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Lathe Cut Records

Posted: Tue Mar 10, 2015 2:08 am
by cyclopian
I'm in the early planning stages of a 7" lathe cut record release; prob a run of 25 plates or so. Most of the information I can find is directly from the cutting houses that do the cutting. The information has been helpful but they are obviously also trying to sell their services.

I know the major cons are lack of volume, especially in the lower freqs, increased surface noise, and much more static prone than vinyl i.e more dust.

The pros are the insanely cheap upfront cost and ability for much smaller runs. There is also more flexibility with the art side of the release (picture disks, odd shapes etc).

I was wondering if anyone on here has experience or even just anecdotal information about lathe cuts. I'm also trying to figure out how I would need to mixdown my tunes to sound best on this slightly odd format.

Re: Lathe Cut Records

Posted: Tue Mar 10, 2015 2:56 am
by mks
I've cut a few dubplates to both acetate and vinyl. So you are going to do a small run of hand cut 7" to vinyl? What kind of lathe is it?

Re: Lathe Cut Records

Posted: Tue Mar 10, 2015 3:03 am
by cyclopian
Lathe cut refers to the act of cutting grooves into poly carbonate The process is very similar to cutting a dubplate. The plastic used is harder than acetate and softer than vinyl iirc.

check the video at the end of this rather b8 article
http://blog.lpmarketplace.com/lathe-cut ... u-can-get/

^this is actually the guy i've been working with so far, good prices and professionalism that seems to lacking in other lathe cut spots. Still trying to find more information about the medium though, espeically since most of the sample/rips I can find are 99% indie rock.

Re: Lathe Cut Records

Posted: Tue Mar 10, 2015 3:22 am
by mks
Oh, ok.

I used to get actetates cut here @ Kearney Barton's studio, who is a NW old school mad scientist, who recorded Hendrix among many others:

Image

http://www.tapeop.com/interviews/83/kearney-barton/

I also used to cut on a Neumann lathe that looked like this, that used to belong to Columbia Records:

Image

As far as mixing or mastering, I would get the mix to where you want it be, but leave off any limiting or compression on the master. Let the mastering engineer/cutter get the levels to where they need to be for that format.

Kearney's lathe was mono, the Neumann was stereo. I did both acetate and vinyl on the Neumann. The vinyl cuts are still going strong. The acetates are still good, but they wear out where you cue them.

Re: Lathe Cut Records

Posted: Tue Mar 10, 2015 3:32 am
by cyclopian
Thanks for the info and interesting side info. That top studio pic.... :lol:

I'm pretty well learned up when it comes to cutting dubs and vinyl dubs. These poly carbonate cuttings seem to be a thing of their own though.

The last bit you mentioned there is something I've really been wondering about, I normally use minimal compression (if any at all). The tunes I'm working right now almost rely on being smashed to bits by heavy compression sonically.

I'm wondering if I could get away with bouncing out my smashed version and reimporting the wav and just bringing the levels down for a bit of headroom. Probably not ideal, but the sonic quality of these tunes relies on it like I said. Probably also equally dangerous with the seemingly reduced dynamic range of the poly carbonate cuts...

Re: Lathe Cut Records

Posted: Tue Mar 10, 2015 3:36 am
by mks
Yeah, I'm not really that familiar with the poly carbonate thing. I watched that vid. I would like to look into it more. It sounds like a good project. :W:

Re: Lathe Cut Records

Posted: Tue Mar 10, 2015 3:39 am
by cyclopian
mks wrote:Yeah, I'm not really that familiar with the poly carbonate thing. I watched that vid. I would like to look into it more. It sounds like a good project. :W:
Cheers, as the project progresses I will let the production section nerds know on here. Im pretty well set on doing it, even if just to fail. The overall cost is looking to be well under $200 for 25 records... Not exactly a giant leap of faith. I just dont want to mess things up on my end and get the records back and they sound like doo doo when there was a possibility of them sounding good.

Re: Lathe Cut Records

Posted: Tue Mar 10, 2015 3:50 am
by mks
There are so many paths to take, and no rules when it comes to audio. You just don't want the audio to be too hot when they are cutting because it will mess up the cut, they will be applying compression and or limiting when they are doing the cut. I think a small amount of compression for the sound you are trying to get would be ok, but I would avoid the limiting.

But I don't know, maybe someone like sharmaji could chime in about this.

Re: Lathe Cut Records

Posted: Tue Mar 10, 2015 6:48 am
by mks
cyclopian wrote:Thanks for the info and interesting side info. That top studio pic.... :lol:
There were literally boxes of Tapes and DAT's on his front porch! :lol: His studio was a crazy mess, but it was amazing.

Respect

http://www.historylink.org/index.cfm?Di ... le_id=8719

Re: Lathe Cut Records

Posted: Tue Mar 10, 2015 8:31 pm
by cyclopian
Anyone else?

Re: Lathe Cut Records

Posted: Wed Mar 11, 2015 6:04 am
by nowaysj
There ain't nobody else on the site. There was a time this thread would be on page 2 in 15 minutes. Maybe another site that is substantially more active, with people actually working/performing in the biz would be more appropriate?

Curious to know about all this, though. Definitely keep us updated.

I've priced out like bare-bones diy vinyl, and I had the cost down way lower than I thought it could go for vinyl. Can't recall if 10 inch or 12 inch.

But ask your dude exactly what you're asking us.

And what are you asking, specifically? If a smashed mix can be cut to poly carbonate?

Lemme peep the songs.

Re: Lathe Cut Records

Posted: Wed Mar 11, 2015 6:32 am
by cyclopian
nowaysj wrote:There ain't nobody else on the site. There was a time this thread would be on page 2 in 15 minutes. Maybe another site that is substantially more active, with people actually working/performing in the biz would be more appropriate?

Curious to know about all this, though. Definitely keep us updated.

I've priced out like bare-bones diy vinyl, and I had the cost down way lower than I thought it could go for vinyl. Can't recall if 10 inch or 12 inch.

But ask your dude exactly what you're asking us.

And what are you asking, specifically? If a smashed mix can be cut to poly carbonate?

Lemme peep the songs.
Yeah, there are other resources; I've been lurking properly elsewhere, but the main problem im running into is people's lack of experience with "bass music" cut onto this medium.

And like I said in the original post, just looking for any 1st hand info on the medium as well as more specific thoughts on mixdown/mastering for the medium. Overall, I'm basically trying to balance the smashed-ness of the overall mix with some dynamic range on a medium that has a more limited dynamic range than what im used to.

I'm in contact with my guy for sure, been talking to him about it but he knows fuck all about the kinda music I'd like to have cut.

Like I said too, I'm pretty much 99% committed to at least seeing this process through, so I'll let you guys know how it goes eventually. At worst I'll end up with some really rad coasters for the house and some novelty give-aways for the close friends. I'm hoping to eventually start cutting small runs of a few other local artists though if it turns out well.

Re: Lathe Cut Records

Posted: Wed Mar 11, 2015 7:31 am
by mks
It's only 25 coasters... :6:

Seriously though, I'd like to hear how it goes.

Re: Lathe Cut Records

Posted: Wed Mar 11, 2015 11:48 am
by Samuel_L_Damnson
let us know how it sounds dude cos those prices are brilliant!

Re: Lathe Cut Records

Posted: Fri Mar 20, 2015 4:25 am
by Gurnumsbug
ditto.. been looking into getting some of my tunes cut..
if all comes out well I may have a go at that as well..

cutting regular vinyl is just too expensive for an unsigned cat like me lol