "handy" when you play them is getting more and more unargue-able because modern dj-software offers far more possibilities for playing compared to put 2 tunes together and let them go. systems are improving every minute.

if you like it or not. digital web-friendly formas is the only thing we will all face very soon same goes for distribution, marketing, etc. djs are important, producers are important. websites are important. labels wont, vinyls wont.

2 cents.
Old 5th May 2008
  #10
Here for the gear
Don't blame it all on the customer. The labels are very guilty of this, too!
The labels make new tunes during the week and want to play out their music on the events that weekend. Now, had they gone the oldskool route, they would've had to send the tunes off for master and then have it pressed, so that they could play out their dubplates. The way it works today is they finish their tune, smash it into L2, burn it on a noname CD-R and play it out. If they notice that the crowd reaction isn't all that great, they spent almost no money on their tracks.
Many labels have a few artists from around the globe working for them. In the old days, whenever those artists would DJ, they would have to wait for the vinyl to be shipped to them instead of just getting the WAV in a sendspace-link and burning it to a CD-R within <15 minutes.
The vinyl would usually crackle and pop etc. whereas the WAV will have none of that, since it's all digital.
So you see, there are many reasons (time and money) for labels not to use vinyl when they play out.

When any up and coming DJs see what hardware the pros use, they tend to copy them. You've probably bought gear, just because some professional you like used it, yourself.

The result is that everyone uses digital. It's also very easy to adopt, because you can rip vinyls to digital, so you're not missing out on anything by going digital.

Using the vinyl medium as a means of lessening piracy is not the way to go. You can argue about how the quality is poor in a ripped vinyl, but the fact is that most people either don't care enough about the quality to be bothered by it or don't care enough about your music when there's so much other music readily available for them to download on beatport.

In this day and age where intellectual property is easily accessible and many big labels offer mp3 downloads on sites like beatport, you would only make it harder for yourself by making the music inaccessible for your fans.

The way it looks now is that vinyl is on its way out. I hate it, but it's a fact. I love the idea of having a huge 12" record spinning on ingenious equipment blasting out all the latest tunes, but as the music industry looks now, it's just not feasible.
Old 6th May 2008
  #11
ksr
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I hope that vinyl keeps alive as far as possible. I am a dj and also collector. I am afraid of not having an option to buy my favorite music on my favorite medium. Very sad for me...

So bless everyone who buys vinyls and those who are willing to press them.heh

Technological progress does not have to be always cultural progress too. Vinyl is for me like a beautiful frame of a painting. The artwork of the cover is also imporatant. In case of digigital releases They do not have such sense.
Old 6th May 2008
  #12
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Digital isn't a bad thing by default. There was a thread on gearslutz a while ago about using high end converters in combination with 24 bit/96k sessions within DJ sets. Think using Ableton Live in that way for example.

Don't get me wrong, I'm a big vinyl fan and I also hate that it's leaving the DJ booths, but I also see the advantages of spinning with CD's. I am still getting used to it though.
Old 6th May 2008
  #13
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for ages I told myself I would never sell out to cds, I would always play vinyl, and for quite a few years I spent most of the money I acumulated on new tracks. The thing was, there were so so many tracks I wanted that just did not show up at my local record store. I ordered online a lot and that was even more expensive... Eventually I figured out, hey, this is ridiculous. My musical creativity as a dj is being hindered by how much money I spend on records! That's crazy - that was when I made the personal decision that, to me, the message is more important than the medium. If I want to express myself uniquely with as few limits as possible, I need better access to more music. So I signed up for beatport. It's for the best anyway because over 95% of the clubs in toronto don't even have techs, just cdjs. I had turned down gigs because they didn't have turntables. Now that was just silly.
Old 6th May 2008
  #14
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Vinyl does sound better than digital. There are some recordings where there's a huge difference (think "Intro" by Alan Braxe and Fred Falke) that don't and probably never will sound great digitally. Other recordings just plain suck and it doesn't make a difference.

95% of today's clubs are crap in the sound system department, and I say this from playing all over the world for years. The majority of clubs I play in, and I'm talking clubs with 2000+ capacity, don't even have stereo because stereo is too difficult. A lot of clubs have the promoter's girlfriend or some relative doing the sound.

In the mid 80's, I remember when every single club i played in had a Richard Long sound system, with not only a separate sound system for live PA's, but also separate lighting.

The last 20 sets I've done with live PA's also on the bill had the live PA's singing through the DJ mixer with no effects. These are all shows with 1000+ people.


With that commitment to quality the issue of vinyl vs digital for sound quality no longer enters the equation.
Old 6th May 2008
  #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tommylicious View Post
There was a thread on gearslutz a while ago about using high end converters in combination with 24 bit/96k sessions within DJ sets. Think using Ableton Live in that way for example.
And so often, if one takes the trouble to do so, one gets to feed all that hi-res goodness into a lovely Pioneer mixer. tutt

Not that I don't salute the efforts (and strive to do so myself--88khz through Traktor--, though I debate with myself whether vinyl, with the hi-freq roll-off, truly needs to be ripped at a higher rate...).

Peece,
T. Tauri
Old 6th May 2008
  #16
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out of curiosity, what is, in your opinion of course, the club with the best sound system that you've played at?
i've read somewhere that Fabric in the UK is considered to have one of the better sound systems. i believe they use a funktion-one system.

Quote:
Originally Posted by inthere View Post
Vinyl does sound better than digital. There are some recordings where there's a huge difference (think "Intro" by Alan Braxe and Fred Falke) that don't and probably never will sound great digitally. Other recordings just plain suck and it doesn't make a difference.

95% of today's clubs are crap in the sound system department, and I say this from playing all over the world for years. The majority of clubs I play in, and I'm talking clubs with 2000+ capacity, don't even have stereo because stereo is too difficult. A lot of clubs have the promoter's girlfriend or some relative doing the sound.
Old 7th May 2008
  #17
Are the majority of kids that go out on the weekend interested in the difference between vinyl and mp3, or mono vs stereo?
Old 7th May 2008
  #18
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inthere's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by lockdown View Post
out of curiosity, what is, in your opinion of course, the club with the best sound system that you've played at?
All time: Paradise Garage in New York.
Today: Maxims in Paris and M2 in Seoul, South Korea
Old 7th May 2008
  #19
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inthere's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by chrisso View Post
Are the majority of kids that go out on the weekend interested in the difference between vinyl and mp3, or mono vs stereo?
No.
Old 7th May 2008
  #20
Quote:
Originally Posted by DivineChemical View Post
I could have never pulled that off in software!
Maybe you couldn't have.
But quickly laying down ideas is one of the things software really excels at.
People carry small laptops with 'lite' software specifically for that purpose.
I still don't get the software is evil angle.
It's just another tool.
Old 7th May 2008
  #21
Quote:
Originally Posted by inthere View Post
No.
heh
I thought not.
thumbsup
Old 7th May 2008
  #22
I rest my case.
heh
Old 7th May 2008
  #23
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DarkPlasma's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by DivineChemical View Post
An MPC takes about five seconds to boot up. A computer takes a couple minutes. Considering the time constraints involved, it would have been impossible to do that on a computer.

Software isn't evil. If it were, I wouldn't have so much trouble stomaching that crap. I think of it more as being a Golgothan **** Demon.

Is that from Dogma?? LOL heh
Old 8th May 2008
  #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ttauri View Post
And so often, if one takes the trouble to do so, one gets to feed all that hi-res goodness into a lovely Pioneer mixer. tutt
Yeah, it's really amazing how we all take stuff for granted once something is declared "industry standard". (I must admit I actually have one because I wanted a standard DJ setup )


---

Quote:
Originally Posted by inthere View Post
There are some recordings where there's a huge difference (think "Intro" by Alan Braxe and Fred Falke) that don't and probably never will sound great digitally.
Very good example, thought it was just me...
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