This Contraption Cuts Vinyl Records From Digital Audio In Real Time

Illustration for article titled This Contraption Cuts Vinyl Records From Digital Audio In Real Time

Sonic purists swear that everything sounds better on vinyl, and you know what? Spinning records is also just way more freaking fun. It's common to digitize your LPs, but what if you could easily do the reverse? This dude made a device that makes it easy to press audio files into albums in real time.

Motherboard checked in with German engineer Souri Automaten (side note #1: can his real last name really be "machines" in German??) at SXSW; apparently he designed the first incarnation of this current device almost 30 years ago (side note #2: it looks like he hasn't updated his website in about as long).

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Here it is in action:

Unlike most record cutters, Automaten's machine is extremely easy to use. That's what sets it apart: Just about anyone could buy it and start cranking out LPs. A record lathe equipped with a diamond stylus cuts the master, and the whole thing is ready to go by the time the track is through. At $4,000 it's a bit steep for a hobbyist, but as an investment, it might give indie bands or labels a cost-cutting, hands-on approach to their tunes.

Or: How completely awesome would it be to create The Perfect Playlist and give someone special a custom mix on wax? [Motherboard]

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DISCUSSION

I'm pretty sure the reason the audiophiles like vinyl is because of the extra sound detail encoded on the analog medium that is lost during digitization. Creating vinyl from a digitized source isn't going to bring back that missing information.

That said, $4000 is a drop in the bucket for those guys. I got to listen to an audiophile's setup (well over $250k in cost) and it was amazing. It was just stereo (not 5.1 or anything) and you could tell where the instruments were (drum kit to the left, the bass player slightly to the right, etc) and every intake of breath the vocalist took. Every rasp of her voice.

I definitely wouldn't spend my money in that way, but I can definitely appreciate the beauty that results.