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Darryl Theven Naidoo
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Days gone by..

20 January 2014, 15:18

"If music be the food of love, play on." So said Shakespeare. I tend to agree with the Englishman. Human beings have been using music for all sorts of things. We listen to it to relax, to dance, to wash the car and to drive to work. The list is endless.

Now, I want you to think back to the days when music was only found on vinyl or cassette. ( I am not from the 8-track tape era so we are not going to go as far back as that ).

Vinyl for all those IPOD owners out there, was a medium for storing music back in the day. Okay, okay it was the big black "frisbee thingy" with lines going round and round.

Nicolas Cage said it best when his character in the movie " The Rock" was opening a rare, expensive copy of a "Beatles" album on vinyl and mentioned to his friend that he did not care for cheap cd’s because " these sound better ". He was talking about the LP by the way. LP was the acronym for Long Playing vinyls and you also had 45’s. A 45 is a smaller record that spins at 45 rpm on a turntable. An LP spins at 33 rpm.

What’s a turntable ? No it’s not a fancy dinner table that turns !! It’s a device used to play these vinyl discs. I remember the days when special time had to be made to sit and record music from these LPs onto tape to play in cars, home cassette players and yes , the grandfather of the IPOD – the Walkman.

How many of you remember the Mix Tape ? It was a tape with a cool collection of favourite tunes from various albums. It took a very long time to compile and this was usually done when you had an entire afternoon to spare. I used my school holidays. You see, you needed to make sure that the recording that you were doing did not include any mistakes.

What mistakes, you may ask ?  Well, when you play a record on a turntable and the turntable is accidently bumped or you did not wipe the surface of the LP correctly, then you would not experience the greatest clarity of the song. To cut a long story short, you had to sit and listen to the compilation as it recorded. And sometimes you would play it back, just to see that it was a perfect recording. Yes we even had to do that !!

There were also some cool tips and tricks that we picked up like putting a coin on the turntable needle head unit so that it would be a bit heavier and play without jumping. An album jumping is sort of like a CD skipping. You see, the compact disc has inherited some of the flaws of the LP.

Nowadays, there are so many different audio formats that one would need a pretty thick IT textbook to decipher all of the acronyms. Somehow with the advent of new technology the things that took some time and effort were lost and people can get things done way quicker these days. But where’s the fun in that ?

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