Does vinyl make sense for electronic music?

Or even mostly electronic music, i.e. Daft Punk?

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stumped somewhat, would have to audition at least 1 album in both vinyl and digital format

although if the quality of originating tones, eg range of harmonics or sound character depth (eg, multiple tones building a particular electronic sound, ie polyphony), is sufficient, I predict yes, it makes sense

also suspect that intended character of the electronic sound will be rendered differently for vinyl vs digital just as acoustic instruments render differently…not to say that one or the other may not be more pleasing compared to performer intent

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Sure. Why not?


I dont listen to a lot of it, but I do have some and find it excellent on vinyl if produced well.

There is a record store local to me that sells mostly electronic-music on vinyl - when they opened I was a little surprised, but its been years now and they seem to do well.

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I told a friend that I ordered Random Access Memory on vinyl and he thought that didn’t make sense.
I’m curious about what my forum friends think.


Slightly ridiculous question.

“Electronic” music, in the form of house, dubstep, electro, ambient and hundreds of other variants pretty much kept vinyl alive since the 1990s. There is a vast amount of it around, a lot of it highly collectible.

You have to get out of your audiophile bubble and think how DJs work, usually with vinyl, and they have done since DJs were invented.


A reply to be proud of for sure.

No matter to me, but much of the electronic music I listen to was early on and only available on vinyl, such as early experimental stuff on Nonesuch, Tangerine Dream, Brian Eno, and then there is this classic:

On the other hand I have some Robert Rich on CD that has never left me wanting.

Or Steve Roach



I’d say no if you’d ask the question if it’s worth investing in vinyl playback for mainly electronic music (surely exceptions existing)

It’s great, I have a lot, and it can even be better than from digital media, but the reasons for me are:

The thing that makes (mainly analog sourced) vinyl playback is mainly acoustic instruments ambiance/air/imging (when the recording has the potential), it’s top end openness and organic tonal colors mainly.

Electronic music mostly demands none of it (enough). And electronic music is nearly always recorded digitally.
And it’s often recorded with a lot of partly demanding bass which only very good record players reproduce as controlled or better than DAC‘s.

It’s a bit like asking if I’d recommend starting with vinyl playback for HipHop…no…it’s not demanding…except for insane blown up bass (but I love quite some HipHop and have several HipHop LP”s)

Now I could anyway name dozens of great electronic music LP‘s :wink:


Well thought thru.

Speaking of Daft Punk, I too have committed sacrilege by purchasing Random Access Memories on vinyl. Tsk, tsk. The question of whether vinyl is appropriate for electronica never crossed my mind. Still doesn’t. Were I to guess, I’d venture Daft Punk gets a kick out of fanboys snapping up the album on viny LP. How I wish I could find some of my favorite Hearts of Space collections on vinyl. I’d be all over that.

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You are not alone

The problem is that a lot of electronica is only released on vinyl, you can probably buy downloads, but not stream by subscription.

For the relatively inexperienced like me, going through vinyl in specialist stores (Paris and Berlin come to mind) is a large part of the fun. There are a lot of small local releases, besides the more mainstream stuff from the likes of Boards of Canada, The Field, Nils Frahm, Radiohead and a zillion others whose music is largely electronically generated.

I went to an exhibition about the history of electronic music a few years ago, it goes back to the 1920s. It didn’t start with Morton Subotnick in the mid 1960s.


For an alternate view … I’ve got over 400 CDs I categorize as “electronica”, while some (many?) are available on vinyl it just didn’t seem right to me to get them on vinyl. Not a technical thing just a personal thing. My logic (for what that’s worth) is this music is almost entirely digitally generated so digital playback makes sense. I’d add that some electronica artists set a mood across the entire recording which, for me, would be disrupted if I have to get up and flip an LP. I have quite a few CDs in this category, some of the artists/labels are Banco de Gaia (11), Brian Eno (27), Vidna Obmana (8), The Orb (17), Robert Rich (7), Steve Roach (9), and Hearts of Space (18) CDs, it would be a mood breaker to have to get up and flip an LP in the middle of that. I suppose that logic applies to a lot of music, classical being a good example, but I just feel it more with electronica. Ironically, I would add that “Random Access Memories” wouldn’t bother me as much with the possible exception of the ability of vinyl to reproduce the bass. That recording IMO is made up of distinct songs that would work with the LP format.

Having said all that, it’s all very personal, what works for each of us. If you really like LPs, then by all means give it a go!

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I get that, the majority of what you have is digitally sourced, and thus having it in a digital format makes complete sense for you. I’ll add that I feel similarly for electronic music that is sourced digitally. Where we part ways, and you aren’t the only one to bring this up, is that electronic music is digital. The early electronic music that i own is analog sourced, played on analog components. Those recordings I purchased in their original format as released, on vinyl.
Ultimately comes down to personal preference, and for me how it was initially recorded.


The recent recordings I agree, but the early pieces which I find more adventurous, and thus much more interesting were analog instruments recorded on analog tape.

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I listen to a lot of electronic music and I’ll just say Oh Hell Yes!



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I predominantly listed to electronic music from the 90s through to current, and there is still a benefit to being on vinyl even if i’ts purely digital recordings. As @Paul says, there is something that happens when even a digital source is cut to vinyl, the sound softens.

I have a load of examples where the vinyl copy sounds far superior to CD or high res. Thrillseekers - Escape sampler for one.


many fine comments about vinyl

to clarify my earlier comment…electronic music’s notes are rarely a pure sine wave but rather complex blends to form a particular character. Simply play with a Moog or any other synthesizer (which add more and more ‘voices’ to a note and the synthesizers develop and bifurcate) or listen to test tones (eg hearing tests, speaker testing content for specific frequency observation). The difference between these two is stark. And electronic performances have macro and micro dynamics as well as acoustic instruments and vocals. Vinyl and digital are generally going to capture them and deliver them differently as are the audio components we accumulate for our listening rooms.

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That would be a reason not to listen to it on vinyl. It shouldn’t soften for me and doesn’t have to (unless the DAC is bright/harsh sounding).

What I hear from vinyl besides my description above is, that it mostly sounds less „flat“ compared to normal digital. Less flat in spacial reproduction and tonal colors. But also here I don’t see that big demand of electronic music.

I hear a lot of it on vinyl and it’s often a little better sounding than the digital version, but this wouldn’t worth for me to newly enter vinyl.