In rotation: 10/13/17

Which Sounds Better, Analog or Digital Music? The answer is subjective, but the underlying math is not: So what do pure tones have to do with the groove on a record being able to tell David Bowie and Nina Simone apart? It turns out that any curve can be written in exactly one way as a combination of curves with uniform amplitude and frequency. In other words, the single squiggle captured in the groove of a record player can be written as a combination of pure tones. And there is only one combination that will produce any particular squiggle. The tool that makes this possible comes from mathematics and is called the Fourier transform. Combined with the fact that the sound we experience is determined by the exact combination of pure tones, this bit of mathematics explains how the vinyl record groove can completely determine the music you hear.

Old Soul’s move proves good for business: The plan for Old Soul Vintage Attire and Records was always to be located on Main Street. But when the store opened, there were no vacant storefronts. Earlier this year, the business owners located at 106 N. Main St. retired and closed down their store, creating an open spot for Old Soul. The new location, which has been open for just a week, has already paid dividends, said owner Katy McClenathan. “Foot traffic and what we’ve found out over the last two days we’ve been open, is there are people who don’t come to Mansfield often, but when they do they go to Relax, (it’s just Coffee). Well, we’re right across the street,” she said. “They’ll see our store. So they’ll come in. That’s been good.”

Vinyl record collectors on the rise: The sale of vinyl records has hit a 25-year high, since its hey day in the 1980s. Both new and used record sales have increased over 100-percent in the past year. I visited a vinyl record swap and sell meet in Lake Charles to see what’s behind this increase in record interest.These collectors from all over Southwest Louisiana are looking for jewels. They represent a growing number of music lovers who are dropping digital downloads and CD and going back to record albums. “I think people started missing the warmth of vinyl and also just the whole tactile and cool liner notes you get with an album,” said Rod Begnaud, who has been in the radio industry for 34 years and is a collector. “Vinyl has definitely come back. Right now vinyl is outselling CDs.”

Round and round, After drop in popularity, vinyl records make comeback: The popularity of vinyl has a presence that can be felt in Marquette. From Gitche Gumee Cafe & Records shop, which regularly hosts record sales at Blackrocks Brewery, to the Northern Michigan University Vinyl Record Club, which organizes three record sales a year that attract collectors and dealers from all around the state. On Saturday, the NMU record club held its most recent event, garnering an estimated 25,000 to 30,000 vinyl records and pop culture items for the public to view and browse, said Jon Teichman, faculty adviser to the club. Around eight vendors were present and between 200 to 300 visitors stopped by the Peter White Lounge of the University Center, where the event was held.

Record-breaking turntables category for What Hi-Fi? Awards 2017: As much as we try to steer clear of tired, reductive clichés like ‘vinyl revival’, the addition of two new turntable Awards categories this year would suggest efforts are being redoubled by manufacturers as well as at those wildly overworked pressing plants. In 2016, Rega took the prize as our most affordable Award winner with its impeccable Planar 1 but, while that deck retains its champion status for under £500, Audio Technica’s introduction of the splendid AT-LP3 (above) has compelled us to dish out a separate prize in an under-£200 category. With built-in phono stage and fully automatic tonearm, it is a most welcome alternative to those all-in-one clamshell decks that seek to destroy your vinyl collection (both sonically and physically), and delivers tremendous performance in return for minimal effort or financial outlay.

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