Number 9 Musicology

The Past, Present and Future of Music

purchasing cds and records

18 reasons to keep purchasing CDs and records

What can we say, perhaps we’re a little biased?  We love our physical mediums…CDs, tapes, vinyl, etc.  I mean, who ever stared in wonder at a digital download and got misty while reading the lyrics?  Oh yeah, digital releases don’t *come* with lyrics 🙂  So maybe you want to continue purchasing CDs and records 🙂

Oh, let’s rewind a moment…we’re not here to judge how you consume music, but we are here to expose a valid point, several really.  In our daily dive through online pop culture, we found this great online article in The Gauntlet that gives 18 reasons for still buying hard copies of music.  And maybe you want to still stream it via Spotify or Apple Music, which is cool.  Give your favourite artists a couple of ways to get paid by their fans.  Anyway, back to the story, and here are a few points that stood out for us, click on the link at the bottom for the complete list:

  1. CDs and Records still sound better – they do.  You don’t have to be an audiophile to realize that all digital music, even including FLAC use some form of compression to remove audio that manufacturers think we can’t hear.  Audio experts like Alan Parsons will tell you that there is something missing, some ‘air’.  That the music doesn’t sound ‘open’, or has artifacts.  Hey, we love the portability of our digital files, on our phones, iPods, etc but when we do some serious listening, nothing beats a vinyl record, CD, DVD Audio or BluRay.  We’ve recorded music into Pro Tools and looked at the waveforms and you can see subtle differences.  Try it sometime!
  2. Less Expensive: Song for song buying physical media new, beats digital prices hands down (a random comparison of over 100 samples, yields a 27% lower price for media.) If you buy used there is no comparison. But here’s the upshot: You still get the MP3’s 4’s or whatever file type you want. In fact, Amazon on certain CDs sends you the mp3’s immediately meaning that you can enjoy the digital files while waiting for the postal service to bring your treasure.  Almost all new vinyl LPs come bundled with Hi Res download codes…
  3. Deep Tracks: If you are of a certain age, singles were great but they were used to drive album sales.  We always were looking for something deeper, something more adventurous and that’s where album tracks came in.  As the article states, “Often albums have hidden chestnuts that never make it to the hit parade. You will never discover these if you just buy your favorite music files.”
  4. Album Art and Liner Notes: “Sure you can look at on the screen. But this has inherent disadvantages. So you can print it right? Come on let’s get real. There is nothing like the real thing.” We’re a recording studio and music nuts, and we love seeing where things were recorded and who worked on it.  And if you want to make sure you sing the lyrics correctly, you’ll need the lyrics, although not all new releases come with them, some do.

Just four points that we think make a pretty good argument for buying hard copies.  Here’s the link to the full article, and please share our blog post with anyone you think would like to read it, or our previous posts:

christmas on seaton 2

Christmas on Seaton Street Vol 2 has begun! — with George Rondina, Beverly Taft and Nathan Hiltz

As we are halfway through summer, we are starting work on Christmas On Seaton Street 2!  Here’s a link to purchase COSS Vol 1 if you so desire:


Ringo Starr – Best drummer ever?

Maybe you’ve heard the old quote attributed to John Lennon from some time ago, that Ringo was NOT the best drummer in the Beatles.  Was he suggesting that Ringo was not a great drummer?  Hmmm…

Many fans were angry when Ringo was plopped into the drum stool, replacing flashy, good looking Pete Best.  Pete was a showman, but George Martin felt that Ringo was a more steady drummer, which is what the Beatles needed.

Over the years, some people have taken pot shots at the drummer, saying he wasn’t very creative and his timing wasn’t very good.  Just as many if not more have praised his rock steady timing, and his quirky drum fills.  So which is it?

This month, we dug up an older article from The Spectator, which examines our personal fave Fab drum stool resident, and boldly suggest that he was a GENIUS (we put it in caps 😉 and that the Beatles were lucky to have him. A genius?

Beatles tape loops

Ringo in studio tracking Tomorrow Never Knows

From the article: “When Paul and John first spotted him out in Hamburg, in his suit and beard, sitting ‘drinking bourbon and seven’, they were amazed. ‘This was, like, a grown-up musician,’ thought Paul.”  Yeah, okay, he’d played with showband Rory Storm and the Hurricanes, but ‘genius’?  Let’s continue, shall we?

Another thought from the article: “…the Beatles were great only because of the greatness of four men composing and playing together. Without Starr in the mix, they would have sounded quite different, and probably not as wonderful.”

More proof of his genius: “Without him, there’d be no Beatles track like ‘Tomorrow Never Knows’, which ends the album Revolver. With its tape-loop screeches and Lennon’s eerie vocal, the whole is held together by Starr’s astonishing, off-the-beat control on slackened tom-toms {thanks to engineer Geoff Emerick}. His drumming makes this piece of music shamanic and, still, utterly fresh.”

Who can forget that epic mini drum solo in “The End” from Abbey Road?  Or the quirky fills at the end of “A Day In The Life”?  Or that perpetual cymbal wash on the early tracks?

Ringo has also been namechecked as an influence by drummers like Max Weinberg (Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band), Questlove (The Roots), Dave Grohl (Foo Fighters / Nirvana), Taylor Hawkins (Foo Fighters), Stewart Copeland (The Police), Tré Cool (Green Day), Chad Smith (Red Hot Chili Peppers), Jim Keltner (various Beatles solo records), and Abe Laboriel Jr., Paul McCartney’s current tub thumper.

The author goes on to give specific examples of his genius, what do you think?  Genius? Workmanlike? Sloppy? Creative? We always welcome thoughts and comments on our posts 🙂

Here’s the link to the complete article.

Ringo’s no joke. He was a genius and the Beatles were lucky to have him

And don’t forget our “Hot Summer Specials” late this Summer (as we’ve been very busy.) Contact us for deets. 416-988-0989 *Offer Starts July 19th. Ends August 31st.

Apps to help bands succeed

10 FREE apps that can help your band!

We paraphrased the title of this post we are sharing, as we can’t guarantee success, but we can provide you with some suggestions for apps in this article to help you thrive!

Life is busy, and when you are a working band and trying to find time to record, you need a great team to help you make the most of your time.  What if you don’t HAVE a team?  No social media team?  No PR person?  What do you do?  DIY – Do It Yourself.

Many artists have taken this approach for years – calling clubs for gigs, putting up gig posters, selling merch, but with the advent of some wonderful technology, bands can do MORE with less time and money at their disposal.

Here are 3 that we think stand out, but please follow the attached link for the complete list, as they are all pretty great apps:

  1. Bandcamp – Yeah, so just what DO you do with those wonderful tracks you’ve recorded/master at Number 9 once you’ve left the studios?  Sure, there are many streaming portals, but how about one that pays more DIRECTLY to the artist, giving you more bang for your buck?  Not only do they take the smallest percentage of sales from the artist to post their music, they also have cool tools like download codes, promo codes for specific events. PLUS they even offer a Pay What You Can for releases.  Why not throw a single out there one day and see what people will pay!
  2. Big Cartel – Getting your music to market is just one piece of the puzzle, allowing your fans to promote both you AND their love of  you is another crucial piece.  Big Cartel allows you to create a branded swag/merch presence on the internet, as well as being able to embed it on your website, social media posts, etc.  It’s also one of the least expensive providers out there for this service!
  3. Spotify Artist Insights – IF you choose to publish your stuff on Spotify, and we’re not heard to say yea/nay, but it IS another exposure channel, why not know who and where your stuff is being played!  They have over 60 million users and 30 million songs, so there is a huge audience tuning in to hear high quality offerings.  Apple Music and Google Play keep their user data private, so you have a snowball’s chance in you-know-where of figuring out who and where your tunes are being streamed.  Spotify recently launched Spotify Artist Insights, a beta platform where artists can view play counts by day/month, compare metrics with other artists, see which playlists your songs are listed on, and identify your listeners by cities to help with tour planning.  I mean, if you are getting crazy spins in Flin Flon Manitoba, and your band is from Thunder Bay, you *just* might want to consider checking out the possibility of doing a date there.  Oh, and don’t forget to bring merch from Big Cartel and download codes from Bandcamp 🙂

10 Free Apps That Will Transform Your Band’s Success

Got Questions?

We'll give you a free over the phone consultation...