While many labels cut LPs using digital files, the Electric Recording Co. favors midcentury gear Hutchison considers the best of its era. “It just sounds better,” he says. “We’ve done tests.” A reel-to-reel playback machine feeds audio from the magnetic tape of the recording session into a cutting lathe, which carves the music onto a lacquer disc. The device features a Swiss microscope that Hutchison uses to inspect his work before creating the negative, called the father, that stamps every record in the run. Most high-volume operations make copies from copies of the father, maximizing efficiency but reducing fidelity to the original.