Vinyl MIGHT get cheap to produce


#1

Not that it was ever extraordinarily expensive, just takes quite a bit of startup capital. If this is to be believed, you could soon be up and running for $1500 US, which is un-sane.

I personally forsee some problems here, but nothing that would be show-stopping. There are some folk artists out there who still live cut records in real time of individual performances making each record truly unique, so this kind of workflow isn’t unheard of, it just wouldn’t be cheap for the customer if you wanted to turn a profit. You’re out $10 in raw materials, plus a decent record sleeve and art, plus time, wear/tear on the machine, and shipping. Probably have to charge 30-40 USD to be profitable. But very interesting nonetheless.


#2

From the article:

“As things stand, audio input has to be via a stereo minijack, but wireless functionality is apparently in development. We’re also told that Phonocut “optimises the audio” for cutting, too, though it remains to be seen what kind of quality can be achieved.”

This un-specified “audio optimization” sounds shady as fuck. Is the transfer even analogue?

And minijacks?!

Seriously?

It sounds like an expensive toy, basically. Not like a serious piece of audio equipment.

Relatively cheap cutters have already been available for a while btw. (the kind you attach to a standard DJ turntable).


#3

I assumed “audio optimization” referred to some combination of high-pass filtering, RIAA eq, and maybe some phase correlation (monoing it out under 200 hz and narrowing the rest of the audio a bit most likely). That probably seems obvious to us, but not so much for the kind of people they’re marketing this to. And most likely that IS digital. I didn’t know there were cheap lathes that have been around for a while, I’ll do some research on it.

Also, fun fact: since the 80s, most vinyl cutting facilities have used a 12-bit digital delay on their lathes. This gives the cutting engineer about 30 seconds of delay between the audio signal and the cutting head to make tweaks if something like an unexpected peak sneaks through the limiter to prevent damage to the lathe. It was actually one of the first things to go digital in audio (probably because of reduced signal degradation versus and analog counterpart).


#4

Right there with you on minijacks and wireless input though, that is dumb for something like this. And wireless input is just asking for extra noise on the record.