Archive for October 5th, 2016


Grandmaster Flash Used Science

October 5, 2016


An interesting article that provides the inside scoop on a young man’s quest to find the right turntable. Below is an excerpt from the article named “Grandmaster Flash on ‘The Get Down’ and how he used science to pioneer DJ techniques”, written by Bethonie Butler, August 23, 2016, published in The Washington Post.

screen-shot-2016-09-29-at-10-06-28-am“I did extensive studies on the stylus. I had to figure out the proper needle that would stay inside the groove when it’s under the pressure of the vinyl being moved counterclockwise. That was the first step. The second step was figuring out what to do with the rubber matting that comes with the turntable. When I was trying to move the vinyl counterclockwise, it caused too much drag and too much friction, so I had to remove it. Then under that was the steel platter. The problem was I couldn’t put the vinyl on the steel platter because if there was a cut on the other side, I would ruin the record.

My mother was a seamstress so I knew different types of materials. When I touched felt, I said, “This could possibly work.” The problem with felt is that it draped, it was limp. So I ran home and got a copy of my album and I bought just enough felt to cut out two round circles the same size as a 33’ LP and — when my mother wasn’t looking — I turned the iron all the way up high and I used my mother’s spray starch. I sprayed it until this limp piece of felt became — I called it a wafer, like what you get in church at Easter. Today it’s called a slipmat.”

Read the entire article by CLICKING HERE and I’d suggest that you share it with your students.

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