Teenage Engineering is best known these days for its electronic music-making gear, but now it has an option for creating physical copies of those tunes. The Swedish brand has released a PO-80 Record Factory that, as the name implies, lets you cut vinyl records at home in addition to playing them back. The extra-cute orange and white design is part of the draw, but the real appeal is the simplicity — you just need to plug an audio device into the 3.5mm jack and start recording.
You’re limited to monophonic sound, and you won’t be cutting more than a single with a B-side. The included five-inch blank records (complete with sleeves) allow for about four minutes of audio per side at 33RPM, and three minutes at 45RPM. There’s an adapter for playing seven-inch records, and all power comes over USB.
If the concept looks a bit familiar, it should. Japanese designer Yuri Suzuki initially explored the idea with a record-cutting machine he built in tandem with the magazine publisher Gakken. Suzuki is a friend of Teenage Engineering, and teamed up with the company to develop a new version with the “Pocket Operator mentality” and a revised design.
The Record Factory is available for $149. While that’s not trivial, it’s not a lot to spend if you want to produce tangible copies of your lo-fi music. Just be prepared to look elsewhere if you intend to release whole albums.
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