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QuadraphonicQuad

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Hi folks,

This group has been so supportive of my musical projects that I though I might solicit your perspectives on the immediate future of physical media for hi-res and immersive/surround audio. I'm prepping a new album for release, but the state of physical media has got me flummoxed. Atmos might be the game changer we have envisioned for decades, but it's the Wild West in terms of standards, etc. I feel comfortable with DTS-HD 5.1 and have been able to distribute FLAC downloads in this format via ImmersiveAlbumAudio. But the costs and time required to release physical product (despite my deep attachment to the experience) are harder and harder to justify.

I guess my question is - how many folks on this forum would prefer a physical product (we've been doing CD/Blu-ray packages) over a download, AND have you found Atmos a suitable replacement for other surround formats? Can you envision relying on Apple, Tidal, presumably Spotify someday soon, etc. for streaming hi-res and multi-channel?

I've conceived of this album as a CD/Blu-ray, but I also just ordered the Tears for Fears exclusive Blu-ray from Super Deluxe Edition. The fact that their label opted to assign these rights to a third-party gave me pause. Clearly, Concord decided it was not cost effective to commit to a pressing, yet SDE is confident that a market remains. From the VERY small independent position, I'm worried that of TfF can't sell enough copies to warrant a full market release, then what's the best course of action from someone in my position.

I welcome everyone's thoughts on this, and hope to get you some new music (I think it's a major leap forward, IMHO...) later this spring.

Alan Williams/Birdsong At Morning
 

J. PUPSTER

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Hi folks,

This group has been so supportive of my musical projects that I though I might solicit your perspectives on the immediate future of physical media for hi-res and immersive/surround audio. I'm prepping a new album for release, but the state of physical media has got me flummoxed. Atmos might be the game changer we have envisioned for decades, but it's the Wild West in terms of standards, etc. I feel comfortable with DTS-HD 5.1 and have been able to distribute FLAC downloads in this format via ImmersiveAlbumAudio. But the costs and time required to release physical product (despite my deep attachment to the experience) are harder and harder to justify.

I guess my question is - how many folks on this forum would prefer a physical product (we've been doing CD/Blu-ray packages) over a download, AND have you found Atmos a suitable replacement for other surround formats? Can you envision relying on Apple, Tidal, presumably Spotify someday soon, etc. for streaming hi-res and multi-channel?

I've conceived of this album as a CD/Blu-ray, but I also just ordered the Tears for Fears exclusive Blu-ray from Super Deluxe Edition. The fact that their label opted to assign these rights to a third-party gave me pause. Clearly, Concord decided it was not cost effective to commit to a pressing, yet SDE is confident that a market remains. From the VERY small independent position, I'm worried that of TfF can't sell enough copies to warrant a full market release, then what's the best course of action from someone in my position.

I welcome everyone's thoughts on this, and hope to get you some new music (I think it's a major leap forward, IMHO...) later this spring.

Alan Williams/Birdsong At Morning
Alan, I'll always prefer a physical format and will buy your release for sure. Second to that, I'd also welcome continued downloads in flac via IAA.

I haven't been real happy with a lot of the sound from the Apple Music - Atmos/Dolby Audio stuff, as it can sound very thin and crispy to my ears for whatever reason. (Obviously mastering plays a huge roll in that, but I believe it's their method of delivery that's more the issue.)

Thanks for your continued support of surround music, and keep rockin' man!
 

4-earredwonder

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Personally, Alan, I MUCH prefer physical discs and have found BD~A to be a more than suitable carrier. Am also a BIG fan of your music. I've NOT embraced ATMOS, as yet but done right, I suppose it's a viable option over 5.1 which I find more than adequate for my purposes.

I think Concord Records underestimated the allure of Tears for Fears, most especially with the Steve Wilson ATMOS/5.1 remixes but so happy SDE decided to release a stand alone BD~A on their own.

Whatever your decision, I'm certain it will be a wise one. Your music deserves to be heard in utmost fidelity. BD~A although pricey to release is still, IMO, state of the art!
 

timothyemerson

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Hi folks,

This group has been so supportive of my musical projects that I though I might solicit your perspectives on the immediate future of physical media for hi-res and immersive/surround audio. I'm prepping a new album for release, but the state of physical media has got me flummoxed. Atmos might be the game changer we have envisioned for decades, but it's the Wild West in terms of standards, etc. I feel comfortable with DTS-HD 5.1 and have been able to distribute FLAC downloads in this format via ImmersiveAlbumAudio. But the costs and time required to release physical product (despite my deep attachment to the experience) are harder and harder to justify.

I guess my question is - how many folks on this forum would prefer a physical product (we've been doing CD/Blu-ray packages) over a download, AND have you found Atmos a suitable replacement for other surround formats? Can you envision relying on Apple, Tidal, presumably Spotify someday soon, etc. for streaming hi-res and multi-channel?

I've conceived of this album as a CD/Blu-ray, but I also just ordered the Tears for Fears exclusive Blu-ray from Super Deluxe Edition. The fact that their label opted to assign these rights to a third-party gave me pause. Clearly, Concord decided it was not cost effective to commit to a pressing, yet SDE is confident that a market remains. From the VERY small independent position, I'm worried that of TfF can't sell enough copies to warrant a full market release, then what's the best course of action from someone in my position.

I welcome everyone's thoughts on this, and hope to get you some new music (I think it's a major leap forward, IMHO...) later this spring.

Alan Williams/Birdsong At Morning
For what it's worth:
1. I'd prefer downloadable FLACs for audio releases which would no doubt be a cheaper way to get the music out there.

2. All my discs (except for one pesky SACD that just won't rip) are backed up as FLACs/WAVs/DSDs on a pair-and-a-spare HDD's as many releases have shown that BDs can fail at any time without any sign of disc damage/rot (e.g., Dark Side of the Moon, Bob Marley's Legend, Jethro Tull's Aqualung, Bryan Adams' Reckless), so I'd back-up a disc regardless.

3. Surround is limited to 5.1 at my place. I have no immediate plans to upgrade to Atmos at the moment.
 

haikubass

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Hi Alan,
thanks for asking!

I've bought both BAM blu-rays and am going to buy the new one. The only obstacle for me would be custom fees, but once I can find a EU vendor (jpc.de?) it's a no-brainer purchase. Then again, I've bought your solo album from IAA, so no problem there.

That being said I'd welcome any streaming of surround music, I'm on Apple Music and will keep my subscription even though I don't do Atmos yet.

So, bring it, the more physical the better!
 

IMachine

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I still prefer a 5.1 or 4.0 mix over Atmos.
Atmos is only good when the bed is done right. When there are extra elements after creating a good standard surround mix…ok…let‘s go over to Atmos…..but otherwise…no.

If there is a physical option…ok, I will buy.
If there is no option…also ok with a download, because I rip everything anyway and play them files with Kodi.
 

mrcond

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Here are my responses:

1. If it is good and something l will listen to more than once, definitely prefer physical disks over downloads over streaming. My setup doesn't allow for ease of downloading files and transferring to USB sticks or whatnot. Discs are easy and everything is in one place, and they sound better than streaming (comparing to Apple Music specifically).
2. If done right, I would prefer Atmos, as I am now set up with a 7.1.4 array, and the best Atmos mixes I have heard are fantastic in creating a "surround bubble", especially if discrete elements are used judiciously to create movement to the mix.
3. Streaming is great in that it allows me to sample many more artists and albums than I would ever want to buy separately. More than once, listening to the stream of a mix has been enough for me to form an opinion on whether or not to buy the disc (and I will buy the disc if it is good even if available on Apple Music).
 

beerking

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Hi Alan,

Always good to hear from you.

My preferences have changed over the years from 5 .1 to 7.1.4.

Having said that, I like to keep an open mind as to what music, in a particular surround format, I listen to.

I reckon for you to keep costs down to a minimum then flac downloads would be more than acceptable.

Looking forward to hearing the new release.
 

DuncanS

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I'm happy with 5.1 (I might do Atmos one day, might not), so I prefer physical media so CD/BDA. I would buy it if it was only a available as a 5.1 flac or to by-pass import taxes/courier tax gathering fee/P&P which can double the cost. However, what I have found is that although I have a lot of physical discs in my to-listen-to mountain to listen to, I do get round to them. I realised the other day that I have a lot of downloads (as flacs or still zipped!) that I have bought, but because I can't see them, I forget I have them!
 

Bill B

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I prefer a physical disc. Don't care if it's sacd, blu-ray or DVD-A.
Currently, I only have 5.1 capability but it's just a matter of time before I pull the trigger and upgrade to Atmos. So, really, I am fine with either.
I have never downloaded any hi-rez albums but if a long lost Led Zep album was found and released as a download only album, I am sure I'd bend.
 

kvsawilson

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I'm a 5.1 guy still. May or may not ever move to Atmos. While I prefer a physical disc, I would say that if my choice was a giant, overpriced box set with 5 cd's and vinyl that I will never listen to or a download of what I really want, I'll take the download at that point. There are a lot of things being released these days that I won't hear because, while I'd like the 5.1 version, I'm not willing to pay the price for the bells and whistles.

K
 

humprof

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Thanks for asking, Alan--and kudos on the new album. (Can't wait to hear it!)

I still love physical media, but if it's prohibitively expensive for you to produce on a small scale, then I'll happily settle for a download (FLAC for 5.1 and mp4 for Atmos). But I'm really dismayed by the shift towards Atmos mixes released exclusively to the streaming services. I'd much rather pay a fair price to an artist or a label to buy their music than pay rent to a middleman in perpetuity.
 

Old Quad Guy

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The question comes down to the cost of disc production of a CD/Blu-ray set. And can one do short runs at a reasonable cost.

I don’t have Atmos yet, but Atmos is important. One can imagine a music surround sound systems in electric driverless cars as standard equipment, in the not too distant future. But, equally important is also a dedicated 5.1 mix, because Atmos doesn’t downmix to maybe the same thing on everyone’s equipment. At any rate, it’s preferred that a 5.1 mix accompany an Atmos mix. And Blu-ray Discs should be able to have enough room for both, along with stereo.

FLAC is a good format I use, but hard drives crash, but discs do not. As an Artist and consumer, I like discs for this reason. I like the idea of offering FLAC with the purchase of a disc. People generally don’t feel they’ve bought anything that they can’t touch.

But on the other hand, no Artist wants to be stuck with a roomful of unsold discs. So, maybe the preorder model might be a way for consumers to support the Artist. Maybe multiple short runs of discs, depending on demand. And when a title goes OOP and sells for sky high prices on the secondary market, one can do another run.
 

dr. simple

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Personally, I always prefer a physical copy but I'd definitely buy a download if that's the only option. Regarding Atmos, I'm about to sound like all those people who dismiss 5.1 before hearing it. I haven't had the desire to add the speakers, so I've been perfectly content with 5.1. Maybe someday I'll add them and my head will explode just like it did when I first heard 5.1.

Regardless of all of this, I'm really looking forward to your new music. You've brought a lot of aural pleasure into our lives!
 

peterzach

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Alan, I have always preferred physical releases till recently my mind has been changed and I would be totally happy with a flac 5.1. I debated about Atmos setup but I think at this stage for me I am totally happy with 5.1. Thanks so much for your music and even asking for feedback from Qq site.
 

LuvMyQuad

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I would buy either format, physical release or a download. For a physical release, I just rip the tracks and store the disk anyway. So a download saves the storage space.

I am in the process of gearing up for Atmos right now. So Atmos +5.1+2.0 would all be good.

Do what you feel makes the most sense financially.
 

MidiMagic

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No CD, no sale! And I mean a standard CD.

I am sick of multiple products and formats. I want a standard format. I do not want special equipment to play the very few new releases.

I will buy only CDs and LPs.

Of course, with that CD or LP, I am limited to matrix. But again, I do not want a hodgepodge of multiple formats.

I want QS or DS (which are essentially the same encoding). NO CD-4.

And for reissues, I want the quadraphonic or Dolby Surround version if it exists.
 
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