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The Engineering Magic of Vinyl’s Locked Grooves #MusicMonday

In order to keep the delicate stylus from hitting the label at the center of a vinyl album, records have a locked groove at the end of each side. In this space many artists and engineers have created infinite loops. Here’s more from Sound Matters:

Locked grooves are a perfect example of how the vinyl format is more than just a medium for storing music; making records is an art form in its own right—a white canvas for creative expression…. Perhaps one of the most well-known examples of a locked groove is The Beatles’ Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band. After the last track, the deadwax reveals a creepy layered loop of voices that plays to infinite. The band were fascinated with tape manipulation and Musique Concrète, a musical style often touted as pioneering the world of electronic music. The band’s obsession with early avant-garde electronic music is also evident from the front cover of Sgt. Peppers, where if you look closely, there is a picture of Karlheinz Stockhausen, a German avant-garde electronic composer. Interestingly, even if you could decipher the hidden words in this seemingly LSD-fueled loop, there are countless different examples from one pressing to the next. Check out the YouTube clips below and you’ll hear the most common loop closely followed by multiple other examples from different releases.

Hear and learn more!


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