Cut Your Own Vinyl Records
By James Grahame
Bored with burning CDs and ripping mp3s? Got the urge to make real records?
Machines called Dub Plates record music onto special vinyl blanks. They produce one-off records durable enough to handle repeated playing or scratching. The only hitch is the price. There are several turntable add-ons available in the $5000 to $7000 range, but the Vestax VRX-2000 is the only all-in-one solution on the market -- for a cool $10,000.
Cutting vinyl is an art - you're limited to 12 to 15 minutes per side and the source material has be be compressed to match the limited dynamic range of vinyl. Any really low frequency sounds (bass, kick drums) must be panned to the center of your stereo mix or there's a good chance they'll cause the needle to skip.
For those who don't have $10K burning a hole in their jeans, Freshly Ground Records in the UK offers a one-off cutting service. Starting at £55, they'll cut an mp3 of your song to vinyl. Tres cool.
Vestax VRX-2000 Vinyl Cutter (Vestax)