· By Wyatt Parkins
How are records made?
For many, "vinyl" conjures up images of records and turntables. But what is Vinyl, really? First, let's look at the history and production of Vinyl and how it became one of the most popular materials for recording and playback.
What is Vinyl made of? What is in a vinyl?
Vinyl is made of a polymeric material made from ethylene and chlorine. The chlorine is derived from salt, and the ethylene is derived from natural gas or petroleum. Vinyl is produced in two steps. First, ethylene and chlorine are combined to form a vinyl chloride monomer. This monomer is then polymerized to form the vinyl chloride polymer. Vinyl chloride was first produced in 1835 by the French chemist Henri Victor Regnault. However, it was not until the early 1900s that German chemists developed a process for polymerizing vinyl chloride. In 1920, Fritz Klatte developed a method for making vinyl chloride monomer, and in 1927, Waldo Semon developed a process for polymerizing vinyl chloride. Vinyl was first used commercially in the 1930s for applications such as electrical insulation and wall coverings. However, it was not until the 1950s that Vinyl became widely used for phonograph records. RCA Victor made the first vinyl records in 1955. Vinyl quickly became the preferred material for phonograph records due to its superior sound quality and durability. By the 1960s, Vinyl was the standard record material, and it remains so even today.
What is the full meaning of Vinyl?
According to vocabulary.com, "Vinyl is a common type of plastic often found on kitchen floors, in plumbing pipes and fittings, and in medical equipment. If you're a record player, you might enjoy hunting for vintage vinyl records at your local music store or thrift shop."
How is a vinyl record made?
Vinyl records are made by putting a lacquer on a spinning platter and then... actually, just watch this:
Why is Vinyl making a comeback?
Why is Vinyl making a comeback? Vinyl records are making a comeback for a variety of reasons. One reason is that vinyl records provide a warmer sound than digital formats such as CDs and MP3s. Another reason is that vinyl records are seen as collectibles, with some rare records selling for thousands of dollars. Finally, vinyl records are seen as a more tangible way to listen to music, as opposed to digital formats, which are intangible. For many, vinyl records are more authentic than listening to music digitally. Kids in their teens or twenties never experienced anything other than digital music, so having something tangible is new and exciting.
When looking at the data, it seems to be that vinyl records are back on top. So, amidst all the debate over whether Vinyl or digital is better, sales numbers from Nielsen SoundScan tell us that albums and cassettes are both making a massive comeback.