top of page

Music & the Noise It Makes 

by Kellan Pham

Some say that streaming music is just half the fun of listening to vinyl or cassettes. Most audiophiles like the gorgeous fuzzy, static-y sound of vinyl, as well as the tape magnetic strip, which strangely creates muffling distant noises, producing a nostalgic sense. 

How do you find solace from the noise that music makes? 

It was four o'clock in the afternoon. He came early to wait for someone. He sat at a muddy-colored table with stained coffee rings that appeared a little wonky. The rain had been extremely noticeable during the last two days. Yet, it was not the rain that tormented him. It was not the frigid drops from the furious sky being blown by the wind. It was instead those times of driving home in the pouring rain. To dash to the door as quickly as he could, hoping the rain wouldn't catch him. To sit in soaked clothing on the worn-out sofa. To see emptiness in love with solitude. 

Human ears are not always able to detect every element of music. Audio recording is a wide concept. An average recording has both instrumental and vocal elements. The music is made up of a variety of sounds, including piano, guitar, and drums. Similarly, the vocal track is made up of raw vocal, reverb, and echo. Everything is integrated into a single file called a song. Music is reduced to a listenable quality level when it is saved digitally. This means that any noises that regular folk (not audiophiles) cannot hear will be removed. To reduce the database size, the voice might even be significantly adjusted to compress the audio. 

How much emotion have we lost in this modern age? 


The rain never disturbed him. The rain never made him feel depressed or lonely. The prospect of being alone in the pouring rain drove him insane. That day, everything seemed strange. It's strange how little had changed, but every detail now appeared lifeless. As though he had never been aware of his surroundings in the first place. Nobody would have noticed if this planet had crashed suddenly. Everyone looked to be happy in their own little worlds, sipping their favorite handcrafted drinks. Ah, how sophisticated it sounds. Handmade beverages for individuals in love. 

          The man he was supposed to meet had no idea how early he'd arrive. It's remarkable how priorities shift and are replaced by the one thing we declare always comes first. He pulled out his phone and checked the one text message received at 10 o'clock that morning. It came from a contact who was saved with a single red love emoji rather than words. 

We need to talk. Message was delivered by single red heart emoji. 

The most expensive kind of music is vinyl LPs. Not because they are the biggest as compared to CDs or tapes. This is due to the fact that vinyl can store lossless audio recordings. All of the instrumental songs, as well as the vocal ones, now have adequate room to move about. There is no need to compress any track in order to fit it inside the groove of a record. That is why vinyl records have the best sound of any media. The whole dynamic of the recording session will be appreciated in its entirety. 

It was 7:05 p.m. at the coffee shop. People kept coming and going, coffee machines kept brewing, and small chatter didn't seem to die away. His stumbling fingers on the phone screen started to move more quickly. He swore Shakespeare's wholetragedy would not have made him feel this anxious. He might have binge-watched the whole spectacle and forgotten about it afterwards. Yet somehow these four little words made him sick. That feeling felt strangely familiar, as if he had experienced it before. 

Was it conscious who forewarned him of the impending doom? Was it the rain that had brushed up against the neck of his green shirt and slipped through the cloth to penetrate his skin? Or was it the suspense of what was about to happen? The music playing through the enormous wooden speakers affixed to the ceiling did not soothe him. In fact, it drove his heart to race as his finger fidgeted more and more quickly.

How do you find solace from the noise that music makes?  

He wished he had been deaf at that exact moment.  

He wished to go home.  

He wished to drive through the icy, piercing rain just to get home as fast as he could.  

He wished to run so fast to the door that the rain wouldn't be able to touch him.  

He wished to sit on the worn-out couch in his wet green shirt.  

He wished he’d be anywhere. Anywhere but here.  


Somebody please turn off these damn noises!

My heart can’t take this!  


While playing a vinyl record, take attention to the noise it makes at the beginning of each song. Nobody wants surface noise in their final products. Many have fallen in love with the nature of vinyl records. You see, the needle on the turntable can trace every groove on the record as it moves. They can project all of the musical layers and voices from the recording. Includes the noise of daily existence. To live is to go through the gamut of human emotions. The world contains joy, pain, worry, love, and tragedy.  


Choose to be courageous and open to all life has to offer.  


His green shirt is finally dry. He had no idea how dark the shade of green was. The sky has gotten clearer as those shafts of light penetrate the blue clouds. The soft buttery light streaming through the windowsill on those handcrafted cocktails. Handcrafted cocktails for couples in love.  


We need to talk.  

        Need to talk.



Suddenly, his heart no longer beats as fast.

bottom of page