May 19, 2018

What Artists Get Wrong With Their Vinyl Releases

With the resurgence of vinyl as a format it's essential to get all the EQ's right during the mixing and mastering stages before sending it off to the plant, only to discover that the album sounds like shit when the finished product is playing on a record player. sat down with Scott Hull, a veteran in the business and owner of Masterdisk in Peekskill, NY. First off: vinyl can handle way more than is widely believed.

There’s been so much written about the limitations of vinyl that I think people get the misconception that vinyl is somehow fragile and not a robust format.

Hull covers a lot of ground during the interview, and some technical knowledge might come in handy, but most of it pretty straightforward use of common sense:

The wiggle of the grooves on a lacquer is analogous to the audio. By and large, the larger the squiggles on the disc, the louder the music is. It’s more or less a one-to-one relationship. In other words, if the grooves don’t wiggle, there’s no sound. And whenever there’s a little bit of sound, they wiggle just a tiny bit, and when it’s loud, they wiggle a lot back-and-forth.

When the grooves wiggle back-and-forth, they use up more space on the disc. So if you think about groove number one coming around the outside of the disc, and then groove number two coming around to meet it, well, if groove number one has a big wiggle, groove number two has to leave room for that so it doesn’t cut over the same space on the disc. But, if groove number one was silent, then groove number two could come right up next to it and nestle right next to it and it would work fine.


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