Optimal recording for mastering for vinyl
Jenso
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7th February 2013
Old 7th February 2013
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Optimal recording for mastering for vinyl

Im going to start recording some tracks here and just want to make sure i get the most out of the time invested so heres some questions for you

Setup:
Synths, drummachines sequenced by ext. sequencer run into a Fireface UC, Ableton Live. The laptop is a 2.26 Intelcore 2 MacBook Pro DUO with 4GB 1067 DDR3 Ram, OSX 10.8.2

Effects will be a mix of VST plugins and hardware effects.

I want to ensure that the recordings will be optimal for mastering for vinyl(most important) and digital release. Whats the best bitrate and samplerate for vinyl and for digital release?

I have heard that samplerate/bitrate conversion isnt optimal, so i would go for the best possible sound for vinyl. Which convertors are the best for this, if i would want to convert it after for cd/digital-mastering?

I want to configure ableton so that i can send recorded tracks and the synths i have not yet recorded to external fx etc and record without loosing sync with the other tracks that i have allready recorded. What latency-settings should i set?

Whats the best settings for keeping optimal sound quality for both external fx and VSTplugins? I guess Buffersize has something to do with this?

I also want to keep optimal midisync between ableton live, interface and the external sequencer. How?

I guess keeping all these things optimal could be ristricted by hardware but i want the best compromise.

If there is anything more i should tend to before i start recording, keep me updated!

Thanks
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7th February 2013
Old 7th February 2013
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moved to mastering forum
Adam Dempsey
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7th February 2013
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A search for vinyl mastering in these parts should help. Main things:
1. Side length is inversely proportional to the amount of bass and overall level able to be cut (and varies, dependent on whether a 12, 10 or 7 inch, and whether 45rpm or 33rpm).
2. Ideally, all unnecessary digital processing can be avoided (including sample rate conversion) and lacquers cut from high res (eg 24 bit / native sample rate) files.
3. Digital peak level means nothing.
4. Budget for and get test pressings to approve if it's for release.
5. Or just forget all the above and focus on your music, not the technology. i.e.: as with preparing mixes for any mastering and format, just make the mixes sound the best you can - be really happy with them. Allow time to live with them for a bit (I can't stress this enough lately). If unsure about things such as sibilance and bass level, raise the concern with whoever is cutting your lacquers.
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JTransition
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7th February 2013
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What Adam said and attend the cutting session,yeah I know (fill in excuse here)but attending the cut is the best way to learn.
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11th February 2013
Old 11th February 2013
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Adam Dempsey View Post

5. Or just forget all the above and focus on your music, not the technology. i.e.: as with preparing mixes for any mastering and format, just make the mixes sound the best you can - be really happy with them. Allow time to live with them for a bit (I can't stress this enough lately). If unsure about things such as sibilance and bass level, raise the concern with whoever is cutting your lacquers.
Adam, does the above also apply for TV/Radio Delivery-i.e. don't get "stuck on the stats"-just produce the best recording that you can?
Adam Dempsey
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11th February 2013
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Quote:
Originally Posted by skyy38 View Post
Adam, does the above also apply for TV/Radio Delivery-i.e. don't get "stuck on the stats"-just produce the best recording that you can?
From an artist's & recording point of view - yes. And mono compatible. ; )
Cellotron
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11th February 2013
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fwiw I have a list of a few suggestions for mixing to get the best results for a vinyl record release at Tips for Mixing for Vinyl Records

There's a few points in it that I think could use editing (i.e. the maximum LP length suggestions are more indicative of what is possible with DMM than lacquer mastering - and the section on centering bass frequencies could use some clarification describing tools available to the cutting engineer to deal with these issues like elliptical equalizers and vertical amplitude limiters) - but it might give you a few ideas anyway.

Best regards,
Steve Berson
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12th February 2013
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Originally Posted by Adam Dempsey View Post
From an artist's & recording point of view - yes. And mono compatible. ; )
Mono compatible? Why?
Adam Dempsey
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12th February 2013
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Quote:
Originally Posted by skyy38 View Post
Mono compatible? Why?
Just a few reasons (despite it arguably being less important than it used to be):
1. FM radio is broadcast via sum/difference signals as opposed to left/right. The sum (mono) being the stronger signal is all you'll get in situations of weak radio reception.
2. Ever seen kids share ear buds (I know... but it happens) or listened to a streaming service or radio station via a smart phone speaker? I know of one station locally which has been streaming with a phase error for months - vocals disappear and announcers' voices are inaudible. (But they tell me they're onto it).
3. Better playback compatibility and likelihood of a cleaner cut for vinyl.
4. Often, music simply sounds most engaging when depth is retained, provided by a strong front and center image with a foreground/middle ground/background, which also helps contrast with the right amount of stereo width elements.
5. There are no guarantees on how a permanently installed sound system in a venue etc may be set up, eg - how far apart ceiling speakers may be.

Blog: Mono
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