What Are Lathe Cut Records ?
Short run lathe cut records are made from clear polycarbonate plastic and recorded one at a time. They are made by cutting into lacquer or embossing grooves into plastic, using a record cutting lathe. These lathes were normally used in the vinyl record manufacturing process, to cut the lacquer/acetate master discs used to make the metal stampers used by the pressing plants. Clear polycarbonate records start out as a square, then it is trimmed into a round disc after it's recorded.
Record cutting is a process which utilizes a sharp sapphire stylus to engrave or emboss sound grooves onto a disk. Lathe cut records are an alternative to pressing records.
In record cutting, a moving voice coil is used to drive a stylus which engraves the sound waves into the revolving disk. This method has long been used for producing lacquer masters, which are then used to make metal stampers for pressing vinyl records. Most of the machines used for this purpose were manufactured pre-1960.
Since the 1980's many people have begun experimenting with these lathes to produce one-offs records, using clear polycarbonate plastic, using materials such as picnic plates, squares sheets, and X-Ray film.
Embossing Plastic Vs. Lacquer Cutting
Stereo phonograph records
Lacquers are stereo, a lacquer recorded with a stereo cutter head will result in a stereo playback, embossing a polycarbonate disc with a stereo cutter head will result in a MONO play back and it will skip randomly when playing it back.
Lacquer cutting service for the production of phonograph records.
I manufacture both record embossing /cutting styli and random sizes of disc records. Located in New York City, headed by record cutting engineer Rich Flores, known for cutting The Misfits first 45 vinyl, "Cough Cool" in 1977 manufactured at The Romaba pressing plant.
Square Lathe Cut Flexi
Actual play back of a lathe cut record
Recorded DRY at room temperature, no oils, no lighter fluid Using my sapphire embossing stylus. Afterwards this square record will be trimmed into a round disc if needed.
Grammy-winning mix engineer Dave Darlington shows how to remove harsh 's' and 'sh' vocal sounds quickly and effectively, using the Sibilance vocal de-esser plugin
This explains a very important detail instruction in setting up your ANTI-SKATING adjustment that is crucial for playing embossed lathe cuts.
You can hear the problem with SIBILANT in the vocal track. That is the reason you must have the track mastered for vinyl. I will not fix this. This disc afterwards will be trimmed round to the right diameter
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