Do you ever wonder how other DJs first get into the field? I know I do. I especially think about how different it must be for today’s DJs, compared to some of the pioneers. Today’s DJs probably start with their iPods or their laptops or some other electronic method. I bet many of them have never even seen a turntable record player. Perhaps they’ve never seen vinyl records. But that is how many of us older DJs got our start, isn’t it?
And I don’t mean we started spinning records on a record player. Of course we did that, but I’m talking about even before that. What was the first thing we did? In my case, I destroyed my dad’s record player. I broke his needle. You can probably guess how.
Yup, I took one of his (admittedly crappy) records and I decided to spin it. I put it on his regular old record player and treated it like a DJ turntable. I scratched the shit out of that Harry Belafonte record. I rubbed it back and forth to try to make cool noises but obviously, the needle was not meant for spinning. The record was destroyed. The needle was also shot to hell. A few hours later my ass was spanked to hell. I deserved it, I suppose. (I needed this post on things not to do to record.)
I wonder if those great Detroit techno DJs did the same thing. Did their forefathers also have an extensive vinyl record collection? Did they also ruin one of those records along with the needle? I like to imagine they did. Maybe that’s what I should’ve told my dad when he found out. Maybe I would’ve been able to sit down the rest of that day.
What about, Cassettes? Were those are big in your house? I know in mine they weren’t. We had a cassette player as a part of our stereo system, but no one ever used it. My dad had a huge vinyl collection and then when DVDs became popular, he bought a lot of those. In fact, most of his music is still on DVDs. I bet he still has all his vinyls too, but I don’t think he has a record player anymore. I’m not sure, now that I think about it. I have to ask him. Of course, he might lie, if he still remembers what I did to his last record player.
So what am I trying to say here? Nothing, really. This is just one of those rambling posts, where I write down whatever is in my head. But I guess there’s a little bit of a point. I eventually bought a very expensive record player for myself.
Let’s not forget the old school methods. Sure it’s great that we can mix together thousands of tracks that are all contained on a tiny little USB stick. That is so much more convenient than having a huge box of vinyl or a bunch of CDs, but there was something nice about those old records, too.
If you get a chance, practice spinning some records on an old-school turntable. Even better, if you get a chance, just listen to some music on vinyl, on a record player that is meant for listening, not for spinning. Give it a try. People do say it’s the best way to listen to music.
I don’t really agree with that, but there are many who do. They say music on vinyl is how it’s meant to be listened to. They love the crackling of the needle in the grooves and the other flaws of this music storage method. Personally, I like digital files for their cleanliness and their flawless sound. To me that is more enjoyable.
But some just like nostalgia. Some people always think the original ways are better and they never get used to the new ones. And even though I don’t agree, I do think there is something nice about listening to a vinyl record at times. That’s why think you should give it a try. Just don’t try spinning it.
For all things vinyl, check out this Subreddit.