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Limiting for modern vinyl mastering
Old 3rd November 2012
  #1
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Limiting for modern vinyl mastering

Just wondering what you guys are doing these days as far as using a limiter on your vinyl masters. I'm a pretty big purchaser of vinyl, and it seems as though the mastering is all over the map - some LPs appear to have a ton of dynamic movement, while others sound virtually as squashed as the digital masters.

Any input is greatly appreciated!

Thanks!
Kris
Old 3rd November 2012
  #2
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I suspect that the client (artist) is delivering a squashed master to the guy who is doing the cutting, and there is nothing that can be done to un-squash it at that late stage.
Old 3rd November 2012
  #3
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sat159p1's Avatar
Some vinyls are cut from CD-rips. I think..90% of the reissues is cut from the CDs - which does not make any sense. CD quality with clicks, pops, wow, flutter and so on. I personally does not use any limiting when preparing master for vinyl. And never did! If I ever will be forced to do it, will be soft clipping with no more than 1dB.
Old 3rd November 2012
  #4
Some people don't know that you have to cut a lower master to print on vinyl so the pass the CD master to the ME who has to put it on vinyl
Old 3rd November 2012
  #5
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Adam Dempsey's Avatar
 

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I run a separate pass with no brickwall limiting or clipping. Just ensure it sounds good, don't second guess what may be needed at lacquer cutting unless there's obvious need for taming sibilance or out of phase bass. No default filtering. Side lengths (and their relative uniformity) are often the main consideration. And supplied as 24 bit native sample rate.

As for reissues being cut from CDs, yes it's too common but usually comes down to what the label/copyright holder makes available to the cutting engineer, budgets, or the condition or existence of analogue source tapes or digital high res archives.
Old 3rd November 2012
  #6
Gear nut
 

if I limit some peaks for Vinyl mastering , for example 4 dB of gain reduction , It does not mean than I ll cut the lacquers 4 dB up. Probably the cut will be done a the same level than with no peak limiters.
So using a limiter to have more gain is not a good idea for vinyl mastering.

If the limiter is used to get a particular sound , in this case , yes it is also interesting for vinyl mastering ...
Old 3rd November 2012
  #7
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Weiss's Avatar
so, better to keep peaks under control in digital, and no use limiters or something for rise the volume, isn't it?

if i send a wav file with a limiter just to keep down those peaks and keeping the dynamics, you always could rise the volume in the analod world, am i right?
Old 3rd November 2012
  #8
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Bob Olhsson's Avatar
 

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The volume limitations of vinyl are all imposed by the ability to track the record without skipping. Low frequency excursion and excessive upper midrange material such as sibilance are the main limitations to level.

Limiters buy you nothing volume-wise and can even create the latter problem.
Old 3rd November 2012
  #9
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Hermetech Mastering's Avatar
 

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No limiting or clipping if it's going to vinyl here. Just 24 bit .wav file.
Old 3rd November 2012
  #10
Gear nut
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Olhsson View Post

Limiters buy you nothing volume-wise and can even create the latter problem.
I think Bob is totally right.
a track with a high rms level can gives a lot of problems of distortion etc , and so ,a quiet cut ... !
if you want to limit your master , I recommend a analog varimu limiter , not a digital one , no digital over load and conversion A/D at 96/ 24 bit or higher

...or better: a good master on 1/4 inc tape machine at the speed 15 inc per sec
Old 3rd November 2012
  #11
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dcollins's Avatar
 

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If there's a budget, I do a completely separate 96/24 version with little or no limiting for vinyl.


DC
Old 3rd November 2012
  #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dcollins View Post
If there's a budget, I do a completely separate 96/24 version with little or no limiting for vinyl.


DC
Excellent! ! the most of my clients wants vinyl , and sometime they ask me to master a limited 44,1 / 16 bit version from the 96k/24 for CD!!
Old 3rd November 2012
  #13
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Bonati's Avatar
 

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I do what I can with the sources I'm given. The best ones are hi-res digital files with little (1 - 2 dB) or no limiting, or analog tape (when prepped competently). If I get a smashed CD version in I will usually ask after some better files. They might exist, might not. Sometimes people send you MP3s first (seriously), then you'll get a CD after asking, then you'll get hi-res files after asking again. It's worth seeking out the better sources as long as you're not blowing the deadline. It's all part of the normal conversation on a vinyl project.
Old 4th November 2012
  #14
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Adam Dempsey's Avatar
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bonati View Post
If I get a smashed CD version in I will usually ask after some better files. They might exist, might not. Sometimes people send you MP3s first (seriously), then you'll get a CD after asking, then you'll get hi-res files after asking again. It's worth seeking out the better sources as long as you're not blowing the deadline. It's all part of the normal conversation on a vinyl project.
Good to hear, Josh.
(It's unfortunate but true in that some plants with in-house cutting won't ask).
Also worth mentioning it's long been part of the role of mastering engineer in general really, wrt QC, to act as a gatekeeper in seeking out the best possible sources where possible, or at the very least verifying with a possibly rushed client/studio that the source supplied is the correct one.
Old 2nd June 2014
  #15
Registered User
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Adam Dempsey View Post
I run a separate pass with no brickwall limiting or clipping. Just ensure it sounds good,.
So this disproves what Ian ____ said in his video about vinyl vs cd/digital dynamics comparisons. He claims the same master in most cases is used for both, and that vinyl waveforms appear more ragged(dynamic) due to turntable/stylus setup and impedance differences.

Looks like Adam here disproved that theory with his statement above.
Old 2nd June 2014
  #16
Registered User
 

Overall, from what I've read in this thread it sounds like the music is being treated much nicer for analog(vinyl) than it is for digital.

What on earth would the Sony/Philips red book developers have thought back in the late '70s?...
Old 2nd June 2014
  #17
Gear Maniac
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by The_K_Man View Post
So this disproves what Ian ____ said in his video about vinyl vs cd/digital dynamics comparisons. He claims the same master in most cases is used for both, and that vinyl waveforms appear more ragged(dynamic) due to turntable/stylus setup and impedance differences.

Looks like Adam here disproved that theory with his statement above.
I think you over interpret what's been said on both parties and make too general conclusions from that. Not all masters for CD are squashed, not all are going to sound best on vinyl either. Every case is different.

Art
Old 21st December 2015
  #18
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I like to see RMS levels below -10, VERY little going on above 16khz or below 30hz, and a narrow stereo field below 100hz.
Old 21st December 2015
  #19
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As vinyl continues to grow in popularity especially as a vehicle for hopefully higher resolution and non-squashed masters I really feel like some sort of standard should be made so that people know they are going to get a better sounding product for the money they are spending. It shouldn't be all over the map like it is now for modern vinyl.

A couple of standards I'd love to see.

1. Vinyl pressed from the same resolution files that the project was mixed in. If it was tracked and mixed at 24/96 then that is the resolution the vinyl should be pressed from.

2. Under no circumstance should a vinyl ever be cut from a CD master that is squashed. That just makes no sense at any level and it really undermines why people pay extra for vinyl.

3. Mixes sent for pressing to vinyl should never be over limited period!

4. If a project was tracked to tape and mixed down to tape for heavens sake please keep the mix transfer from tape to vinyl 100% analog! Listen to some of the stellar sounding vinyl pressed from Abbey Road that was done this way, it sounds amazing nuff said..




Old 21st December 2015
  #20
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-deleted due to reasons-

best greets and a stress free chrismas time to all the vinyl cutters in the world! we rock!

Last edited by JP__; 21st December 2015 at 08:42 AM..
Old 21st December 2015
  #21
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bcgood's Avatar
 

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That's why I specifically mentioned Abbey Road as they can and have pressed 100% analog vinyl that does not involve any conversion and yes it does sound amazing.

Also, check out MoFi. They have pressed some of the best sounding vinyl I've heard.

Mobile Fidelity Sound Lab Inc.| Audiophile Vinyl, CD, SACD

GAIN 2™ Ultra Analog™ System or Vinyl

GAIN 2 Ultra Analog™ is a proprietary cutting system built and designed by legendary design genius Tim De Paravicini, with consultation from one of MFSL’s founding fathers – Stan Ricker, an audio engineer responsible for many of MFSL’s most heralded past releases.

The GAIN 2 Ultra Analog™ system is comprised of a Studer™ tape machine with customized reproduction electronics* and handcrafted cutting amps that drive an Ortofon cutting head on a restored Neumann VMS-70 lathe. (*It is worth noting that independent studies have confirmed that the GAIN 2 Ultra Analog™ system can unveil sonic information all the way up to 122kHz!)

First and foremost, we only utilize first generation original master recordings as source material for our releases. We then play back master tapes at half speed enabling the GAIN 2 Ultra Analog™ system to fully extract the master’s sonic information. Our lacquers are then plated in a specialized process that protects transients in the musical signal. (Due to this process, there may be occasional pops or ticks inherent in initial play back, but as the disc is played more, a high quality stylus will actually polish the grooves and improve the sound). We further ensure optimum sound quality by strictly limiting the number of pressings printed for each release. These limited editions, in addition to being collectors’ items, ensure that the quality of the last pressing matches the quality of the first.

As you can imagine, all these efforts involve a tremendous amount of time, technology, cost and effort. The introduction of GAIN 2 Ultra Analog™ maintains Mobile Fidelity Sound Lab’s position as the world’s leading audiophile record label, where a passion for music with extraordinary sound quality matters most.
Old 21st December 2015
  #22
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JP__'s Avatar
 

Verified Member
Do you advertise or do you quote here? EDIT: when reading the link its clear quoting. You should charactertize it like that (in german we use "" for this).
Do you have an professional mastering background (website?) or another business related background or do you post with a dedicated consumer background here?
I simply ask out of interest and to classify your posting better. Thanks.

Last edited by JP__; 21st December 2015 at 09:16 AM..
Old 21st December 2015
  #23
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Jerry Tubb's Avatar
 

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Like Adam & Dave mention above, I'll do a separate more dynamic pass for vinyl, at least 6dB lower in level than the digital version, with very little limiting. Then deliver 24-bit Wav masters, one for each side, to the lacquer cutter. RTI does a great job of that part.
One of the faves I've done is Norah Jones, Live from Austin, TX.
Which btw was only released on DVD and Double LP, not hammered for CD.
Best, JT
Old 22nd December 2015
  #24
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Bob Olhsson's Avatar
 

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A limiter buys you nothing for vinyl unless it helps the musical balance.
Old 22nd December 2015
  #25
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Good to see the old audio lie "once it hits digital ONCE it's RUINED!" spreading around. Can't wait for that one to die off!

Give me analogue tape into good DA/AD with the right processing over a PURE PATH any day, I challenge anyone to HEAR the sound of a good digital box inserted on a vinyl cut..
Old 22nd December 2015
  #26
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bcgood's Avatar
 

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Oh guys come on, let's not start another A vs D debate. It's so old at this point..

Hopefully you get that if something is tracked and mixed to tape these days that in and of itself is a bit of a minor miracle..
Old 22nd December 2015
  #27
Gear Addict
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Olhsson View Post
A limiter buys you nothing for vinyl unless it helps the musical balance.
A truly great statement. Should be memorized and quoted for future references when it gets asked in here
Old 22nd December 2015
  #28
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Olhsson View Post
A limiter buys you nothing for vinyl unless it helps the musical balance.
+1
great statement, on the point
Old 29th December 2015
  #29
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Chris Chapelle's Avatar
 

Doing different passes for vinyl too, with no limiter.
Compression and volume automation here.
Old 10th January 2016
  #30
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A digital print for vinyl over here is very conservative without any brick wall and very very conservative level

whatever the compression settings are on the final stay the same for the vinyl master

Of coarse final delivery for vinyl is tape when ever possible.
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