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Vinyl


Alex Wilson

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blog-0651859001415463268.jpgI've always been fascinated with old electronics. Like those old digital readout clocks from the 80s, that flip the numbers down instead of having LEDs. There's something about having a true literal system that is more interesting to me than just virtual code on a computer.

Vinyl records are another example of this. You can actually see the music and sound being created as the record and needle move on a turntable. The start of vinyl was a discovery by Thomas Edison. Edison knew that sound was vibration of particles in a medium (usually air). He invented the phonograph which could record and play back sound. It worked by having a membrane connected to a needle, which rotated and moved linearily when the membrane was rotated by a crank. Sound waves caused the membrane to vibrate and then the needle would etch grooves into the foil and record the sound. Unfortunately, the phonograph was impractical among the general population.

Later, a German by the name of Emile Barliner created the gramophone. Gramophones could not record but they could play back sound. This created the whole record industry. Music would be recorded on a master record and then copies would be made and sold.

Modern vinyl records are a bit more complicated and have electrical signals which transmit the vibrations to create grooves and have a longer, but more effective, process to creating copies.

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