If there is one thing that I have learned about vinyl records over the years, it’s that they are a very personal form of music. You can express your emotions and feelings through these tools in a way that is unlike any other. The fact that you can scratch them, play them at different speeds, flip them over, or even record your own version on top of someone else’s makes them an incredibly versatile format.
This versatility has made vinyl records so popular for decades now. But what exactly is a vinyl record? What do they look like? How do they work? And why should you care? Let’s find out!
The Basics of Vinyl Records
Vinyl records are physical objects. In fact, they’re more than just a piece of plastic with some grooves cut into it. Each vinyl record contains three layers:
- A Polyvinyl Chloride (PVC) layer is the outermost layer. It is here that all of the information is contained. It is also the part of the record that will eventually wear off.
- An Aluminum Stiffener Layer. This is basically a spacer between the PVC layer and the actual sound recording layer.
- The Sound Recording Layer. This is the part of the record where the audio data gets recorded. Copper or aluminum is usually used as the material.
Let’s take a closer look at each of these parts.
Polyvinyl Chloride Layers
There are two types of vinyl records. These are called “single” and “double.” Single records contain only one side; double records contain both sides. Double records are typically found on albums and singles.
Single records are much thinner than double records. Because of this, single records can’t hold as many songs. Also, because there is less space inside of a single record, the quality of the sound tends to suffer. However, single records are easier to produce and generally cost less than double records.
Double records tend to be thicker than single records. This allows them to hold more tracks. However, double records are harder to make and require special equipment. The cost of double records is also higher than that of single records.
Structure of A Vinyl Record
Polyvinyl chloride (PVC) is the first layer of a vinyl record. It is this layer that contains all of the information on the record. After the stiffener layer, the third layer is the sound recording layer. This is where the actual audio data is recorded. The fourth layer is the stiffener layer. The stiffener layer is a spacer between the first and third layers.
How To Play A Vinyl Record
To play a vinyl record, simply place it on a turntable. You may need to adjust the speed of the turntable depending on how fast the song plays. For example, if the song is playing at 45 RPM, then you would set the turntable to 45 RPM.
If the record spins too quickly, the needle won’t be able to catch the groove. This could cause skipping. If the record spins too slowly, then the needle might not hit the right spot. This could result in distortion.
If you want to hear a sample of what a vinyl record sounds like, check out our video on vinyl samples here.
Why Should I Care About Vinyl Records?
- For starters, vinyl records have been around longer than any other type of music media. They’ve been used since the 1920s.
- Vinyl records were originally invented by Thomas Edison. He wanted a way to store audio recordings for people who couldn’t afford phonographs.
- In 1933, vinyl records became commercially available. Since then, vinyl has become an important form of music storage.
- The main reason why we care about vinyl records is because they’re durable. Unlike CDs, vinyl records don’t degrade over time. If anything, they improve over time!
- That’s because vinyl records use a different kind of technology than CDs. Instead of using tiny magnets, vinyl records use grooves cut into the surface of the record.
- These grooves act as a sort of guide for the needle. As long as the needle remains in the same groove, the song will continue to play without skipping or distorting.
- This means that your vinyl collection will last you forever. No matter how old your kids are when you die, they’ll still have access to your entire music library.
- Another advantage of vinyl records is their high-quality sound. While most modern music players are designed to work well with digital files, they aren’t always great at reproducing the full range of frequencies found in vinyl records.
In addition, vinyl records are often easier to find than older formats such as 78 rpm discs and 33 1/3 rpm discs.
- While vinyl records can be difficult to produce, they’re easy to listen to. That makes them perfect for parties and family gatherings.
- They’re also ideal for listening to while doing chores around the house.
Finally, vinyl records are more environmentally friendly than CDs. Because vinyl records contain no plastic, they’re much less likely to end up in landfills.
Recordings on vinyl are an ideal format for a variety of reasons. They provide excellent sound quality, but they are also very durable.
Vinyl albums are also easy to find. You can buy them online from a variety of stores.
A few supplies and some equipment are all you need to make your own vinyl records at home.
We think you’ll enjoy making your own vinyl records as much as we do. If you want something unusual, then try making your own vinyl records.