How Are Phonograph Records Made?
We know that a phonograph record’s sound is stored in the wavy grooves on its surface. In the recording studio, the music is first recorded on tape. The musicians and studio technicians listen to the tape.
After making any needed adjustments in the balance between the instruments and voices, the tape is played into a record-cutting machine, which cuts a continuous groove onto a revolving plastic disc.
From this disc, a metal record is made. The metal record is used in a plastic molding press to press the wavy groove onto the plastic record you buy.
The phonograph is a device used for the mechanical recording and reproduction of sound. In its later forms it is also called a gramophone.
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.
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, the motions of the stylus are converted into an analogous electrical signal by a transducer called a pickup or cartridge, electronically amplified, then converted back into sound by a loudspeaker.
The disc phonograph record was the dominant audio recording format throughout most of the 20th century. From the mid-1980s, phonograph use declined sharply because of the rise of the compact disc and other digital recording formats.
While no longer mass-market items, modest numbers of phonographs and phonograph records continue to be produced in the second decade of the 21st century.