analog remediates the digital

I came across a description of this device in the latest issue of ReadyMade:


It’s all the rage these days to put your vinyl collection on CD. But one electronics manufacturer is being particularly literal. Japanese edutainment company Gakken recently released Gramophone: The Disc Player, a twisted throwback that lets you record sound onto discarded CD’s by cutting grooves into their surface.

The device, which retails online for about $40, arrives in 41 pieces and requires an hour of assembly. The final step is to add your own sewing needle, used to both record and play sound on plastic. When you set the battery-powered device to record, the turntable rotates while its cone picks up vibrations in the air and, with the needle, etches a corresponding pattern onto a CD’s surface. The needle uses a lighter touch for playback, pulling Ray Charles from that thrashed Wham! disc.

Like the late 1800’s original, this gramophone is rather primitive. It’s can’t record off an external microphone, nor can it connect to stereo speakers, and the sound of etched plastic isn’t as crisp as on the vinyl. You’ll have to keep a supply of needles on hand, each lasts about 10 recordings. But there is good reason to buy one. Gakken says the device is flexible enough to be used with almost any soft, plastic material. You’ll be the first DJ to rock the party with a set of instant-ramen lids.”

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7 thoughts on “analog remediates the digital

  1. Oh, that’s way too cool. I’ve got to get one. It’s so appropriate in all sorts of ways. You just have no idea.
    Thanks for the post.

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