By Michael Price
While many people are downloading their music off their computer or buying songs or albums on iTunes, other folks are turning to vinyl records to get their music.
Whether they are purchased as a collector’s item, to mix on a turn table, or simply just to listen to, vinyl is becoming popular. Now I know what people are thinking “vinyl records? That’s dinosaur technology.” But, they offer an authentic analog sound that some of recording artists intended an album to sound like.
That warm fuzzy sound when people turn it on. The crackle and scratch when people put needle to vinyl is something people can’t get buying digital albums. Vinyl record sales are making a resurgence. Students can buy vinyl records in various places. Certain trendy clothing stores carry them, along with some thrift stores. Also, the all-carrying Amoeba’s Music store in Hollywood has vinyl records for sale.
There are record swaps where people can take their albums and sell or trade them with other record collectors. Anyone can find some rare vinyl pressings at record swaps. People can buy vinyl records online as well. I myself collect vinyl records and my collection may not be vast yet, but it is slowly growing. Not all my records are the same. Vinyl pressings aren’t dependent on genres.
There are vinyl records of all sorts of music. From jazz to rock to hip hop and R&B to reggae, ska, electronica and everything in between. Whatever the crowd is looking for, its probably in stock. Anyone can find almost every artist on vinyl records. It’s just a matter of going out there and finding them, which is something else in itself, kind of like going on a personal scavenger hunt.
Some music is easier to find on vinyl. Most new and upcoming artists release vinyl albums, too. People can buy used vinyl as well as new vinyl records. Used vinyl is relatively cheap. Anyone can find them for pennies on the dollar. New vinyl album prices can vary. Also, newer pressed vinyl may come with a download code so people can also get a digital copy onto their computer. Students can find, on vinyl, the newest music on radio as well as all the golden oldies.
Now buying vinyl might not be for everyone. They are clunky, fragile, warp in the heat, and everyone might not have a record player, but it’s incomparable. It’s an authentic sound. There is something soothing about listening to vinyl records.
New record players aren’t so cheap. They range from $150 to $300 although some may be more expensive. For an avid collector it’s a good investment. Some record players come with USB jacks to plug into people’s computers to make digital copies of those old vinyl records that have not yet been released or remastered. Some even come with CD burners that will record people’s vinyl onto a CD so people can take their vinyl sound with them on the go.
So if students’ parents or grandparents have an old working record player, go out and give it a try. Find something and throw it on, sit back and enjoy.