Watch this excellent explainer video on how vinyl records produce stereo sound

Originally published at: Watch this excellent explainer video on how vinyl records produce stereo sound | Boing Boing




It almost is. I’m constantly amazed that hi-fi sound can come from such a primitive-seeming process.


My good friend has spent his entire career in the high-end audio (like crazy high end; prices that make my eyeballs bleed) and was the publisher of the “preeminent source of expert reviews, features, and commentary on high-performance audio and music” in another life. He knows everything about audio reproduction and recording. One day we were talking about how a stylus functions and is able to transmit such a density of information so reliably over thousands of hours of usage. Despite knowing exactly how and why it works, he said that he still finds it mind blowing and a little beyond comprehension.

Also, tl;dw, this is how one groove creates two channels:



and here’s a video explaining quadraphonic: EXPLAINED: Quadraphonic Vinyl Records! - YouTube


I’m pretty good at identifying albums by the jacket but I dont recognize any of those on the shelf behind him. /s


ha! without your comment I assumed that’s what they were


Another way to say it-

The sides of the groove contain the audio waveform. The bottom of the groove contains the differential between the two channels.

This is shockingly clever, because it means all records and players (mono or stereo) are backward and forward compatible!

The video is actually worth watching. Plenty of interesting detail there. I learned a lot! For example, you might think the vertical is one channel and horizontal is the other (as I did). However that doesn’t work well because the two axes of motion have different distortion profiles and dynamic ranges. Furthermore, it isn’t backward compatible because a mono turntable would only play one channel of a stereo LP (not both channels mixed into mono output).

I love learning about old technology because it’s always way more clever than I think it will be. :smiling_face_with_three_hearts:


Total aside, but IIRC you said something similar once about helicopter swashplates, which at the time I’d never heard of. So I looked, and now you owe me six hours of my life plus compensation for emotional damages from vertigo: my head spins every time I think of how those work. :crazy_face:


Oh my gosh those are amazing. I learned about those when I was a teenager and it was a couple of years before I really got my head around them. So cool :smile:

People are fuckin’ smart.


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