Forget the mixtapes, your burned CD’s that probably won’t play if they are older than a few years or your iTunes playlists (iTunes is no more anyway); now you can cut your own good old-fashioned vinyl records. Well, not right away, but by December 2020. Oh, and it will cost you. Phonocut, the device that will make it all possible is set to sell for $1,100 and that’s just the machine.
As Fast Company and some other media reported, Phonocut’s interface is to make record-making as simple as possible – you “plug into the device via an audio cable, connecting it to a music source like your computer or your phone’s headphone jack.” After pressing play, “the 18-pound vinyl lathe uses a diamond-tipped needle to cut 10-inch records in real-time to the music.“ As explained, these small records will only be able to contain approximately 15 minutes of music per side but, that’s about as much music as the regular LPs contained back in the ’60s.
It all sounds simple, as the machine is supposed to translate the analog vibrations of the music into patterns that are cut onto vinyl. But as anybody who’s had a bit of experience with plain, regular turntables would guess, and something that Phonocut creators admit themselves, getting everything right could be a bit tricky.
As the company founder and record specialist, Flo Kaufmann explained, “the Phonocut’s lathe operates using a highly accurate electromagnetic suspension, and the speed of the turntable is constantly optimized with an algorithm. To avoid such complications, most modern records are made by stamping vinyl under high pressure, not etching it. That means records are mass-produced by nature and out of reach for home enthusiasts to make in single batches on their own.”