Vinyl records aren't new. But they have indeed made a huge comeback, capturing the interests of different generations of music lovers. The rebirth of vinyl records started in the mid-2000s and the surge in sales happened in 2020. In the U.S. alone, 43.5 million records were reportedly sold in 2022. This number would have been much higher if manufacturers were able to keep up with demand.
One reason why the production of vinyl records is slow is that manufacturers stick to traditional record pressing, which can be tedious and requires highly skilled technicians.
If you are someone who likes buying vinyl records as a hobby and not a recording artist, the long wait times can be disappointing. Good thing, there's a quicker method of putting music on vinyl, which is lathe cutting. Read on to understand how to cut a vinyl record through this method and why it can be the best option for you.
Lathe-cut vinyl records are made and cut by hand. In this method, each piece of clear plastic must be cut separately. A special lathe is used to cut the record, which has a diamond needle that follows the grooves of the record and cuts a groove in the plastic. The needle is very precise and can create a record with clarity and high sound quality.
Short-run lathe-cut records under 100 pieces can be successfully produced at a faster rate. This method is preferred by musicians and artists when releasing limited-edition albums. It is also offered by shops that cater to individual buyers who are interested in ordering single vinyl records.
Lathe-cutting made vinyl records more accessible to people, especially those who are just starting to explore the world of vinyl albums. Lathe-cut vinyl records offer a more affordable alternative to traditional vinyl records, meaning that it's easier for anyone to get into the vinyl scene without having to make a huge investment. Additionally, it has opened up the market to many independent record labels and artists who may not have had the ability to produce vinyl records otherwise. Here are more reasons to love lathe-cut vinyl records.
Lathe-cut records, like pressed records, can also provide an immersive listening experience. This is because lathe-cut records are cut one at a time, so each groove is cut deeper, which allows for a more accurate reproduction of sound. The grooves are also cut in a straight line, rather than in a spiral, which means that the needle can stay in contact with the groove longer, resulting in excellent sound quality.