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Cutting a record with a laser

Submitted by on August 6, 2010 – 8:51 am No Comment

We’re covered Niklas Roy before, and he’s got a new DIY project that synthesizes sound in a pretty interesting way. Niklas and Jari Suominen had a chance to play with a laser cutter for a while, so they used it to etch record grooves in a piece of plexiglass.

Each of the tracks is a lock groove, playing a continually repeating loop. To create the record, they used vector art software, which enabled them to vary the line styles and also vary the laser’s intensity, which creates different depths of groove in the plexiglass.

Here’s what the vector art looks like:

On this record, entitled “Back In”, each of the tracks is a little bit different. For example, Track 6 is an experimentation with varying groove depths, and track 2 makes the needle jump around in different ways, making for a continuously changing loop.

Jari describes how it was made, and lets you hear each of the 8 tracks in this video:

Notwithstanding the decidedly 70’s feel of everything from the furniture to the Tom Selleck mustache, there are definitely some interesting sounds going on there, and I love the idea of burning records in much the same way as you’d burn a CD.

Bonus points if you can identify the keyboard that is holding up the record player. To see some other creative things done with records, check out this, this, this and this.

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