Hello! Hello! Welcome to the weekend! Another week down in May...can you believe it?! Here's to hoping you all have a little adventure planned for this weekend. Better yet, here's to hoping an adventure finds you! Thanks to a stroll through Georgetown I can already put a ✔️ next to that box...
Apparently, music is just like fashion. Don't throw anything away, because in a few years it will be back! In the case of vinyl records, it's a sixty-seven years later kind of back. From my favorite married couple in Woodley Park to Mackenzie Horan of Design Darling, I am seeing their reemergence everywhere. Which got me thinking, "how do vinyl records even work?!" So, off to Google I went...
googled: how do vinyl records work
Scientifically put, it's analog sound reproduction. The everyday explanation...the grooves on a vinyl record consist of physical shapes that mimic sound waves. The grooves vary from narrow to wide and deep to shallow. Specific shapes produce specific frequencies. For example, higher frequencies are narrow, and lower frequencies are wide. The stylus, or record needle, passes over the unique shapes that correlate to the sounds in a specific song. The movement produces a vibration that is ultimately transmitted to us as a sound wave. Thus, sound is analogous to shape.
But how do vibrations become audible sound?! The mechanical energy of the vibration is first converted into an electrical signal. The stylus, cantilever, magnets, and coils of a record player are responsible for this energetic conversation. From there, the electrical signals are amplified and converted back into another form of mechanical energy, the sound wave.
Interestingly, the sound waves of different musical elements - a drum versus a vocal - do not travel separately. The music travels as one waveform that enters our ear canal as one complete sound. It is our brain that recognizes the different elements contained within, and it sorts them accordingly. Very sassy!
There is an ongoing argument as to whether or not music sounds better when played from a vinyl record. Modern technology has certainly helped to enhance vinyl record production, and advancements to record players have also helped improve past issues. To some extent records have returned as a novelty, and there are certainly occasions where vinyl is not the best option. When it comes to Saturday night with Skrillex, vinyl is definitely out. But for a lazy Sunday afternoon with Mr. Sinatra, I'll be making the vinyl investment.
If you are in the DC area, I highly recommend an adventure to Hill & Dale. Tucked away in a secret alley of Georgetown (like all the best shops...) this place is a true gem. Unlike other record stores in the area, the store has minimalistic, modern, and airy feel that makes the whole experience of picking out your [first] vinyl record a true joy! There are no pretenses or stupid questions. The staff at Hill & Dale are extremely friendly and knowledgable. And yes, I did walk out with Coldplay's Ghost Stories. But the real travesty is that I don't even own a record player... #ImplusePurchase
But seriously....I can't say enough great things about Hill & Dale. Find their website here, their Instagram (hillanddalerecords) here, and their Twitter (@HillDaleRecords) here. You need a bit of a treasure map to find their physical location on 1054 31st Street, NW, but the hunt is so worth it!
Happy Scopesing! Can't wait to see you Sassy Cats back here on Monday!