Frequently Asked Questions
Lathe cuts tend to have a mixture of surface noise with a few pops and cracks on the outer edges of records that disappear as the record plays, we have been working hard to eliminate most static and noise recently however and the sound is improving always. Lathe cuts are not standard pressed records and do not sound like them, if you are after an audiophile record you will not achieve that with lathe cuts, however we are quite proud of how they sound and we are constantly working to improve sound quality. The louder and higher quality mastered recordings sound infinitely better than a poorly produced recording. Lathe cuts will always sound different from the master recording as the plastic reacts to some frequencies differently than others. They are made from a material that was never supposed to be made into a record. The quality will be different from record to record as well seeing as how each lathe has it's own personality and sound to it. We feel every record is listenable as long as you aren't expecting a pressed wax record made by a machine process. These records are made by 80 year old machines and hand cut by a living breathing human in real time. We also listen to every single record that gets made to ensure it is up to snuff.
Mastering & Mixing Advice
We occasionally have phasing problems when you combine a stereo signal into a mono signal. You can help minimize this possibility if you A. mix your music with all pan settings straight up, or B. combine the stereo signal yourself before you send the music in, and listen closely to make sure there are no weird issues. These issues could be disappearing instruments, weird warbling, etc...
Do not slam the levels on your master. Sending us a hotter master will not result in a louder record. As part of our process we do a reverse RIAA curve on each audio file before we get to cutting so we get the best possible sound out of our setup, and follow that up with 31 band EQ on each cutter head. We cut records as loud as possible without distortion, but your volume will be about 85% of a modern record, due to the age of the machines and the hardness of the plastic. You'll have to turn up your record player just a little bit more.
We prefer a fully mixed and mastered mono 44.1 WAV.
These records do not always play well on all turntables, especially cheaper turntables without a weighted tonearm. Every record we cut has been play tested to make sure that they track on a properly weighted record player. Lighter tonearm weight and neutral anti-skating works best. Sometimes the needle will get caught in between the grooves and sound awful. You can gently nudge the needle back into the bottom of the groove, which will fix the problem. We repeat, if the album does not sound right, the needle is most likely NOT in the groove. Please double check this before emailing us that your records are bad. We recommend sending out a digital download with each record, that way your audiophile fans can get a FLAC or high quality MP3 download to listen to on their computer and phone.
Absolutely not. These records are made out of hard polycarbonate plastic and will last as long as a pressed record. And your needle will not know the difference between this plastic or the PVC that pressed records are made of. The old adage that lathe cuts ruin your needle is a product of lacquer “dub plates” or “acetates”. Lacquers are extremely soft, and with repeated plays, the lacquer would wear off and build up on your playback needle. We DO NOT use lacquers and DO NOT have this problem. We listen to lathe cuts for hours a day in the studio every single day, and very rarely change out our playback styli.
Most definitely, but you have to give us enough audio to work with, this can be a drone section, a jam that goes on and on, feedback, or anything else that can be locked anywhere within it. We can't guarantee you'll get the lock you desire or that it will be on beat. You may also end up with a PFFFT sound on each rotation. Absolutely no guarantee on these, but most of the time they come out really rad. A single locked groove per side can be done at no charge, just contact us when you order and make sure you can provide us with a solid 15 seconds of audio.
Currently we are estimating a 5-8 week turnaround time. It will depend on how many jobs are ahead of yours and how difficult those jobs are, and if there are rush jobs placed in the waiting period between ordering and cutting. If we have equipment failure of any kind that will bump it back even further, however we are confident in getting your records as quickly as possible and we feel you'll be very happy in the end. We can do rush orders as well for a flat fee. That will get your order bumped right to the top.
What Happened To So And So Product?
We probably don't offer that anymore unfortunately. We have scaled down from the vast array of options that Lathecuts.com used to offer and we are keeping things somewhat more simple. However you can definitely ask us to do whatever you want and we'll find a way to accommodate.
Picture discs are square clear records with a print glued either to the back for a single sided records, or sandwiched in between two semi flexi records for a double sided record. We use spray glue to achieve this and it leaves an almost transparent glue film on the image. This is much more apparent the more black you have on your picture. We do not do round picture discs, only square.