The Polaroid camera of the music world?
A new machine that enables you to cut your own custom vinyl has been unveiled.
The Phonocut is the first consumer device capable of making records in the space of minutes. It’s an analog vinyl lathe that allows the user to plug an audio cable into the machine, hit play and let the machine cut a disc.
As Wired reports, 10-inch vinyl records that hold up to approximately 10-15 minutes of audio on each side can be produced by the Phonocut. The machine works in real time, with a diamond stylus etching the sound wave straight into the surface of the vinyl while the music plays (the record is ready after 30 minutes of playback).
Austrian analog enthusiast and Phonocut co-founder Florian “Doc” Kaps told Wired: “It has to be idiot-proof. Even I myself should be in a position to cut the records.”
He went on to explain how the idea for the machine emerged, citing what he claims is a need among consumers to feel physically connected to music in an ever-expanding digital landscape.
“Digital has a big problem, you know — it’s not real,” Kaps said. “You can very easily access it, but you only can see it, or you can hear it. You never can lick it, you cannot smell it, and you can’t touch it. We human beings do have these five senses. And at the end of the day, we need all these five senses to fall in love, to feel happy, to build trust.”
Those who purchase the $1,100 (£882) product can cut vinyl of whatever audio they desire – be it a custom playlist or voice notes.
The Phonocut is available for pre-order although it will be some time before it’s actually released. The company plans to ship the first run of units in December 2020.
Last month, it was reported that vinyl sales are set to outsell CDs for the first time since 1986. Additionally, in 2016, vinyl sales outstripped digital downloads for the first time ever.