Vinyl: A Real Treasure

  1. Fade


    VIP Member
    Beat Scientist
    *** ill o.g. ***
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    Oct 1, 2001

    Vinyl has and will always be my favorite medium of music, hands down. From listening to my parents' records when I was a kid, to buying my first 12" at a basement vinyl spot in downtown Montreal back in the day - vinyl is special.


    Hip Hop and vinyl go hand in hand, ever since the truly beginnings of rap music when DJ's would rock the 1's and 2's back and forth with all kinds of breaks to either keep the dance floor moving or keep the B-Boys satisfied. The greats such as GrandMaster Flash, Kool DJ Herc, and Afrika Bambatta would take vinyl to a whole new level by mashing together two records and creating something brand new during those infamous block parties in the projects of NY. Can you picture rap music without DJ's or vinyl itself? I can't see that, in fact it's almost comical!


    Growing up, the way the everyone listened to music was with vinyl, plain and simple. Sure, there were 8-track tapes and then cassettes, but vinyl was still the champion. I remember going to the record store and looking at the wall behind the counter where they had the top 20 or 30 records on 45's, plus the binder on the counter with the list of all their records! Picking up a new vinyl record, bringing it home and putting it on the turntable was an awesome feeling, from taking the wrapping off of the sleeve and smelling that new smell, and knowing that you're the first one to put the needle on this record.

    When I first bought my Technics 1200's back in the 90's, I was completely blown away by the sound quality of vinyl. It's one thing to listen to records when you're a kid but to have my own Hip Hop vinyl spinning on my own turntables was amazing. I started playing with the records, trying different things like just trying to get hand control on the vinyl, all the way to scratching and beat juggling.


    Over the years there's been tons of new innovations when it comes to DJ setups, but nothing beats vinyl, I don't care what anyone says. Sure, you can replicate a true DJ setup by using CDJ's or something similar, but being able to control vinyl is still the best way to get that real Hip Hop DJ feeling. Even though using Serato or Traktor is a great thing for DJ's in 2011 because of the vinyl control, it still doesn't give off the vinyl SOUND.

    Vinyl has that special sound, kind of like in a recording studio where you can't beat the old school 2-inch reel to reel tape. You can make beats in your bedroom on your computer and emulate an old tape sound, but it's still not an actual old tape sound, is it? So with vinyl, the sound is the most important part of it because if you listen to a track on CD or MP3 format for example, then listen to that same track but on vinyl, there's a distinct difference! Vinyl has a warm, thick, almost "bassy" sound to it, and that's perfect for rap music because that's how it all started.


    If you're still asking yourself "what's so special about vinyl?" then I'll put it like this: it's the experience. From digging through the crates and shelves at the record store, getting your fingers dusty, then going home and putting the record on the platter, kicking back and looking at the cover. You don't get that same experience when you download some album in MP3 format, it's just not going to happen. You can look at the JPG of the front and back covers but that's nowhere near the same experience of opening a double album and seeing your favorite artist along with the lyrics and thank you's.


    Since the age of digital media has been upon us for quite a while now, vinyl has almost died off. There's somewhat of a revival with record labels putting out new albums on vinyl and even re-releasing older, popular vinyl. Is that a good thing? Yes and no. It's good because it shows that there's still a demand, but it's bad because it seems like somewhat of a fad and I'm under the impression that it's just something that the labels are trying and if it fails, they'll simply pull the plug.


    So if you DJ, or even if you don't - buy vinyl. Whether it be new stuff or some used records from the dollar bin at your local thrift store, go for it because you won't be disappointed. Vinyl is a treasure that should be cherished.
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  3. Pug


    IllMuzik Mortician
    *** ill o.g. ***
    Oct 6, 2001
    Dope article. Vinyl is a special medium, from the music itself, to the labels, matrix numbers, cover art, etc. When I listen to an MP3 from my computer, and then put on the vinyl of the same song, there is certainly a big difference. People will always love vinyl, but the masses aren't patient enough for it. It's heavy, not portable, and not fast enough! There is a vinyl revival in a way, you see a lot of younger cats looking for records, which is good, but ya, it's almost like "hey I have vinyl, look at me, look att meeeee"... but whatever, vinyl is still popular, but in select circles. It depends on a lot of things (type of music, history of specific genres, etc.). Vinyl is here to stay, but in terms of music being pressed, well more and more record plants are closing, so... market the market is slimming... people are moving on to other mediums. Look at Jamaica, their musical history has been based entirely on vinyl for the last 60 years, up until last year. Now almost no vinyl is coming out of there. Big changes for sure! We'll see what happens!
  4. DJ Excellence

    DJ Excellence

    *** ill o.g. ***
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    May 1, 2003
    Good read, I wonder what the younger deejays think about the decline of vinyl.
  5. dacalion


    Hands Of FIRE!
    *** ill o.g. ***
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    Jun 16, 2003
    Vinyl is the best! but CD's have replaced it for all practical purposes. I still have 1210's but my CDJ's get the workout nowadays. There's no real replacement for vinyl, nothing compares.
  6. Shonsteez


    *** ill o.g. ***
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    Aug 5, 2003
    I'm no DJ, but I love vinyl. Its most definitely the freshest medium to sample too. If you want the most organic/classic sound - vinyl is always the way to go. Sure you can emulate it, sure you can process your clean samples to try and sound like the real thing, but why not just use the real thing? Nothing compares to it IMO. Sadly though, its destined to die off just as any other vehicle for music so its lifespan appears to be shorter then ever these days what with even CDs being practically extinct now.