Here can find some useful info about the art of lathe cutting and embossing on polycarbonate records.
Here are some links of interest:
Located 2 miles from Greenpoint Brooklyn NY
Record Lathe Cutting Service Offering
New York Lathe cuts, A lacquer mastering / record cutting service in New York City Located 2 miles from Green point Brooklyn, NY headed by record cutting engineer Rich Flores, known for cutting The Misfits first 45 vinyl,"Cough Cool" in 1977.
The Best Sounding custom 7" Inch Records for Just $8.00. Fast turnaround 2 days for 5 copies, made of 1.6 mm black or clear polycarbonate. The grooves are embossed. Each disc recorded in real time for limited runs of 20 copies or less. I can cut lacquers or emboss polycarbonate reference discs on the same Scully lathe, by just changing the sapphire stylus.
Have your music on square or round records made of black or clear polycarbonate plastic.
What Are Embossed Lathe Cuts?
Clearor black polycarbonate records start out as a square, then it is trimmed into a round disc after it's recorded, this is the way I do them. Others use round blanks for the ease and convenience, but at a higher cost per disc.
Today people call them lathe cut vinyl record pressings, but they are two different things, in reality they are embossed 7" inch discs that are made from clear polycarbonate plastic. Lacquer acetate discs are very different, they are also recorded one at a time. Lathe cuts are made by embossing grooves into plastic, using a stereo or mono record cutting lathe. Lacquers are cut and can not be embossed.
These lathes were normally used in the production and manufacturing process for vinyl records, by cutting a lacquer master discs, then electroplated to make the metal stampers used by the pressing plants.
A Record cutting lathe is a machine which utilizes a sapphire stylus.
To engrave or emboss sound grooves onto a disc, a lathe is used to cut records.
An alternative to pressing vinyl records.
The record cutting lathe uses a moving voice coil is used to drive a stylus which engraves the sound waves into the revolving disc. 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.
Vinyl And Polycarbonate Records
They are two different things,. one is "vinyl" and the other is "polycarbonate", Pressed vinyl discs with no grooves can't be embossed, it may be possible to be cut it with a diamond stylus, but a very costly process, especially the amount of time a diamond stylus last, only 10 hours, at $200 a pop. Where as polycarbonate records can be cut or embossed. Embossing styli can last up to 200 hours, this is a more economical way of making one off records by recording them with a sapphire embossing stylus.
7 " Inch Squares
Square records have the same playing time as a round 7" inch disc 45 or 33. Same price as the round 7 inch disc.
7" inch Records
Maximum records I will make per order is 20, Minimum is 5, with 2 audio files for each disc, sides A&B. Do not ask me to do 20 different songs for each record, because this involves changing settings for each cut, even for a few records.This also applies to EP's 4 songs per disc NO MIX and MATCH.
12" inch Records
I can make a 12" inch, disc no problem, but I'm very reluctant to do so. This is because surface noise is more prominent at the OUTSIDE DIAMETER of the record, no matter who embosses them.
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. X-ray film when embossed is extremely noisy, this is the reason why I will not do them.
Embossing Plastic Vs. Lacquer Cutting
Polycarbonate plastic is not to be confused with Plexi Glass. Plexi can not be cut or embossed with a sapphire or diamond stylus. On the other hand a lacquer disc can only be cut with a sapphire stylus, it is not possible to embossed lacquer.
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.
Manny have asked if I can cut LOCKED GROOVES, yes. I'm not willing to do so, because It involves many different tracks on one side of a disc. This means setting up levels for each track, it would be so time consuming and a chance for error in losing the entire side, as I don't charge a set-up fee.
Sibilant Vocal Tracks
De-essing (also de-sibilizing) is any technique intended to reduce or eliminate excessive highs in the recording or the prominence of sibilant consonants, such as the sounds normally found in the vocal track by "s" and "sh", in recordings of the human voice.
Sibilant lies in frequencies anywhere between 2–10 kHz, depending on the individual's dental work.This causes havoc in record cutting.
I WILL NOT FIX THIS THIS, THIS IS THE STUDIO'S RESPONSIBILITY.
All AUDIO IS TRANSFERRED "AS-IS"
I'll throw in the Behringer 9024 Ultra-Dyne to clean up some sibilance.
Recommended Cartridge For Playing Lathe Cut Records Stanton 681
There is a trade-off - Your Choice
NY Lathe Cuts Lacquer Cutting & Mastering
Clear Polycarbonate Will be Discontinued In April 2021
Only Black polycarbonate will be available!
Custom Short Run Square & Round Records
If you're considering putting your music on vinyl, then records may be the answer you been looking for.You're probably aware that it is a costly endeavor. Most artists decide not to release vinyl because of minimum order and cost. If you're going to make your own vinyl, here are the five reasons lathe cut records are more economical than pressed vinyl records.
5 THEY ARE MORE ECONOMICAL THAN PRESSED VINYL RECORDS
1.Pressing a vinyl record was the only way for high volume releases.The cost associated with record pressing makes it impossible for a record plant to offer vinyl record pressing with small quantities.
Lathe cut records are less expense. There is no outsourcing because everything is done in house. You can put your music on plastic in lower quantities.
2. Lower manufacturing costs:
Lathe cuts have risen in popularity in resent years as the best solution for a limited vinyl release. The manufacturing process for lathe cuts vs pressed vinyl is faster and less expensive than vinyl Record Pressing Manufacturing.
Record pressing is the method that music is put on vinyl. This is done in three steps; disc mastering, metal plating, and vinyl pressing. These steps are seldom done under one roof which adds to the high cost for small vinyl pressing quantities.
3. Dub Plate Cutting - An old term used years ago:
Lathe cutting uses the same process for disc mastering. A flat plastic disc is placed on the Record Lathe. The cutter head embosses a analog sound into the blank polycarbonate disc.This is done one at a time to reach the number of records. A lacquer cut for vinyl pressing is achievable with having to electroplate and press the groove.
Short run records can be recorded all under one roof. This makes the most cost effective process for making affordable vinyl records.
3. Sound Quality:
The sound quality of my embossed records will sound good as pressed vinyl, as extremely close to your original master. However, rarely, some may have surface noise or can skip.
My experience goes way back since1972, this is the key to manufacturing high quality vinyl recordings.There are some exceptional cuts being done on vintage mono machines. Be wary of vinyl record makers that issue the disclaimer that lathe cuts are lo-fi novelties not intended for commercial release, not true.
4. Fast Turn Around Time For 20 Records, 3 - 4 days:
A cut record is an instant recording.This is the fastest way to make a one off record, that can be made in minutes, where a vinyl record pressing job can take months. Days of preparation are needed because the plating and pressing processes.
The length of the audio program will determine the amount of time it takes to record each copy, If a song is 4 minutes long, it will take 4 minutes, plus set up audio levels takes time to complete, the longer the song the lower in volume the record will play.
Vinyl album sales are consistently growing each year.The pressing plants are backed up with projects. Even with the higher price tag. A minimum order from a pressing plant is usually is more than the average producer can sell and may have unsold vinyls left over. This makes it very difficult for independent artists to do a vinyl release.
Embossed polycarbonate records make it possible for any recording artist to make a high quality custom records.
Lacquer record cutting service for the production of phonograph records.
Two 14 inch one side lacquers are used to make a set of metal stampers for the record pressing plant to produce 12" LP vinyl albums.
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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