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Is the 12" single worth the hype?
Old 17th February 2011
  #1
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Is the 12" single worth the hype?

I've been looking to binge on vinyl lately and been wondering if I should seek out 12" singles for my favorite music?

For some songs it makes perfect sense as I don't want the whole album, but to get that extra sonic edge of an already good sounding album?

And I read somewhere that 7" 45s are not considered high end? I just thought it was limited playtime....hopefully that was amateur nonsense, lol. (All those old TLC singles.....7")

In some cases I have no choice as vinyl was only released in single format.

So far my own personal experience with the 12" single has been all over the place....Red Hot Chili Peppers "Under the bridge" --> disappointment, while Horace Brown's "Why can't we stop", and Memphis Bleek's "I Get high" turned out to be impressive for their genres.

LOL, naturally.
Old 17th February 2011
  #2
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Paul Gold's Avatar
 

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What hype?
Old 17th February 2011
  #3
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Bob Olhsson's Avatar
 

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12" 45 is higher quality simply because of the larger diameter.
Old 17th February 2011
  #4
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The downsides of the 7" record is that nearly all of the playing surface of it is subject to higher levels of inner diameter tracing distortion.

With 12" singles it's possible to keep the majority of the playing area outside of areas subject to higher levels of tracing distortion.

fwiw - The best sounding cuts I ever heard were the playbacks of the test cuts I would do in the outside diameters of the master! (i.e. 13.5" inches out)

Best regards,
Steve Berson
Old 17th February 2011
  #5
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Element of speculation should be high.


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Old 17th February 2011
  #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cellotron View Post
fwiw - The best sounding cuts I ever heard were the playbacks of the test cuts I would do in the outside diameters of the master! (i.e. 13.5" inches out)

Best regards,
Steve Berson
We had the same experience here, but were forbidden to use that approach by management because they'd had complaints that people thought they weren't 'getting enough value' if half the 12 had only leadout! I made my leadouts as big as I could get away with though...

To the OP

You can also have deeper grooves on a 12, like a basic width of a 100 microns (or more), hotter levels, and land economy becomes a thing of the past. So it is really a cutter's favourite format as it is not as constrained as a 7" or an album and you can have more bass if you need it. They are less prone to skipping as well, hence another reason DJs used to favour them.

The King
Old 17th February 2011
  #7
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I love seeing 12" and 45 on a client job. The opposite is the 6 minute 7" @ 33
Old 17th February 2011
  #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cellotron View Post
The best sounding cuts I ever heard were the playbacks of the test cuts I would do in the outside diameters of the master! (i.e. 13.5" inches out)
A few years ago a client brought in a box of '50s era jazz recordings on 16" transcription discs. Most of them had only a song or two well outside the 12" mark. Fantastic sound.


GR
Old 17th February 2011
  #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by William Bowden View Post
We had the same experience here, but were forbidden to use that approach by management because they'd had complaints that people thought they weren't 'getting enough value' if half the 12 had only leadout! I made my leadouts as big as I could get away with though...
I was given similar instructions by the owner of the pressing plant/mastering studio I worked when I was cutting lots of short sides as well. In general I would set for extra land on shorter sides in order to use up about 85% of available space so that it gave the impression that the side was pretty much filled up. This way you still avoided cutting in the worst sounding area though.

There were a few cuts I did - like the Foo Fighters "In Your Honor" 4-LP 45rpm set - where the land was set as tight as possible and the level set more conservatively so that it only filled up about 70% of the land each side - based on instructions by the client to go for avoiding cutting in the inner diameters rather than filling up the side.

Best regards,
Steve Berson
Old 17th February 2011
  #10
Gear Maniac
 

I'm a little lost here...

Aren't most vinyl discs starting from the outside diameter....maybe a 1/4" from the edge?
Old 17th February 2011
  #11
Gear Maniac
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by William Bowden View Post
We had the same experience here, but were forbidden to use that approach by management because they'd had complaints that people thought they weren't 'getting enough value' if half the 12 had only leadout! I made my leadouts as big as I could get away with though...

To the OP

You can also have deeper grooves on a 12, like a basic width of a 100 microns (or more), hotter levels, and land economy becomes a thing of the past. So it is really a cutter's favourite format as it is not as constrained as a 7" or an album and you can have more bass if you need it. They are less prone to skipping as well, hence another reason DJs used to favour them.

The King
This all sounds nice and delicious.

Instead of hotter level, I'd opt for more bass. Preserve dynamics a bit...
Old 17th February 2011
  #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by audioaddict View Post
I'm a little lost here...

Aren't most vinyl discs starting from the outside diameter....maybe a 1/4" from the edge?
Master discs (whether lacquer or DMM) are 14" in diameter for a 12" record - in order to allow extra width during electro-plating for the stamper to be pulled off without damaging the cut area and having enough extra width to be shaped to the mold of the press. Very often a cutting engineer will do a test cut in the very outside of the master disc before starting the lead in groove further in.

Best regards,
Steve Berson
Old 17th February 2011
  #13
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This article was in last months Rolling Stone:
Vinyl Sales Increase Despite Industry Slump | Rolling Stone Music
Old 17th February 2011
  #14
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Best sounding format for many reasons.
Old 19th February 2011
  #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dietrich10 View Post
I love seeing 12" and 45 on a client job. The opposite is the 6 minute 7" @ 33
What about those 15 track per side compilations eh. 40 micron groove, land economy on C, 40Hz rolloff and plenty of noise. Ah those were the days...

I always thought the title '30 Golden Greats" was a real misnomer.

Ever do any 10" Dietrich, we used to from time to time.

The King
Old 19th February 2011
  #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by William Bowden View Post
What about those 15 track per side compilations eh. 40 micron groove, land economy on C, 40Hz rolloff and plenty of noise. Ah those were the days...

I always thought the title '30 Golden Greats" was a real misnomer.

Ever do any 10" Dietrich, we used to from time to time.

The King
10" every few weeks. It costs more to press them due to the plants usually not having a press setup full time for 10" pressing.


I loved Carl Rowatti telling me about all the Ktel compilations he worked on. They had 8-14 tracks per side all coming in on different tapes. Had to make a master tape before cutting and try to match the levels. Even as a kid I wondered why those sounded so quiet and lacking any low end.

My job is a breeze compared
Old 20th February 2011
  #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dietrich10 View Post
10I loved Carl Rowatti telling me about all the Ktel compilations he worked on. They had 8-14 tracks per side all coming in on different tapes. Had to make a master tape before cutting and try to match the levels. Even as a kid I wondered why those sounded so quiet and lacking any low end.
Good grief, I must have mastered somewhere in the neighborhood of 500 albums for K-Tel. Those tapes were amazing. A patchwork of different tape types, NR - no NR, one song sticky while the next was fine. Almost never tones on the Dolby stuff. Dubs of dubs - and on and on... Any combination you can think of on the same reel. Steve Wilson was (and still is) the guy with all of those tapes in a huge vault. He'd chuckle and say "I'm sending tape #1234 again to transfer one more song..."

In about 1998-99 we digitized a few thousand songs for their fledgling on-line catalog. Hopefully that was the last time most of them had to be handled.

How many times can a guy listen to "Woolly Bully" or "You Can't Roller Skate in a Buffalo Herd"? Good times...


GR
Old 20th February 2011
  #18
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12" 45's - love 'em.
Quote:
Originally Posted by William Bowden View Post
What about those 15 track per side compilations eh. 40 micron groove, land economy on C, 40Hz rolloff and plenty of noise. Ah those were the days...

I always thought the title '30 Golden Greats" was a real misnomer.
Hey Willy,
I've got right here a 1988 2 x LP compilation '25 Years of Australian Hits' (Albert Productions, APLP073), complete with Glenn A Baker's liner notes and large photo of Albert's Digital Studio1 on the back.
Plenty of great tunes but whoa, what a low level cut! (Not that the inclusion of Evie Parts 1-3 didn't make it worthwhile).
Side lengths: 29'41", 31'28", 31'41" and 29'32".
Old 20th February 2011
  #19
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Yeah that's the kind of stuff we used to cut too, bloody long sides.

K-Tel was a funny company. I did some anti-piracy forensic stuff many years back for ARIA. Sometimes the 'official' K-Tel version was in mono and the 'pirate' copy was in stereo. I always imaging being asked in court:

"So where did these alleged pirates get the second channel from Mr Bowden?"
"I would presume from an earlier master recording your honour."
"You would presume... What's your impression of these recordings Mr Bowden?"
"I'm sorry your honour I don't do impressions, my training is in sound."

What a nightmare.

The King
Old 20th February 2011
  #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Greg Reierson View Post
Good grief, I must have mastered somewhere in the neighborhood of 500 albums for K-Tel. Those tapes were amazing. A patchwork of different tape types, NR - no NR, one song sticky while the next was fine. Almost never tones on the Dolby stuff. Dubs of dubs - and on and on... Any combination you can think of on the same reel. Steve Wilson was (and still is) the guy with all of those tapes in a huge vault. He'd chuckle and say "I'm sending tape #1234 again to transfer one more song..."

GR
And I roll my eyes when I get an album in with various sampling rates =9 tracks 24/44, 10th track 16/48
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