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The History of Turntablism

Wednesday Jun 8, 2011

The History of TurntablismIt has only been recently that USB turntables have started becoming popular with modern music-lovers, may they be working as professional DJs or just enjoying listening to music. However, the use of the turntable to mix, match, and create new music goes back in history, specifically in the 1920s, when Edgar Varese started experimenting with turntables. In the next decades to come, experimental composers such as John Cage and Pierre Schaeffer started making music using most DJ techniques we know today. This was the start of what is now known as turntablism, an entirely new musical sub-culture involving the creation and manipulation of music using a turntable.

Varese’s experimental music, though, did not give rise to the modern, upbeat hip-hop music produced by today’s DJs, but it certainly inspired modern experimental musicians such as Phillip Jeck, Christian Marclay, Janek Schaefer, and Otomo Yoshihide. It was in the 1970s when turntablism started to become the modern music form loved by party-goers and clubbers.

One of the most popular DJ techniques is scratching, which was accidentally discovered by Grand Wizard Theodore. Stories passed through word of mouth say he put his hand on the record to silence the music as his mother was calling him, when he discovered the technique of scratching by moving the record back and forth under the stylus. Grand Wizard Theodore was an apprentice of Flash, who popularized the technique during his own public shows and making it a staple of hip hop music since the early 1980s.

With the rise of USB turntables, scratching became modernized by turning the fader on and off and moving a block of sound under the stylus. This began to be known as transformer scratching among professional hip hop music-makers. It was popularized in Philadelphia by DJ Spinbad, DJ Cash Money, and DJ Jazzy Jeff. Unfortunately, these three were later on relegated to the B-list of DJs when personality started becoming a big thing in hip hop.

Scratching, though it is the most popular DJ technique known to many, was only later developed after DJ Kool Herc introduced “real” DJing, or at least the one we know today, where the DJs don’t just play one record after the other. Instead, they have their own share of musical talents and they create their own type of music for others to enjoy. Kool Herc is known to have popularized the break-beat technique, the first method that led to the modern concept of DJing. Kool Herc was also the one who coined the term “turntablist” to refer to himself and other people who did what he was doing.


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How to Choose USB Turntables

Wednesday Jun 8, 2011

How to Choose USB TurntablesUSB turntables are the primary devices used by DJs in their craft. The most common USB turntable is the Technics SL 1200/1210 and this is a good choice. Turntables are basically made the same way in terms of the function of each part. However, the difference between turntables becomes apparent with the mechanics of each part.

One of the important things to think about when choosing your turntable is the preference between features. One feature is the mechanism which rotates the disk or platter; the Belt Drive or a Direct Drive. A belt drive turntable’s platter rests on top of a bearing as it rotates, with the motor mounted off to the side. The platter connects to the motor that spins it by a rubber belt, which is also a shock absorber that prevents noise and vibration from the motor. Direct drive models place the platter directly on the shaft of the motor and they require no belt to spin records. This design offers highly consistent speed for accurate sound with reduced “wow and flutter” (speed variation). Direct drive turntables let you spin the platter backwards to create special sound effects and the design is relatively simple and offers greater speed. The latter also gives greater control to DJs.

Another thing to consider is the Tone Arm, a device which connects the phono cartridge to turntable’s circuitry. A phono cartridge is a small bundle of magnets and wires enclosed in a housing with a stylus that traces the grooves in records. The stylus should be replaced every 500-1000 hours of play time. At the base of the tone arm is the height adjustment. The operation of the tone arm could either be manual or automatic. Automatic turntables play records at the push of a button. The machine does the work for you; therefore, it is convenient for novices. Manual turntables require you to lift the tone arm and position the disks yourself. This offers a lot of control, which is why it is preferred by many DJs.

Internal and external phono preamps, the circuitry necessary to amplify the voltages generated while the needle travels along the grooves, are also integral in turntables. Many offer built-in preamps, though some require the addition of external preamps which offer better sound quality. Some also offer USB output ports which link your computer directly to the turntable, making archiving a lot easier.

Wow and flutter, Signal-to-noise (S/N) ratio, and playback speed should also be studied if a DJ really wants to be in depth. Wow and flutter shows variation in spinning speed, S/N show how much background noise is to be expected, and playback speed measures how fast the a record is played. These all affect the overall sound output.


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Major Benefits of Automatic Turntables

Wednesday Jun 8, 2011

USB turntable transfers all the records into the digital format of your computer for making CD or MP3 by connecting it to the USB port of your computer. This unique equipment can be used with any modern computer for the purpose of transferring 33-1/3 rpm and 45 rpm signals both to any digital format quit easily.

Seeing various functions of different types of digital systems in the market, the manufactures have come up with many different types of USB turntables to suit all needs. One of those types is Automatic Turntables. The Automatic Turntables are widely known and used for their automatic features. They often include a start and stop button.

The start button starts its functioning and effectively engages the automatic start mechanism, after which it places the tone arm in cue that automatically moves to the beginning of the record and just right after this, it disengages the cue too. As soon as it disengages the cue, the record starts playing. Besides, Start buttons can also stop playing and start record playing automatically from the beginning. Apart from these, the other major function that Automatic Turntables may also include is an auto-repeat function.

These turntables are also known for making user’s work quite easier by following many effective steps and also for offering benefits about Automatic Turntables. Some of major its major benefits include:

  • Uses the principle of visible outlines cut.
  • Allows you to produce very easily and automatically 3D objects of any sizes.
  • The profiles can be directly obtained by using new option of automatic turntable that is the 3D Laser.
  • It is possible to equip our machines with up to 3 Turntables working in parallel for enhancing the productivity.
  • The optional Shapeable Wire Tool of this turntable can replace the regular Hot Wire, after which the Automatic Turntable turns into an advanced Lathe with endless possibilities.
  • Permanently attached in the machine and does not interfere with any standard cutting capacity.

These are the things, which make an automatic USB turntable pretty convenient for frequent use. So get one for your effective use. But, remember one thing when buying this that check product’s brand at initial stage. The reason behind it is that the quality and the durability of any product differ from manufacturer to manufacturer.

There are many manufacturers, that produce automatic USB turn tables, but some of the most famous ones include – Sony, Pioneer, Oracle and Kenwood. These are the renowned manufacturing companies of USB turntables, which produce all models of automatic turntables with high quality, which certainly worth your money.

One among the common but the best value automatic turntables model is Sony PS-LX250H. This is the fully automatic turntable with numerous unique features. This is an ideal option for any stereo system, which comes with an auxiliary input port. Some of the major features of this model include – Fully automatic operation, Belt drive system, Static balance tonearm, conveniently front mounted controls for simplicity, moving magnet phono cartridge with bonded diamond stylus, Built-in phono preamp and more. So, try this model and find the best value for your money.


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