CD and vinyl: the whole truth about vinyl

    Good day, Habrausers. For a long time I gathered with thoughts and ideas about my first topic here. And then the time has come. And I want to tell you about my favorite: music, and directly this topic about its carriers.

    I will narrate from the point of view of the DJ.


    How many praises were sung to the “warmest, only, sweetest and unique, real” analog sound that only a black record and a vinyl player can give. The rustling of a needle, the warmth of a 12-inch vinyl pancake, the cardboard square of a package that you open as a letter from a loved one, a true music lover will not be exchanged for anything. To this day, the albums of popular artists coming out on vinyl have been steadily being sold out, and there is no doubt that the record will survive the CD. (my subjective opinion)

    To begin with, let’s see how and where the music gets to certain media. So, initially all electronic music is written using special computer sequencer software. Accordingly, the final recording is a file of good quality and high resolution, such as WAV (the most common), or AIFF (a format similar to WAV, only promoted by Apple and native to all of its products). Further, after a record is recorded on a label, depending on the type of label and the release itself, the record is either sold in its original form (WAV), or encoded in the format with the least loss of quality (MP3 itself with a bitrate of 320 kbps), or cut into a vinyl record.

    In a word, there is no difference between the WAV file and the vinyl record - the track is the same. However, if you put a track recorded on CD from the original WAV file and the same track from vinyl, the difference in sound will be very significant: the vinyl will sound softer and fatter. Why, you ask? - after all, the original record was completely identical.

    The answer here lies not in the recording itself or the technology of cutting into vinyl, but in the way it is reproduced. When we play a digital recording from a CD, we will hear exactly what was recorded on it, without any changes or distortions (unless of course you have a good sound that faithfully transmits all frequencies). What happens with vinyl?

    Here you need to understand a little bit about the sound recording mechanism of the vinyl player itself. So, we have a plate on which paths with very small grooves are cut. On the tonearm (the metal rod, on which the cartridge with the needle is worn) the player puts on a special removing needle, which passes through these grooves and reproduces sound from them. Moreover, this process is purely mechanical, i.e. even if we turn off the player from the network and disconnect from the sound, and we will rotate the plate, bringing the ear close to the needle, we will hear a sound.

    Next, the very sound is converted into a weak electrical signal with the help of an internal needle cartridge stripper (akin to a microphone), which then goes to the input of the mixing console, where the preamp passes and then goes to the channel where we control it.

    However, in addition to a clean, effective signal, the needle also removes to a small extent the sound of everything happening around. First of all, it is the sound (mainly low-frequency, bass) from monitors and speakers in the club - the so-called feedback (from the English. Feedback - return, return). In this case, it creates an effect similar to reverb. It also mixes in small distortions due to the fact that the needle cannot pass the same paths each time, and the turntable itself in the club cannot stand absolutely still (vibration from subwoofers, one way or another, will affect the entire contents of the DJ and turntables - not an exception).

    And in this way, by adding the described impurities to the main signal recorded on the plate, we get the very soft and bold sound at the output.

    From all the above, one single conclusion follows: vinyl, of course, gives a much more pleasant, greasy and harmonious sound.

    But, as always in such cases, there is one big “BUT”, more precisely not even one, but several, but for now we will analyze the most essential: you have to pay for quality, and a lot: the cost of one record now, as before, is about 10 - 13 dollars.

    The second “BUT” is a temporary factor in the appearance of the material at the end user, that is, our brother DJ with you. From the moment a freshly released vinyl release comes to you from England or Germany, CD-shn DJs will already be chasing it from CDs. And there are also so-called anrelises - tracks written by, say, your friends or just friendly musicians who agreed to give you a promotional record before its official release. There are simply no such tracks on vinyl, and when it will appear is unknown.

    In addition to vinyl records and CDs, there are also options such as Serato and Final Scratch. If you have a laptop and the sound module itself, these options will allow you to create a visual feel for vinyl; however, vinyl will not be replaced.

    And so to summarize the pros and cons of vinyl!


    (I think this is a disease when you hear a good composition and there is always a desire to buy it on vinyl ... - sick :-)

    • Visual effect, nice to watch and nice to play on vinyl
    • More volumetric sound - space drawing
    • Also ... there are a lot of tracks every day, Beatport and other services are bursting with poor-quality material from pseudo-musicians who have no idea about mastering. Vinyl, at least in part, insures against "poor quality", as the manufacturer must be sure that he can realize the circulation
    • Vinyl gives you more power to remember where which track


    (there is a way out of every minus given here - options are given in brackets)

    • It’s hard to carry records (there are bags on wheels, for example: UDG Trolley)
    • The record is expensive (but it looks expensive)
    • Wait a long time, usually from 2 weeks or more (unfortunately, nothing can be done about this)
    • In some places you have to deal with resonance (we put napkins under the legs of the player)
    • Envelopes are torn quickly (we use a wide adhesive tape)
    • The layers themselves also wear out ... if you play a lot of them and / or on stupid or improperly tuned needles (you should buy good needles and set them up)

    Now, perhaps the first pancake is ready, I don’t know the truth how lumpy it is. Please love and respect.

    Description of technical issues taken from the website of Promo DJ Thanks gribozavr , the article has been stored for a long time - could not find the official source!

    Also popular now: