Machine cutting of rock is widely used in the coal mining industry. Developing an acoustic emission monitoring system that is capable of detecting changes in rock cutting conditions has the potential to enable the development of a real-time control system which can optimise the operation of rock cutting machines such as longwall shearers and roadheaders. A laboratory-based study was undertaken to record acoustic emissions during rock cutting using a linear rock cutting machine. The study considered a range of variables that might impact design of a control system including rock type, cutting depth, cutting speed and location of an acoustic emission sensor. The study found significant differences in the frequency domain of acoustic emissions with changes in cutting configuration including rock type.