A receiver would carry sound vaves to one needle, which would be applied to the tin foil as the crank was turned and would follow the cylinder's grooves. Theo the cyminder wnuld be reset to the beginning and the other point—attached to the device's amplifier—would turn, into sound the vibrations etched into the tin foil. News of the ingenious talking machine spread rapidly, interesting not only the National Academy of Sciences and the Smithsonian Institution but President Rutherford B. Hayes, who is said to have sat up until 3 A.
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The raw materials for record manufacture were subdivided into those needed to make the master disc, those for actual pressing of the records, and the paper goods needed for labels, sleeves, and jackets. The master disc was made of black lacquer, so it could be etched with grooves to carry the sound. Silver was used to coat the finished disc, and chromium-plated nickel discs were used to press the "vinyl" records. Records were most commonly made of black plastic, although some were produced in other colors.
Recording companies developed the designs for their own labels, sleeves, and album jackets; however, manufacture of these was usually subcontracted to paper suppliers and printers. Records evolved into three sizes and three forms of sound reproduction. Originally, records were played at a speed of 78 revolutions per minute rpm and were called 78s. The 78s were largely replaced by long-playing records, also called LPs and 33s because they revolve when played at Records with a single song on each side were known as singles and also called 45s because their playing speed was 45 revolutions per minute.
In their early years, these records were monaural with sound that usually only came from one needle or speaker and seemed to have only one dimension or source direction.
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As technology improved, sound was recorded in stereo or quadrophonic sound that was also typically projected from two or four speakers and was more realistic because it captured sound as we hear it with two ears. Standardized record players prevented much variation in physical design of the record.
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Creativity, instead, came from the recording studio but also from the artists, writers, and researchers who developed the artwork and text on the album jackets. Today's collectors are often as interested in the rare photos and drawings and historical narratives on the record jackets as they are in the music inside. After the master disc is thoroughly inspected, a metal mold is formed from the metal master, and liquid nickel is poured into the mold to produce a nickel stamping record from each side of the metal master.
These stampers are also electroplated with chromium in order to prevent scratching. The stampers are used to produce LPs from vinyl squares called biscuits. Historically, sound engineers in the studio carefully monitored all aspects of recording to make sure the most desirable sound quality was recorded. The mastering engineer's job was to transfer that quality to a reproducable master disc within the technical constraints of the size of the record and its grooves. After a test pressing was made, the record producer and sometimes the artists had the opportunity for an important quality control check in reviewing and approving the test pressing.
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In the record factory, operators checked the biscuits and the motions of the press and provided ands-on monitoring of the pressing of records. The finishing department also inspected the final product for scratches, bumps, and other irregularities and cleaned each LP before it was packaged. After the records were sealed in their jackets and boxed in bulk, an independent group of testers chose packaged records randomly and removed them from their packaging.
These testers checked the packaging itself, played the records, and inspected them for any flaws.
Making Music Sustainable
Flawed records were melted and pressed again, as were the square corners that were removed from the biscuits to make them into round LPs. The chip of waste lacquer from the making of the master disc was recycled, and any nickel or chromium from the metal processing portions of master disc production was carefully controlled and recycled. The manufacture of long-playing records is a thing of the past. Compact discs stepped to the forefront of recordings in the s because they are not worn by playing, they are more convenient in size, and their sound reproduction quality is better. All sizes of vinyls, however, have many fans among collectors.
Some recordings simply have not been remade in compact disc form and are only available on LPs. More often, collectors treasure the collectible character of these records for their sounds, the kinds of music they preserve, and the artwork and information on record jackets. Edmunds, Alice. Who Puts the Grooves in the Record?
But if you don't like clocks made from old Peter Frampton vinyl — which, yes, is perfectly understandable — and can bear to live without that little crackle you hear when you put the needle to record, here's another idea: just listen to music digitally. It sounds literally just as good as vinyl, takes up a fraction of the space and, according to Andie, the switch could be your good deed of the day. Consider the fact a vinyl record's carbon footprint is much higher than that of a CD, and it's clear that your crate-digging obsession makes you a monster who doesn't care one bit about the future of this planet.
But what if you can't let go? What if you need to keep buying vinyl because it's "tangible" and "real", unlike MP3s, which are "also absolutely real"? Well, you can still do your part.
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So there you have it: if you press vinyl professionally, think about switching to that process. For me, something recorded AAD is the best and I consider myself a fairly good judge of music being a 30 year musician and teacher myself. The crackle and hum of records is simply annoying to me and hassle of putting on a record…. As a record production professional with roots established as a recording engineer at the World Class level, I can attest to the quality of professional-level digital recording. Analog tape can be pushed to levels of saturation that give a mix a truly beautiful sonic quality vs digital dBfs.
I say this with the caveat that only a true hi-fidelidity, so-to-speak, vinyl system is essential. Until recent years, I had not heard a system set up purely for vinyl. It was put together by another colleague of mine for his home. To sound its best the vinyl master plates need to be cut in the correct material. Copper plates DMM are better sound quality but Acetate is better for stuff with a really heavy bassline. Any use of a digital source as an original to master from will also make the vinyl sound worse as due to the way digital audio reproduction works it is impossible for it sound as good as analogue.
Any difference in sound quality comes from a mastering difference. The sub-point about recording equipment being better now is dumb because obviously that applies to all formats. The point is made that vinyl will never die because of this, but obviously the original nostalgic vinyl buying crowd WILL die! If you care about the packaging so much, buy a poster or something — or yes — buy the vinyl and put it on your wall, but this is nothing to do with the actual vinyl being better is it?
People buying vinyl records are just like Apple fans: they do it because they are posers. They think their choices are better because they are pricier. In facts, they are more mainstream than ever. Seriously abbey rd? Goddamn people need to get over the beatles hype. Pet Sounds beats the hell out of any beatles tripe.
I will never forget the strange feelin to hear it on vinyl.
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Face it, people are just susceptible to marketing. Thanks for putting my feelings into words! You must be logged in to post a comment. Skip to content. The xx, The xx 10, These are just some of the reasons why I think vinyl is here to stay forever. Chris Bauer. Related Articles.
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Graphic Design: What makes a good logo design? Log in to Reply. People are talking about records popping snapping crackling.