How to Make CDs Playable on a Turntable

It can be done.  Why you’d want to do it is another matter.  From Mashable:

London musician Aleksander Kolkowski is giving new life to a dying musical format — by turning it into an even older format. His idea: repurpose the compact disc to play like its musical predecessor, the vinyl record. “I’m taking the optical digital back to analogue,” he says.

Using a modified Wilcox-Gay Recordette — a 1950s home stereo and recording device — Kolkowski cuts grooves into a CD, making it playable on a turntable. The re-engineered CD plays at 45 rotations per minute for up to two minutes and 50 seconds. The audio result is “a nice, warm sound, like it’s been remastered through an overdriven tube amplifier.”

Any digital or audio input, including a microphone, can be connected to Kolkowski’s customized device — which means he can put whatever song, sound or voice recording he chooses onto the CD to be played like a record. To do this, the input device sends an electrical signal to a needle on the Recordette, which cuts an exact waveform representation of the sound onto the CD like the arm of a record player working in reverse. It renders the original data on the disc unreadable, but etches into the disc something new and often spontaneous.

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Alan Cross

is an internationally known broadcaster, interviewer, writer, consultant, blogger and speaker. In his 30+ years in the music business, Alan has interviewed the biggest names in rock, from David Bowie and U2 to Pearl Jam and the Foo Fighters. He’s also known as a musicologist and documentarian through programs like The Ongoing History of New Music.

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