There is something beautiful about the sound of a needle on vinyl but if you want a record these days, you will likely have to find a specialist shop and pay a premium. And even then, some of the old classics are difficult to find.
Fortunately, with the vinyl revival and the latest technology, you won’t have to turn back the clock. There is another way: laser cut your own records. No time machine required.
How to laser cut records
Records produce sound by placing a needle on the vinyl which follows the tracks cut around the record. These tracks are scratched onto the surface following the soundwave of the original noise using a master record made of a soft material like wax. This wax record is then used as a model and harder materials like vinyl are used to produce multiple copies.
Amanda Ghassaei has been experimenting with laser cutting records and has produced a set of instructions that anyone can follow using a laser cutter. Instead of recording sound using the soundwave, Amanda uses a digital copy so the soundwave is written into a code of 0s and 1s.
This code requires a few different programmes but once you have uploaded all your files, the laser cutter will just get on with the task and produce your record following the code.
With this method, no soft master copy is required and the records can be cut directly onto the vinyl, or indeed a tortilla…
A tortilla laser cut record?
Of course, vinyl is what we remember listening to in our youth but with laser cutting technology, you are no longer limited to something so, well, obvious. There are a few different materials you might like to try:
This eco-friendly record evokes the scratch and pop of old records naturally. Wood is a great natural material that responds really well to laser cutting.
The next obvious step once you have managed laser cut your first wood record. Paper is,of course, much flimsier than wood so requires a lot of attention and precision but this video shows how it can work.
Since you’ve already started pushing the musical boundaries beyond anything Mozart would have thought of, you might as well continue with the tortilla record…
So now you know what happens when you take one tortilla, one song and a laser cutter. And now we think of it our laser cutting showcase doesn’t contain any laser cut food.