May 9, 2013
The developer of the first 3D printed vinyl record has taken her experiments a step further by laser-cutting wooden discs into playable records.
Ever get the feeling that MP3’s sound a bit wooden? Not satisfied with the synthetic properties of polyvinyl chloride and want a warmer, more organic sound? Amanda Ghassaei may have created just what you’re looking for. The software engineer turned hardwood etcher has created the first ever playable wooden record, using a 120-watt Epilog Legend EXT laser cutter to carve grooves that are up to ten times the width of those on a standard vinyl into maple and plywood discs.
She’s gone with Radiohead’s “Idioteque” on ply and a brace of Velvet Underground hits (“Femme Fatale” and “Sunday Morning”) on maple to showcase the extraordinary technique, all of which play back remarkably well, with their recognisable hooks shrouded in an eerie and atavistic fuzz that almost compliments both Thom Yorke and Nico’s fragile voices.
As Ghassaei explains: “Some songs are better suited for this process, songs that are very full in the lower to mid range, but also very sparse overall are best. “Idioteque” was a great example of this, it has very strong low to mid tones with minimal backing synthetic drums.”
Working for Instructables, Ghassaei has made the vector files available online and hopes “that people will download my code and make their own records, or make something I haven’t even thought of yet.” It could be bad news for the Rainforest Alliance. [via Wired]
Listen to the extraordinary recordings below: