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The Rise and Fall of Turntables

By Seth Frank Subscribe to RSS | March 14th 2012 | Views:
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Turntables are a rare sight these days. With more and more DJs choosing laptops that can hold thousands of songs and mixers that can replicate “scratching”, fewer and fewer artists lug around records and turntables. During the height of the 80s and 90s, every hip-hop DJ carried around his turntable to mix and excite the crowd. DJ schools and even high-end turntable devices began to appear. Some individuals invested in expensive equipment and records to get their careers started; others bought state-of-the-art speakers and headsets to hear the best sounds possible, but as quickly as the fad rose, it faded out of existence.

The Rise to Success

Turntables rose to success in the late 80s, helping DJs manipulate the sounds of classic hip-hop, R&B and rock and roll hits. Scratching was already a popular art form in the early 80s, with Grand Wizard Theodore, an apprentice of Grandmaster Flash, discovering manipulation of sound by moving records. Theodore may have discovered the technique, but his master helped give rise to its success, using it in his routine to help spread the technique. Soon after, the act of “scratching” became a staple of the hip-hop community, and every hip-hop DJ included the technique in his style. The rise of scratching and turntables gave rise to the DMC World DJ Championships, the first event of which was hosted in 1985; turntables for vinyl records were used in most events up to the late 90s.

Digital Music and Mix Stations

Digital music ushered in a new era of listening to music. Gone were the days of having to lug around thousands of cassettes, CDs and even vinyl records. Now, a DJ could carry all of his music on his laptop and use a mixing station to change the sounds of a song any way he desired. No longer was a DJ constrained to using old Metallica vinyl albums and a turntable to get crowds roaring. With a mixer and a laptop, a DJ can perform the same way and pump up the crowd without the trouble of having to carry so much equipment around.

Today, vinyl turntables are a rare sight. Of course, many are used simply to play old records and no longer to mix and pump up crowds. The once popular devices have been replaced by newer, more technologically advanced products that can produce better sounds. Still, some consider these devices collector’s items. You never know; one day, these once popular items may become worth thousands of dollars.

Seth Frank - About Author:
SoundStage Direct, LLC is an online independent store based in Doylestown, Pennsylvania. SSD has the largest selection of vinyl turntables and vinyl records online. And you don't want to miss amazing closeout deals available at our LP outlet! We have record albums in every genre (example: Neil Young vinyl records) and in a variety of formats available ready to be shipped at your doorstep.

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