Lacquer Channel Mastering is no stranger to the pure origin of sound. When they opened their doors 40 years ago, vinyl was king. Soon after, recording advanced when mastering was added to the process and by the 60’s, processing was added to make sound louder and mastering became a creative industry. Along came CD’s and the prices for vinyl went up and up. It could be said that CD’s almost killed vinyl just when vinyl was becoming big for indie artists. That was about the time that Lacquer stopped working with vinyl due to its cost prohibitive nature.

It’s been 30 years since any new recording equipment has even been manufactured for vinyl. When Noah Mintz decided to drop the axe on vinyl it hadn’t hit its big insurgence yet and when it did, 5 years later, he decided it was time to get back into it. It was time to cut wax. So Noah met with a former competitor who still had a lathe. They worked on it until it was up and running. It is now the last operating lathe in Canada. The case for the return of vinyl seems to be subjective and can be argued many ways however Noah feels it relies heavily on two things. “Unlike MP3’s, an album is something you can hold and overall it’s a better experience when you listen to it.”

Our ears miss the lost frequencies of the compressed file size of the MP3. To Noah, vinyl represents better quality, meaning that it doesn’t necessarily sound better as much as it feels better. “There’s something to be said about getting up, putting that record on and making out for twenty minutes. Then getting up, changing the side and making out for another twenty minutes. It gives you that break and forces you to get up and hold the record in your hand and see the artwork.”

Audio unplugged We Cut Wax is a new video series that demonstrates this process of making music. The audio we’ll be hearing is coming from the room as it sounded during the recording. No mixing. No mastering. “The series is an answer to the question ‘Does audio quality matter anymore?’” says Noah, “The process in creating the audio on the series is, in a way, more important than the product. The process is the product.”

With all the modern technology stripped away, they’ve taken music back to the origin of recorded sound. Recorded directly to acetate disc through one microphone in a room. “No overdubs, no redo’s, no digital no auto-tune and no stereo (glorious mono). “Pure sound unlike you’ve ever heard before,” he says proudly. So even though we’ll be hearing it digitally, we get the essence of the performance in a way that can’t be conveyed through digital or conventional analog recording. “We Cut Wax is a renaissance but at the same time a revolution.”