A few weeks ago, I purchased a vinyl record from Of Monsters and Men. The record is yet to be released but I am eager for it to arrive. I bought the record because the band has turned 10 and I appreciate their music, so much so that I (at least try) to play a number of their songs on my keyboard. Their music captures my attention unlike most other bands I have listened to. There is only one problem: I bought a vinyl record without owning a record player.
I have owned a record player in the past which was given to me as a gift. Unfortunately, the player stopped working. I kept all of my records but did not have any intent to return to the medium immediately. Now, however, I find myself thinking about vinyl again. I want to explore music in a way that is not through Spotify where seemingly every song I want to listen to is available but only for as long as I have a subscription. I want a more immersive music experience where I can own songs I love.
I decided to purchase a new record player in anticipation of the arrival of my Of Monsters and Men vinyl. I opted for an Audio Technica turntable which, from my research, looked to be a good entry-level player that would last me years. I like equipment that is robust and built for the long-term. I don't know much about vinyl or audio so I did have to take a leap.
The record player arrived today, carefully packaged. It took me some time to get the record player out of all of the packaging. The turntable was packaged independently from the disc which goes on top of the turntable. That was the only assembly required. I decided that I would read the manual rather than try to put these two pieces of equipment together in case I made a mistake. This turned out to be the right thing to do because even with the manual I got a bit confused, perhaps due to my inexperience with vinyl record players. My last one came fully assembled.
After some thinking and staring at the manual, I got the record player working. Then I faced another challenge: using it. I turned back to the manual and learned that using the record player does not take too much work. I just have to select the right mode -- the size of the vinyl I want to play and the speed at which the record player should turn the vinyl -- and press start. I put on Superbloom, a record from MisterWives, and was amazed once again at how music can come from a coloured disc. Indeed, I felt a great sense of appreciation for how music works. Vinyl is beautiful.
I listened to a few songs on two records after unboxing the player. I do not have any speakers so I used wired earbuds. The sound quality was excellent but I feel my setup would be improved with speakers so I do not need to sit close to the record player in order to appreciate the music it plays. I have decided to purchase some speakers to accompany my setup.
Vinyl, to me, represents a slower way of appreciating music, in contrast to Spotify and internet music platforms where there are choices everywhere, a random song can autoplay if you are not listening to a playlist, and where you are bound to a subscription to access music. I do love Spotify and YouTube and digital music in general, do not get me wrong. I do, however, also want to experience music outside of the digital environment and not have to have my phone or computer turned on to appreciate a song.
So far, I have only purchased records made by bands whose music I thoroughly enjoy. This is important because vinyl records are more expensive than CDs and a Spotify subscription so I need to limit what I buy. With that said, I am excited to delve into this world of listening to music. I may write about my experiences with Vinyl in more depth as I listen to more songs and records and get some speakers so I can hear the music from my turntable better.
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