Itâ€™s a viewpoint thatâ€™s well argued and that shows just how big the divide can be between new â€œdigitalâ€ DJs and the old school who were brought up on vinyl and record shops. Here is the reply to us in full:
You can use 3D printers and custom software to make everything from houses to pizzas, but did you know you could also 3D-print vinyl records?
Developer Amanda Ghassaei from Instructables is known for her alogorithm that converts audio data into 3D geometry data. She has subsequently used that alogorithm to manufacture 3D vinyl records for singles from artists like Nirvana, Pixies, Daft Punk, and Radiohead. More recently, the track Down Boy, performed by Bobbie Gordon and produced by Kele Okereke, was put onto a 3D-printed vinyl record using her alogorithm.
An Objet500 Connex 3D printer generated the disc for Down Boy, at fine settings like 600 dpi, with 16 micron steps. Gordon recently performed the tune at a launch party for the world’s first 3D-printing record store, where the limited-edition, 3D-printed version of her track went up for sale. Down Boy was a sponsored and documented project by Bacardi Beginnings, and it marked the first time that an original song had been released and sold as a 3D-printed album.
Ghassaei’s algorithim uses an 11 Khz sampling rate however, so the resolution of Down Boy is quite low. In fact, the final output is around 25 per cent of what you could get from an MP3. With such a poor rate, the Objet500 Connex actually cuts off high-range tones in most songs. It’s been said that 3D-printed records have a sound that is audible and distinguishable but still distant and hollow. Watch the video below for an example.
Ghassaei also said the resin residue of 3D-printed albums will eventually wear down a turntableâ€™s needle, but she insisted it is still “really cool to kind of push the technology.” Furthermore, it takes more than a gigabyte of data to 3D print an entire song, meaning a standard 12-inch LP can only hold one single. Her DIY website on Instructables explains in detail how to convert audio files into 33 RPM resin records. It also demonstrates how 3D printers create albums, layer by layer.
Although 3D-printed albums are thicker and stiffer and sound horrible when compared to vinyl records, you must think of all this as a stepping stone of sorts. The technology to produce 3D objects is still new and will likely be honed over time. Maybe one day it’ll be responsible for the full comeback of vinyl records. After all, music has been experiencing a vinyl revival over the last decade as audiophiles seek a warm and authentic music sound.
You can view Bacardi Beginnings’ video documentary for both Down Boy and the first 3D-printing record store (called The Vinyl Factory in central London), below.
German police have discovered what they reckon to be one of the largest illegal pressing plants in Europe.
Several properties were raided in both Bavaria and Hessen after preliminary investigations led by anti-piracy organisation proMedia at the instigation of the German record industry trade group BVMI, with support from global trade body IFPI.
BVMI CEO Dr Florian DrÃ¼cke said: â€œThanks to the excellent preparatory work and above all the precise work of the prosecutor and police, this raid has enabled us to pull the plug on the largest-ever undercover pressing plant for music in Europe. The equipment found here demonstrates once again that this is not the work of petty criminals, but of professional organisations whose criminal activities inflict massive damage on artists and the recording industryâ€.
On any given Tuesday in the 90s, I would hustle to the record shop after school to gawk at the new releases. Occasionally, I would take a CD home, greedily tear it open, pop it into my boombox, and listen while I pretended to do my homework. This wonderful experience has no value any more. It’s obsolete.
Listening to music is still amazing today, it’s just that you’d be crazy to buy a CD. That’s not me saying that: That’s what the whole world is saying. CD sales have been declining every year for more than a decade because CDs are effectively useless in a world where digital music files are so easy to play and transfer, legally or otherwise. (more…)