How to cut a vinyl record. Warning

Making and copying vinyl with your own hands

What you read next has nothing to do with piracy and we encourage no one to do so, even more go to the store and buy vinyl, the original is always better than a copy. Another important aspect, this article is designed for those who collect music and can not find on sale the desired record, and a neighbor has, but he is not ready to part with it. No so no, you can take a listen.

The first thing we do is an economic analysis:

  • Maybe more, depending on what we want.
  • The cost of silicone is about 400 1 kg
  • The resin cost 150-200 per kg (in different regions may vary and these are taken approximately and may differ from those that you see in the store)
  • Wood on the formwork. for free. Anything will do, even old furniture.
  • Children’s plasticine, or remainder of silicone in a tube.

How to copy the plate

  • Making the formwork
  • We put the plate in silicone
  • Pouring silicone
  • We make the formwork for pouring silicone. We take planks, a hacksaw or a jigsaw, the most diligent can take a nail file so there would be no sharp edges, assemble.
  • We put our plate. a master model in the formwork that we created. Face up, the side we need. Yes by the way almost forgot, do not forget to seal the seams in the formwork, otherwise all the silicone will leak out and your silicone form will not work.
  • We take the two-component silicone and mix it in the ratio of 1/10 to 100 grams of silicone 10 grams of hardener. You may have a different silicone. then this proportion will not work for you. The polymerization will not start or the life time of your material will be shorter. In general, read the annotation on your material. Pour! Pour every last drop, we have a waste-free production.

Actually after that for today all. We put our future form far away, so nobody will touch it and wait for tomorrow, because the curing time of silicone is 16-24 hours. A little secret. you can put it close to the battery and then the curing time of the silicone mold will be shortened. Tomorrow has already come! Let’s take apart !

This is the most interesting moment. Now put the mold and start riveting plates. Casting plastics in silicone molds is not a quick process.

Mix a cold-curing two-component plastic, plastic, or polyurethane, whatever you like, color by choice. Spreading, waiting and enjoying the process!

Conclusion: It’s cheaper to make it yourself, it’s faster to buy it in a store. But the process is awesome.

Vinyl tricks, article. Magazine “Stereo Video

Vinyl records have objective disadvantages associated with possible damage. Of course, with proper storage and careful handling it can stay in very good condition for decades, but you often have to deal with records that are already damaged.

Defective vinyl is not an uncommon problem for the vinylist, but the problem is not always insoluble. What to do with the warped records? Ideally. do not buy and do not have in the phono library. But that’s the ideal, and in practice you either have to squeeze them with clamps, which don’t always help and don’t always have a good effect on the sound, or try to straighten them out. There are special thermal presses for this purpose, but not everyone can afford such purchase because of the price, and not all records can be straightened in this way. However, there are no perfect ways, and some records can not help. You can only try it. The method I use is relatively simple. you need to wash the record well, put it in a brand new envelope (the envelope must be sealed to exclude dust completely) and send it under load. For example, a pair of centimeter-thick panes of glass will do the trick. The main thing is to have perfectly smooth surfaces, the plate clean and the load needs to be added gradually. in my case a couple volumes of BSE a week, so about three weeks, then load a few more kilos and wait a month to three months. With moderate deformations, this method often works even with heavy vinyl.

If the record jams on one track, it’s also sometimes correctable. It is necessary to understand what is the matter, armed with a good magnifier, to find the track and the defect. Often it is just some particularly stubborn dirt that is not washed away when cleaning and can not be removed with a brush. In that case, it could probably be soaked in an isopropyl alcohol solution and washed with a soft brush. Sometimes some kind of detergent may be needed, but in this case it’s okay, because the whole record has to be washed well afterwards. But there are also cases where the cause is a scratch or some other defect of the plate itself. This too can be corrected, but technically the treatment is much more complicated. for this I use a hybrid of “a snake and a hedgehog”, namely, a turntable with a remodeled microscope mounted on it. The idea was borrowed from the vinyl making process itself, but here the resemblance is only superficial, and the mending process is manual. using a microsurgical tool. Of course, I do not think that everyone needs such maximalism, but when you are looking for a rare plate for a couple of years, you pay a sensible sum for it, and then you find a defect, you really want to try to do something. It is not always possible to correct it, but in a number of cases, with a lucky confluence of circumstances, instead of a sticking there is a small click and that’s all. Although if it is because of severe track damage or any major defects, a rare vinyl is better left as an envelope donor and then, having found a known-playing version, dispose of the defective one at your discretion, be it discarded or put in a frame on the wall (if an LP is not meant to sound, it does not mean that one cannot make an art-object of it).

There are also records with off-center, that sometimes happens as a result of errors in the manufacturing process. If only the “apple” is glued crooked, it’s not a problem, but rather an aesthetic misunderstanding. But if the hole is displaced and the tone arm dangles to and fro, that is a distinct disadvantage. But it can be treated. It is possible to carefully drill a hole and center the plate on the disk (of course, not on the main turntable, but on the “repair” one). Make a circle with a hole exactly in pulley diameter from thin but heavy paper in advance, put it under the center plate, carefully glue up the edges and fill the whole hole with quick-setting resin. Only the turntable pulley has to be lubricated, e.g. with silicone oil, to prevent it from sticking. After curing, trim, even the paper can be tinted. And listen. The precision won’t always be perfect, but you can make a perfectly serviceable vinyl from something unlistenable.

vinyl, record

Sawing out a pattern on a vinyl record

After making a few of these things for myself, I finally decided to get an electric tool of sorts. My first choice was an inexpensive drill. I can say that it has become almost the basic tool in my arsenal.

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After I bought it, I asked my friends where I could buy copper or brass so I could cut it into strips. When I went to my father and asked him the same question, he suggested I look online. According to him, on the Internet they cut out all sorts of images by stencil. And so I went to climb the expanse of the Internet web in search of an answer to the question: “What is it and how do they make it?”Honestly, I liked it, and I wanted to try it, too.

I threw the photo I needed in Photoshop. In order to be more convenient to work with, I cut out the desired area to be further worked with.

Then begins the most interesting stage. the creative process. It will need to smooth out all the jagged lines, as well as to remove all unnecessary details. By the way, the parts “hanging in the air” must be connected. That is, to make it as easy as possible to cut the selected image.

After printing the stencil you have to stick it on the plate. Before gluing the plate should be obligatory degreased. It’s best to use a good quality pencil glue.

I want to mention that I personally use a Hammer drill and bit set. After a little shopping in construction stores, I finally found a set of splinters company sturm. Then I bought a second set, but this time they were wood cutters. I bought them because they are inherently more abrasive and therefore much easier to work with.

Now I will tell you more about the process of cutting. In fact, it’s pretty simple. It is necessary only to cut out white parts of a stencil, but it is not necessary to hurry, after all in a hurry it is possible to cut off superfluous parts.

Then we need to put our plate under warm water. This is done to soak the paper and then it was easier to remove. But that’s not all. You need to remove the trash from the edges, then align all the circles and lines. You can see them in the picture below, they are clearly visible.

In order to remove the small burrs, I used small metal cones. You can also use a soldering iron with a low heat, but the temperature should be as low as possible.

That’s basically it. I hope you get the idea from my description. Tried to describe in as much detail as possible. If you have any questions for me, post in the Комментарии и мнения владельцев. Happy to answer.

Using a wood burning tool

As an alternative to heating the record in an oven, a wood burning tool or heating knife also cuts through the vinyl. When using this method, place the vinyl on top of a heat-resistant surface and alternate cutting for 10 seconds at a time, allowing the surface to cool so that the vinyl does not warp.

Basic Vinylology Terms

Discuss the meanings of the terms you need to understand in order to understand the different editions of records. Note: the English translations are not literal translations, but the most appropriate and commonly used equivalents.

Many terms are not used in their classic, strict meaning. We disclose the terms exactly as much as you need them to correctly interpret the information found on the record. For example, we don’t go into the exact chemical composition of the vinyl blend, we don’t discuss the classic concept of marketing, etc.п. We mention “RIAA curve” when discussing correction, but if you want a deeper understanding of what correction is, there is an excellent detailed Wikipedia article.

Some terms have historically been treated ambiguously. In this article, we define exactly how we will further interpret them (e.g., the term “matrix”).

DMM (Direct Metal Mastering) is an early vinyl production technology introduced by the German company Teldec in 1982. Widely used since the mid-1980s. In contrast to the traditional method, the soundtrack is cut on a copper disc. This disk can already serve as a way to make stamps, so there is no need for an intermediate pair of “mirroring” operations. making a “master” and “positive”. Technically, this slicing technology is free of many of the disadvantages of traditional slicing, but brings its own drawbacks. As for the sound of the records made by this method, it is a controversial question and we will probably not raise it in this article.

Metalwork.) is an important term, for which there is no adequate analogue in Russian (literally. metalwork). In its meaning it can be replaced by the term “electroplating”. In general, metalwork is work with different intermediate metal imprints of the future LP. In the West, there were certain companies that specialized in this particular type of work. the reproduction of metal imprints.

acetate. Acetate) is the same as the sliced lacquer disk. The term comes from the thirties, when these discs were made of cellulose acetate; later, of course, other materials were used. As a rule, acetate now refers to a lacquer disk that has not gone into production, but has been cut for testing or for one-time use (at a radio station, for example). One must understand that acetate is always one-sided and is certainly not made from vinyl. This term should not be confused with test pressing. Very often sellers offer test prints by calling them acetates, this is totally incorrect!

Vinyl. vinyl) is an acronym for polymer polyvinyl chloride, or PVC. Is a major component of the mix for the production of gramophone records. Strictly speaking, vinyl is a chemical term and refers to a radical (t.е. part of a molecule) of ethylene. The term “vinyl” is now commonly used to mean.

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The inner envelope. inner sleeve, bag). an envelope placed inside the album cover and used for additional protection of the disc. it may or may not contain information, may be cardboard, paper, polyethylene, etc.д.

Distributor is a company with the rights to distribute records of an artist. distributor). a firm that stores the finished product and its distribution, promotion in the market, in many cases. and the production of records. The term “distribution” as applied to the gramophone industry has sometimes been used synonymously with the term “marketing”, although, strictly speaking, it is not quite correct.

A record company (synonymous with “label” or “record company”) is a company that stores, distributes, promotes and, in many cases, makes records. recording company, label). a company or firm that holds the rights to the artist’s recordings and ensures their distribution. The record company has many other functions as well, but these two are the most essential for us.

An edition, circulation, release (slang for “press”), a company that possesses the rights to a recording artist’s works and enables their distribution. pressing, run, issue) are terms close in meaning, but there are, nevertheless, nuances. Strictly speaking, run is more of a production term. it is the total number of copies of a record made in a certain period of time. And edition is a commercial term, when a company decides to publish a given album, so technically one edition may consist of several editions (some sold, printed some more, that’s two copies).

Envelope (ang. sleeve (literally, “sleeve”): in general, an envelope and a cover are similar in meaning and interchangeable, but an envelope is still more sensible as the inner envelope of a record (see. the term. A cover is what is on the outside. For seven-inch discs (mignons), as a rule, only the term “sleeve” is used.

The contract edition (ang. contract pressing. an edition of a record produced by a third-party manufacturer (factory). Knowing the nuances of contractual editions is very important. See. article Contract Edition.

Varnish disc, lacquer disc. lacquer) is an aluminum disc coated with nitrocellulose varnish on which a sound track is sliced. Serves as the basis for a chain of subsequent electrochemically produced prints: lacquer disc (positive). master (negative). positive (positive). stamp (negative). LP.

A label. label). widely used not only to mean “label,” but also to mean “record company.

mastering. Mastering) is the process of final sound processing before cutting the lacquer disc and the process of cutting itself. A very important term, i.e. master tape.к. Mastering is basically what determines how the record will sound. In general, mastering is the transfer of the information from the tape to the lacquer disc, in the process of which the sound changes in a certain way.

master. master, father). metal negative print of a lacquer disk. Master tapes are usually produced in a single copy, i.e., master tape.к. after “mirroring” the lacquer disc becomes unusable.

master tape. tape recorder with the final version of the recording. Strictly speaking, the source for cutting a lacquer disc was a copy of the master tape, specially prepared for cutting (vinyl cutting master).

The process of making vinyl records

In a nutshell, the plate-making process is the repeated “mirroring” of the tracks. mirroring them by electrochemical transfer from one metal disc to another. At the “beginning” of the chain is a sliced lacquer disc and at the end of it is a stamp. The record is the imprint of the two stamps.

Let’s dwell on the key points, the understanding of which is very important. The article turns out to be quite long, but believe me, there is nothing unnecessary here. Knowing all these facts will definitely be useful for you when choosing records, and in the practice of determining editions.

So, some record company has a recorded master tape, the information from which needs to be replicated on records.

The first stage of production is mastering, the cutting of lacquer disc, the process of transferring sound information from a tape recorder to a physical sound groove cut on a disc, a prototype of future records. The essence of the slicing process is that under the action of the applied signal the cutter, performing oscillations, cuts a track on the surface of the rotating disk covered with a layer of soft material.

Obviously, but I will still mention: two lacquer discs are needed for one record. one for each side.

As a rule, for copies in other countries, the record company would send copies of the tape for mastering, and this could already affect the quality of the cut (not just because of the copy, but for other reasons as well). By the way, these are not just copies, but “copies from copies”, i.e.е. second, third or even fourth generation copies. That is why, among other things, the original editions are valued in terms of the country of production.

Slicing a lacquer disc (laker), is a very complex process. The cut disc never sounded the same as the first master tape. It’s impossible to achieve it because of the peculiarities of a vinyl record as a sound source. The resulting sound on a disc depends on many technical factors, as well as the personality of the engineer cutting the disc. Slicing is a highly subjective process. Copies of the same album cut by different engineers, in different studios (on different equipment) and at different times sound different. You can find more info about that in the article about sound of different vinyl editions. Sometimes a later cut sounds better than the first. yes, that happens.

After a lacquer disc (lacer) is cut, a matrix number (and other information, if you wish) is put on it. We can see this number on all the records printed from a particular lacquer disc.

By the way, finished lacquer discs were not always recognized as successful and after listening to them they could decide to cut a new lacquer. That’s why we have albums with the earliest matrix number 2, 3 or higher. There were cases when a certain number of records could be issued from a given matrix, but then they noticed some problem and urgently cut a new matrix. So that’s a situation where a first matrix impression is a serious rarity.

The number of lacquer discs cut for one album depends on the circulation and the production peculiarities. In many cases, if the print run was relatively small and one factory could handle it, one pair of lacquer players was enough, at least for the first print run. This situation is typical for Europe, Great Britain, Japan. In the USA the albums of popular performers were printed simultaneously at several plants, so there were several lacers, and often they were cut in different studios from the copies of master tape. So, for example, comparing 3 first American editions of Waiting For The Sun THE DOORS with labels of different shades (yes, they are all first!), you will hear three different versions of the sound.

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Does the earliest cut always sound better? As a rule yes, but not always. If the subsequent one is also produced from an “early generation” master tape, which has not yet “aged”, but by a different engineer and in a different studio, it could in theory be more successful.

Slicing could have been done either at the factory or at an outside studio. The same. Although to a lesser extent, it also refers to metalwork. working with metal prints, replicating them. There were companies that specialized in this stage of production. The factory could, for example, start production with finished positives or (rarely, but still) stamps.

The master (sometimes called the matrix) is the cast of the lacquer disc. This is a metal negative disk, t.к. the tracks on it are not indented, but convex. When producing a master, the lacquer disc is destroyed (according to modern technology, it is theoretically possible to get two masters from one lacquer disc). Thus, from one lacquerer you get one master. If the edition is quite small (hundreds of copies), then the master can already be used as a stamp, that is, to insert it in the press (having previously prepared it) and from it print finished records. This is often the case these days with low-volume records. But since, nevertheless, records were usually produced in larger quantities, tens and hundreds of stamps were needed, so two more production stages were introduced.

On the basis of the master made positives (positives, mothers). One master, in theory, can make several dozen positives. up to 30. But in practice, at least in Great Britain, less than ten positives were produced per master. You can listen to the positives, which the factories did for quality control.

By “mirroring” the positive we made the stamps from which the records were printed. Up to 70 stamps were made from one positive. In mass printings situations happened from time to time when positives were worn out and there was no possibility (or sense) to cut a new stamp. Then a new positive was produced on the basis of the stamp by “reverse” mirroring! And new stamps were made from it. This practice is confirmed at least for the English plants EMI and Pye.

The average number of impressions (plates) produced from a single pair of stamps varies from plant to plant. Among collectors, they often operate with the figure of 400 impressions per disc according to EMI factory in England, but this figure is speculative. Regarding EMI Bruce Spizer, researcher, writes of 5,000 records from a single stamp in the 1960s.

The data for other factories are given below, with the sources of information: before 2000 (England, Decca factory, George Bettyes, engineer 1967-1972).г.) to 5,000 (England, factory Tranco Ltd. / Pye, Steve King, employee, second half of 1970s) ~ 400 (US, Columbia mills, Boys’ Life magazine, November 1966.) to 5,000 (England, The Vinyl Factory, by employee, 2014)


The disc covers are printed on modern offset equipment using a “computer to plate” printing system that allows for less production and less use of environmentally harmful film and chemicals. The system improves image clarity and detail and avoids loss of quality in film processing, such as scratches in the film and differences in exposure. Offset printing also provides a higher quality product than the commonly used digital printing technology.

Making your own vinyl records

When I wonder why there are still DJs who use vinyl records, an association from the music field comes to mind. In the 1980s, bands and V.I.A. began to purchase so-called drum machines, designed to replace live drummers with cumbersome drum kits. But I still have the feeling that there was something missing on stage. And what was missing was that cumbersome, uncomfortable drum kit, which was the indispensable beautiful backdrop of the stage. The countless drums, drums, cymbals, and cymbals of the band come to mind “Goonies”. But what’s there to remember. The same thing comes to my mind when I see a DJ with a midi controller or CD player and a DJ with vinyl records, visible even from the end of the room.

So can a DJ make his own CD for his own performance?

Once upon a time, in the old Soviet days, there were illegal cutters that allowed you to record a gramophone record on X-ray film. And, accordingly, such music was called “music on the bones”. But now you can legally not only burn a disc at home, but at least buy a record factory. There is only one thing left to do, the price.

So, we really have two alternatives to recording our own vinyl records, cutters:

and Vinylium Dubplate Cutter


The Vestax (costing about 8300) is a complete unit, while the Vinylium (costing about 8940). module mounted on a Technics 1200/1210 vinyl record player (about 1250).

Maximum recording level (recording speed):

Vinylium: 4. 8dB (5 cm/sec).

Vestax uses special proprietary “blanks” Vestax VBM-1 at an estimated cost of 10-12. Cutter life (recording needle). 5 hours or 40 records.

The Vinylium stylus costs around 320 (10-15 hours), and the acetate dubplates. About 10 a piece. In addition to the manufacturer’s blanks, Apollo blanks can also be used.

Recording vinyl (vinyl-like) disks at home is possible. The downside of this is a decently limited bandwidth on top, expensive and exclusive equipment and consumables.

But if a DJ is ready to incur such costs for the sake of entertainment, then, in this case, the end justifies the means.

The of Vinylium are given on the producer’s web-site in Swiss Francs and their equivalent in US Dollars at the moment of writing this article can change with the time.

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