The No.1 Website for Pro Audio
 All  This Thread  Reviews  Gear Database  Gear for sale     Latest  Trending
Preparing a vinyl master?
Old 31st December 2006
  #1
Lives for gear
 
I.R.Baboon's Avatar
Preparing a vinyl master?

Just wondering what the pros here think on this issue.

When preparing a vinyl master that will be going to a reputable cutting house, is there any reason to do anything special to the sound?

Ok, so maybe less limiting then for a CD release seems like a good idea.

But what about mono'ing the low end? I've heard this is a good idea, but on the other hand, if the person doing the cut knows what they're doing, surely this is best left to them? I mean, they should know the limits of their own system better then me?

I mean, just because I tell them i've mono'ed the low end or limited the highs, this doesn't mean they're going to believe me, right? They're not going to risk a duff cut or burning out the cutter head, are they?

So they're going to slap on a HF limiter and mono the bass regardless, no?

Maybe some of the London vinyl guys are hanging out here? What do you guys want done to the sound (if anything)?

Old 31st December 2006
  #2
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by I.R.Baboon View Post
But what about mono'ing the low end?
They will probably do that during the mastering. It might be also not necessary because some models have this option already builded in. Anyway if you are not sure, better ask them before doing anything...

Quote:
Originally Posted by I.R.Baboon View Post
I mean, just because I tell them i've mono'ed the low end or limited the highs, this doesn't mean they're going to believe me, right?
I think they will hear whether your sound is fairly processed for their cutting system... But they probably know this system better than you, so maybe it's good to leave the processing part for them..
Old 31st December 2006
  #3
Lives for gear
 
joshelevator's Avatar
 

watch your hi-end ie. bright hi-hats (808s), S's on vocals ect... I recommend de-essing these kind of things if they are bright. keeping the subs and low-end mono is a good idea but you can chorus a bass to some degree. i don't exactly know what a good cut-off would be but i have chorused a bass pretty low - maybe down to 90 or so. def watch the hi-end though because wheras a cd can handle a any kind of hi-end, it is completely different with vinyl. it will distort if you have harsh or loud hi's. keep them somewhat "soft" if you don't want them jumping off the record. if you want to have something bright or harsh, de-ess it a bit and/or don't have it too loud in the mix.
Old 7th January 2007
  #4
Gear Addict
 

the hotter the highs, the less loud the record will be. bass can be chorused, but likewise will result in slightly quieter cut. bass cannot be phase inverted - that's uncuttable. a safe cutoff could be around 150Hz.
Old 8th January 2007
  #5
Motown legend
 
Bob Olhsson's Avatar
 

Verified Member
Vinyl levels are limited primarily by the ability of a phono cartridge to track the record. My tips would be:

1. Leave off limiting. The distortion it generates will often cost you more level than limiting the peaks can gain. If there is anything to be gained, the mastering engineer is the only person in a position to know exactly how much limiting to use.

2. Be very careful about accurately centering anything panned to the middle. Mono is your friend when it comes to level.

3. Take great care that nothing below 50Hz. is musically important. In most cases there will be no need to hi-pass your mixes but you can't always count on it.

4. Avoid panning low frequency material to the side

5. Breath pops and sibilance can both force a drop in level. It's better to treat just the vocal track to alleviate these problems than to treat the whole mix.
Old 8th January 2007
  #6
Mastering
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Olhsson View Post

4. Avoid panning low frequency material to the side
And would you universally recommend that engineers practice this in the mixing process, Bob O., even with more and more "powerful" elliptical filters available in the mastering suite?

BK
Old 8th January 2007
  #7
Gear Addict
 

imho mono'ing (l+r) the low end while still in the mix can uncover some hidden phase problems, or some low end 'leftover' bass frequencies from tracks that shouldn't have had them. (then one can go back to the respective track and correct it.)
Old 9th January 2007
  #8
Lives for gear
 
Paul Gold's Avatar
 

Verified Member
Quote:
Originally Posted by bob katz View Post
And would you universally recommend that engineers practice this in the mixing process, Bob O., even with more and more "powerful" elliptical filters available in the mastering suite?

BK
I'm not Bob O but I'll point out that with "more powerful" elliptical EQ's, what you carefully crafted at the mix stage will be undone by the elliptical EQ. Most people who want vinyl view it as the primary release format whether or not it sells as many units.

I'm also not sure what a more powerful elliptical EQ is. I use the old Neumann EQ's. In Sampliquoia there is the Stereo Enhancer which allows a higher crossover frequency than 300hz. I don't use it much. I suppose you could set up a M/S matrix with a steeper than 6dB/oct slope on the S channel for more powerful. I've never seen the need to do this even when I was using the stone age vari pitch on the VMS62. With a Zuma you can get away with a lot of vertical.
Old 9th January 2007
  #9
Gear Addict
 
JTransition's Avatar
 

Verified Member
Quote:
Originally Posted by snapmastering View Post
imho mono'ing (l+r) the low end while still in the mix can uncover some hidden phase problems, or some low end 'leftover' bass frequencies from tracks that shouldn't have had them. (then one can go back to the respective track and correct it.)
If the customer wants a bass heavy mix i suggest that they high pass (to taste)
all non bass sounds thus giving the bass and kick drums more space.I have an elliptical eq on my Phillips mastering desk(70's)That can tame 99% of the out of phase bass that i have to cut,Ok this mono's the bass(either 150 or 300 hz) but most of my work is in the dance genre so these very low out of phase bass sounds would not translate in a club enviroment anyway.
Jason
Old 9th January 2007
  #10
Motown legend
 
Bob Olhsson's Avatar
 

Verified Member
I consider an elliptical equalizer to be a last resort "save" tool for something that has to be cut at a blistering level when there is no time (or sometimes budget) available for a better mix. It's frankly a bit shocking to find people assuming that using one is SOP when it comes to vinyl.

Yes, mastering consoles have elliptical equalizers but they also have high and low-pass filters. There used to be cheap mastering operations that lopped the highs off at 10k, the lows off at 70, used elliptical eq, cranked 5k on a Pultec and ran everything through a Fairchild 670 without even listening first. And then there were the high-end shops like Sterling and the Mastering Lab who did major label work without using any time-saving crutches.
Old 9th January 2007
  #11
Mastering
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Olhsson View Post
I consider an elliptical equalizer to be a last resort "save" tool for something that has to be cut at a blistering level when there is no time (or sometimes budget) available for a better mix. It's frankly a bit shocking to find people assuming that using one is SOP when it comes to vinyl.
It's good to have you around, Bob O., to educate us, because even with my best mixing efforts in the vinyl years I found my vinyl mastering engineers to use a bit of elliptical, sometimes as low as 50 Hz, but always there. Maybe they were just lazy or I wasn't going to the right cutting house. LP cutting is both an art and a science and the lazier you get, the fewer test cuts you want to make and so they tend to throw in the elliptical.

But anyway, the definition of a "better mix for vinyl" is not necessarily a "better sounding mix". I just mixed a purist jazz project, a live conert, and I panned the bass instrument considerably left of center to get the stereo spread that I desired. I'm certainly not going to go back and remix this recording explicitly for vinyl (and it's not going to vinyl, anyway), but if it were going to vinyl the elliptical equalizer would become more of a necessary tool, eh? What do you think?

BK
Old 9th January 2007
  #12
Lives for gear
 
I.R.Baboon's Avatar
Thanks for the info so far.

But just to be clear, I'm not asking what one should do to make something more suitable for vinyl, I'm asking if one should do anything to the sound in anticipation of the vinyl cutting process, or should one leave this to the vinyl cutting guy?

Imagine this: You master an album for CD - a few months later the record company calls you up and asks for a vinyl master.

What do you do? (apart from make a new master with a 30 second gap between side A and side B)

Cheers!

I.R.
Old 9th January 2007
  #13
Mastering
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by I.R.Baboon View Post
Thanks for the info so far.

But just to be clear, I'm not asking what one should do to make something more suitable for vinyl, I'm asking if one should do anything to the sound in anticipation of the vinyl cutting process, or should one leave this to the vinyl cutting guy?

Imagine this: You master an album for CD - a few months later the record company calls you up and asks for a vinyl master.

What do you do? (apart from make a new master with a 30 second gap between side A and side B)

Cheers!

I.R.
Well, if you made a "hot" CD master, it can suck on vinyl, so a newer, more conservative and dynamic mastering would be nice, to a higher resolution format as well, (2444 or 2496).
Old 9th January 2007
  #14
Gear Addict
 
JTransition's Avatar
 

Verified Member
Quote:
Originally Posted by I.R.Baboon View Post
Thanks for the info so far.

But just to be clear, I'm not asking what one should do to make something more suitable for vinyl, I'm asking if one should do anything to the sound in anticipation of the vinyl cutting process, or should one leave this to the vinyl cutting guy?

Imagine this: You master an album for CD - a few months later the record company calls you up and asks for a vinyl master.

What do you do? (apart from make a new master with a 30 second gap between side A and side B)

Cheers!

I.R.
''Mastering is all about tweaking the final presentation of a mix to fit the context of the album, the genre and the marketplace. Often it's simply correcting unintended timbrel coloration caused by particular monitors and equalizers. The main tool is monitoring that is good enough to tell when to leave it alone or to hear which gear to use and what settings help more than they hurt.'' (Bob Olhsson)

So yes i master differently for these two formats,
Re the ee eq somtimes it's on sometimes it's off it is program dependent.
Jason
Old 9th January 2007
  #15
Motown legend
 
Bob Olhsson's Avatar
 

Verified Member
Jazz hopefully isn't playing the level wars game!

As I said above, if you want level without mistracking, mono is your friend. Stereo makes life harder. It all comes down to the musical and listener experience priorities.
Old 10th January 2007
  #16
Lives for gear
 
Paul Gold's Avatar
 

Verified Member
Quote:
Originally Posted by bob katz View Post
I'm certainly not going to go back and remix this recording explicitly for vinyl (and it's not going to vinyl, anyway), but if it were going to vinyl the elliptical equalizer would become more of a necessary tool, eh? What do you think?

I still haven't changed into Bob O but it could certainly be cut without an EE. You just have to cut it at a level where it wouldn't cause "too much" vertical. I have my own guidelines that I stick to. The label would also have to be commited to field the occasional complaint from the Playskool turntable set.

I have cut a many things like this with no complaints. A label I do work for wants everything cut flat with no EE. They are reissues and often have things hard panned.
Old 10th January 2007
  #17
Mastering
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Paul Gold View Post
I still haven't changed into Bob O but it could certainly be cut without an EE. You just have to cut it at a level where it wouldn't cause "too much" vertical.
That's good to know, Paul. I guess it has to be described what that "level" is, compared to standard cutting levels, not monster levels, of course.

BK
Old 10th January 2007
  #18
Lives for gear
 
Tibbon's Avatar
Isn't the vinyl often cut DURING mastering? From the question it sounds like you're premastering it, which i'd advise against.
Old 10th January 2007
  #19
Lives for gear
 
Paul Gold's Avatar
 

Verified Member
Quote:
Originally Posted by bob katz View Post
That's good to know, Paul. I guess it has to be described what that "level" is, compared to standard cutting levels, not monster levels, of course.

BK
I think in a situation like you describe the EE would get you a safe extra 3dB or so. It's hard to tell without cutting it. Like with tape, cutting at reasonable levels helps for fidelity. The noise floor in the cut will be close to 10dB lower than tape cut as a flat transfer with no level change. You would just have to hope for a quiet pressing. You will loose some of that noise floor in the pressing. Just hope for a healthy regrind percentage. Virgin is for suckers.
Post Reply

Welcome to the Gearslutz Pro Audio Community!

Registration benefits include:
  • The ability to reply to and create new discussions
  • Access to members-only giveaways & competitions
  • Interact with VIP industry experts in our guest Q&As
  • Access to members-only sub forum discussions
  • Access to members-only Chat Room
  • Get INSTANT ACCESS to the world's best private pro audio Classifieds for only USD $20/year
  • Promote your eBay auctions and Reverb.com listings for free
  • Remove this message!
You need an account to post a reply. Create a username and password below and an account will be created and your post entered.


 
 
Slide to join now Processing…
Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Forum Jump
Forum Jump