Thursday, May 08, 2008

Playing Vinyls on a Gramophone

I am not sure if many people know or care, but my parents have a gramophone - you know, a mechanically-based musical playback device. So I was visiting them the other week and decided to try and see if I could play a vinyl on the gramophone. Yes, the speed is different of course. But the fact that the sound quality is okay surprised me somewhat.

I really love the idea of the analog mechanical recording and what it represents to us as music technologists (how clich├ęd does that sound? ¬_¬ ) - it comes from a time when humans were beginning to understand the full impact of sound outside of the context of realtime, local performance.


rahji said...

just don't plan anything valuable.. i think those old school needles are tough on new vinyl. i think the old records took more abuse. also, the old tone arms are really heavy on the record i think - not all nicely counterbalanced like modern turntables. all conjecture, though. :) have you ever done the old trick where you spin a record with a pencil stuck through the center hole like a top? you put a paper cone with a common pin taped to it on the record and you hear it like a gramophone.

Sebastian Tomczak said...

Ah, cool, thanks for the paper cone trick. Sounds interesting.

No, no, I wouldn't play anything valuable with this method!! I fully understand the differences between the more modern needles and the very gruff and heavy gramophone ones.


nitro2k01 said...

Seb (And Rahji!!) have you seen the vinyl player made completely out of paper?

Sebastian Tomczak said...

Nitro, excellent link, thanks! So basically, this is an extension to what rahji was talking about... cool!