Hi and welcome to Burning The Ground! My name is Paul (also known as DjPaulT). I was a DJ off and on for many years. I am a huge fan of the 80s and 90s 12″ mixes. I grew up in Oklahoma City and I now reside in Tulsa, Oklahoma.
My passion has always been Music. I am a collector of mostly vinyl 12″ maxi-singles. I sometimes reminisce about how much I loved going to my local Sam Goody, Sound Warehouse, Buttons or Musicland store and looking at all of the new 12″ singles that had arrived. I always loved how producers could remix a song into something completely new. I loved buying my record and taking it home. As I listened to the different mixes, I enjoyed looking at the big artwork as well as reading the liner notes and the production information. I even love the smell of a new vinyl record. Sadly all of the record shops began to close. I was left yearning for that experience of going to the record shop and finding many gems that are now forgotten.
In 2007 I became frustrated with the music industry. I started noticing that people were hungry for all of the singles that had disappeared from stores. I did not even have a blog yet. I just love 80s music. I love talking about 80s music. I love sharing it with like-minded people. It was those things that motivated me to spend money on music when I had a hard time affording basic necessities. In those early days of trial-and-error, asking for donations never occurred to me. I was simply transferring my favorite mixes, sharing them, and discussing them on music forums. In July of 2007, I decided to open Burning The Ground on Blogger. I purchased my very first blog-related turntable in 2007—the Numark TTUSB ($119). Even with the low-quality USB transfers, there were people who were grateful to hear the 12-inch mixes once again. But as you can imagine, comments from readers about low-quality sound were very frequent. I was a beginner audiophile. I made the mistake of upgrading from the Numark to a Stanton. I thought that since it was more expensive—($239)—it must sound better. I used the Stanton for a while, but I kept receiving comments complaining about low-quality. The transfers were not as rough-sounding as the Numark, but I soon learned that the Stanton was not an audiophile turntable. I then sought out the most affordable audiophile turntable that I could find and I settled on the Project Debut III ($249). I was learning by trial-and-error how to “master” audio, with de-clicking etc. An entire book would be required to explain all of the experiences of trial-and-error in my quest to achieve the best sound quality. For example, the constant conflicts between hardware and software. Then the need for an audiophile soundcard (ESI Juli@—$158). I won’t even go into details on the price of software and trying to find freeware programs that would do what I needed. There were times that I spent hours or days in front of the computer screen trying to fix a single issue with the sound of my transfers. I would fix it, but then something else would go wrong. I had heard great-sounding vinyl rips from others on the internet. I knew once I opened a blog on Blogger that awesome sound quality is achievable, but I was stuck.
Thankfully, comments from readers on my new blog were encouraging me to continue. My goal was to provide the lost masterpieces that have remained mostly out of print. I was learning what I needed but I did not have the money or time away from my day-to-day obligations to acquire the things that I needed. I got advice from a reader to ask for donations. I was resistant at first, but after being encouraged by my readers to take donations and seeing other blogs taking donations, I finally allowed Burning The Ground visitors to help me to acquire the things that I needed to make audiophile sounding rips.
Although I didn’t know much about ripping vinyl, I soon discovered that vinyl ripping really is an art form. So I began ripping my old vinyl. I became more confident. As I got more involved in vinyl ripping, I eventually figured out that I could rip vinyl very well. People finally began loving the sound of my rips. Burning The Ground ended up getting well over a million visitors in its first few years until Blogger shut down the original site in March of 2010.
In 2010 I began fresh and new with my current WordPress blog. Anyone who has followed my blog knows that I am very particular about my transfers and my posts. I take great pride in offering the best quality that I can provide. I always disliked spending my time downloading one of my favorite rare singles on the internet only to discover that the sound was low-quality. Even official industry downloads are often low-quality due to faulty mastering and/or excessive transcoding. I do my best to provide good quality posts. Quality is what sets Burning The Ground apart from other blogs. I also wanted to go the extra mile and provide some liner notes and artwork with each post. I like giving information to you about each single. Someone told me once that if anyone ever wanted to know about 80s or 90s dance music and remixes, all they had to do was come to Burning The Ground. From that point forward I have spent up to a few hours each day—Monday through Friday—working on a new transfer to post on Burning The Ground.
For the last couple of years, I have had the tradition of only raising funds once every 6 months. I start each fundraiser on a Friday and end it on Sunday. Only twice per year. I want you to be satisfied, and I am here to address your concerns. I use donations simply to keep the site available and to provide the best vinyl transfers. I only replace a needle that has been overused to the point of mild distortions and noise. The needle I had before this current 2017 needle, I had since 2013. That was 4 years of daily use. I went through several cheaper amps that would sometimes hiss and hum until I settled on my current amplifier, which is the same amp that I’ve had since 2007—the Bellari VP130—valued at between $250 and $300. I recall having to eat Ramen Noodles for a few weeks after purchasing that piece of hardware. I have also replaced the $20 tube on my amp since then. My current turntable—the Project Debut Carbon, Project’s upgraded version of the Debut III—was a birthday present two and a half years ago from my family.
I’m now finally to a point where I am transferring music more than I am dealing with trial-and-error hangups. I’m happy to focus on the music, and I am open to any suggestions for better sound. I hope that you find something that you like while visiting Burning The Ground. I am so glad I have all of you here with me on this musical journey.
January 1st, 2018