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Why does no one release music on Laserdisc?


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Guest JJSee

Okay, before I get "booed off the stage", hear me out...

 

I always kind of regret playing the records I own, even though I'm absolutely in love with them. I bought a few of the Björk DMM records and I love them to death. I was brought to tears, quite literally. I never play them. I own a few AFX records that I cherish, and love the format completely (he did amazing stuff on Analog Bubblebath 3 "paper-baggie issue") but I never play it. Even more recent stuff, Bee Mask's Elegy for Beach Friday, Ten Ragas to a Disco Beat, and the few Alva Notos I have I never play.

 

Not to mention cassette tapes. They are warm and fuzzy, but they degrade far too fast. Not only that, but tape players (now pretty old) tend to eat tapes up, almost randomly. A friend gifted me his first tape ever which has since become a rarity, and my cassette player of doom destroyed it beyond repair. I've had tapes noticably degrade after only about 5 listens. I agree that's part of the 'charm' of analog, but I know people can do better. I don't want to worry about how old my stylus is every time I play a record in order to get that warmth.

 

Which is where Laserdiscs come into play...

 

Discovision and early Laserdiscs were written in exclusively analog audio. Later, the analog audio had been supplemented with other various digital formats, Dolby Digital, DTS, and PCM, but the analog track remained there through the entire span of Laserdisc un-glory. It's complicated and a circuitous thing to look up, but its fascinating. Most players have the ability to turn on multiple tracks, and even play audio through more than one output at a time.

 

What this means is that content creators (musicians) could, in theory, create an analog audio track, a digital track, and analog video, in a format that doesn't degrade if mastered correctly. Creative folks could utilize all three and create compelling mixes of companion digital and analog tracks that stand alone or work together, and of course offer some sort of visual accompaniment. Each stands alone, a listener could watch it with one or both outputs active, or just listen to one.

 

The format is amazing, but has some obvious downsides...

The FM (how they pulled off analog audio) was never done properly, and needed signal noise reduction in the bottom end, which means if a musician cares a lot about the video aspect of the "album", they'd have to sacrifice some bass. Another obvious downside is that not a single manufacturer of Laserdiscs still makes them. The only thing available is something like a "laserdisc burner" which was sold for like $40,000 in the early '90s, but the media is expensive and rare, and the 'burned' audio is only PCM. Then... There's the idea that almost the exact same thing can be had with a DVD, except the analog, and had with a VHS cassette except without the "non-contact" bit.

 

So completely unreasonable, but still got me thinking about format to release my stuff, being creative and whatnot. And got me thinking about a new analog format (which will never come out), the FM disc, read by laser.

 

-J.J. See

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I'd love to, if it were possible and I had the money. I have a love affair with my LaserDiscs and LaserDisc player. :wub:

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Guest JJSee

I'd love to, if it were possible and I had the money. I have a love affair with my LaserDiscs and LaserDisc player. :wub:

 

Yes for Laserdisc love!

 

Kinda off topic, but I found a hidden Laserdisc store in my small town by browsing the internet for LD manufacturers... Still open!

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Awesome! http://www.lddb.com/ is amazing! It's like Discogs but for LaserDiscs. I have about 20 LaserDiscs. Sorry for sidetrackin your topic.

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Guest JJSee

No, anything about laserdiscs is fair game, I meant just my comment about the hidden Laserdisc store. I had been looking everywhere in town and finally found a few on a book store's shelves, but I had all of them already...

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Guest JJSee

I have a really special one that is dear to my heart and was expensive as fuck when it first came out:

http://www.lddb.com/...llery-#1-(1988)

09668.jpg

 

My god... Pardon the "all caps", but... I JUST BOUGHT THIS ON A WHIM. IT IS AMAZING. I want to sample all of side one all over and over, it's beautiful. I bought it a week ago and finally put it in this weekend. It is marvelous! I don't know if we have the same tastes (if we're both here I think they're close) but I'm super glad that someone else fully understands the awesomeness of this Laserdisc. I tell electronic musician friends about it and I hear "cool." I showed it to some people and they were unimpressed... It is a treasure! Excellent. Didn't they make a few more of these? I totally want one on a different topic. "voyager laserdisc" in eBay brings up a few different things.

 

Edit: Given the extreme amazingness of the above LD, I wonder what this one is like...

Edited by JJSee
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I have that one too, it too is amazing! :D Wow man we are in tune and shit. I made a Drexciya video using the Voyager LD.

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Wow, that's pretty interesting. I've been thinking a lot about Laserdiscs recently, and how I want to start collecting them. But I'm not sure I have the space for a player, a buncha discs, etc, etc.

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Wow I had no idea that laserdiscs were so versatile, i remember watching some video on one in my psychology class some years ago, and we all thought the format was really clunky and funny in retrospect. But reading about their possibilities is quite fascinating

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Guest JJSee

So a laserdisc is basically an analog audio medium read by a laser, that hardly wears out?

 

Yes. There have been instances where early laserdiscs and poorly authored laserdiscs exhibit "laser rot", which is the medium itself degrading over time. This happens regardless of how many times it is played, though, and good quality laserdiscs don't degrade. I have an LD of Shogun Asassin that has a good amount of laser rot, but the surface of the LD looks like noone has touched it at all. Shogun Asassin was one of the first "Discovision" laserdiscs, and it was manufactured by a different company than the one responsible for creating the laserdisc format. To contrast, I have many old movies, a first run Die Hard that has scratches all over it, but it was manufactured by Pioneer, who knew what they were doing, so it plays perfectly.

 

A couple other weird things about Laserdiscs...

The analog audio is encoded beneath or with the video signal, much like transmitted television stations. The only difference is that the audio and video signal from an LD is FM, with TV the video signal is AM. The laser reads the pits and lands much like a stylus does, and the player converts the signal into analog audio/video.

The format was patented in the 50s and the first commercially available laserdisc (Jaws, in 1978) came out a full four years before the first commercially available CD (Billy Joel - 52nd Street, 1982)...

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Guest JJSee

I heard a romour most music is made in a digital format these days, so I guess digital must sound pretty good.

 

True, I hear 128kbps MP3s are pretty much exactly the same listening experience as vinyl. Why people still make records is a complete mystery.

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this thread interests me. i am sadly unable to add anything however except that i remember my mom wanting to get laser disc way back when for i think The Abyss special edition. lol

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Guest JJSee

why not release on sega genesis carts?... i had a dream about that once/

 

Oddly enough, I'm working on a floppy disk split with one of my friends, and I was thinking of composing Genesis .vgm files. Went with .mid files for my half though.

 

I think there was a few chiptune albums released on NES cart, so Genesis carts can't be too troublesome to do. Easier than Laserdisc, for sure.

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I heard a romour most music is made in a digital format these days, so I guess digital must sound pretty good.

 

True, I hear 128kbps MP3s are pretty much exactly the same listening experience as vinyl. Why people still make records is a complete mystery.

 

Great argument there, I lose.

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I get what's being said here, but I have to admit I'm amused that a forum of electronic music lovers want an analog format. Might be a tad beneficial if the music you lot listened to was created with an analog format in the first place ;)

Edited by xf
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