What do you get when you combine a laser, a turntable, and a tortilla? The answer: An actual, playable record … and a nomination for weirdest thing on the Internet this week.
The YouTube video above showcases the recortilla, if you will, and this tutorial shows you — step by absurdly-detailed step — how you can make your own. Provided of course that you have a laser cutter, a record player, and a piece of traditional Mexican flatbread on hand.
You can see, or hear, that the recortilla is barely audible at 45 RPMs but is much clearer at 78 RPMs. At the higher speed, we can actually make out The Mexican Hat Dance a.k.a., Jarabe Tapatío. Certainly as fitting a song as any to play via tortilla.
If you’re wondering how this is all possible, you may be surprised to learn it’s actually pretty simple. Sound is just the vibration of particles across a medium: air, water, etc. Each traditional vinyl record is cut with a unique set of grooves. As a record player’s needle travels over these grooves, it vibrates in a distinct pattern. The record player converts those vibrations into electrical signals, which are then amplified and spit back out of loudspeakers as sound. Vinyl happens to be much better at producing this effect than flatbread, but, so long as it’s cut so that it can cause the needle to vibrate in the proper pattern, tortillas can play music too.
Knowing the Internet, this knowledge will soon spawn a “what’s the weirdest thing we can get to play music?” contest where nothing round, flat, and roughly record-sized will be safe. In fact, we hope it does.
In all seriousness, though, this is an interesting lesson for lay people on the mechanics behind music.
So if you’ve got a stack of tortillas in your fridge, take one out … and eat it. Fun as this story is, let’s not lose sight of their primary purpose.