Thursday, April 26, 2018

Listen up: What you really need is a record player

Today we live in a world where our music library is also our calendar, contact book, cellphone and computer. But before that technology came into existence, people carried their music on CDs or cassette tapes. Cars from 2002 still have tape deck players. Back then, people would plug headphones into their CD player or just play it through the machine's speakers, at least it was still portable. Before that music was played on record players, which were not portable in any way.

If you go into Urban Outfitters or Hot Topic, there are shelves of record albums (those big circular disks that have music on them) ready for people to buy. Lately record players have been making a comeback due to the growing number of hipsters. Bands from Mumford & Sons to Jay- Z have records out. You would think that iPods and computers play the sounds better, but I am here to tell you the true differences.

I have an iPhone 5s and a Mac laptop, but I also have a blue Crosley record player that I am extremely obsessed with. My iTunes library ranges from Of Monsters and Men to High School Musical, and I have no shame. I love being able to listen to all 3,272 songs in a row (eight days of music to be exact), but the sounds that come through my record player are some that cannot be replicated. I have the Road to Red Rocks, Mumford & Sons album, on iTunes and as a record, and while both versions are too good to even describe, the music sounds better on my record player.

The live concert starts off with Lovers Eyes and the roar of the crowd as the music begins. Although the sound from my laptop is pristine, the volume stays the same so that slow volume increase that gives you goose bumps is missing. I could tell the sound got louder, but I couldn't feel it. With my record player, I could hear the crackling of the amps and the light bass line coming through the back, eventually leading to the downfall of the crowd so that the song could start.

Throughout the album, I can hear the screams of the crowd during the songs and the casual commentary from the band. The sound is more pristine from the iPod, and it's nice to have the volume controlled, but the music doesn't give you goose bumps or make you want to scream along with the crowd. At least it doesn't unless you have your volume up all the way blowing out your eardrums. However, with the iPod version, I can understand the words better and really understand what the band was saying in between songs.

The iPod or laptop is great if you want to take your music with you everywhere and listen to it at all times, but if you want the real feeling that comes with being at a concert or in the studio listening to the songs, the record player is what you need. The sound is not so clean, there are cracks in the sound and you can hear the movement of the record, but live music isn't perfect.

 
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