How Vinyl Produces Sound Waves

Vinyl is an interesting medium because no other medium reproduces music in the same way. While today people use completely digital sound files to listen to music, before it had to provide a format that could mimic sound waves as closely as possible to provide a great listening experience. Even though it may seem like aged technology, vinyl is making a significant comeback that makes the technology that continues to be developed up to today much more interesting.

Rather Simple Devices

Even though the record has not changed much since its introduction, it is the most important part since it contains the information used to reproduce people’s favorite songs. Records are actually rather simple devices since they are basically just discs with grooves that contain real etchings of sound waves that are cut to the disc after a successful recording. The disc is round because it allows a long spiral of information to be printed on it, which allows a certain amount of time to be recorded based on how fast the record is playing. The slower it spins, the longer the audio information, but the reduction in length relates directly to a lower dynamic quality of the music. Today’s bit depth is a similar measurement, basically including more sound frames to put together to produce a higher quality sound.

Can’t Do Anything Without the Needle

The record player is a bit more complex since it relates directly to how good the sound will be reproduced through the amplifier and speakers. The motor that turns the record is important because ones that do not keep a constant speed will constantly change the pitch and speed the music is reproduced at. The needle, however, is the most important piece since it directly reads the information in the grooves of the record. People want to hear their Beatles Vinyl at its fullest quality, so getting needles that read poorly and could ultimately damage the disc is completely out of the question since preserving the original sound is extremely important.

Amplifying the Sound

Lastly, the amplifier and speakers need to color the sound as little as possible and reproduce the original tonal quality of the music. While most amplifiers will give options to equalize the sound to one’s liking, making sure the sound is as true as possible when nothing is engaged makes for an excellent quality of sound to be worked off of. Hearing modified Neil Young Vinyl will serve well in many situations, especially when taste in music requires a different equalization based on the sound one’s favorite artists use. Sometimes this works best, since the most true sound is often no longer desirable. Most popular artists have had digitally remastered music at points in time since newer technology allows a whole new spectrum of sound to emerge that was not possible previously.

Eric Blair writes about retro music and vinyl recordings from that are gaining more and more popularity once again.

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