Several years ago I decided to move to the other side of the planet. Before I departed my biggest issue was what I would do with my sizable record collection. Luckily for me I have a very generous friend (Steve, thank you) who is taking care of my collection while am I away. I recorded and compressed some of my records, allowing me to bring parts of my collection with me. The lack of record shops in South East Asia and the sweltering heat hampers lugging around 20 kilos of Technics, so it was a ‘no brainer’ to go fully digital, or so I thought.
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Over the past 2 decades a whole range of new hardware and software has been readily available to the audiophile, with ever-increasing features at even more affordable prices. All these shiny boxes with flashing lights and inbuilt wizardry would make our lives easier, music production better. Some even make you a cup of coffee. A far cry from the days of 2 turntables and a simple 2 channel mixer. It is now, as I stare at an Ableton recovery prompt, last night it was a locked up Torq session, constant “driver issues”, incompatible formats and corrupted files, I fondly remember my vinyl collection.
What I miss most about my Vinyl collection
Obviously I miss listening and mixing on a trusty pair of Technics 1210s, but I miss the artwork and other details too. Inspecting the cover, the colorful and sometimes crazy artwork. Staring at the patterns of the ‘cut’, and of course reviewing the center stickers. Most importantly, scanning the inner bleed meticulously, searching for a message from the cutting engineer. The higher quality pressing have a tiny scrawl, not a blemish, an import mark in the run out, ‘NILZ – THE EXCHANGE’. After seeing this a smile of reassurance is sure to follow. The cutting engineers handle the delicate stages of vinyl production, from cutting voltages, bass responses and much more. Recently I was sad to read that Nilesh Patel passed away in late Decemeber 2011. Nilz was one of the finest cutting engineers ever, may he rest in peace.
Macs Technics ‘just work’
All this reminiscing brings me to my second favorite past-time of all, having a go at Apple users. Apple users often make idiotic statements such as ‘I use a Mac because they just work’. Sorry, but Technics owners got there before you. A record player doesn’t have to ‘boot’, there are no ‘updates’ to run, no hard-drive failures and no proprietary connectors. Technics just work, and I miss them a lot. Instead of spending hours chatting about and listening to music in the local independent record shops, I find my time consumed by endless searches of forums for bug fixes, driver updates and the nightmare of connecting equipment to firewire and USB ports in a convoluted sequence. But I guess that’s the price of progress.
You can enjoy all our Invisible Agent vinyl releases here on your new fangled digital device. Good luck ;)