Turntables: The Past Is Now the Future

Turntables were a part of the past but are now a part of the future. If you are as old as I am (I attended college back in the late 80s), you certainly remember record players. I remember purchasing my first stereo system at Montgomery Ward in 1988. It came complete with a cassette deck, AM/FM radio and record player. I used to love going to the music store and purchasing vinyl albums all the time. Among my favorites were Duran Duran, Huey Lewis and the News and Van Halen.
I also remember going to nightclubs where DJs played vinyl albums all night long. If I heard a song I liked, I would rush to the music store the next day and buy the 12 inch single on record. I remember having two milk crates full of albums. Never in my wildest dreams did I imagine that records would become a part of the past.
Every few years there seems to be a new format for music or movies. In terms of music we have gone from records and eight-track cartridges to cassette tapes to CDs and finally to MP3s. But now we have come to a point in time where turntables are back in fashion. Today, turntables can connect to our PCs via USB. What's cool about this is if you happen to still own some vinyl records from the past, you can now transfer those songs to your computer very easily if you own a USB turntable.
And what's even better is that, as a DJ, you can hook up a USB turntable to your computer and play vinyl records all night without the use of a full-blown stereo system. It has been argued that digital music never quite had the feel or the electricity of vinyl music. Do you remember when you would play a vinyl record and you could hear a slight popping sound in the background? That was simply part of the experience of owning an old-fashioned record player.
It was also quite an art to take the needle and try to place it precisely at the beginning of any particular track. But after a while, most of us got very good at it. Do you remember the awful sound you would hear from the speakers if you pulled the needle away from the record while slightly scratching it at the same time? Record players do bring back some nice memories.
When CDs were first introduced to the market, they were being heralded as being the most pure form of music one could ever hear. And quite honestly we never thought that CDs would become part of the past as well. However, with the new MP3 format, CDs have suddenly taken a backseat to yet another type of digital music.
Although this may be a very biased opinion, I have played music on vinyl and compared it to the new MP3 format. Quite frankly I think that the vinyl format blows the MP3 away. But like I said this is a very biased opinion. One of the things you notice most about vinyl music is that the sound is very "deep". This deep rich sound is hard to duplicate in MP3 format.
Don't get me wrong. I am a realist. I realize that it is not practical to carry around a crate full of records just to listen to music. It is obviously much easier to carry around individual CDs or an actual MP3 player. So in the end these types are much more convenient and portable.
There was certainly a point in time when we all thought vinyl was dead. But as it turns out, lately there have been a number of albums that have been released on vinyl records. Because of this, we have seen the newest type of turntables for sale hit the market. And as more groups release their albums on vinyl, the turntable market should increase even more.
Because of the ability to transfer, or rip your vinyl records to your computer and convert them to MP3 format, you can now technically clean up that background static and popping if you want. Earlier I mentioned that this is a good quality in vinyl records. But static and popping would not sound as good in MP3 format. As a matter of fact it would sound unusual because there would be no reason for an MP3 to have a popping sound or static.
Another good thing about USB turntables is that once I transfer the music to my PC, I can actually raise the sampling rate or quality. I can actually convert the music to play at a higher quality than CD quality. This gives me the best of both worlds. At home I can play the original vinyl versions of the music I love; when I'm on the move I can play the digital versions of the exact same music.
As I mentioned a little earlier it is possible for software to clean up any background noise or static from vinyl recordings. So if you have a garage full of vinyl records that you have not played in a long time, then perhaps it would be a good time to go out today and purchase a USB turntable.

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