what is lathe cutting?
lathe cutting is an art just like painting, sculpture and photography. from tech side — record lathe works similar to turntable but instead of playing, diamond stylus cuts the grooves in a blank disc. this technique's been popular since 1950's - many major and alternative musicians have been releasing short-run vinyl records for their fans, collectors or for special events (like record store day). it does not need a mother-record to produce. every record is made in realtime, one by one. any popular audio source is accepted here — wav, aiff, mp3, m4a, mp4, wma, aac, flac, ogg — also — audio cd's, cassette tapes, professional 1/4" tapes, and even other vinyl records. we will also do your cellphone-recorded demo, greetings or whatever you want. no problem at all. to be clear — we do not press the records and we are not a pressing plant. since the process is 100% handmade there is no minimum order quantity. you can order just one record. records are cut into a hard pvc (vinyl) — we have our own chemical formula for most of the plastic stuff
how can i prepare audio files to get the best sound on vinyl?
we can cut from any audio file. but if you really want to get best of it please keep audio dynamic, do not overcompress, limit only highest peaks, use a lot of precise de-essing on vocals (but do not make it sound dull), soften out mix harshness but do not cut deep lows and highest trebles — it should sound full and balanced. the best results can be achieved with sounds already mastered for vinyl or unmastered, raw mixes that we can prepare here on our analogue mastering equipment. we do not enchance your audio files in mastering process, it's more like making them sound best on a lathe cut record, but we leave sonic characteristics as it was sent.
quality and durability
lathe cuts are not audiophile records but they can sound very good with full audio spectrum. discs are cut in stereo and their quality, in most cases, is comparable to pressed records (and durability is also equal). they are very easy on stylus, so they will not harm your high-end cartridge/needle. and again - these are not "acetates" or "dubplates" (which degardes very fast) like christmas cookies, every record can be a bit different, they can have some background noise and occasionally cliks and pops. nothing major, nothing to worry about and nothing lo-fi. hey! they are just handmade one-off records, remember? note: not every recording translates well onto vinyl (you probably know it, having in your collection some great sounding records, and some mediocre sounding ones). it all depends on your recording process, then mixing and in the end - mastering. please note: small vinyl postcards have a bit decreased quality (nothing to worry about, still good!) because sound is cut near center and on every vinyl record sound is better on the outisde than on the inside (tech talk: google "innergroove distortion"). for smaller-diameter records it's always better to choose 45rpm over 33rpm - transcription will be better
cleaning the records
lathe cuts can be cleaned using super-soft dry cloth only, e.g. like microfibre. liquid record cleaners can damage them (they will crackle)
can i order only 1 record?
we do every record in realtime (don't need stampers and acetate mother discs) so it's possible to order one piece (note that some of our custom offers like vinyl postcards or picture discs comes with minimum quantity of 10pcs). if you want hundreds of them we will try to help with discounted pressing plant quote
can i order only printed cover jackets or center label stickers? (without a record)
theoreticaly - no, because it's reserved for clients ordering a record along with a cover. but if you really want, multiply its price by 2
how long it will take to process my order?
it depends how big is your order and how much of them we have already queued. we are usually booked somewhere between 1-20 working days ahead. order is booked when all files are received (audio/graphics/copyright statement) and payment is made. we are working from monday to thursday
is there any special price for quicker turnaround time?
sometimes we can work overhours/at night - but the price will go up. click here for more information
can you design my cover/label art?
no. we are providing templates and instructions for preparing cover jackets, label stickers, inserts etc. you can find them here. of course we'll help you with everything so just ask if you have any questions :)
can you do a printed gatefold cover jacket?
no, sorry. but we can sell you plain white or black gatefolds jackets (please ask if they are in stock)
can you do a splatter effect (or other i've seen on commercial pressed records)?
all these vinyl record finish variations you've probably seen are products of melting pvc in extruders prior to pressing. here, technology is way different, we don't melt different plastics to get effect done. it's different. we can do single colors, split colors, "web" effect, any abstract too, but no splatters... ask if you have any idea on your mind. note that all custom color record are recordable only on one side
what equipment is used for mastering/cutting?
we have all-analogue mastering setup including vintage neumann preamps, lynx hi-end converters, outboard gear from gem audio labs, tk audio and spl + telefunken m15 reference tape machine (for 1/4" transfers-to-vinyl), van damme cables, b&w monitoring with cybernet monoblock amps. cutting lathe is custom made and only 100% diamond cutting stylus is used for best transcription. please note that we prepare your recordings especially for lathe-cut technique and it's different than standard vinyl mastering. this also means that you cannot get the mastered files, because it's done in most cases 'on the fly' (plus it will sound odd when laying them on your computer). spaces between the tracks are not changed (unless you told us to do). if you want classic analog mastering for vinyl pressing or digital cd/dvd or tape or whatever, use our exclusive mastering services at www.maccamastering.com
can you cut me a compilation with copyrighted music?
our place was created mostly for artists that want to have their music on vinyl. but copyright law allows anyone to make a few copies for private use with copyrighted music you have bought before. please remember, we do not tolerate piracy, we'll also don't cut audio that consist fascist, homophobic, racist and any other bad stuff. sorry.
what are the shipping costs to my location?
take a look at shipping costs table here. we strongly recommend using courier expedited services (safer, quicker, insured on request)