I love everything about vinyl records.

I love their shape, the way they smell, how they feel in my hands and watching them go round and round on a turntable. It’s fascinating how vibrations created by tiny grooves in the record’s surface are transferred from the needle (or stylus), up the tonearm and eventually through the speakers and to our ears. Vinyl is extremely cool.

The warm sound produced by a vinyl recording has yet to be matched in the digital world. In fact, for years audio software designers have been trying to mimic the analog warmth of vinyl and can’t seem to create the same effect on CD or digital recording.

If you have ever listened to vinyl records, you know that they have surface noise. As the record turns round, you can hear the needle riding in the grooves. You hear little pops, scratches, dust particles and imperfections on the surface of the record. Due to these ‘imperfections’ no two identical records will sound the same. Each is unique. For some unexplainable reason, our brains love this!

Today, music production has become clinical, sterile and loud. The surface noise and warmth of vinyl have been irradiated and replaced with ‘perfect’ digital sound. Every digital duplication is exactly the same.

Life without surface noise?

Imagine if your life and the lives of everyone around you were perfect digital copies devoid of imperfections or ‘surface noise’.

  • What if everything in life was predictable?
  • What if everyone agreed with you all the time?
  • What if everyone was exactly what you wanted them to be 100% of the time?

For some reason we try to sterilize our lives and make everything perfect. We irradiate anything and everything we view as imperfect or disagreeable. We have created a culture that places the highest value on an ideal image and self.

Counterfeit Culture
As a cultural, we hold up a fashion magazine with an image of a woman with a perfect face and perfect body. Culture’s message is clear, “This is the image WE value! If your daughter, wife or sister does not look like this image, she is worthless!”

The problem is that the image of perfection on the magazine that we uphold is counterfeit. That image of the perfect woman has been clinically manipulated and airbrushed by an artist with a computer. So, its a lie. The surface noise has been removed as each square millimeter of the image has been scrubbed of all humanness.

In our relationships, we sterilize ourselves of our uniqueness by trying to become the perfect someone we were not created to be. We build unrealistic expectations into our relationships with others in attempt to make others into the perfect someone they were not created to be. We sterilize our lives of the pops, scratches, dust and imperfections.

Cultural Confusion and Loss of Identity
Unconsciously we force our own children to fit a mold of what culture defines as valuable, be it the right school, the right cloths, the right activities or the right ideology. We force people into a mold.  Then we tell them to ‘be themselves.’ Little wonder western culture finds itself in a state of confusion. Many people have lost their true identity. So, they stumble around trying to find their identity in a culture that is adrift.

As our lives revolve around the turntable of time, there is going to be surface noise. The surface noise on a record gives it warmth and uniqueness. The same can be said for life. Life has surface noise and that is a part of the human experience.  We were uniquely created and thank God for that!  A life without surface noise is not life, its merely existence….

For the record I prefer listening to vinyl over CD (pun intended).  CDs and MP3s just happen to be a little more convenient.

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