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CD - SACD, DVD - HD DVD/Blue-ray, vinyl - ?
Old 13th September 2007
  #1
Gear Head
 

CD - SACD, DVD - HD DVD/Blue-ray, vinyl - ?

I know there's some vinyl fans out there. My most recent experience with vinyl were converting LP's to cassette/CD's because I was doing sound design for community college theater. I hear the digital versions of some of these songs & they just don't cut it for me. I pretty much grew up listening to vinyl (my brother was heavy into Kiss, and we had Fleetwood Mac's Rumours, a Heart album, among other things). I rather liked the days when record players were a common household item.

So, if we have higher resolution/definition of CD's & DVD's, why not have the equivalent for vinyl? Multichannel vinyl with less noise & broader dynamics! I'm sure there's better materials to replace vinyl so there's less scratching and popping, more forgiving when it comes to dynamics, and better playback systems. This could help fight the loudness wars . . .
Old 14th September 2007
  #2
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Cellotron's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by ascottk View Post
So, if we have higher resolution/definition of CD's & DVD's, why not have the equivalent for vinyl? Multichannel vinyl with less noise & broader dynamics! I'm sure there's better materials to replace vinyl so there's less scratching and popping, more forgiving when it comes to dynamics, and better playback systems. This could help fight the loudness wars . . .
Quadraphonic vinyl - Quadraphonic sound - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia - was introduced in the early 70's and was a failure with both consumers and also sonically (in general with a physical playback system anytime you try to introduce more material in the same space as where there used to be less you loose resolution). So developers have already been there and done that. Since current digital surround formats (i.e. SACD & DVD-A) have been complete failures on the broad consumer market - to put it politely - you'd have to be an idiot to want to invest in trying to come up with a new surround format for vinyl.

Direct Metal Mastering (aka "DMM") where a diamond stylys cuts the grooves into a copper layer plated over steel substrates (instead of a heated sapphire stylus cutting into a lacquer layer plated over aluminum)was introduced by Teldec & Neumannn in the early 80's and represented a definite potential for an advance in vinyl mastering as it eliminates the need for 2 intermediate steps in plating, and potentially allows for better representation of high frequencies in mastering. It's timing was unfortunate though in that CD was also introduced at that exact period (guess you can figure out which format won more attention). There's a few mastering studios in Europe that can still master to DMM - Abbey Road and The Exchange in London, Pauler Acoustics and Optimal Media in Germany, GZ Media in Czech Republic.

Having worked for a number of years a production manager for a vinyl pressing plant, and also having cut hundreds of vinyl masters myself - I can state very confindently that the resolution and quality of a vinyl record has to do with the quality of the source itself, the care taken during mastering, the care taken during plating, and the care taken during pressing - when all of these are done with the greatest concern for quality then honestly I don't think there is a need to try and "reinvent the wheel." Unfortunately because vinyl record pressing is becoming more and more of a niche market (and because many of the most knowledgeable people in the record pressing biz have gone on to retirment), and because also many current labels and artists shop for vinyl pressing plants based on cost instead of quality - many current pressings are not at the same level that we've experienced in the past. There are indeed a few vinyl mastering, plating and pressing faciltiies though that if given a "no expense spared" budget can come up with excellent results.

Best regards,
Steve Berson
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