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Cancel Submit. The term "album" was extended to other recording media such as Compact audio cassette , compact disc , MiniDisc , and digital albums, as they were introduced. An album may contain as many or as few tracks as required. In the United States, The Recording Academy 's rules for Grammy Awards state that an album must comprise a minimum total playing time of 15 minutes with at least five distinct tracks or a minimum total playing time of 30 minutes with no minimum track requirement.
The album Dopesmoker by Sleep contains only a single track, but the composition is over 63 minutes long. There are no formal rules against artists such as Pinhead Gunpowder referring to their own releases under thirty minutes as "albums". If an album becomes too long to fit onto a single vinyl record or CD, it may be released as a double album where two vinyl LPs or compact discs are packaged together in a single case, or a triple album containing three LPs or compact discs.
Recording artists who have an extensive back catalogue may re-release several CDs in one single box with a unified design, often containing one or more albums in this scenario, these releases can sometimes be referred to as a "two or three -fer" , or a compilation of previously unreleased recordings. These are known as box sets. Some musical artists have also released more than three compact discs or LP records of new recordings at once, in the form of boxed sets, although in that case the work is still usually considered to be an album.
Material music or sounds is stored on an album in sections termed tracks, normally 11 or 12 tracks. A music track often simply referred to as a track is an individual song or instrumental recording. The term is particularly associated with popular music where separate tracks are known as album tracks; the term is also used for other formats such as EPs and singles. When vinyl records were the primary medium for audio recordings a track could be identified visually from the grooves and many album covers or sleeves included numbers for the tracks on each side.
On a compact disc the track number is indexed so that a player can jump straight to the start of any track. On digital music stores such as iTunes the term song is often used interchangeably with track regardless of whether there is any vocal content. A bonus track also known as a bonus cut or bonus is a piece of music which has been included as an extra. This may be done as a marketing promotion, or for other reasons. It is not uncommon to include singles as bonus tracks on re-issues of old albums, where those tracks weren't originally included.
Online music stores allow buyers to create their own albums by selecting songs themselves; bonus tracks may be included if a customer buys a whole album rather than just one or two songs from the artist. The song is not necessarily free nor is it available as a stand-alone download, adding also to the incentive to buy the complete album.
In contrast to hidden tracks , bonus tracks are included on track listings and usually do not have a gap of silence between other album tracks. Bonus tracks on CD or vinyl albums are common in Japan for releases by European and North American artists; since importing international copies of the album can be cheaper than buying a domestically-released version, Japanese releases often feature bonus tracks to incentivize domestic purchase.
Commercial sheet music are published in conjunction with the release of a new album studio, compilation, soundtrack, etc. A matching folio songbook is a compilation of the music notation of all the songs included in that particular album.
It typically has the album's artwork on its cover and, in addition to sheet music, it includes photos of the artist.
Vinyl LP records have two sides, each comprising one-half of the album. If a pop or rock album contained tracks released separately as commercial singles , they were conventionally placed in particular positions on the album. Today, many commercial albums of music tracks feature one or more singles, which are released separately to radio, TV or the Internet as a way of promoting the album. Double albums during the Seventies were sometimes sequenced for record changers.
In the case of a two-record set, for example, sides 1 and 4 would be stamped on one record, and sides 2 and 3 on the other. The user would stack the two records onto the spindle of an automatic record changer, with side 1 on the bottom and side 2 on the other record on top.
Side 1 would automatically drop onto the turntable and be played. When finished, the tone arm's position would trigger a mechanism which moved the arm out of the way, dropped the record with side 2, and played it. When both records had been played, the user would pick up the stack, turn it over, and put them back on the spindle—sides 3 and 4 would then play in sequence. It was a further development of the similar Stereo-Pak four-track cartridge created by Earl "Madman" Muntz.
A later quadraphonic version of the format was announced by RCA in April and first known as Quad-8, then later changed to just Q8. The Compact Cassette was a popular medium for distributing pre-recorded music from the early s to the early s. After the introduction of Compact discs, the term "Mixtape" began to apply to any personal compilation of songs on any given format. The compact disc format replaced both the vinyl record and the cassette as the standard for the commercial mass-market distribution of physical music albums.
Most recently, the MP3 audio format has matured, revolutionizing the concept of digital storage. Early MP3 albums were essentially CD-rips created by early CD- ripping software, and sometimes real-time rips from cassettes and vinyl. The contents of the album are usually recorded in a studio or live in concert, though may be recorded in other locations, such as at home as with JJ Cale's Okie ,   Beck's Odelay ,  David Gray's White Ladder ,  and others ,    in the field - as with early Blues recordings,  in prison,  or with a mobile recording unit such as the Rolling Stones Mobile Studio.
Most albums are studio albums — that is, they are recorded in a recording studio with equipment meant to give those overseeing the recording as much control as possible over the sound of the album.
They minimize external noises and reverberations and have highly sensitive microphones and sound mixing equipment. In some studios, each member of a band records their part in separate rooms or even at separate times, while listening to the other parts of the track with headphones to keep the timing right.
In recent years, with the advent of email , it has become possible for musicians to record their part of a song in another studio in another part of the world, and send their contribution over email to be included in the final product.
The recording process may occur within a few hours or may take several years to complete, usually in several takes with different parts recorded separately, and then brought or " mixed " together. Studios are built to absorb sound, eliminating reverberation, to assist in mixing different takes; other locations, such as concert venues and some "live rooms", allow for reverberation, which creates a "live" sound. Concert or stage performances are recorded using remote recording techniques.
Live albums may be recorded at a single concert , or combine recordings made at multiple concerts. They may include applause and other noise from the audience, comments by the performers between pieces, improvisation, and so on. They may use multitrack recording direct from the stage sound system rather than microphones placed among the audience , and can employ additional manipulation and effects during post-production to enhance the quality of the recording.
Live double albums emerged during the s. Appraising the concept in Christgau's Record Guide: Rock Albums of the Seventies , Robert Christgau said most "are profit-taking recaps marred by sound and format inappropriate to phonographic reproduction you can't put sights, smells, or fellowship on audio tape. The best-selling live album worldwide is Garth Brooks ' Double Live , which shipped overCustom Mixtape CDs Personalized. Ship your mix CD or pick up in local stores my mixed CD: 0 Tracks | minutes left on CD: | price: $ (1st track $ + $ ea) | view mix cd.