The past revolves, and someday it becomes the present. The same thing happened with the record players. It was used in the past to play different vinyl records and hear music, and an advanced version of the record players is getting popular in today’s world. It is known as turntables, and it gives the retro feel as it uses the traditional vinyl records to produce the musical sounds, and on the same side, it also offers some modern features like it allows to convert the music in digital files using a USB.
There are two types of turntables used in the present time; first is the belt-driven turntable, and the second is the direct-driven turntable. Both have different advantages and some disadvantages too. It is h9ighly popular nowadays, but only a few people know that who gets the image credit for its invention, development, growth, and the journey from a basic record player to the DJ turntables. Some various facts and aspects are unheard of about the evolution of turntables. Let’s go a bit deep and find out how the journey of record players started and how it took it to the modern turntables.
Important dates and facts related to the development of turntables
The first-ever version of the turntable was introduced by the genius inventor Thomas Edison in the year 1877. It was termed as the phonograph, and it was published in a scientific magazine at that time. Although Thomas Edison didn’t take the credit of inventing the phonograph as he assigned it to an assistant working with him in the lab. The design of the gramophone was quite unique as it has tinfoil wrapped around from which the stylus picked up sounds, and the music was created. Soon an updated version of the gramophone was introduced by the Alexander graham bell, where he put wax at the place of tinfoil, and luckily it turned out to be successful and improves the quality of sound produced by it. It was the first jump towards the invention of the record player.
Replacing the discs
In the year 1887, the zinc discs were replaced discs made up of material known as vulcanite, which increased the quality of sound further. After some time, vulcanite discs were also replaced by discs made up of shellac, and it gained immense popularity and success. Shellac discs turned out to be highly successful and stayed on the gramophone till 1940.
Introduction to the electric record players
The year 1927 witnessed the growth of electric record players, which replaced the wind-up record players. These electric record players used the friction mechanism, which helps to keep the speed of the records in control and offer excellent stability. The records players gained great popularity and stayed at the top of the market for a long time. There was the only leading record player in the market till 1960 as, after it, the turntables creates a unique identity of themselves in the market. It was the beginning of modern turntables.
Fall of turntables
In the year 1987, music CDs became highly popular, which led to the fall of turntables. Although vinyl records were not completely wiped out, but witnessed a huge downfall. At the same time, the acid house explosion led to an increase in the demand for turntables once again. The rise of disco clubs in the ’80s gave a boost to the turntables as it allows the DJs to play different remixes, and they used turntables to mix the music and create the magic. It proved the capability of the turntables and cleared all the competition.
Modern laser turntables
Multiple decades passed, and then a modern version of turntable surfaced, which had lasers to read the grooves and convert it into the music. It was highly efficient as unlike the needle, lasers didn’t cause any wear and tear to the records, and along with that, it offered a fantastic sound quality. The made a lot of changes and modifications and finally settled on a design in the year 2001. The final model was named the CDJ-1000. A lot of famous DJs started using it, which made it more popular and efficient.
The modern era
With the rise of the modern era, turntables once again witnessed a significant downfall in the market as MP3 audio files made people lose their interest in the turntables. To cope up with the downfall, manufacturers introduced CD decks in the turntables, and they also offered USB ports in them. With the advancement of technology, a lot of modern features were added to the CD turntables such as loop, auto-synchronization, sound effects, etc. which made it once again in the trend. These modern USB turntables allowed users to convert the records in digital Mp3 files.
Presently there are various types of turntables available in the market suitable for both normal listeners and DJs. The modern manufacturer made the design of the turntable more compact, which made it easy to store and carry. Various other features like batteries, suitcase body, in-built audio system, etc. were added. A lot more controls and effects were added to the CD turntables to make it more efficient and fantastic. The new features and high efficiency made it easy for it to grab a permanent spot in the market and hearts of users.
Impact of the record player on the culture
The advent of record players had a significant impact on music culture and tradition. It was highly efficient but was a threat for artists who gave their lives learning music and preparing for live performances as it led to a decline in the popularity of live music performances. On the other side, it also offered some benefits as it allows the users to listen to different types of music easily and gave talented musicians an opportunity to record their tunes and spread it all over the world and get famous. It also helps to remove racism and removed the difference between black and white artists. Black artists also got equal opportunities to showcase their talent.