vinyl record

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Related to Vinyl recording: Vinyl disc, 16 RPM

vinyl record

An analog audio recording pressed in vinyl. The 45 RPM record holds one song per side, while 33 1/3 RPM "Long Play" records hold an entire album (see LP). With the sound literally "carved" in a spiral groove starting at the outer edge of the platter, the undulations in the groove are an analog of the original acoustic waves. A needle (stylus) is placed in the groove, which oscillates as the platter rotates. The oscillations are converted to electricity, amplified and sent to the speakers.

The Stereo V Groove Breakthrough
In a monophonic record, an undulating horizontal groove is cut into the vinyl, providing both frequency and amplitude. Stereo, which was a big deal when introduced in the late 1950s, was designed for backward compatibility. Stereo places left and right channels in a V groove, and each side of the groove is 90 degrees from the other. From the horizontal motion of the stylus, the stereo cartridge senses the channels independently, but a monophonic cartridge picks up left and right as one. However, the stereo groove has a vertical component that provides a left-minus-right difference signal, which is only picked up by the stereo cartridge.

A Bit of a Renaissance
Audiophiles believe the analog sound in vinyl records is the purest audio recording, and vinyl records and turntables have been making a comeback over the past several years. Although only a fraction of total music revenue, approximately 13 and 14 million vinyl record albums were sold in 2016 and 2017 respectively. See stylus and turntable.


The 78 RPM Record
Originally constructed of shellac resin, 78 records made of vinyl debuted during World War II, when shellac was limited. This Edison 78 RPM player was made by the Victor Talking Machine Company circa 1916.







45 RPM Players
Introduced in the late 1940s, the small 45 RPM vinyl record was a hit among teenagers. Due to the smaller size, portable players became very popular. (Images courtesy of Vintage Vibe, www.thevintagevibestore.com)


45 RPM Players
Introduced in the late 1940s, the small 45 RPM vinyl record was a hit among teenagers. Due to the smaller size, portable players became very popular. (Images courtesy of Vintage Vibe, www.thevintagevibestore.com)







"The Sweet Sound of Vinyl"
A far cry from the turntables above, this VPI Avenger for 33 RPM LPs is pure audiophile quality. "The sweet sound of vinyl" is the company's tag line for the product. (Image courtesy of VPI Industries, www.vpiindustries.com)
References in periodicals archive ?
The 1927 FA Cup Final programme and the vinyl recording of Abide With Me
13th Ave., the only question is if - or when - vinyl recordings will reclaim the dominant spot that compact discs have held for the past couple of decades.
The band were given vinyl recordings of the Electric Light Orchestra by Jeff Lynne in the 1970s and 80s and aim to "recreate them with the emphasis on attention to detail and want to do justice to a really wonderful band that were way ahead of their time in many respects".
Alt Vinyl specialises in rare and deleted vinyl recordings, but has also recently launched its own record label.
Founded in 1994 by two members of the Clean Needles Now needle exchange in Hollywood, the group have since grown to four, released almost a dozen CDs and vinyl recordings, performed at international music festivals, produced commissioned broadcasts for European radio, and exhibited sound installations in numerous shows in the US and abroad.
The recording of the Unique Quartet from 1893 is so old that it predates vinyl recordings. The song, ''Mama's Black Baby Boy,'' was recorded on a wax-covered cylinder using technology invented by Thomas Edison.