So you fancy yourself as a bit of a singer.
Maybe you screech ‘I’m Every Woman’ into your hair brush whilst you dance in front of your bedroom mirror. Or perhaps you belt out ‘It’s a Long Way To The Top If You Want To Rock N Roll’ whilst soaping yourself up in the shower.
Whatever your favourite genre of music, if you love to sing then the chance to make your own record is something you may well would jump at.
Well now through the wonders of modern technology this is something you can do from the comfort of your home. Best of all, you will be able to cut it on vinyl too. Which is arguable the best way of doing it!
Introducing the Mini Record Cutter
Invented by a talented Japanese designer and sound artist called Yuri Suzuki, the Mini Record Cutter is a machine that can cut five-inch vinyl records in under five minutes.
Developed in conjunction with the Japanese learning company Gakken, over a five year period this product was the first of its kind to be available for purchase at a consumer level and was specifically designed and tested to facilitate with universal usability.
Aimed at both the discernible record collector, as well as those are wanting to first record a tune for the very first time, the innovative device is powered over USB.
In order to cut a record, users will have to plug in a device like an iPod or smartphone that plays the music they have recorded, via an auxiliary audio cable which is provided.
Once they have done that they will need to place the cutting arm onto a blank disc, at which point the cutting will begin.
After a period of around five minutes a full side will be ready to be played, so the unit can instantly be changed from recording to play mode. Thus enabling you to hear it via an integrated speaker that also possesses a tonearm with a ceramic cartridge.
One of the best things about this innovative device is that it is only small, with dimensions that run at 7.5 x 6.3 x 5.9 inches. So it won’t take up too much space in your home. Its also a relatively inexpensive apparatus, with prices starting at a very affordable US$80. Thus providing budding musicians with a way to cut their first record at home in a cost effective manner.
The unit can function at both 33 or 45 rotations per minute (rpm), and you will also get 10 blank vinyl discs to cut your first set of tracks with.
Phonocut Vinyl Presser
As cool as the Mini Record Cutter is, if the 5 inch discs they produce don’t give you the vinyl experience you are looking for, then the product latterly offered by the Vienna-based startup, Phonocut, just might.
Providing you with the opportunity to cut 10-inch vinyl records in real time, their technology uses a diamond stylus which etches soundwaves directly onto the surface of the disc.
A process that has been designed to ‘re-invent record production’ in a quick and easy manner, their machine only requires three steps to create a homemade vinyl record.
This goes as follows:
- Put a black disk onto the platter.
- Connect to and play your stereo audio source.
- Press the start button to initiate the equalizing and processing of the vinyl production.
It really is as simple as that!
According to a spokesperson for Phonocut, the motivation for the company was as follows:
‘Since the invention of record discs in 1889, mankind has been dreaming of a simple but precise desktop machine which would enable anybody to produce their own quality records with just the push of a button. 2019 saw vinyl records celebrating a surprising worldwide comeback, but still, their production was locked up inside of high-tech, high-volume pressing plants. But as we know, technology exploded in many fields opening up the incredible opportunity to finally re-think and re-invent record production. This is exactly what we did together with a small team of globally acknowledged experts’.
The machine, which was first brought to market in early 2021 is much more expensive than Yuri Suzuki’s, retailing at around €2000. But it does have more capabilities.
Why record on vinyl?
One of the things you might be asking yourself is why should you record on vinyl as opposed to CD or just audio file.
Well for a start its cool to actually have a physical product, something that is a lot more authentic than a disc. You can also go a step further and design a record sleeve for it as well; or frame a copy and put it on the wall.
Also vinyl records are known for offering sound qualities that digital formats simply can not reproduce. Due to their materiality, music played on vinyl tends to be warmer, richer and have more depth, which many music aficionados believe provides a better listening experience overall.
If you are serious about your music you could even sell your cuts online or give them to people as a gift. Best of all, should you try and sell them, unlike some of your favourite bands who are attached to record labels, you will 100% own the music you produce.
About Vinyl Records
Vinyl records have been around for over 130 years, with the first known recorded song on it being Arthur Sullivan’s 1888 rendition of a song called ‘The Last Chord’.
Whilst CDs and streaming services like Spotify and Deezer have made music more accessible in different forms, vinyl records are still as popular as ever, with sales for albums topping 19 million in the USA alone in 2019.
If you produce your own vinyl record for the purposes of sale, you could potentially tap in to this lucrative market.
Though you will have to go some way to beat the most popular selling vinyl record of all time. Bing Crosby’s iconic White Christmas, which has sold over 50 million copies worldwide.