Vinyl has been coming back for the last few years, but unlike MP3s, CDs, or even cassette tapes (also coming back), records aren’t easy to record on your own. This tiny toy record maker makes it easy, though you probably shouldn’t expect that famous vinyl sound quality.
The Easy Record Maker was created by designer Yuri Suzuki, who has been itching to do something like this for years.
“This idea has been my dream machine since I was teenager,” Suzuki told Dezeen. Digital media are easy to copy, but making your own vinyl has proven difficult. ” Of course professional-use record cutting machines exist, but they are very expensive. As it’s a complicated process with records, there is no way to create them at home.”
That’s not quite true — last year the Phonocut record maker hit Kickstarter and more than doubled its goal, but the large (think turntable plus hi-fi), $1,000 machine is a bit more than many are ready to commit to. The tiny Easy Record Maker is meant to be a simpler, smaller option for people who want, for instance, to let their kids create their own records for fun. (This was done in the past when records were more common, but this is surely a more serious effort.)
The device cuts and plays 5-inch records, of which it comes with 10, at both 33 and 45 RPM. Operating it is as simple as plugging a sound source — your phone, a mic, whatever — into the 1/8″ headphone jack and playing the content while the cutting head is in the groove. Put down the other head to play it back, or put the record in any other turntable.
The resulting records have a “nice low-fi sound,” Suzuki said, which is as much as admitting they don’t sound particularly good — but that’s not the point.
He’s hoping that the device will make the idea and process of creating vinyl records familiar to a new generation, helping them appreciate the physical side of the medium and the value of a permanent object associated with music rather than a fleeting stream.
There’s no price yet and no definite retailers, but expect the Easy Record Maker to be available later this year (certainly before the holidays) online and in a few stores, in the US and EU.