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The Waveform Of The Music

this is so cool

you know what else is cool 

as the needle moves back and forth along the grooves, the tiny motions it makes are transformed into an electrical signal by the same bizarrely awesome principle that makes generators work: either a teeny magnet attached to the needle moves back and forth inside an equally teeny fixed coil of wire, or a teeny coil of wire moves back and forth within a teeny magnetic field produced by fixed magnets, and these movements induce a current with a waveform that reproduces the sound waveform cut into the record

which then goes to an amplifier and gets jacked up so it can drive a loudspeaker

you’re looking at the shape of the sound itself and the needle as it moves along describes the sound in tiny movements which are directly transduced into an analogous electrical signal

how fucking cool is that

these days of course it’s all ones and zeroes but mechanical sound reproduction is just so damn satisfying

The cylinder recordings and early 78s were made as live recordings, etched by the the vibration created by the performers. They are essentially fossilised sound waves.