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Ripping vinyl to FLAC & MP3: A Never-Ending Joyful Task

This has been a strange week musically.

I always clean and rip all my vinyl when I get it. I always rip my records to 96KHz/24bit WAV files, then convert them to FLAC files (as backup) and MP3s (for regular use on my iPod).

Yes, I could download the MP3s (most vinyl comes with a free download of the album anyway) but I like the fact that the MP3s on my iPod are uniquely mine and that they are ripped from vinyl. Without getting into too much detail, a lot of digital music is over-compressed and sounds distorted to me.

Due to the nature of a vinyl record, this over-compression almost never happens with vinyl as opposed to CD or MP3. So when I rip my vinyl to an MP3, the MP3 that I make generally sounds clearer and less distorted than the ones you could make from a CD of the same album or the MP3s that are provided with the vinyl which themselves are made from the CD version of the album anyway. It is a completely different mastering process and the vinyl masters generally sound warmer and clearer to me. (check “loudness wars” on Wikipedia for more information, or wait for my blog post about it, LOL!).

This week, while looking through my database (yes, I have a database to help me keep track of what records I own!) I discovered that quite a few of my records hadn’t yet been ripped to 96/24!!!

It comes down to experience. When I fist started ripping my vinyl to FLAC, I didn’t really know much about the process and the equipment I had was limited; so I was ripping everything to 48KHz/16bit. Now that I have upgraded my equipment and have a better idea of what I am doing, I want to re-rip and replace these lower quality digital back up files and MP3s.

Going through my database, I discovered that there are actually a couple of hundred records that I need to clean and listen to again! Since I don’t usually buy things I don’t like, this in and of itself isn’t a hardship. In fact, I am quite enjoying it! I have been listening to a mix of older purchases with more recent acquisitions and I have been having a great time… however, as I said, it makes for some strange musical listening experiences!

Below is a sample of my listening playlist from this week’s vinyl rip-a-thon. These are the albums I have finished making FLACs and MP3s of.

  • Bob Marley Legend” / “Confrontation” / “Exodus
  • Black SabbathSabotage” / “Vol 4” / “Heaven and Hell” / “Mob Rules” / “We Sold Our Soul for Rock’N’Roll”
  • Marina Love + Fear
  • You Said StrangeYou Said Strange EP1
  • 10ccGreatest Hits
  • The Style CouncilOur Favourite Shop
  • Duran DuranNotorious
  • The BanglesGreatest Hits
  • The Rolling StonesHONK
  • Public Image LimitedThat What Is Not
  • Robbie NevilRobbie Nevil
  • The Jesus and Mary Chain Honey’s Dead

I have eclectic tastes to be sure, but this off-kilter playlist is making my head spin! HAHA! Only 1 of those records was a fairly recent purchase and was not really to my liking. Bonus points if you can guess which one. Hint: it’s not a recent release. 😉

One thing I have really enjoyed, though, is the feeling of rediscovering old friends. Yes, I already have almost all of these records as MP3s, so it isn’t as if I couldn’t hear them whenever I wanted, but the simple act of taking the record out of its sleeve, cleaning it, and then placing the needle in the groove to listen to a full side uninterrupted… it is a unique experience! I have reacquainted myself with Black Sabbath‘s incredible power and their mastery of the sudden tempo change; the driving bass of Bob Marley that only vinyl seems to do justice to, and the bright clean sounds of The Bangles‘ amazing harmonies. I have been having a wonderful time!

Speaking of eclectic tastes; have you heard of the band YOU SAID STRANGE? I am LOVING their stuff. They definitely deserve some kind of write up. Expect a blog post eventually…. They remind me of The Doors… But… not.

You should really check them out. You can stream their first two EPs on Bandcamp or buy their album via Fuzz Club.

That’s it for now! Thanks for reading all the way to the bottom! 🙂

Here is just a sample of some of the stuff I will be listening to in the next few weeks as I re-rip my vinyl to a higher quality digital file!! Can’t Wait! Is there anything on this list that you happen to also love? Do any of these albums remind you of something else that you love? Tell me about it!

Leave a comment below!

  • Anne Dudley and Jaz Coleman – “Songs From The Victorious City” / “Minarets and Memories (12″)”
  • Belle and Sebastian – “Tigermilk” / “If You’re Feeling Sinister” / “The Life Pursuit” / “The BBC Sessions”
  • Black Uhuru – “Now” / “Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner” / “Red”
  • The KLF – “The White Room” (UK) LP
  • BoDeans – “Love & Hope & Sex & Dreams” / “Outside Looking In” / “Home”
  • Boris Mikulic – “Break Free (12′)”
  • Cansei de Ser Sexy – “C.S.S.”
  • Catherine Wheel – “Chrome” / “Black Metallic (12″)”
  • The Field Mice – “Skywriting” / “For Keeps”
  • George Michael – “Faith”
  • Forgotten Rebels – “In Love With The System” / “This Ain’t Hollywood”
  • Frank Zappa – “Apostrophe (‘)” / “Sheik Yerbouti”
  • Gowan – “Strange Animal”
  • The Housemartins – “The People Who Grinned Themselves To Death” / “Now That’s What I Call Quite Good”
  • Indigo Girls – “Indigo Girls”
  • Interpol – “Antics” / “Our Love to Admire” / “Interpol” / “Turn On The Bright Lights”
  • J.J. Fad – “Supersonic (12″)”
  • Johnny Cash – “Bitter Tears”
  • Ladyhawke – “Anxiety”
  • Ladytron – “604” / “Light & Magic” / “Gravity the Seducer”
  • The Legends – “Public Radio” / “Up Against The Legends” / “Facts And Figures”
  • Malcolm McLaren – “Fans”
  • Marianne Faithfull – “Broken English”
  • Patsy Cline – “The Best of Patsy Cline”
  • The Pretenders – “Get Close” / “The Very Best of the Pretenders”
  • The Radio Dept. – “Clinging to a Scheme” / “Pet Grief” / “Lesser Matters”
  • The Rain – “To The Citadel”
  • The Rolling Stones – “Emotional Rescue”
  • Sarah McLachlan – “Fumbling Towards Ecstasy” / “The Freedom Sessions” / “Surfacing”
  • The School – “Wasting Away And Wondering” / “Loveless Unbeliever”
  • Yoko Ono & Plastic Ono Band – “Between My Head And The Sky”
  • Yumi Matsutoya – “The Gallery in my Heart” / ‘Reincarnation” / “Yuming Brand” / “Benisuziume”

Here, for fun, is a little Spotify playlist for you of You Said Strange‘s amazing 2018 debut album “Salvation Prayer“, released via Fuzz Club Records in the UK.

#music #vinyl #vinylcollection #myvinylcollection #yousaidstrange #recordcollection #myrecordcollection #birdienumnumsmusic #Taiwan #Chiayi #台灣 #嘉義 #黑膠唱片 #音樂 #musicboxtw

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