Ableton is Planning to Use CDs Instead of Vinyl: Co-Creator of Ableton


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Analog vs. digital or CDs vs. Vinyl has always been a hot topic. There have been a lot of debates, and the discussions seem never to settle. For example, this past week, Rober Henke, co-creator, artist, and musician of Ableton, has caused a stir regarding the matter. 

He posted on Facebook, stating that he is considering not releasing any music on vinyl. Instead, he plans on “fully embracing CDs.”

But that is just the tip of the iceberg regarding everything he stated in the post. The co-creator of Ableton has also said things about superior signal-to-noise ratio, frequency response, and channel separation present on CDs. 

Source: Ableton

He even went further and said things about the smaller-sized nature of CDs. According to the post of the co-creator of Ableton, “Compact Disk, you are underrated, and you will always have a place in my heart.” 

And as you might have guessed, the response to this post of Ableton’s co-creator has been pretty mind-blowing. There are more than 300 comments at the moment.

Seeing how much attention the post has gotten, Henke went ahead and provided clarification. The co-creator of Ableton stated that he was no issues with buying and selling vinyl. 

Source: Ableton

However, according to him, “manufacturing big heavy plates of plastic and having them shipped around the globe is a huge waste of energy and resources.”

He later added, “Shipping is a big part of the problem and will become more so when prices for fuel go up.” The co-creator of Ableton also talked about the energy that streaming requires, which is comparatively high. 

And he concluded his statement by saying, “CD is a compromise I feel more comfortable with.” That said, Henke’s concern about the environmental effects of vinyl production and streaming is not something that did not go through any research at all. 

According to a report from 2021, streaming music for five hours will require as much carbon as the materials that are used to manufacture the physical CD. And when music is streamed for multiple hours, it will be equal to the production of a vinyl record.

Source: Ableton

So, what does the comparison of those materials look like? Vinyl is usually produced from crude oil containing 979 grams of carbon. 

And in contrast, 288 grams of carbon are found in the aluminum and polycarbonate that makes up a CD. That too with a jewel case.

Nonetheless, Henke wants to let his followers know that this statement is not just because of sustainability. It also has a reverence for intentional listening rather than a mindless one.

Slava is a man of mystery and no-one seems to know exactly where he is at any point in time. When he isn't enjoying writing about all things audio and technical he can be found researching his next project of interest. The man never rests.

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