This article explains how vinyl records work, specifically in terms of how the groove is physically carved into the vinyl, which in turn produces sound. The article highlights the difference between 33 1/3 RPM and 45 RPM recordings, with the former being able to hold a complete album while the latter only contains one song per side. The article also discusses how stereo sound was introduced in the late 1950s, and how the V-shaped groove on a stereo record provides both frequency and amplitude. Finally, the article explains how a monophonic cartridge detects left and right as one sound, while a stereo cartridge senses the channels independently.
What is a vinyl-pressed analog audio recording?
A vinyl-pressed analog audio recording is a method of recording audio where sound waves are physically carved into the vinyl, creating a spiral groove. This method is used primarily for music recordings on vinyl records. The groove contains a stylus (needle) that oscillates as the platter spins, producing an electricity signal that is then converted to sound by a speaker.
While 33 1/3 RPM records may hold a complete album, 45 RPM recordings only contain one song per side. The undulations of the groove start at the platter’s outer edge, mimicking the original acoustic waves.
The Pioneering Stereo V Groove
The stereo V groove is a horizontal, undulating groove carved into the vinyl of a monophonic record to provide both frequency and amplitude. Stereo was revolutionary when it was first introduced in the late 1950s, and backward compatibility was a key feature. Each side of the V-shaped groove formed by the left and right channels in stereo is 90 degrees away from the other.
A monophonic cartridge detects left and right as one sound, while a stereo cartridge senses the channels independently from the horizontal movement of the stylus. The left-minus-right difference signal is provided by the vertical component of the stereo groove, which is only detected by the stereo cartridge.
FAQ About Vinyl-Pressed Analog Audio Recordings
Q: What is the difference between mono and stereo?
A: Mono recordings use one channel to produce sound, while stereo recordings use two separate channels to produce sound.
Q: Can I play a mono record on a stereo turntable?
A: Yes, you can play a mono record on a stereo turntable. However, because a mono record only has one channel, the second channel on your stereo system will not produce sound.
Q: How long do vinyl records last?
A: The lifespan of a vinyl record depends on several factors, including how it is handled, stored, and played. With proper care and maintenance, vinyl records can last for decades.
Q: Can I clean my vinyl records?
A: Yes, you can clean your vinyl records using a record cleaning solution and a microfiber cloth. This can help improve sound quality and prolong the life of your records.
Obviously, vinyl-pressed analog audio recordings are a timeless way to enjoy music with high-quality sound. Whether you prefer mono or stereo, taking care of your vinyl records can ensure they last for years to come.