HD audio - PONO
Recently I was asked "what is the best way to clean vinyl records?" It was something I had never done because until lately all my records were bought new and I kept them immaculately. Since buying some second hand records I needed to do the washing so today was my first attempt. After reading about how others did it, I concluded that an actual wash in warm soapy water is just as good as using alcohol, other chemicals, or special cleaning devices. Here is how I did it, I...
1. chose a record with noticeable surface dirt and noise (one that is replaceable!)
2. filled the laundry tub with warm water (don't use hot - it will buckle the LP)
3. added 3 squirts of dishwashing liquid (the biodegradable, gentle on hands type)
4. made a cradle for the LP out of wire
5. put the LP onto the wire (through the centre hole)
6. rotated the LP several times while washing with a micro-fibre cloth
7. rinsed off with cold water
8. removed the record from the wire and put on a lint-free towel on the table
9. gently patted the label with a paper towel to dry
10. left it supported on a V shaped piece of cardboard to dry (this only took 10 mins)
result: the visible dirt (dull areas etc) was gone. When played there was still a little surface noise, but the pops and clicks were all gone.
Update: I have now done my first batch of 15 dirty records. The process above worked fine, the only difference is having enough towels laid out for this number of records, and since I was doing a lot I skipped the part where the LP sat on a card - I just left them on the towel (don't forget to turn them over so both sides get completely dry). I have two copies of some titles so in some cases I washed one only to compare. As stated above, washing cleans the record. On some there is still noticeable surface noise, but generally there is an improvement. What washing cannot do is fix damaged grooves (whether caused by incorrect playing or rough handling), and scratch noises appear worse because the rest of the track is quieter.
"Everything Was Right: The Beatles' Revolver" is a two hour internet radio program hosted by Paul Ingles in which musicians, writers, and Beatle fans explore what made Revolver one of the top rock albums of all time.
If that has whet your appetite there is also "The White Album Listening Party: Revisiting The Beatles' Top-Seller", a three hour exposé of The Beatles aka The White Album.
Electronic Dance Music beats
If, like me you are too old to know exactly what sub-zero minimal techno is, help is at hand. Attack Magazine has a webpage showing how to put together various dance rhythms.
The music educators of Berks County have put together a page of links to articles on research that associates music to better cognitive performance in other areas (eg maths). Possibly nothing new here, but it is handy to have all these listed in one place.
CDs still popular in Japan
Compact discs account for 80% of all music sales in Japan. In 2012 CD sales rose, and downloaded music sales fell. The trend is attributed to an ageing buying public, and a Japanese liking for a physical product.
"Ohm Studio is the first and only pro grade, cloud-based collaborative Digital Audio Workstation. Whether you're a band who need to record a demo, a polished LP, a professional musician, teacher, student, a hobbyist - this changes everything. Time and space are so passé!"
Pirates of the Caribbean
I went to hear this last night - the first Pirates of the Caribbean movie with the score presented with a live orchestra. The Christchurch Symphony Orchestra was accompanied by a small choir, and Hamish Oliver on synthesiser (for bells and low frequency rumble). The music was miked up through the PA so a proper balance of all aspects of the sound could be done - and good it sounded too.
The Beatles - All These Years
Mark Lewisohn (who wrote "The Complete Beatles Chronicle: The Definitive Day-By-Day Guide to the Beatles' Entire Career") has just completed a new book on the Beatles. Taking a leaf out of The Lord of The Rings trilogy, the first of three books is titled "Tune In" and is 900 pages long. Although these will be not the first to cover the story of the Beatles, they certainly will be the most comprehensive.
Lorde hits no 1 in the USA
NZ singer Lorde has topped the US Billboard chart with the song "Royals". Not bad going for a 16 year old kid from lil' ol' New Zealand. Joel Little co-wrote and produced the song.
Update: Royals has now been at the top of the Billboard 100 for seven straight weeks, and is the cover story on this weeks Billboard magazine.