1745: "Record Scratch"

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1745: "Record Scratch"

Postby thunk » Wed Oct 12, 2016 4:08 am UTC

Image

Alt-text: The 78-rpm era was closer to the Civil War than to today.

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Re: 1745: "Record Scratch"

Postby ucim » Wed Oct 12, 2016 5:14 am UTC

What? No love for cylinders?

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Re: 1745: "Record Scratch"

Postby Pfhorrest » Wed Oct 12, 2016 5:25 am UTC

I prefer my music recorded in ink on paper.

The playback mechanism is a 90-piece orchestra.

It just has more, I dunno, warmth than the newer formats.
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Re: 1745: "Record Scratch"

Postby rhomboidal » Wed Oct 12, 2016 5:34 am UTC

Analog vinyl record scratches have indisputably superior audio quality to digital CD skips AND mp3 stutters.

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Re: 1745: "Record Scratch"

Postby bazza » Wed Oct 12, 2016 6:07 am UTC

Pfhorrest wrote:I prefer my music recorded in ink on paper.

The playback mechanism is a 90-piece orchestra.

It just has more, I dunno, warmth than the newer formats.


Reminds me of a story I was told dating back to when things like iPods were a "new" concept. Someone explained to the Queen (HM Queen Elisabeth 2nd of the UK that is) what an iPod was, and just how brilliant it was, how amazing it was to be able to listen to literally any music you liked anywhere, anytime, and as many times as you like.

Now HM is one sharp cookie, knew what it was immediately of course (no doubt someone had said similar things about Walkmans), and came up with a response that showed the true meaning of the word "regal". She said,

"So then, just like the band of the Grenadier Guards?"

The Grenadier Guards, a regiment in the British Army, has had a band for over 330 years, and has been playing whatever the monarch wishes all that time. iPod? Pah, 300 years too late.

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Re: 1745: "Record Scratch"

Postby fluffysheap » Wed Oct 12, 2016 6:34 am UTC

I guess it depends on your definition of the "78 RPM era." 78 RPM became standardized in 1925, 60 years from the end of the Civil War. It "ended" (in the sense of most popular music no longer being available in this format) around 1955, 61 years from today. However, 78 RPM records continued to be produced into the 1970s.

However, records of approximately 78 RPM, which would play adequately on the later standardized 78 RPM players, were being made in the late 19th century - closer to not only the Civil War but the Revolutionary War than today.

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Re: 1745: "Record Scratch"

Postby commodorejohn » Wed Oct 12, 2016 6:40 am UTC

*eyes his LP of Close to the Edge, 2013 pressing...*
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Re: 1745: "Record Scratch"

Postby Envelope Generator » Wed Oct 12, 2016 7:02 am UTC

My record scratch is 220. I should practice more.
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Re: 1745: "Record Scratch"

Postby peteispo » Wed Oct 12, 2016 7:55 am UTC

The "78 RPM era" might be close to your Civil War, but not ours...

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Re: 1745: "Record Scratch"

Postby sfmans » Wed Oct 12, 2016 9:55 am UTC

commodorejohn wrote:*eyes his LP of Close to the Edge, 2013 pressing...*


Aargh, earworm!

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I've got databases to wrangle and code to write, I can't be sat here playing the entirety of that through from memory :)

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Re: 1745: "Record Scratch"

Postby cellocgw » Wed Oct 12, 2016 12:24 pm UTC

Pfhorrest wrote:I prefer my music recorded in ink on paper.

The playback mechanism is a 90-piece orchestra.

It just has more, I dunno, warmth than the newer formats.


[imagines a 90-piece orchestration of Miles Davis Quintet performances] OHGODNO
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Re: 1745: "Record Scratch"

Postby popman » Wed Oct 12, 2016 12:41 pm UTC

What aesthetic is this comic trying to mimic?
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Re: 1745: "Record Scratch"

Postby phlip » Wed Oct 12, 2016 1:02 pm UTC

popman wrote:
What aesthetic is this comic trying to mimic?

It's a trope of TV sitcoms. There's a party, or somesuch... music is playing in the background, there's a lot of people partying, no-one is really paying attention to the main character. Then the character does something particularly embarassing. All the other people stop partying, spin around and stare at what's happening, and the music stops, usually with a stock sound effect of a needle being dragged across a record.

That's the most common configuration, anyway. It can also come up any time a sitcom is using background music to establish some sort of mood, and then there's a reveal that the mood was just a joke, and the background music stops with a record scratch.

If you feel like wasting an afternoon or two, feel free to follow this link that leads to TVTropes.

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Re: 1745: "Record Scratch"

Postby HokieNerd » Wed Oct 12, 2016 1:07 pm UTC

peteispo wrote:The "78 RPM era" might be close to your Civil War, but not ours...


Define "ours".

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Re: 1745: "Record Scratch"

Postby Rysto » Wed Oct 12, 2016 1:10 pm UTC

HokieNerd wrote:
peteispo wrote:The "78 RPM era" might be close to your Civil War, but not ours...


Define "ours".


My money is on "English".

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Re: 1745: "Record Scratch"

Postby cellocgw » Wed Oct 12, 2016 1:21 pm UTC

Rysto wrote:
HokieNerd wrote:
peteispo wrote:The "78 RPM era" might be close to your Civil War, but not ours...


Define "ours".


My money is on "English".


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Re: 1745: "Record Scratch"

Postby richP » Wed Oct 12, 2016 1:21 pm UTC

The 78 RPM reference kinda fell flat for me. The XKCD trope "X is closer to Y than today" only works if you have a meaningful personal connection to X. I don't think I've ever even seen a 78 RPM record (and I grew up listening to both albums and 45s).

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Re: 1745: "Record Scratch"

Postby mpking » Wed Oct 12, 2016 1:35 pm UTC

richP wrote:The 78 RPM reference kinda fell flat for me. The XKCD trope "X is closer to Y than today" only works if you have a meaningful personal connection to X. I don't think I've ever even seen a 78 RPM record (and I grew up listening to both albums and 45s).


Actually, that WAS the point. We use a record scratch as a social marker in TV/Film (See the TVTropes linked in the post above), but the Majority of people don't have a meaningful personal connection to records.

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Re: 1745: "Record Scratch"

Postby commodorejohn » Wed Oct 12, 2016 2:09 pm UTC

mpking wrote:Actually, that WAS the point. We use a record scratch as a social marker in TV/Film (See the TVTropes linked in the post above), but the Majority of people don't have a meaningful personal connection to records.

I'm not sure I buy that assertion. Are there more people alive under the age of, say, 25 than over it? Because I was born in 1985 and my parents didn't switch to CDs until well into the early '90s; I had plenty of personal connection to vinyl records long before I started to get into it myself.
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Re: 1745: "Record Scratch"

Postby Old Bruce » Wed Oct 12, 2016 3:14 pm UTC

The start of the Beatles recording career is closer to the start of WW I than today. Four years from now you will be able to say "the Beatles career is closer to World War One than it is to today".

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Re: 1745: "Record Scratch"

Postby somitomi » Wed Oct 12, 2016 4:22 pm UTC

rhomboidal wrote:Analog vinyl record scratches have indisputably superior audio quality to digital CD skips AND mp3 stutters.

Not to mention tape dropouts.
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Re: 1745: "Record Scratch"

Postby Plutarch » Wed Oct 12, 2016 5:12 pm UTC

This gave me a cheerful memory of when I was at school - in the days of records - when, if you had a record with a small scratch on it, you didn't bother about it that much (well, some people did actually, but I didn't) and you'd just keep playing it anyway. And, if you let someone tape your record on cassette, that small scratch would forever be on their tape, reminding them where it came from. You can still encounter this occasionally on Youtube, a few songs put there with audible scratches on the original.

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Re: 1745: "Record Scratch"

Postby Pfhorrest » Wed Oct 12, 2016 5:35 pm UTC

pet peeve: when people say "albums" and mean, not only vinyl, but a specific format of vinyl.

you do know that albums -- collections of songs in a single, well, album -- continue to be produced through the era of CDs and into the modern download era, right?
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Re: 1745: "Record Scratch"

Postby Whizbang » Wed Oct 12, 2016 5:37 pm UTC

Yeah, but when they say it there is a silent FU in there.

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Re: 1745: "Record Scratch"

Postby AndrewGPaul » Wed Oct 12, 2016 6:12 pm UTC

One of two reasons why the phrase "I'm sorry, I've played that at the wrong speed" in a Merseyside accent is becoming sadly much less well-known. :(

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Re: 1745: "Record Scratch"

Postby Steve the Pocket » Wed Oct 12, 2016 6:36 pm UTC

phlip wrote:
popman wrote:
What aesthetic is this comic trying to mimic?

It's a trope of TV sitcoms. There's a party, or somesuch... music is playing in the background, there's a lot of people partying, no-one is really paying attention to the main character. Then the character does something particularly embarassing. All the other people stop partying, spin around and stare at what's happening, and the music stops, usually with a stock sound effect of a needle being dragged across a record.

That's the most common configuration, anyway. It can also come up any time a sitcom is using background music to establish some sort of mood, and then there's a reveal that the mood was just a joke, and the background music stops with a record scratch.

If you feel like wasting an afternoon or two, feel free to follow this link that leads to TVTropes.

He might have been referring to the thing where all the action on the screen freezes except the main character (I think that's what the grayed-out effect is meant to symbolize), who then takes some time out to address the audience directly. I know I've seen that somewhere before, and it's on the tip of my tongue.
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Re: 1745: "Record Scratch"

Postby gmalivuk » Wed Oct 12, 2016 6:48 pm UTC

Steve the Pocket wrote:
phlip wrote:
popman wrote:
What aesthetic is this comic trying to mimic?

It's a trope of TV sitcoms. There's a party, or somesuch... music is playing in the background, there's a lot of people partying, no-one is really paying attention to the main character. Then the character does something particularly embarassing. All the other people stop partying, spin around and stare at what's happening, and the music stops, usually with a stock sound effect of a needle being dragged across a record.

That's the most common configuration, anyway. It can also come up any time a sitcom is using background music to establish some sort of mood, and then there's a reveal that the mood was just a joke, and the background music stops with a record scratch.

If you feel like wasting an afternoon or two, feel free to follow this link that leads to TVTropes.
He might have been referring to the thing where all the action on the screen freezes except the main character (I think that's what the grayed-out effect is meant to symbolize), who then takes some time out to address the audience directly. I know I've seen that somewhere before, and it's on the tip of my tongue.
Yeah, the "you're probably wondering" line also suggests that you're right. I'm sure there's a TVTropes article about that one as well, but I wouldn't know how to find it if "record needle scratch" is the title of the one linked above.

Edit: There is a Know Your Meme article about the recent surge of references to the trope, which is probably the intended context of the comic: http://knowyourmeme.com/memes/record-sc ... eeze-frame

There's also a tvtropes discussion page about the freeze-frame introduction, which seems to be the same basic idea without necessarily including the record scratch: http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/discussion.p ... 4y31lmn6r5
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Re: 1745: "Record Scratch"

Postby Eebster the Great » Wed Oct 12, 2016 8:15 pm UTC

rhomboidal wrote:Analog vinyl record scratches have indisputably superior audio quality to digital CD skips AND mp3 stutters.

True, but it's a lot easier to keep your CD from skipping than your album from getting scratched (and mp3 files should never really stutter on modern hardware).

Pfhorrest wrote:pet peeve: when people say "albums" and mean, not only vinyl, but a specific format of vinyl.

you do know that albums -- collections of songs in a single, well, album -- continue to be produced through the era of CDs and into the modern download era, right?

According to Wikipedia, "record albums" even predate LPs by at least 20 years if not more.

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Re: 1745: "Record Scratch"

Postby Western Rover » Wed Oct 12, 2016 8:32 pm UTC

commodorejohn wrote:
mpking wrote:Actually, that WAS the point. We use a record scratch as a social marker in TV/Film (See the TVTropes linked in the post above), but the Majority of people don't have a meaningful personal connection to records.

I'm not sure I buy that assertion. Are there more people alive under the age of, say, 25 than over it? Because I was born in 1985 and my parents didn't switch to CDs until well into the early '90s; I had plenty of personal connection to vinyl records long before I started to get into it myself.


Well, I was born in 1969, my parents had two shelves of records, we regularly borrowed records from the library, and in my youth it was one of the privileges of a sick child to have the record player brought into the bedroom . . . and yet I have probably heard more fake record scratches in my lifetime than real ones.

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Re: 1745: "Record Scratch"

Postby rmsgrey » Wed Oct 12, 2016 10:05 pm UTC

Pfhorrest wrote:I prefer my music recorded in ink on paper.

The playback mechanism is a 90-piece orchestra.

It just has more, I dunno, warmth than the newer formats.


To quote Michael Flanders: "I can't think of anything I should like less than having an orchestra actually playing in my living room."

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Re: 1745: "Record Scratch"

Postby commodorejohn » Wed Oct 12, 2016 10:12 pm UTC

Eebster the Great wrote:According to Wikipedia, "record albums" even predate LPs by at least 20 years if not more.

I'm not sure about the exact timespan, but this is definitely true. I've got a couple 78 albums from the '40s, and they're literal albums: big book-bound sets of individual discs with one or two songs to a side. (I've also seen generic "albums" in thrift stores with random assortments of 78s in them, but I gather we're speaking of songs that were actually released as a set.)
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Re: 1745: "Record Scratch"

Postby Mikeski » Thu Oct 13, 2016 12:49 am UTC

commodorejohn wrote:(I've also seen generic "albums" in thrift stores with random assortments of 78s in them, but I gather we're speaking of songs that were actually released as a set.)

The mixtape-for-my-girlfriend is that old, too? OK, the timeghost got me there.

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Re: 1745: "Record Scratch"

Postby StClair » Thu Oct 13, 2016 2:26 am UTC

Western Rover wrote:
commodorejohn wrote:
mpking wrote:Actually, that WAS the point. We use a record scratch as a social marker in TV/Film (See the TVTropes linked in the post above), but the Majority of people don't have a meaningful personal connection to records.

I'm not sure I buy that assertion. Are there more people alive under the age of, say, 25 than over it? Because I was born in 1985 and my parents didn't switch to CDs until well into the early '90s; I had plenty of personal connection to vinyl records long before I started to get into it myself.


Well, I was born in 1969, my parents had two shelves of records, we regularly borrowed records from the library, and in my youth it was one of the privileges of a sick child to have the record player brought into the bedroom . . . and yet I have probably heard more fake record scratches in my lifetime than real ones.


That's because we didn't abuse actual records like that.

I'm a year behind ya. My parents had some old 8-tracks and even reel-to-reel tapes when I was growing up, but mostly vinyl LPs (and 45s for kid stories and music). For me it was cassettes (mixtapes! off the radio!), and then I finally moved to CDs in the 90s, about a decade "late". Now, of course, it's all just files on hard drives... Having grown up with so many different kinds of media dedicated, mostly or entirely, to storing audio data, I'm sometimes a little wistful that I'm unlikely to ever see another.

Regarding albums: something else I think on is the irony that, after Napster, Kazaa et al (arr) and then iTunes (legit) made the individual song king for a while - and much was made of the ability to get just the one or two best tracks, whichever ones you thought they were, without all the "filler" labels were accused of filling up the rest of the disc with - we seem to be returning to the album as the standard unit of measure. In part, I think this is because (much) wider net pipes and bigger hard drives make it simpler to grab the whole thing and then discard/skip/thumbs down whichever tracks you don't like; the novelty and empowerment of being able to get "just what you want, and nothing else" has given way to the lazy convenience of "eh, just throw the whole thing in my cart."

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Re: 1745: "Record Scratch"

Postby Reecer6 » Thu Oct 13, 2016 3:21 am UTC

gmalivuk wrote:Edit: There is a Know Your Meme article about the recent surge of references to the trope, which is probably the intended context of the comic: http://knowyourmeme.com/memes/record-sc ... eeze-frame


Yeah, that's almost certainly what inspired this. Which is just kind of weird to me; Randall isn't normally the type to spring his comics off the back of what are basically just memes (even if they're memes that make sense as jokes outside of being memes). Usually, it's physical concrete events or sequences of events that have happened, but not this one!

At least it won't date too badly, I suppose.

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Re: 1745: "Record Scratch"

Postby da Doctah » Thu Oct 13, 2016 4:15 am UTC

A couple of nice links for those who, like me, consider the music itself the important thing and not the medium on which it's presented:

The 1920s Radio Network (streaming station): http://www.the1920snetwork.com/index.html
UCSB Cylinder Audio Archive: http://cylinders.library.ucsb.edu/index.php
The Dawn of Sound (dormant podcast site where the promising shows posted last decade are still available for listening):
http://www.dawnofsound.com/

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Re: 1745: "Record Scratch"

Postby commodorejohn » Thu Oct 13, 2016 7:29 am UTC

Mikeski wrote:
commodorejohn wrote:(I've also seen generic "albums" in thrift stores with random assortments of 78s in them, but I gather we're speaking of songs that were actually released as a set.)

The mixtape-for-my-girlfriend is that old, too? OK, the timeghost got me there.

Well, by the time they get to the thrift store it's more the mixtape-for-I-just-need-to-get-these-out-of-the-way, but you're probably not too far off :lol:
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Re: 1745: "Record Scratch"

Postby somitomi » Thu Oct 13, 2016 8:22 pm UTC

Plutarch wrote:This gave me a cheerful memory of when I was at school - in the days of records - when, if you had a record with a small scratch on it, you didn't bother about it that much (well, some people did actually, but I didn't) and you'd just keep playing it anyway. And, if you let someone tape your record on cassette, that small scratch would forever be on their tape, reminding them where it came from. You can still encounter this occasionally on Youtube, a few songs put there with audible scratches on the original.

My parents have a number of cassettes, most of them recorded at home by Zarquon knows who. It is an odd feeling to start a cassette, and hear the characteristic sound of the stylus hitting a dusty run-in groove. Although I had some pops in files I recorded from vinyl until I discovered the "repair" option in Audacity.
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Re: 1745: "Record Scratch"

Postby Adacore » Fri Oct 14, 2016 12:47 am UTC

HokieNerd wrote:
peteispo wrote:The "78 RPM era" might be close to your Civil War, but not ours...


Define "ours".

If you are from Brazil, China, Colombia, Costa Rica, Greece, Italy, Korea, Laos, Malaysia, Mexico, Myanmar, Nicaragua, Palestine, Paraguay, Spain, Sudan or Vietnam, then "the civil war" (or, at least, one of them) was actually during the 78 RPM era.

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Re: 1745: "Record Scratch"

Postby orthogon » Fri Oct 14, 2016 12:56 am UTC

Re the whole album thing: I definitely grew up thinking of albums as works of art in their entirety, almost like the movements of a symphony. The sequence of tracks can take the listener on an arc; you can play with keys, major/minor, tempo and instrumentation; you can have motifs that recur; and you can even have one track segue seamlessly into the next. In a world where big-name DJs are worshipped far more than the musicians who actually wrote and performed the music, just for playing one track after another, it's surprising that this concept ever went away.

I find Spotify particularly frustrating in this regard. About the hardest thing to do is play the tracks of an album in order. Instead you get a big "shuffle play" button, or if you like you can play all the songs ever recorded by anyone anywhere, in alphabetical order. I'm not saying that Floyd's Money followed by Abba's Money Money Money isn't an interesting and thought-provoking juxtaposition, but...

EDIT: eliminated centre-branching tree.
Last edited by orthogon on Fri Oct 14, 2016 2:43 am UTC, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: 1745: "Record Scratch"

Postby Eebster the Great » Fri Oct 14, 2016 2:06 am UTC

Adacore wrote:
HokieNerd wrote:
peteispo wrote:The "78 RPM era" might be close to your Civil War, but not ours...


Define "ours".

If you are from Brazil, China, Colombia, Costa Rica, Greece, Italy, Korea, Laos, Malaysia, Mexico, Myanmar, Nicaragua, Palestine, Paraguay, Spain, Sudan or Vietnam, then "the civil war" (or, at least, one of them) was actually during the 78 RPM era.

In some countries, the 78 RPM era is presumably closer to today than to the civil war because the civil war hasn't happened yet.


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