Could tortilla records be the next music trend?
The tortilla is cut using a laser cutter to resemble a vinyl.
Why shell out money for vinyl when you can go to the grocery store and buy a pack of tortillas to use instead? And no, this is not a joke (unlike this hilarious video).
Someone on Instructables found a way to laser cut tortillas to create the etches that appear on vinyl records. These tortillas are nine inches, which is ideal: the tracks on the outer edge of records sound better because they are more spread out than those toward the center. The tortilla record inventor also found that it is better to use room-temperature tortillas, because they are softer.
The writer used a laser cutter machine to convert a music file into etches on the tortilla.
It took 30 minutes to put a 30-second clip onto the tortilla, and the Instructables writer concluded: “The tortillas are edible, but taste rather burnt where the laser has to work harder to slice apart the edges. Of course, cooking them removes the possibility of playing them.”
WATCH: Wrap music as man makes playable record out of a tortilla
IT'S not often the worlds of Mexican cuisine and music technology dovetail so perfectly.
The tortilla recordmaker put the raw circular flat Mexican wrap in a machine used to etch the groove into vinyl disc with a laser.
Filming the process, the Rapture Records employee then shows the spinning savoury item playing on a record player.
Amazingly, the needle holds the groove rather than ripping the soft snack to shreds although the audio leaves a lot to be desired.
He said: "A while ago there was a satirical video featuring a tortilla jammed on top of a record player spindle.
"In a way, it mocks the emerging trend and resurgence of vinyl and Record Store Day&aposs tendency to release limited-run, colored records which are often resold for a much higher price by scalpers.
"The video went viral and I wanted to see if I could actually make a tortilla record work without merely piping in some music in the background.
"I was already familiar with cutting records on acrylic with a laser cutter for use in mechanical gramophones at 78 rpm.
"It was in turn, modified from Amanda Ghassaei&aposs instructable which was intended for 33 and 45 rpm on wood, paper, and acrylic."
He said: "Of course it plays The Mexican Hat Dance also known as Jarabe Tapatío.
"It&aposs an uncooked flour tortilla. Edible, but tastes burnt."
And as if he was already an expert about what kind of breads could be turned into a records, he added: "Corn is a bit too lumpy for this purpose cooked or uncooked.
"I found that the cooked tortillas tended to shred a bit when the outer cooked layer peels away from the inner less-cooked core.
"Also, the cooked flour tortillas have uneven lumps as well from the cooking process."
Someone turned a laser-etched tortilla into a playable record
Ten years ago, you might have burned some songs onto a CD for a friend.
But one YouTube user recently took a more literal approach to burning music.
YouTube user Raptor Records used a laser cutter to burn “Jarabe Tapatio” — better known as the Mexican Hat Dance — onto an uncooked tortilla.
Then, the user played the tortilla like a record — and it actually worked.
Here’s the laser cutter in action:
It’s essentially a vinyl record, but etched into a tortilla instead.
“After a certain video went viral with someone ‘playing’ a tortilla with some piped-in music, I wanted to see if I could make an actual working tortilla record,” the YouTuber said of his video.
“It’s an uncooked flour tortilla,” the YouTuber explained. “Edible, but tastes burnt.”
The YouTuber explained that cooked tortilla are more lumpy and would likely get shredded while being played on a record player.
Rapture Records was inspired by a satirical YouTube video of a plain, unlasered tortilla on a record player, playing the Mexican Hat Dance, which went viral.
You can hear the playable tortilla in the video below. The sound quality is poor, but you can make out the song. If you want detailed instructions for making your own playable tortilla record, the YouTube user conveniently made a guide.
Step 2: Prepping Your Music Files
You can use any audio editing program for this. I am using Audacity.
First you need to make sure your file is stereo. If it is in mono, you can duplicate the tracks and merge them into a stereo track.
Project rate should be 44100Hz.
Trim your track to around 30-40 seconds.
Then select Effect > Equalization. Under Select Curve, choose RIAA. Hit Invert and OK.
Your track will now sound very tinny.
If you 've ever taken a regular vinyl record and played it without turning on the speakers, you can heard the needle of the record player vibrating. The song however is very tinny as well.
The RIAA equalization standard was developed so that the needle wouldn't move so much and damage the groove walls when attempting to track bass frequencies. The record itself plays with boosted treble and dampened bass, hence "tinny".
Record players and pre-amplifiers automatically apply the RIAA equalization standard so that playback will sound with boosted bass and lessened treble, reducing the "tinniness" and restoring the recording to its original sound.
Applying an inverted RIAA curve will imitate how records are made and will help the laser cutter avoid vibrating too much.
Export the stereo file as a .wav and you should be done for this step.
WATCH: A Tortilla Vinyl Play Music on a Record Player - Recipes
Recently, I was at a craft show, selling bowls and clocks made from repurposed vinyl LP records.
A kid, maybe 12 years old, ran up to my stand and picked up a bowl made from a scratched up Styx album…..Cornerstone. The kid sucked in his breath with excitement and called to his parent. “Mom, look what she has!” he yelled enthusiastically. “Can I have one of these….. PLEASE?”
His mother approached and seemed surprised by his choice. “Honey”, she said, “do you even know what that is?”
I, too, was surprised that he seemed so excited by the LP bowls. Vinyl record albums were widely produced from the 1930s to the 1990s, but lots of kids and teens have never even seen one. Today’s kids have been raised on digital music…..and for them, MP3s are way more familiar than CDs.
But this kid had hungry eyes. His enthusiasm made me speculate that some adult had given him an education in older music. I waited to find out……
“Of course I know what this is,” the boy was shining with confidence. “I saw it on the T.V.! It’s a tortilla bowl maker! You can take a soft tortilla and make it into a bowl…..just like they have at Taco Bell!”
I was disappointed…..but not nearly as much as the kid. He was facing a future without delicious tortilla bowls….and he was not happy.
To try to distract the poor kid, I decided to explain how an LP worked. Kids like science right?…..maybe he’d dig a little tutorial on sound technology.
I left out mass production, and factory presses and simply showed the boy the continuous spiral groove that was etched into the album. I told him how as that groove was being cut, the sound of the music would cause the stylus that was doing the etching to vibrate. Then, a record player had a needle that would sit in the groove and as the record turned, that needle would vibrate at that same frequency as when the groove was first made. And the record would emit the same sounds that were playing when the groove was etched there……..”the music is recorded right there in that groove,” I told him. “Pretty amazing, right?”
I waited for the kid to show some sign of awe. Was he not following? Or maybe he just didn’t care. I was leaning toward the “just didn’t care” option when I saw the kid scrunch his forehead and turn the LP bowl over in his hand. He wanted to know, but my description just wasn’t connecting for him.
I tried a new approach……”It’s like that record has a whole bunch of iTunes on it.”
His eyes lit up. “Really?….Cool!” he said with a big grin. He held the LP bowl at arms length and looked at it with new found respect. “Can you tell me again how the songs got there?” he asked me, genuinely. And then he turned toward his parents and said “Hey, mom….Can I get this?”
I do love records albums. I love that they have weathered the test of time and that when I buy an album from 20 or 40 or even 80 years ago, I can actually play it. I own a turntable from the 1990s, a box record player from the 1950s that looks like a little suitcase, and a RCA Victrola. When I listen to LPs or 45s or 78s, I am hearing the same music that the original owner heard, way back then……as long as the album was well treated and hasn’t sustained too many scratches!
So when I repurpose old vinyl albums, I only work with vinyl that is already damaged. Other music fans love going to rummage sales or used music stores and finding an album that is in really good shape. I, on the other hand, love finding albums that had irresponsible owners. I love scratches and pits, because then I can feel justified in giving that album a new life as a clock or a bowl or a letter holder.
But those pristine specimens….they deserve to be played and enjoyed! And hipper bands are even starting to make NEW vinyl records! NEW VINYL! ……How cool is that?!
So the vinyl album turned out to have enduring place in history. And it should! Cause, after all, those albums have a whole bunch of iTunes on them, right?
Sounds to Fill a Music Lover’s Life
AMERICANS love their flat panel TVs, thanks to the great picture quality. But fewer people get worked up over a good pair of speakers. With audio, out of sight is often out of mind.
While sound gets short shrift, a number of clever and (usually) reasonably priced audio products are worth considering for an innovative gift this year.
FILLING THE HOUSE
Sonos created a market for sending music wirelessly from PC to speakers throughout the home. Each unit can replicate every other room’s sounds, or each can play distinct music in its room.
But getting connected has always been an expensive commitment. To reach out to a wider market, the company is selling the S5, a self-contained music dock that uses an iPhone or iPod Touch as the remote control.
To make it work, one unit is hard-wired to a router, or the company’s $99 wireless bridge can be used if the router is relatively inaccessible.
While less expensive than earlier Sonos products, at $400 per unit the S5 is still not cheap. But if you love the idea of sending personalized, mood-appropriate music to each room from your PC, the Sonos is worth a look.
CUTTING THE CORD
Getting your favorite music to play both outside and in the house has never been easy. You can crank up the volume on your living room stereo and open the windows, but you run the risk of damaging the eardrums of anyone inside. Or you can connect outside speakers to your stereo with very long wires and hope no one trips on them. Or a pair of wireless speakers can receive the sound through the ether.
Setup is simple: you attach a small, powered transmitter to the stereo or iPod’s headphone jack the signal is sent wirelessly and picked up by the remote speaker’s built-in receiver.
Wireless speakers typically operate up to 150 feet from the transmitter. Many run on batteries, but they can each take as many as six cells. Some speakers can also be plugged into an outdoor power outlet.
The most popular wireless unit sold on Amazon, Audio Unlimited’s SPK-VELO-001 model, is $79. Additional units that run on the same 900 MHz frequency can also be connected.
If you can’t be without your music when you’re swimming, consider Audio Unlimited’s $66 poolPOD, a waterproof, wireless speaker that floats and comes with a remote control volume and mood lights can also be controlled from the speaker itself.
With the poolPOD, you’ll be stuck using batteries stringing an electrical cord through the water would not be the cleverest idea.
Wireless speakers are also available in various colors (including pink) and shapes, including rocks, capable of turning your walkway into the likes of a Hawaiian hotel.
LPS LIVE AGAIN
If you know someone with a vinyl collection gathering dust, consider giving a USB-connected turntable that will copy the music onto a computer’s hard drive.
If you want to maintain the mood, retro models from Crosley with wooden cases look like they’re fresh out of a thrift shop.
Unlike the portable record player you may have used as a child, some of these models include cassette decks and built-in radios. By connecting a USB cable to a PC, you can easily digitize and record the audio. Several models, including the $350, 1940s-looking Crosley CR247 Composer, play records in all three speeds (if you need to ask: 33 1/3, 45 and 78 R.P.M.) and include a built-in CD recorder, allowing you to create your own CDs without using a computer.
If you never want to get your turntable near a computer, Crosley’s CR7002A Troubadour model includes USB and SD card slots you record your vinyl directly onto flash drives that you plug in to the front of the record player.
For a more modern look, ION Audio makes a range of brushed-aluminum USB turntables. When connected to powered speakers or a stereo receiver, they can be used to play 33 1/3 or 45 (but not 78) R.P.M. records included software allows all three speeds to be digitized and recorded to a PC hard drive.
ION’s TTUSB10, including software and a dust cover, is available for around $100 at Amazon, while its Profile model can be found for $90 at Costco. Other manufacturers also make USB turntables Sony’s PSLX250H model can be found for about $90.
IPOD DOCKING POWER
When first introduced, iPod docks devices that allow you to play your iPod’s music through external speakers were utilitarian affairs. Today, iPod connectivity is built in to a wide range of products, from the expected to the unusual.
Panasonic’s $177 SC-HC3 is a stylish, slim 4-inch-deep unit with built-in speakers, iPod docking, an AM/FM clock radio and a CD player. It can be configured to let you wake to your iPod music.
Buying for a young person? Then consider what Kicker, a well-known car audio manufacturer, contends is the loudest iPod docking station on the market: the iKICK iK501. The model, available for about $200, includes a 6-inch rear-facing sub-woofer, remote control, and 20 watts of power per channel.
The $139 Miller MG15I, available at Adirondackguitar.com, adds an iPod dock to a guitar amplifier, making it easy to play or sing along to your favorite songs or karaoke. The two-speaker system offers 15 watts per unit and a built-in iPod charger.
If it’s whimsy you’re after, Speakal sells the iPig, the iPanda, and other mammalian models iPod docks embedded in cute, hard-plastic animals. In time for next year’s World Cup, the company will release the miSoccer in December, an iPod dock embedded in the top of a soccer ball. Models cost around $100.
In the world of arthropods, Vestalife’s Firefly spreads its wings to reveal the product’s iPod docking station. It joins the company’s Ladybug and Mantis, all three of which come in red, silver and black. They’re available at Apple’s retail and online stores for $100 to $180, depending on the model.
Top 65 Best High-End Analog/Digital Turntable Brands
The PHONOGRAPH is a device invented in 1877 for the mechanical recording and reproduction of sound. In its later forms it is also called a gramophone (as a trademark since 1887, as a generic name since c. 1900). The sound vibration waveforms are recorded as corresponding physical deviations of a spiral groove engraved, etched, incised, or impressed into the surface of a rotating cylinder or disc, called a "record". To recreate the sound, the surface is similarly rotated while a playback stylus traces the groove and is therefore vibrated by it, very faintly reproducing the recorded sound. In early acoustic phonographs, the stylus vibrated a diaphragm which produced sound waves which were coupled to the open air through a flaring horn, or directly to the listener's ears through stethoscope-type earphones. In later electric phonographs (also known as record players (since 1940s) or, most recently, turntables, the motions of the stylus are converted into an analogous electrical signal by a transducer called a pickup or cartridge (colloquially called the "needle"), electronically amplified with a power amplifier, then converted back into sound by a loudspeaker.
Inexpensive record players typically used a flanged steel stamping for the TURNTABLE structure. A rubber disc would be secured to the top of the stamping to provide traction for the record, as well as a small amount of vibration isolation. The spindle bearing usually consisted of a bronze bushing. The flange on the stamping provided a convenient place to drive the turntable by means of an idler wheel. While light and cheap to manufacture, these mechanisms had low inertia, making motor speed instabilities more pronounced.
Costlier turntables made from heavy aluminium castings have greater balanced mass and inertia, helping minimize vibration at the stylus, and maintaining constant speed without wow or flutter, even if the motor exhibits cogging effects. Like stamped steel turntables, they were topped with rubber. Because of the increased mass, they usually employed ball bearings or roller bearings in the spindle to reduce friction and noise. Most are belt or direct drive, but some use an idler wheel. A specific case was the Swiss "Lenco" drive, which possessed a very heavy turntable coupled via an idler wheel to a long, tapered motor drive shaft. This enabled stepless rotation or speed control on the drive. Because of this feature the Lenco became popular in the late 1950s with dancing schools, because the dancing instructor could lead the dancing exercises at different speeds.
By the early 1980s, some companies started producing very inexpensive turntables that displaced the products of companies like BSR. Commonly found in all-in-one stereos from assorted far-east brands, they used a thin plastic table set in a plastic plinth, no mats, belt drive, weak motors, and often, plastic tonearms with no counterweight. Most used sapphire pickups housed in ceramic cartridges, and they lacked features of earlier units, such as auto-start and record-stacking. While no longer as common now that turntables are absent from the cheap all-in-one stereo, this type has made a resurgence in nostalgia-marketed players.
An Affinity for Vinyl
The phonograph I grew up with is probably from somewhere around 1915 or 16. I’m always amazed that, after all these years, it still works.
Dad still plays those old scratchy records too, even though we’ve bought him the entire Bing Cosby and Perry Como collections on digitally remastered CDs. He says the CDs just don’t sound right and I have to admit I understand.
There are certain things I can only listen to on vinyl also, like anything by the Doors.
My Mom absolutely loves the Doors (that’s how cool she is) and I grew up hearing People are Strange and Break On Through on vinyl at very high volumes.
There’s a skip in Break on Through on Mom’s record, right at the beginning between try to run and try to hide and when it’s not there the whole song sounds weird to me.
John Legend & Luna’s Father-Daughter Tradition Is Too Cute
If you watch Chrissy Teigen’s Instagram stories you know the Legend family has a lot of fun &mdash from yoga sessions in the family room to onesie Superbowl parties to holiday cooking, there is never a dull moment. And while we see a lot of both Chrissy and John spending time with Luna, 3, and Miles, 1, there are of course many precious moments that happen off-camera.
While promoting the new season of The Voice in partnership with Lay&rsquos SheKnows exclusively spoke with Legend who shared he wasn’t the only musical member of the family. “Luna is getting good at really learning songs,” Legend said of his 3-year-old daughter. And unlike some kids who are embarrassed by their famous parent’s voice, Luna loves singing along to her dad’s music. “She’s really into music and loves dancing and dancing around the house. She particularly loves my Christmas album.”
“We have a record player in our dining room and we play the vinyl version of the Christmas album in the dining room and she and I just dance and sing and that’s one of our bonding times.”
But would the Grammy Award-winning artist want his daughter to go down the same path he did? “I wouldn’t discourage her,” he said of Luna wanting to potentially pursue music as a career. And yes, we know, she’s only three-years-old &mdash but still, what if?
“I would want her to maximize whatever she wants to do. So, if she’s going to start something and get into it, I want her to work hard and practice and try to be great at it, but if it’s singing or dancing or acting, or being an engineer or whatever it is…I want her to find what she’s passionate about and then really work hard at it.”
Legend shared that his grandmother inspired him to start singing sharing, “My grandmother was a big influence on me. She was the church organist in my home town growing up,” &mdash and so it seems that if Luna were to one day want to follow in her father’s footsteps she wouldn’t be the first to be inspired by family.
Season 18 of The Voice premieres Monday, at 8 p.m. ET on NBC.
Click here to see more celeb fathers who are #DadGoals.
The resurgence of vinyl over the past decade means that manufacturing, releasing, and distributing an album or single on vinyl is a viable option for your independent release. We’re thrilled to be part of the return of this medium vinyl harkens to the origins of Disc Makers, after all. And renewing the debate over analog vs. digital recording and playback in an age obsessed with technology and expedience is what we audiophiles live for.
The science of vinyl records
Sound is the vibration of particles across a medium — air and water, for instance — in the form of waves. In 1877, Thomas Edison first developed a way to record and play sound by imprinting sound wave information onto tinfoil by etching the electrical signal of a sound wave with a needle and creating a phonograph to read and reproduce the recorded sound.
Unlike the flat discs we use today, Edison’s early phonographs used cylinders, and the mechanical cylinder phonograph played sound with the help of a reproducer, which included a diaphragm and a sapphire needle and a horn that broadcast the recorded material. The size of the horn determined the volume of the playback.
A decade later, Emile Berliner used the same principles, recording to a flat rubber disc and then shellac — the predecessor of the vinyl used for modern-day release.
While Edison originally envisioned the phonograph being used as a recording device for dictation and teaching, Berliner’s gramophone introduced the era of the recorded musical album, providing a way to mass produce recordings for people to play on systems in their homes. The process is similar to how records are enjoyed today.
The mechanics of modern playback
A stylus, or record needle, is one component in a transducer — a device that converts electrical energy into mechanical energy (or vice versa). In the case of a record player, this transducer is a cartridge — composed of a stylus, cantilever, magnets, coils, and body — which converts the mechanical energy of the recorded vibrations into sound waves, which are amplified and broadcast through speakers.
A stylus is cone-shaped and typically made from diamond or other gemstone or hard metal. The stylus fits into the grooves of the record, picking up and sending the etched vibrations through the cartridge, which converts the information into an electrical signal, sends it to an amplifier that boosts the signal’s power, and then to the speakers, which broadcast the sound.
The stylus’ job is to read all the information in the grooves, which were originally created using another needle as part of a transducer — in this case, converting the electrical energy of the sound waves into vibrations etched into the record grooves. In a stereo record groove, the right channel is recorded on the right wall, and the left channel is recorded on the left.
While mastering engineers preparing a recording for transfer to vinyl will adjust the groove pitch to account for dynamics in the program (i.e., louder and softer sections of your music), there are maximum and minimum depths permitted for a record’s groove. Too much low frequency information combined with a lot of information spread across the stereo field can result in the stylus jumping out of the groove and skipping. Too shallow and narrow a groove, and the recorded sound can lose its stereo image and suffer from low volume.
Furthermore, a record only has so much space to contain the grooves. The length of your program — as well as the levels and frequencies contained in your recording — will affect the depth and width of the grooves, and ultimately the quality of the playback. This is one reason why mastering a recording for vinyl release is an important step in creating a high-quality end product.
Recording and mixing high frequencies
High frequency and sibilant sounds, particularly with vocals and cymbals, can turn into distortion on a vinyl record if not mixed properly. Vinyl can’t reproduce high frequencies as accurately as digital media. In fact, higher frequencies can sound fine on playback from WAV files, but when transferred to vinyl, some of those bright, sibilant frequencies can turn into a crispy buzz. This can result from various factors, but specific frequencies, mixed improperly or lacking proper compression, can ultimately be too prominent and distort on playback.
In most of these cases, it isn’t an issue of the sound not being pressed onto the vinyl accurately, it’s that the stylus is unable to track the sounds correctly. The same recording can sound fine on a 24 bit WAV file, and might replicate perfectly on a CD or other digital product.
One way to avoid sibilance issues is simply to choose the correct microphone and employ an effective pop filter in the recording process. Knowing from the outset that vinyl will be your ultimate end product can affect choices you make all the way back to the pre-production and arranging stages.
The use of a de-esser in these situations can also be a key and is highly recommended when mixing and mastering for vinyl release. A de-esser acts like a very narrow-band compressor that is set at specific frequencies where you typically get “esses” and “tees” and other sibilant consonant sounds. It compresses those frequencies to keep them from jumping out and becoming a problem in playback.
Pro tip: Center the bass frequencies
With lower frequencies, and especially in music that requires a lot of bass and low frequency content, the recommendation is to center your bass frequencies when preparing a mix for release on vinyl. In essence, make the low frequency information mono. It’s also recommended that you avoid hard panning of the toms when recording drums.
Learn more about recording, mixing, mastering, designing, and manufacturing a vinyl LP. Download our free guide, The Musician’s Guide To Vinyl today!
Record Store Day is June 12th!
Record Store Day is a celebration of the enduring importance and coolness of the independent record store. According to the Record Store Day website, it’s a “day for the people who make up the world of the record store to come together and celebrate the special role independently owned stores play in their communities. Special vinyl and CD releases and various promotional products are made exclusively for the day and hundreds of artists across the globe make special appearances and performances.”