Music is an art. It is one of the most significant forms of entertainment ever! Imagine a world with no music? How would it be? The fact is, we’re all enthralled by the beauty of this unique art. Have you ever wondered how we play music on our devices? I mean, it didn’t just pop out of nowhere. People didn’t just wake up and find themselves playing music. It must have started from somewhere. Well, it started with vinyl records!
Vinyl records have been around since the late 1800s. Not many know how they work or the history behind them. It started with famous scientists of the 19th century. Some of them are Thomas Edison and Emile Berliner. They all played significant roles; some discovered how sound travels in waves while others learned how to capture that sound and replay it. This sliver of imagination grew to what we know as one of the most excellent forms of music today. In the 20th century, scientists worked hard to improve recording on vinyl records as well as how to play them.
What started as rocket science is now the norm. Unfortunately, even standard science might be tricky to understand if you don’t have a clue of how the whole process works. In this post, I’ll guide you through how music gets recorded on vinyl and how to put it on vinyl.
Let’s take a quick look at some of the questions that might be running through your mind at the moment. If you’re a little more advanced and not a novice like me on this topic, check out Tunecore.com’s article on “The basics of vinyl.”
Reasons you might want to put music on a vinyl record
As society progressed, most started embracing CD and replacing vinyl. Most millennials have probably never listened to music from a vinyl record. Some suggest that vinyl records produce better music than digital files, but it remains a subjective topic. Each has their own opinion about the matter.
The quality of the sound is subjective, but there is one common thing that almost everyone enjoys, and that’s the experience! People who appreciate music or art, in general, understand the very origin of that art. We can now play music on our devices. We listen to some of the music from the 19th century, all thanks to vinyl records. There are beauty and nostalgia in listening to music from a vinyl record. That is probably the most common reason why most people from our time choose to put music on a vinyl record.
Besides the obvious, here are some simple benefits to putting music on vinyl:
Vinyl records are valuable
How does it feel when you watch some English man in a movie playing a slow jam from a vinyl record? How does it feel when you watch a beautiful couple dance from music performed on a vinyl record? It feels good. Well, many people think that things from the past were more real. Owning a record immediately provides a higher perceived value than a digital record or even CD.
It feels aesthetic when you stare at a collection of vinyl records. They have a better appeal compared to CDs and tapes. If the owner is a serious collector, they will most certainly have some kind of decorative or stylish display case for all their records. They might even have specially designed record player stand or even use a vintage media console. Before you know it, your record collection forms part of your interior design style. Did I also mention that some rare records can be worth thousands of dollars?
You will find yourself reminiscing of the old days when you play a vinyl record. You don’t have to have been born 80 years ago to feel nostalgic about vinyl records. We have the internet and old movies to tell us about those times. There is a certain profound feeling of nostalgia come with listening to vinyl.
There is a subtle difference between vinyl records and CD as well as tapes. It is deep and profound, and it will leave you feeling therapeutic and relaxed. As the needle hums along the record grooves, you can always grasp some sporadic cracking sound. It is this cracking sound that brings about the unique texture in vinyl records. Yes, I previously said the sound quality is subjective, but you can’t argue that it’s unlike any other out there.
The experience that you have when listening to a jam humming on your record player is precious and beyond compare. Vinyl feels and is more tangible. You can touch the record, look at the cover art, and physically put in on the record player. That’s different and incredibly unique.
How is music stored on a vinyl record?
As I mentioned above, music was first stored on vinyl decades ago. Before music gets recorded on vinyl, they’re usually recorded on a master first. After recording on a master record, they’re later pressed onto vinyl. A record player, with a stylus that’s commonly made from diamond or sapphire, carries the sound through a tonearm. The stylus is usually attached to the tonearm. The sound travels to a cartridge with coils in a magnetic field. The coils transmit the vibrations and amplify them via speakers electronically, and thus we hear sound or music.
This video will also provide more information:
Tools you’ll need if you want to record music on vinyl records yourself
The process is not as complicated as it used to be before. You need a turntable, a vinyl recorder, and an audio track, and various other tools. I’ve previously discussed vinyl recording through the Vinylrecorder T560 on my post about blank vinyl records here. Keep in mind it’s not a cheap process from the looks of it. I have to admit that I’m not exceptionally experienced in this area. From my research, you can either purchase a vinyl recording device or get a service to record the music for you. If you were an artist, you would probably order a set of vinyl records through your record company. Either way, setting yourself up with all the necessary tools for recording music on a vinyl record seems quite expensive.
Services that help you put music on vinyl records
There is a range of services that help people to put music on vinyl records. This includes vinylify.com, freestyle-vinyl.com, and a few others. I’ve previously mentioned Vinylify.com, so I’m not going to into more detail about the. Freestyle-vinyl.com sells vinyl recording services, starting at $24.99. It usually takes about a week or so to have your new record ready.
Besides these services, I’ve also recently discovered that Bandcamp offers vinyl printing campaigns for artists. Find out more about that in the video below.
As I bring this to a close, I hope you have a better understanding of the process of putting music on vinyl and why people do it. I know that I did not go into lots of technical details about the recording process. However, this article should have at least pointed you in the right direction for further research on the subject.
If you have any additional information you would like me to add to this post, be sure to contact me!