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How do all you high-end old-timer engineers feel about... vinyl?
Old 19th January 2021
  #1
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drockfresh's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
How do all you high-end old-timer engineers feel about... vinyl?

I'm wondering what you all that grew up with vinyl feel about the current vinyl revival?

Any of you enjoy listening to a nice turntable or do you dislike the added surface noise and distortion?

I am sure there are some famous engineers who hate vinyl and turntables.

If you haven't paid attention the price has surged the past year and it's a frenzy among collectors.

Last edited by drockfresh; 21st January 2021 at 02:41 PM..
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Old 19th January 2021
  #2
Deleted fe72b38
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Quote:
Originally Posted by drockfresh ➡️
I'm wondering what you all that grew up pressing to wax feel about the current vinyl revival?

Any of you enjoy listening to a nice turntable or do you dislike the added distortion?

I am sure there are some famous engineers who hate vinyl and turntables.

If you haven't paid attention the price of vinyl has surged the past year and it's a frenzy among collectors.
I had a huge album and singles collection I dragged around for years then when my kids arrived I was tight for space and I’m embarrassed to say the whole lot ended up in the local dump.

If I’d kept it, from what you’re saying it may of had some value!

As to the sound of Vinyl personally I don’t miss it.
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Old 19th January 2021
  #3
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DistortingJack's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
I mean... it doesn't sound better. But it makes for a very cool collectable item, I guess, and forces you to listen to the music more intently, without skipping constantly.
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Old 19th January 2021
  #4
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thethrillfactor's Avatar
 
4 Reviews written
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by drockfresh ➡️
I'm wondering what you all that grew up pressing to wax feel about the current vinyl revival?

Any of you enjoy listening to a nice turntable or do you dislike the added distortion?

I am sure there are some famous engineers who hate vinyl and turntables.

If you haven't paid attention the price of vinyl has surged the past year and it's a frenzy among collectors.
By the end of Covid 19 it will pretty much wipe out the surge.

Why?

All of those cool Vinyl shops around the world that helped make it "cool" again will be no more unfortunately. Lets face it, buying vinyl through Amazon will continue to sour the experience for some.

Also all of the remaining places that were either pressing vinyl plus the older engineers who had the expertise/experience in the manufacture will unfortunately also be gone.

Who will take up the mantle plus the expense that goes along with it?

Lastly with the huge investments from Wall street Hedge and Angel funds in catalogs through the Pandemic, the push for streaming & syncs will overwhelm the industry in years going forward. Which in turn will squeeze out any competition for compensation including vinyl and or any remaining physical media, etc.

Even the reliance on the monetization and Merch from live shows has to change.

Going forward there will be a shift away from the traditional system we've been used to. The Pyramid of what makes up the bulk of the "monies" will be new.
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Old 19th January 2021 | Show parent
  #5
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🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by thethrillfactor ➡️
By the end of Covid 19 it will pretty much wipe out the surge.

Why?

All of those cool Vinyl shops around the world that helped make it "cool" again will be no more unfortunately. Lets face it, buying vinyl through Amazon will continue to sour the experience for some.

Also all of the remaining places that were either pressing vinyl plus the older engineers who had the expertise/experience in the manufacture will unfortunately also be gone.

Who will take up the mantle plus the expense that goes along with it?

Lastly with the huge investments from Wall street Hedge and Angel funds in catalogs through the Pandemic, the push for streaming & syncs will overwhelm the industry in years going forward. Which in turn will squeeze out any competition for compensation including vinyl and or any remaining physical media, etc.

Even the reliance on the monetization and Merch from live shows has to change.

Going forward there will be a shift away from the traditional system we've been used to. The Pyramid of what makes up the bulk of the "monies" will be new.
Wow. That’s a scary vision.

The local record shop had its best month in decades during the pandemic because of people staying at home vinyl collecting. So did this guy I know who restores and sells Dual turntables.
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Old 19th January 2021 | Show parent
  #6
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🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by DistortingJack ➡️
I mean... it doesn't sound better. But it makes for a very cool collectable item, I guess, and forces you to listen to the music more intently, without skipping constantly.
It sounds different. I’ve held some spectacular drum and bass glue and other “mojo” (aka pleasant distortion) on high end tables with good pressings. Especially compared to mid-level DACS. But of course surface noise is the trade-off.
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Old 19th January 2021
  #7
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I like releasing things on vinyl because it's much more difficult to wreck it with aggressive limiting. You limit it heavily, and you get a record that you can't cut at a decent level... it has to be sent back for a remix if it's over-limited in mixing. So there is a degree of processing sanity that you don't get enforced with more modern formats.

I like listening to vinyl because there are so many great old recordings that are available only on vinyl that will never be released any other way. All those Pablo Casals recordings... Columbia is never going to put them out on CD or as digital downloads, the vinyl is the only way to hear it. His style of playing isn't currently fashionable but that's part of what makes it interesting.

If you want to listen to Hair, all the CDs are made from the 1983 remix, done with 1980s processing and 1980s styling into 1980s converters. It's the worst of both worlds. The vinyl... well, the vinyl is even worse in most cases because it's been Dynagrooved.... but there are some European pressings that aren't particularly expensive or sought after that sound pretty good.

I also like vinyl because it forces people to actively set things up, put on a record, sit down and listen to it instead of just letting music flow over them like muzak in the supermarket. Anything that promotes active listening is good to my mind.

The 'does vinyl sound better than CD' battle is stupid. My Pablo Casals LP sounds better than the CD because there isn't any CD. My Stanley Turrentine CD sounds better than the LP because it has extended low end that was impossible to put on the original LP. You can't generalize, all you can do is listen to music. People need to be more mellow.
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Old 19th January 2021 | Show parent
  #8
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🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by drockfresh ➡️
It sounds different. I’ve held some spectacular drum and bass glue and other “mojo” (aka pleasant distortion) on high end tables with good pressings. Especially compared to mid-level DACS. But of course surface noise is the trade-off.
Vinyl sounds far, far less like the source material than even a mid-level DAC. This is measurable, repeatable, objective. So as a medium, it's objectively worse. You can like the sound of vinyl, though, the same way as a distorted guitar sounds good even though it's completely mangling the signal: as an effect.

If the sound of vinyl is better than the sound of the CD release it's either a problem with the CD master, or a problem with the production that the distortion caused by vinyl is somewhat improving. A better production would have a sound that's fat enough as it is without needing help from a lossy medium.
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Old 19th January 2021 | Show parent
  #9
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🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by DistortingJack ➡️
Vinyl sounds far, far less like the source material than even a mid-level DAC. This is measurable, repeatable, objective. So as a medium, it's objectively worse. You can like the sound of vinyl, though, the same way as a distorted guitar sounds good even though it's completely mangling the signal: as an effect.

If the sound of vinyl is better than the sound of the CD release it's either a problem with the CD master, or a problem with the production that the distortion caused by vinyl is somewhat improving. A better production would have a sound that's fat enough as it is without needing help from a lossy medium.
Good point on bad digital mastering. A mastering engineer who does some work for Abbey Road told me (and I paraphrase) lots of bad digital mastering in the 90s that needs to be updated.
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Old 19th January 2021 | Show parent
  #10
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drockfresh's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by DistortingJack ➡️
Vinyl sounds far, far less like the source material than even a mid-level DAC. This is measurable, repeatable, objective. So as a medium, it's objectively worse. You can like the sound of vinyl, though, the same way as a distorted guitar sounds good even though it's completely mangling the signal: as an effect.

If the sound of vinyl is better than the sound of the CD release it's either a problem with the CD master, or a problem with the production that the distortion caused by vinyl is somewhat improving. A better production would have a sound that's fat enough as it is without needing help from a lossy medium.
Wouldn’t it sound more like the source if it’s an analog source ?
Old 20th January 2021 | Show parent
  #11
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🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by drockfresh ➡️
Wouldn’t it sound more like the source if it’s an analog source ?
No, whether it's analogue or not makes zero difference. Let's assume the master is on tape. The analogue output of an AD/DA loop from a decent prosumer audio interface, going to digital and back to analogue, can be compared in the analogue world with the original analogue tape. One can also compare the vinyl to the original analogue tape.

The signal that went through the AD/DA loop will have less THD, far less noise, less compression artifacts, less phase shift, a better stereo image, and a flatter frequency response from 1–20k than the best vinyl ever made.
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Old 20th January 2021
  #12
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As expected none of you likes vinyl as a delivery medium
Old 20th January 2021
  #13
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🎧 5 years
I have always preferred CD's, I think digital when done properly sounds better, the only advantage of vinyl is the way you can't over cook it too much without the stylus jumping out and more dynamic masters but digital has potential to be just as good without the noise, pops and crackles.
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Old 20th January 2021 | Show parent
  #14
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🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by drockfresh ➡️
As expected none of you likes vinyl as a delivery medium
I like it. I just don't think it's better.
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Old 20th January 2021 | Show parent
  #15
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Sharp11's Avatar
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by drockfresh ➡️
Wouldn’t it sound more like the source if it’s an analog source ?
No.

The master has to pass through (be processed by) an RIAAcurve before being cut to vinyl - the truth is, vinyl requires much more processing than digital, so the opposite is true, that the digital master of an analog source is an accurate representation.

This is one reason why early digital reissues sound bad; in many cases, greedy record companies took masters intended for vinyl and simply transferred them to digital.
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Old 20th January 2021 | Show parent
  #16
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🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by kludgeaudio ➡️
His style of playing isn't currently fashionable but that's part of what makes it interesting.
It's not in tune either.
Old 21st January 2021
  #17
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Udi Koomran's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
No I idea if I qualify for "High End" maybe "Old Timer" yes heh heh
I am 59 and unlike most engineers I not a musician nor a real "technician"
I grew up on listening and collecting records and got into engineering through curiosity and mostly through my enthusiasm for listening to music which I still consider to be magic.
Anyway like many of us who grew up as kids in the 60's and 70's made the transitions to cds in the 80's and as an engineer started with analog and then for a few years in the 90 recorded with ADATS and in 1998 bought my first Pro Tools Rig
My opinion is that if the focus is on pure fidelity music that was recorded with digital technology doesn't benefit from being pressed to vinyl.
I know this from my experience - music that was recorded on digital will sound as good as the digital master file.
Now when it comes to listening to golden age recordings that were analog then look for a good original pressing of your favorite record turntable rig and make sure you know how to calibrate it and align it because if its not then you are not enjoying the true sound that is in those grooves.
Having said that I do think there is value for buying viny todayl other then audio fidelity -enjoying the object and graphics art etc.
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Old 21st January 2021
  #18
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1 Review written
🎧 5 years
The original post is.. well, I don’t know what it is.

[I'm wondering what you all that grew up pressing to wax feel about the current vinyl revival?]

No part of pressing or mastering vinyl involves “wax.” While mastering acetates to produce vinyl for 15 years, I never heard anyone use the word “wax” seriously or as slang. The vinyl revival seems odd, but steampunk and collecting typewriters are odd. I don’t give it any thought.

[Any of you enjoy listening to a nice turntable or do you dislike the added distortion?]

A properly set up cartridge and turntable, playing a conservatively cut record, does not add noticeable distortion. I don’t “enjoy” listening to vinyl because I don’t listen to vinyl. I set up a turntable if I need to do vinyl restoration. And I know how to set up a turntable and cartridge. I haven’t seen a properly set up vinyl playback system in anyone’s home since 1990. No wonder people think it is an inherently distorted medium.
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Old 21st January 2021
  #19
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Drumsound's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
I like LP, I like CD, I like streaming, that is if the music is good and that is where I have access. It's pretty fun to have a client release vinyl. I like LP jackets.
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Old 21st January 2021
  #20
Deleted 516b045
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Vinyl sounds so much warmer than cold, clinical digital music. I have to put a CD on the radiator before playing it so that I can get near to that warmth. I haven’t found a way yet to warm up streaming, but as soon as I do I’ll let you know.
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Old 21st January 2021 | Show parent
  #21
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DistortingJack's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Deleted 516b045 ➡️
Vinyl sounds so much warmer than cold, clinical digital music. I have to put a CD on the radiator before playing it so that I can get near to that warmth. I haven’t found a way yet to warm up streaming, but as soon as I do I’ll let you know.
You sound like you need to move nearer to the equator

You can grab the output of a vinyl (which actually has to go through massive EQ in the phono preamp called the RIAA curve) and record it through digital via a good AD (say, by Prism, RME, Lynx, or Metric Halo), then the digital recording is going to sound like the vinyl, with whichever "warmth" the vinyl had.
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Old 21st January 2021
  #22
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Tom H's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
There are some great topics on this subject in the mastering-forum. Those guys actually have to do the engineering part when transfering to vinyl, most mixing or recording engineers work way less with the end medium in mind.

For me as a listener I really like how early house and techno sounds on vinyl, the same tracks don't have the same vibe digital. Vinyl is absolutely not always a case of being more hifi sounding but always has it's charm.
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Old 21st January 2021 | Show parent
  #23
Gear Guru
 
1 Review written
🎧 5 years
i knew i hated vinyl when i first heard a mix that i liked on cd - don't recall which cd or the year though.

[same with tape btw: i knew i hated it when i first got to use a fairlight - this was in 1986...]
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Old 21st January 2021 | Show parent
  #24
Gear Maniac
 
Udi Koomran's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bushman ➡️
I haven’t seen a properly set up vinyl playback system in anyone’s home since 1990. No wonder people think it is an inherently distorted medium.
WORD
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Old 21st January 2021 | Show parent
  #25
Deleted 516b045
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DistortingJack ➡️
You sound like you need to move nearer to the equator

You can grab the output of a vinyl (which actually has to go through massive EQ in the phono preamp called the RIAA curve) and record it through digital via a good AD (say, by Prism, RME, Lynx, or Metric Halo), then the digital recording is going to sound like the vinyl, with whichever "warmth" the vinyl had.
I was being facetious!
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Old 21st January 2021 | Show parent
  #26
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DistortingJack's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Deleted 516b045 ➡️
I was being facetious!
And I was going along with it

But remember, Poe's Law is a thing!
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Old 21st January 2021 | Show parent
  #27
Deleted 516b045
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DistortingJack ➡️
And I was going along with it

But remember, Poe's Law is a thing!
Postmodern irony!
Old 21st January 2021
  #28
Gear Maniac
 
🎧 10 years
I put on a vinyl album every Sunday morning during breakfast hours. Often it's one from my dad's collection, or maybe one from my college days. It's rather pleasant. At my studio I have a new turntable through a King Rex pre and a Bryston SST. When we finish work, someone will flip through my albums and we'll put one on and have a good conversation. It's extremely pleasant. Albums are fun. Remember fun?
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Old 21st January 2021
  #29
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drockfresh's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Now we know how the kids feel about hardware and big analog consoles
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Old 21st January 2021 | Show parent
  #30
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kludgeaudio's Avatar
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by David Spearritt ➡️
It's not in tune either.
You can talk to my ex. She had similar comments about Casals. I'm not going there.
--scott
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