A Laser Cut Substitute For A Traditional Vinyl Record
Every year iPods and other mp3 players push CDs further into obscurity, so it’s getting harder to remember when vinyl records were standard. Of course, vinyl records are still considered the true standard by many musical purists. But even if you don’t recognize the superiority of vinyl records, they still have a certain nostalgia. Even the manufacturing process remains still basically the same. Two clever makers from Germany think they have a better way–a laser of course.
Niklas Roy and Jari Suominem are experimenting with making records by laser cutting and laser engraving plexiglass. They laser cut the basic disk shape and then engraved a variety of line patterns with a range of depths to experiment with different sounds. I think calling it music would be a bit of a stretch at this point, but they have proven that the concept works. It’s just a question of choosing the right patterns and cutting depths.
There is a long tradition of a love/hate relationship with music and technology, and many people have played with that relationship. We’ve previously mentioned a few examples including DIY vinyl records and an electronic music interface.
Marking plastic with a laser is how a CD is written, but a CD is played with an optical drive (another laser). This laser engraved record can be played with an old-fashioned needle-driven record player, which means that the record is made with modern technology but played back with something from the late 1800s. Time travel via manufacturing. Next I want to see someone 3D print a phonograph cylinder.