How do you acquire music?

#21
I still buy CDs for the most part. And occasional vinyl. I listen to the physical CDs at home and in the car but I will still copy to my computer and iPod.

I rarely download but I do purchase downloads from CD Baby now and then to support independent artists. I avoid iTunes as much as possible.

If I need to learn music for a gig that is on youtube I will stream it while playing along and practicing. I do not download or rip music illegally at all any more ( not to say I have not been guilty of that in the past ). I know how difficult it is for musicians to survive in this digital age and how much effort goes into a production.
 
#22
I was amazed to find out recently how much, ahem, proper salsa is available on itunes compared to ~ 5 years ago. They actually have a relatively good selection of salsa dura and mambo.

A lot of albums / songs are now available on itunes that were discussed as not being available by some of the now, non postings salsa djs from ~ 7 years ago, and are now available.

Sure, itunes is a big beast but the salsa dura that was available on there 5 years ago compared to today is a different world. Not saying it is perfect but there are songs I wanted 5 years ago and could not get but that I recently checked for and was surprised to find, so downloaded.
 
#25
side note:
A lot of people would say 320kbps mp3 is as good as WAV. and 256kbps is also fine for most peoples listening needs.
For an original recording into mp3, 320 kbps is very good. However, you have to buy it from legitimate / reputable sources. If someone creates a cd from low quality mp3 files, let's say 120 kbps, and later someone else burns it at 320 kbps, the quality is still poor. Increasing the kbps of a low quality file does not improve it.

It takes me very little time of listening to a dj in order to tell what the collection is like. I wish that more casual listeners would pay more attention and have a greater appreciation for quality. Then, a lot of djs would find themselves out of business. I do believe that many casual listeners intuitively know when the music "isn't right."
 
#26
Sound Quality - as a DJ, one of my favorite subjects. From my own personal experience -

The #1 thing is how the song was produced. The "recording engineer", or if a garage band, the kid with his hands on the gain control, is paramount. I've got 128kbs mp3's that smoke wav's, simply because they were recorded better and edited better. The killer has been the so-called "loudness wars" that started in the 1990's, and has resulted in so much compressed, flat sounding music. Take any new popular song, any format, open it in Audacity, turn on the clipping indicator, and look at the mass of red.

IMHO, I think the recording engineer's also try for a distinctive sound, that may not always be the best. I swear El Gran Combo, all these years, through all their changes, has been recorded with an "overly polite" brass section.

If you have a really good master, than what? The wav, flac, mp3 argument. Like many DJ's, I settled on 320kbs mp3's years ago. Storage still wasn't cheap, and they worked with all the software. If I was starting out today, I'd probably choose flac - just to be safe. However, I personally cannot tell the difference between a well recorded wav, and a properly ripped 320kbs mp3, when played on my DJ rig - which is not just two 15" tops on sticks. To get a "properly ripped mp3" I prefer do it myself from a CD source, using a current version of the LAME encoder. If I don't have a CD, it's usually an Amazon mp3 download.
 
#27
I agree about iTunes, their Salsa y Tropical content has expanded greatly in the past 3-4 years. It was pretty sparse a few years ago but it's worth a look today. Perhaps it took awhile for the surviving labels to convert their old libraries and jump on board?

But it might be important if you are using iTunes US vs iTunes Europe vs. iTunes in Central or South America, the offerings may be very different.

Normally I collect music by listening to playlists on Spotify and then buy the songs off iTunes (US) or look elsewhere if it's not there. And I love Spotify because of the crazy playlists. I'm constantly finding gems that I could never have found any other way.
 
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#28
How many people buy vinyl and/or CDs?

Do you get downloads? (I'm sure that will be a yes for most of us.)

For those who download:

Are they legal (i.e. you pay for them)?

What format(s) do you download?

The reason I ask is because more and more good new releases in salsa are download only, yet the only site I know of that has WAVs to download is Fania, which doesn't have many new releases as it's only for stuff on their own labels. Consequently the only way to obtain a lot of tracks is illegal download (I don't do it personally), burn from YT (which means a very flat sound - not recommended either) or buy from the likes of Amazon or Itunes, none of which offer WAVs.

Maybe WAVs are not essential for decent sound, but I find lesser formats sound flat compared to CDs or vinyls. However WAV downloads are passable imo.

Otoh some people insist that legal downloads sound fine, whatever the format.

P.S. If you do get illegal downloads then please don't mention the names of the sites you use! (Or post links.)

This is an awesome thread and it's great that you're actually seeking WAV FILES!! I HATE the quality of mp3s. An awesome site that hasn't taken off much in the Latin industry is Bandcamp. They don't even allow you to upload MP3s, which is awesome! Check out some of our music at https://afincao.bandcamp.com/album/prep-rate . If you wouldn't mind letting me know what you think of some of the tracks, that'd be awesome. I always like hearing from a DJ perspective and trying to learn and grow as an artist!
 
#29
I dont accept this

if you cant find the file in a digital format you want, then you can buy the CD or the LP and rip it to WAV yourself. if its a new band then whats to stop you sending them a message and asking for the music ? you might be pleasantly surprised.
I'm always willing to send our music to DJ's, we just all have to work together!! Bands are nothing without DJ's and DJ's would have nothing to play if it weren't for bands!
 
#30
I agree about iTunes, their Salsa y Tropical content has expanded greatly in the past 3-4 years. It was pretty sparse a few years ago but it's worth a look today. Perhaps it took awhile for the surviving labels to convert their old libraries and jump on board?

But it might be important if you are using iTunes US vs iTunes Europe vs. iTunes in Central or South America, the offerings may be very different.

Normally I collect music by listening to playlists on Spotify and then buy the songs off iTunes (US) or look elsewhere if it's not there. And I love Spotify because of the crazy playlists. I'm constantly finding gems that I could never have found any other way.
How do you usually go about searching for playlists? I'm always curious what methods people use to browse and find stuff.
 
#31
For an original recording into mp3, 320 kbps is very good. However, you have to buy it from legitimate / reputable sources. If someone creates a cd from low quality mp3 files, let's say 120 kbps, and later someone else burns it at 320 kbps, the quality is still poor. Increasing the kbps of a low quality file does not improve it.


It takes me very little time of listening to a dj in order to tell what the collection is like. I wish that more casual listeners would pay more attention and have a greater appreciation for quality. Then, a lot of djs would find themselves out of business. I do believe that many casual listeners intuitively know when the music "isn't right."
Amen to that!
 
#32
This is an awesome thread and it's great that you're actually seeking WAV FILES!! I HATE the quality of mp3s. An awesome site that hasn't taken off much in the Latin industry is Bandcamp. They don't even allow you to upload MP3s, which is awesome! Check out some of our music at https://afincao.bandcamp.com/album/prep-rate . If you wouldn't mind letting me know what you think of some of the tracks, that'd be awesome. I always like hearing from a DJ perspective and trying to learn and grow as an artist!
We love Afincao in Cincinnati. Looking forward to hearing you all tonight.

And in terms of how I acquire music? Google play mostly. CD's from amazon or CD baby. When I travel I'll hit up the indie record stores in the small hopes that I'll come across something which mostly is no. Some times I get lucky. And I have a couple of DJ buddies that pass music on to me as well.
 
#34
We love Afincao in Cincinnati. Looking forward to hearing you all tonight.

And in terms of how I acquire music? Google play mostly. CD's from amazon or CD baby. When I travel I'll hit up the indie record stores in the small hopes that I'll come across something which mostly is no. Some times I get lucky. And I have a couple of DJ buddies that pass music on to me as well.
Thanks for the shout out! I wish we had known you were there to watch us, I would've definitely hooked you up with a CD! We'll be back out there 7/27!
 
#35
if its a new band then whats to stop you sending them a message and asking for the music ? you might be pleasantly surprised.
I've just tried this for a track I love that came out last year and that I can't buy anywhere. Hopefully they'll get back to me!
 
#36
It worked! The band got back straight away to say they are putting the tune on CD Baby tomorrow and it will be on Itunes in a week. It was probably going to happen anyway but still, I'm glad I tried it.

I'm going to try it with another tune by another band.
 
#37
How do you usually go about searching for playlists? I'm always curious what methods people use to browse and find stuff.
Super late answer, but thought I'd give you one anyway @afincao!

I use Spotify a lot to find music, because like iTunes, the selection is pretty remarkable and ever-growing.

I use the following ways to discover new songs on Spotify and in general:
- Soundhound/Shazaam if I hear a cool song in salsa clubs when I'm not dancing, viewing a dance on youtube etc
- Ask the DJ for song names if the above doesn't work, or if I was dancing when the cool song was playing. Likewise for instructors during classes (both locally and at congresses) - I think all of them have lit up when asked, even the big name stars.
- Following other people with similar music tastes who update their public playlists and periodically check them out
- Get recs from people I know
- Use the "autoplay similar songs when your music ends" feature - brilliant!
- Use the release radar and discover weekly functions
- Follow music threads here on SF, many of which can be found on Spotify (notable exception: many of the timba bands :/ )

For the record: I don't consider myself a DJ at all, just someone who sets up lists and modifies them as needed when playing (the local club only uses volunteers).

On a related note, an actual DJ told me Friday that he's started selling playlists to clubs, charging quite a bit (but less than the club would have to pay if he was there) for good lists that the club will use for a month or two. Goes to show that availability of music is no guarantee of good sets!
 

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