Media experiments with the SoundScriber Record Embosser.
Just like someone from the Middle Ages, I am on a quest. I have been experimenting with different materials to record on with a SoundScriber Record Embosser. For those of you who do not know what a SoundScriber is, it is a monophonic record lathe. It takes a piece of plastic and records a 33-1/3 RPM record onto it. Below is a list of various materials that I have tried with the SoundScriber.
The SoundScriber Record Embosser
To make SoundScriber discs cut out a 4 inch circle and cut a 1/4 inch center hole into the media.
Aluminum Hard Drive Platter
Hard Drive Platters: These provide the widest frequency response and highest signal to noise ratio of anything I tried. They don't skip even at 1.75 grams of tracking force! Tape it down to the turntable. Centering them on the turntable is hard. They look as if the recording will last for many plays. I successfully played a 78 RPM one on my gramophone, but couldn't do it again. The fine grooves look even better than a sword dipped in red dye and light corn syrup. THANKS to the person who sent me a whole load of platters! I now have PLENTY of them to last me quite a while! :-) Sorry I forgot who it was, but I haven't updated this page in quite a while.
Sound Quality Demonstration
Write-on Transparency Film: This provided the worst signal-to-noise ratio, but an acceptable frequency response. They come out warped but putting them between the pages of a book will flatten it considerably. You can also iron it to make it flat. Even then, they skip often, but not as often as laminating plastic. Before recording on them you have to rub the blank disc on your forehead to lubricate it so that scratching sounds don't end up in the recording. You also have to wrap a loop of sticky tape and stick it to the turntable so it doesn't come loose.  The main thing going for this is economics: $13 gets you 250 records (100 sheets of 8-1/2"x11" plastic with 5 records per sheet). I wouldn't release legolas.mod on transparency
This is how noisy it sounds..
Blister pack sound file. CD-R Coaster sound file.
Blister Pack Plastic: This is the soft plastic found in blister packaging. It has a quite good signal to noise ratio and an average frequency response. Cutting the center hole is hard and, if you use a kitchen knife, somewhat dangerous. The best way is to fold the plastic slightly and cut a messy center hole with scissors. Then once it is on the lathe's turntable, lay tape around the spindle to center it. For best results, record only on the inside of the blister pack so that you don't have the scratches that are on the outside.
Three Inch CD-R Coaster: The signal to noise ratio is excellent and the frequency response is quite good. Lay tape around the spindle once it is on the lathe. I have tried recording on the label side, but it is noisy even if you remove the foil. You can only get around 4 minutes with this media.
More media experiments are on Page 2.
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