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INTRODUCTION – for engineers, producers, musicians who want to sound good on vinyl

Vinyl is a great medium for storing and re-playing sound - with its frequency response between 7Hz and 25kHz, and a dynamic range above 75dB, it surprises with high realism of sound. It has the capacity of conveying 'human' perception of space, the width and the depth of the sound stage, with a certain degree of openness and airiness, in that aspect it is second to none. Yet, in order to create great vinyl records, it is very important to understand the limitations of this medium. First of all, we have to take the record length and the volume level into account. The available time on one side of the record is dependent entirely on the volume level and the amount of data concerning low frequencies. Bass uses much more space than treble. Secondly, we must remember the limitations concerning high frequencies. You can put any amount of high frequencies on DAT or CD. The same, however, is not true for the vinyl (or analogue tape). While it is possible to achieve a reaction in 25kHz, excessive transients pose a significant problem. Amplifiers (100-400 watt) are used to run small coils (one per each channel) in the cutting head. They are like miniature speakers, which, instead of moving air, press upon the diamond cutting stylus which cuts the grooves. You can only imagine the beating that the head takes from cymbal hits at 20dB. Even though the coils are cooled down by helium, their temperature can reach as much as 200 degrees Celsius. All these factors create limitations. While it seems possible to cut such high tones, they would not be recreated due to gramophone limitations.

Have you ever wondered why the music placed near the outside border of the record sounds cleaner and cleaner than when it's placed in the middle? This is an unfortunate fact. Why? The answer is: Geometry. One revolution of the record at 33 1/3 RPM takes 1.8 second. This 1.8 sec is distributed along the 36-inch circumference on the outside border. The same 1.8 sec round on the inside border covers only 14.9 inches. It is clear that a slight movement at 36 inches will be significantly compressed at 14.9 inches. Excessive highs can cause the blade to accelerate so much, that the back edge of the blade could cut through what the front edge had just cut. This is unfortunate, but the top keeps on rolling, and the distortions increase as you approach the middle of the record. It is gradual, but if you compare the source file with the record, it will be audible. Every attempt to compensate this by increasing high-frequencies only makes the problem worse. And now for the stereo. Every difference between the two channels causes the stylus to move vertically, but not horizontally. When the stylus moves deeper it uses more valuable space on the record. So, if you're looking for high volume levels, do not move instruments such as drums and percussion left or right. Keep the bass drum and bass in the center and within phase. Here are some additional tips to make your record sound great: First of all, we need to talk about the running time! Shorter time equals higher volume and more bass. But how short exactly? In general, a 12-inch LP should contain less than 20 minutes of music and 24 minutes max. The ideal running time would be between 16 and 18 minutes. If one of the sides needs to be longer, place more of your less louder material there. This will help to maintain similar levels. Remember – the more bass, the lower the volume level. While it is physically possible to squeeze in as much as 30 minutes on one side, the level will be so low you will be able to hear hisses on the surface! A loud club record should be shorter than 12 minutes, 8 to 10 minutes would be ideal! Some of the best club DJs say they won't play records which are longer than 12 minutes because they know the levels will be too low. Place your loudest, clearest and most dynamic mixes at the beginning of the record. If it's possible, place your quieter tracks at the end. Pay attention to increased tones in the 8-16kHz range in the mix, since you won't be able to get them back on the record. Unfortunately, you cannot break the laws of physics. However, even in spite of all these limitations, there are many albums which sound best on vinyl. Keep that in mind, compare yourself to the best and create a great sound!




Standard VinylRecord.pl will perform all necessary operations to make sure you get the best-sounding version of your record. This service includes analysis and preparation of your record in regards to: phases, low-end, high-end, transients, sub-transients, sybiliance, RMS range and compression. It also involves a trial cut of your record. We use world-class equipment including: digital-analogue processors from Lavry Engineering, Bricasti analogue de-essers, Maselec limiters and the Manley tube equalizer. The whole system is based on Neumann KH310 i Yamaha Ns10 studio monitors. We also haven't forgotten about the right cables – provided by Mogami. (Standard analog mastering is included in the price)


Tape Mastering  – this service includes all the procedures from the standard version, but we will also use the STUDER A80 MASTER RECORDER to transfer your recordings onto the type of tape that suits your music best and then straight onto your vinyl record. Why this way?

 The distinct sound of tape is one of the most characteristic features of most music records. It is the sound of all ground-breaking albums in the history of music, both popular and classical. Digital recorders have many advantages, such as low noise and distortion levels. However, they still can't reproduce the beautiful texture of the analogue tape. In response to this problem many companies offer digital plug-ins aimed at reproducing the classic sound of tape. Yet, these fail miserably in comparison with real devices. One excellent solution is using a real tape recorder, such as Studer A80 Master Recorder, and making it a part of the mastering chain. Mixing and mastering music on tape makes the sound smoother, high-ends silkier, low-ends more compact and provides better texture in mid-frequencies. Tape saturation is more subtle and has a different tone than tubes. They complement each other beautifully. Real tape recorders are becoming less common and more expensive to maintain, that is why only renowned mixing and mastering studios can afford to use these beautiful devices. For us, Studer A80 is a cult device - one which cannot be replaced or duplicated. We take great pleasure in dealing with the highest possible standard of sound offered by this device. The resulting changes in tone are subtle, more towards the 3D of another dimension, and they have one thing in common – you might not hear it directly, but this sound is subliminally addictive. (This option is charged additionally and it makes the order completion time longer, since it requires us to choose suitable type of tape and calibrate the device)