Adam Savage learns how records are made with Jack White


#1

Originally published at: http://boingboing.net/2017/08/08/adam-savage-sees-how-records-a.html


#2

@pesco no video on the main page? all better now. Yay.

Also cool cause seeing things get made and Adam Savage!


#3

I love the enthusiasm exhibited by everybody in this video.


#4

I’ve never actually been there, but this is Detroit, right? Where are the people of color? Not even one? Are they taking a coffee break or something?


#5

Adam Savage is a generally enthusiastic person.


#6

It’s a cool looking factory and store and I hope it does well. The attention to detail is crazy, with so much color coordination that even the safety glasses match. But that same level of detail and expenditure also makes me worried… Is the market really going to support this level of boutique production? Old stuff is neat and all, but I tune out when someone like Jack White says that somehow vinyl captures more “soul.” I have a record player, don’t get me wrong, but I don’t see it reemerging past the point of being a niche novelty item. I like being able to move my entire music collection on a single, tiny, solid-state drive rather than boxes and boxes of large, sensitive plastic disks…


#7

Where are the people of color?

Vinyl is a middle-age white male thing. Like voluntarily wearing a polo shirt.


#8

Yellow paint isn’t any more expensive than gray paint.

That’s the beauty of a market like this. It isn’t terribly price sensitive. The attention to detail and obvious love for the product is precisely what appeals to lots of their customers.

That’s fine. Right now it’s a $1 billion niche. Talk to your friends that are in bands and are trying to get a record pressed. For small acts, there is a loooong wait (or at least there was a few months ago). They probably would be okay if the market were to cool a bit.

Nobody is going to stop you from doing this.

I know it’s a joke, but have you been in a record store lately? I bet half the market is under 35.


#9


#10

I love your optimism, but that’s not really what I was getting at. I was referring to the extra costs of ordering custom-colored parts or having them re-painted after they come from the factory. Using very specialized and anachronistic machinery. Or shipping the records in fancy cardboard boxes. Having a very fastidious attention to detail costs more money I’m afraid: you can’t buy in bulk or off-the-shelf.

Nor was I claiming they were. I’m saying that I won’t be buying too many vinyl records and neither will other people like me who prefer to consume music without filling our homes with more bulky objects.

Yeah, I get that there is a target market that will pay extra for a cool object, but I think you over estimate its size. Plus, if you can make it cheaper, the margins will be higher. If possible, why not create a modern factory and sell the records for less?

And for small acts, it would be way better if they didn’t have to pay for an expensive process as they do now. My friends in bands can barely make a profit on the hard media that they order; they aren’t going to go up-market because Jack White makes his records with steam power. I could be wrong, but I don’t think it matters much to the vast majority of consumers either.


#11

peers at the video embedded in this post

What a lovely idea
Someone should tell Jack White right away


#12

I love snark as much as the next, but this is not a modern factory. It’s literally a steam-punk factory.

Edit: here’s a for-instance:


#13

what ignorant bullshit. you just whitewashed detroit, one of the most famous cities for black dance music.
for the past 30 years the city has been known the world over as hotbed of black musician making house and techno…on vinyl.

here’s a just a few of the black detroiters who currently release music on vinyl and DJ with vinyl…
moodymann, omar s, carl craig, mick huckabee, rick wilhite, terence parker, norm talley, amp fiddler, keith tucker, rick wade, juan atkins, kevin saunderson, kyle hall, marcellus pitmann…and it goes on and on


#14

AFAIK, all of the industrial equipment in Third Man in Detroit and Nashville was purchased used. The steam loop is new simply because of the costs of insurance and inspections is higher than ordering a new pressure vessel.

The used machinery was going to need to be cleaned up and painted anyway, so why not make it yellow? The cost of finishing it so nicely may take money, but it also makes it more valuable. People travel there to see this stuff in part because of White’s attention to these details.

You don’t really have to estimate it’s size. In 2016 it was a billion dollars. That’s up a bit from the year before but the growth rate is slowing and may even reverse a little this year.

If possible, why not create a modern factory and sell the records for less?

Because price isn’t holding anything back. Most plants are running near capacity now. As a hobby, collecting vinyl is accessible enough that anybody that wants to build a collection, is pretty much doing so.


#15

No I did not. I made a snarky comment about the resurgence of vinyl. Now put your pecker back in your pants

ETA- Asshole going on the attack stays? No wonder half the comunity left.


#18

Attention to quality turns out to be very important with pressing records, its why I’ve paid extra to have pressing done at United in the past. When I order 1,0000 units from them, chances are I get 1,000 well packed undamaged records with correctly registered labels and no problems with the jackets. That means I can sell all of them as opposed to having to toss some percentage due to damage or sell em at a loss.

And oddly enough in the peak days Motown had to get their music pressed at United down in Tennessee. the United staff built what was at the time a luxury apartment for visiting Motown staff in their plant since no hotels of any quality in Nashville would accept them.

House & Techno was often pressed elsewhere in the US or in Europe.

The more you know.


#19

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