Help! Problems mastering to vinyl!

Discussion in 'Mastering' started by Shack, Jul 13, 2004.

  1. Shack

    Shack Guest

    Hi guys. I am having problems with a mastering suite. My master is on DAT and when they master to vinyl the sound is all distorted, mainly the vocals. They inform me that this is my fault because I have used certain processing on the vocals that do not work with vinyl. All I have used on the vocals are a Focusrite Voicemaster Pro with compressor, harmonics and tube sound all built in.

    The DAT master sounds perfectly fine so I find this surprising, they even agree that the mix is good but insist that the reason for the problems with the vinyl are down to the effects on the vocals. What I find surprising is that I have some bell on the track which are also distorting but these have been recorded dry from the keyboards.

    Is there any truth in what they say, or could it be down to their techniques or perhaps the type of vinyl used? I do not know the vinylprocess well enough but used to record vinyl until about 10years ago and never had these problems although back then there weren't these many of these effects. So how do people get their records on vinyl nowadays or do they have different vinyl mixes? They have even tried cutting the track lower but we are now at almost minimum acceptable level and still getting distortion.

    Can anyone please help and tell me if this is all really down to the vocal treatment and if so, why are the bells also affetced. Everything else is fine funnily enough.
  2. Michael Fossenkemper

    Michael Fossenkemper Distinguished past mastering moderator Well-Known Member

    Vinyl is a physical medium that has to follow certain laws of physics. If a mix has too much high freq content, like ess's on a vocal, it can cause a ripping or hash or distortion sound on the vocal. Limiters on the cutter to protect the head can also grab these freq's in a harsh way. so to answer you question, yes this could be a problem in the mix and why it's not translating well to vinyl.
  3. Shack

    Shack Guest

    Thanks for that turtletone. So what is the way around these things, does that mean that if you're doing vinyl then you do a mix without vocal effects? Also, how does one explain that the bells which are coming out unprocessed are distorting? And they are not really loud in the mix either. Or how can one explain the many records I have heard on vinyl which are crystal clear, yet have these effects on the vocals as well as bells?
  4. Michael Fossenkemper

    Michael Fossenkemper Distinguished past mastering moderator Well-Known Member

    I said it's possible that the mix can cause these problems, There are also factors on their end too. The best thing to do is ask the cutter what exactly is the problem. If he can't give you a good answer, then it could be something wrong with their lathe or the person cutting it.
  5. joe lambert

    joe lambert Distinguished Member

    Also a good viny mastering engineer should have a de esser that unless it's very sibilant, should fix most de essing problems. Did he mention a phase problem with the vocal effects? Phase problems make cutting difficult.
    Of course I haven't heard the song so I can't say what it sounds like.
    I would ask what he is doing on his end processing wise. If he is rolling off bottom to be able to cut louder it can bring out the top even more.
  6. Shack

    Shack Guest

    Thanks for all the responses

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