Some may describe it as a newfound hipster movement, just another phase attempting to reintroduce something old as “new”. In my eyes though vinyl has aged quite well. Many think that the rise in popularity is particularly due to those who wish to have the upper snobbish hand in conversation when they describe how they listen to their music but it’s much more than that. It’s the rebirth of authentic and raw sound, how music should always be heard.
It's popularity has risen so much in recent times that Technics, a producer of turntables has actually come back into business this year to start production again due to the sharp increase (52%) in record sales. Even pressing factories have flourished back to life with many companies opting to open up new sites to cater for the increased demand.
Although many argue that CD’s will always sound better and look sometimes they do but what emotion does a digitally mastered and cleaned track really give you? If I have lost you by now then this article isn’t for you, but if you’re one to understand the true feeling behind listening to raw analogue sound, untouched and naked in it’s presence then keep reading.
Vinyl has stuck in the hearts of many, not for it’s inconvenience and cost but instead it’s emotional connection that it provides to the music. Vinyl has to be cared for, you need the right equipment and knowing that the first time you ever listen to an LP will be the best it sounds truly makes you appreciate the music on it. Some may not be able to hear the difference between CD and LP but personally I believe there is a large difference.
To exclude all technical jargon from the argument, I’ll put it simply that when a CD is mastered or created the sound waves are digitized into 1’s and 0’s – this is great for storage and convenience but CD’s limit is the amount of these 1’s and 0’s that can be present onthe disc – this means essentially cutting out certain high and low dynamic parts of the song. Compared to vinyl whereby it’s only limitation is the amount of time you can store rather than the amount of data – analogue recordings are preferred due to their nature of being completely uncompressed and raw; they are still mastered but are generally less altered than their CD counterparts.
When listening to vinyls, if you have a peculiar ear you’ll notice a number of things; the bass sounds smoother, the dynamics of the song are higher as well as their impact through the speakers. CD’s provide a fantastic sound as well, mainly known as the “clean” sound free from pops and hisses but it lacks certain emotion, the sound is flat and common compared to an LP.
To put it bluntly vinyl is the new cool, it carries that boss factor along with it; it lets you appreciate the music for what it was created for; the emotion.
If you still think vinyls are a bit of a hipster movement then each to their own, but if you're game enough to label Harvey Specter a hipster then you may need to reassess your opinion; there are a lot of reasons as to why he has a vinyl collection compared to CD, I'll let you figure those out.