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Vintage Sounds: The Crackle And Pop Of Vinyl Records

NPR
Monday, May 6, 2013

Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

As part of our occasional series on All Tech Considered, "Vintage Sounds," we remember sounds of older technology that brings fond memories to the minds of listeners. Today, three listeners share what they liked about vinyl records.

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

Here on All Tech Considered, we've been hearing from you about sounds you miss hearing, sounds made by vintage technology. For a handful of you, that sound comes from the playing of vinyl records.

(SOUNDBITE OF A SCRATCHED RECORD)

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

Listener Michael Gaffney of Rochester, New York, is a high school digital art teacher who says he still has a love of analog equipment and the sounds associated with them. He writes...

CORNISH: The crackles and pops from a vinyl record, the thump of each letter on a typewriter, or even the crank of the film advance wheel on a 35mm camera. I still use all of these devices on a daily basis not out of irony, but simply because I stare at screens all day at work.

He goes on: It's also important in our nonstop culture to slow down and take our time to actually think about what we're doing with something physical.

BLOCK: Another listener, Kevin Dadey of Crafton, Pennsylvania, also loves spinning vinyl records. He notes this: After placing the stylus needle on the record, you hear tics, pops and scratches. These are sounds associated with the anticipation of the first musical notes. Michael Case of Grand Isle, Vermont agrees.

MICHAEL CASE: A phonograph needle dropping onto a record is like a drum roll. It's the sound of machine that travel in time and space. Maybe it's to a Louis Armstrong gig in the '30s or Inside Abbey Road with The Beatles, or to a gray moor with Cat Stevens or a backwoods studio with James Taylor and a casual studio band.

It could be a concert stage of the Grateful Dead or a New York City nightclub with jazz cats in the '50s. It's about one-and-a-half seconds of expectancy; the sound of a coming miraculous transformation, to the presence of my favorite people I've never met, my closest friends who understand me and with whom I want to be - someday, somehow.

CORNISH: A favorite vintage sound from Michael Case.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC) Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

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