Wednesday, September 02, 2009

Squeaks, pops and Scratches: Adventures in Vinyl

It has been a long time in coming. It must have been over a year ago when I decided that it was time to test the idea that vinyl is the preferred listening choice of the 'serious' or nostalgic music lover. Although I was brought up with vinyl I would hardly call myself nostalgic for it since it always seemed a bit of a palaver setting it all up and then making sure that the needle was in the right place. It was when my house-mate pointed out that you placed it on the edge of the record to start rather than have to find the songs manually that I realised that perhaps I was a little bit out of my depth. I realised I was even more out of my depth when it took me over three hours to work out how to record the lps through the computer; after much knashing of teeth it was possible to be confident that the software that came with the record player was clearly rubbish rather than it being my fault for being unintelligent when it comes to technology. Fortunately Audacity saved the day and much knashing of teeth and tearing of hair later I worked out how to record the lp, save it to itunes and convert it to MP3 all in one evening. To quote the Inspiral Carpets, 'Nobody said it was gonna be easy...' It became slightly more surreal when some of my worst concerns about buying second-hand records on ebay and in charity shops came true and the lp simply would not play and any amount of cursing at it would not compel it to not jump and not crackle like a crazy coco-pop monkey on lsd with maracas, however it reminded me that someone had obviously loved the album so much they had played it to death (that one of these records was 'Sulk' by the Associates was quite pleasing in that respect if it was not so frustrating in wanting to listen to it...). Anyway the said purchase has opened up a whole new world of music, chiefly because it enables me to seek out even more obscure stuff from the 80s that is only available in vinyl, yay!

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