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Disc Recording Techniques

Author: N.H. Crowhurst

In disc recording, grooves are cut on a smooth surface by means of a cutting stylus. Later on the pickup stylus will follow the same groove and reproduce the mechanical vibration that cut the original groove. The grooves can be cut two ways: from side-to-side (lateral) or up-and-down (vertical).

In disc recordings, grooves are cut with a stylus in either of two ways

Lateral cuts are invariably used in modern recordings, because this method involves continuous removal of the same amount of material (called swarf) from the surface by the cutter. Vertical (hill-and-dale) cutting involves variation in the amount of material removed at the different points on the waveform, which places a varying load on the cutter. This variation in itself can cause distortion.

Last Update: 2010-11-03