Vinyl Record Mastering & Plating - Cutting Your Grooves
Today there are two methods of Vinyl Mastering (cutting the grooves of your audio for vinyl pressing), The classic Lacquer/Metal Plating method, or. The DMM (Direct Metal Mastering) method. As someone who has worked with both for over the last three decades and has strived for nothing but the ultimate in quality for my customers, and also weighed the feedback from my customers of both products, the choice for TTmerch was clear. So here at TurnTable Merch, we only offer the Vinyl Mastering / Lacquer / Metal Plating method to cut your master set of grooves for reproduction. For the best in High Fidelity, Lacquer Mastering is simply the only route that makes sense for us. Our rates are low, but we don’t have to sacrifice quality too. Hi-Fi Lacquer Mastering with the classic Hi-Fi Neumann SAL74B cutting system is our most popular service and best quality lacquer mastering available in our time. But Lo-Fi service can also be utilized, if desired.
As with all Pressing/Cutting services your audio is expected to be vinyl-friendly at normal cutting volumes. This means, it is mixed and mastered to prevent skips and/or distortion on vinyl. For help with this, below is a good list of the top 5 items for your audio engineer to reference when preparing your Vinyl Premaster. Or you could also use our seasoned Vinyl Premastering Service to help you achieve the best source material. And in some cases, customers want a seriously loud cut. For something considered very loud for DJ’s or just crazy rockers, or something vibrant and subtle the seasoned pro’s at our mastering service can help you achieve your goals and have worked with the biggest names in music over the years.
Top 6 Tips for Vinyl Record Mastering and Premastering
- Keep Lows and Bass Centered, anything under 300 Hz.
- Tame your High Frequency S’s, T’s or Cymbal Peaks at 10k.
- When mixing, test your mixes in mono and listen for phase cancellation. The more cancellation, the less vinyl friendly your mix is.
- Lay off the compression, – 10 to -12 dBf is more than enough compression to yield a loud and healthy cut. More dynamics gives your more room to allow instruments like your kick to be punchy and gives your mix more dimension, rather than sounding flat or crushed. The more you compress, the quieter your record will have to cut, to prevent distortion when playing back.
- Time Lengths. For optimal performance, keep your 7”s to less than 4.5 minutes and keep your LP’s to less than 18 minutes.
- When recording, record in high resolution. 88/24 or higher. Then, when bouncing and mastering, maintain this high resolution. Your Vinyl Premaster should then also be submitted in this same high resolution Wave or AIFF format, with an ordered track listing or per side, either will do.
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