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"How about?": What's up with analogue?


Welcome to the new segment of the blog... "How about?", a phrase that often comes up in conversations. So, we're going to get into a 'conversation' here, mostly dialogue I guess (would love some input lowkey pls). For this post how about we get into the - somewhat credible - uprise of analogue sound; records, vinyls, big disk things... whatever you call it.

I've been a record head myself for about 5 years, and I will say, it's an addiction. But only once you start to feel the difference in the music. Everyone says, 'oh yeah its got that nice crispy old sound', but it's honestly not (just) that. That sound is reserved for old records, and although very beautiful, doesn't give you a glimpse of the clearness in sound in modern day records.

Now my explanation may go fairly nerdy here, but don't worry TL;DR ahead. The only way to perfectly mimic sound waves (an analogue signal) is by placing that sound on another analogous medium, in our case a wax vinyl record (it can also be magnetised tape). On the other hand, digital signals can only mimic fixed intervals of the same sound - this is called sampling (see below for diagram). This way you get a boxy representation of the waveform. So

you're missing out on a lot of - marginally unrecognisable - unrecorded sound. Now to most people this doesn't make a difference to them, and I understand that. Modern day technology has made digital recording extremely accurate (the boxes are much thinner and more closely spaced), it sounds pretty much the same to most uninterested ears. Lowkey-not-so-lowkey throwing shade on digital recording here. Anyways TL;DR, imagine the hit-hat sound, in a digital recording it would sound pixelated, pretty much a single sound. While with analogue, the same hit-hat would sound more alive, as if it were being played live, you feel the drummer hitting the hit-hat.

Now some of you may be wondering why the electronic scene is such a popular goto for record heads, isn't that mostly digital production? That's a very bad assumption of the scene. A lot of DJs for a long time now have been making sounds straight from electrical signal and recording that sound into an analogue format. On that note, Modern Rap/Hip-Hop falls mostly in the digital production/recording spectrum. Personally, I don't think it's really worth it to own a Rap/Hip-Hop record aside from the novelty of owning it as a physical product.

That is the key appeal for most record owners these days. It's the simple aesthetic of having a record collection, no matter how small. Personally, I found the vast majority of record owners are in it for the symbolism. A revelation of your interest in music. Ownership of music that sets you apart from the pack. A glimpse of who you are deep down. And yes many of these owners have really good music taste. As far as I can tell, they don't want to have many records, it is the symbolism they are more focused on. I guess there is some threshold to pass once the addiction really kicks in.

Picture this; hitting up your local record store (in Dubai it's Flipside btw) with some friends and just go digging. Look through the records, try them out. Don't like it, go to the next one. You're allowed to carry more than one record to the deck by the way, don't be scared. I take five usually, sometimes six. I'm telling you, the feeling of just hitting a banger record, can't be matched by any other form of music discovery, especially when you're scouring through the used section.

Do hit me up if you ever want a digging partner, I can spend hours just looking through records. And before I forget, Record Store Day is coming up on the 16th of April. Check out what is happening at your local record store.

Peace out,

almo١٠٠

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