Check out these two files for a great comparison between an iTunes download version and the original vinyl record.
(It’s an 11.4 MB .zip file that should auto-decompress when you click on it.)
The vinyl album was recorded through spinXLR™, our new turntable-to-mic preamp interface, using our iConnectAUDIO4+ interface.
The excerpt is “Day Way,” from the album Tom Cat by Tom Scott and the LA Express. It’s from 1974, and the LA Express is several top session musicians from the time — as was Tom Scott himself.
- The differences are subtle, but we still think you’ll hear why spinXLR has us jumping up and down. Focus on the overall thickness, the timbre, and then on the space the musicians are playing in.
- This isn’t a re-mastered, re-released, re-anything. It’s the original vinyl album from when it came out, played with a decent Grado phono cartridge (again, using the iConnectAUDIO2+’s mic preamps). All I did was attempt to match the levels.
- The album is in good shape, even though it’s been played a lot over the years. I’ve always taken good care of my records, without tracking them at more than 1.5 grams, etc.
What this isn’t:
- A universal comparison between all vinyl and iTunes downloads, much less analog and digital!
This is the sound of one vinyl album recorded through a digital audio interface. So the vinyl and download are both digital files.
What it shows:
- Music, musicians, and engineers were pretty darn good 42 years ago!
- spinXLR is a great interface for integrating a turntable into your studio — which, dollars to donuts, is the best audio setup you have available. Right?
- If you have a choice between the download and vinyl versions…
Tell us what you think!