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Largest vinyl record pressing plant in the US is expanding

Discussion in 'Studio Lounge' started by JohnTodd, May 7, 2014.

  1. JohnTodd

    JohnTodd Well-Known Member

    http://arstechnica.com/business/2014/05/nations-largest-vinyl-record-pressing-plant-is-expanding/

    America's largest vinyl record pressing plant in Nashville, TN will be expanding its operations to include a second warehouse full of record-making machinery. United Record Pressing LLC told The Tennessean on Monday that it plans to add 16 presses to its present 30, and it will use the remaining space in the new warehouse as storage to meet a robustly-growing demand for its product.

    More at the link.

    -Johntodd
     
  2. DonnyThompson

    DonnyThompson Distinguished Member

    Well obviously, vinyl is seeing a resurrection of sorts. Whether it will ever get back to where it once was is, I think, probably doubtful, but in the last 30 years it's pretty much been non-existent. I never wanted vinyl to go away to begin with, I always thought the best scenario would have seen both vinyl and CD, but it didn't take long for CD to overcome records and to eventually make them obsolete.

    So, we are now seeing vinyl coming back, and there has been a recent growth of interest in studio circles with ribbon mics and tube gear, and hybrid is making some pretty serious waves...it's kind of exciting to be in this craft of ours right now, isn't it?
     
  3. JohnTodd

    JohnTodd Well-Known Member

    The laser turntable seems like a good thing. All the unique qualities of vinyl without the wear-and-tear each time you enjoy it.
     
  4. DonnyThompson

    DonnyThompson Distinguished Member

    I'm not aware of this. So then, obviously it still involves a AD conversion of some kind?
     
  5. JohnTodd

    JohnTodd Well-Known Member

    It claims to be all analog. So I think the laser is bouncing off the groove and into an electric eye which then is probably the control voltage going into a transistor preamp.

    They use 2 lasers (and two eyes, then), one for left and one for right.
     
  6. Boswell

    Boswell Moderator Distinguished Member

    It's done by Doppler shift. There are a couple of miniature laser speed guns mounted at right angles that fire at the groove walls, and the Doppler-shifted reflected light beats against the incident beam. The optical beat frequency is a measure of the velocity of the groove wall at that instant, like the output of a magnetic pickup cartridge. There is a separate servo system with optical sensor for following the groove.
     
  7. DonnyThompson

    DonnyThompson Distinguished Member

    "...but does the razma-frazz continue to align with the hoo-haw dippity while the goo-transformer outputs through the shmega-phonic mopless divider?..."

    LOL...sorry Bos.. I was channeling my grandfather there for a second. ;) He used to say stuff like that when I tried to explain technical stuff to him.

    Anyway... So it is analog?
     
  8. DonnyThompson

    DonnyThompson Distinguished Member

    "...but does the razma-frazz continue to align with the hoo-haw dippity while the goo-transformer outputs through the shmega-phonic mopless divider?..."

    LOL...sorry Bos.. I was channeling my grandfather there for a second. ;) He used to say stuff like that when I tried to explain technical stuff to him.

    Okay, this I get. No wear on the vinyl, which is great. No replacing the stylus/needle, which is even better. No more having to tape a penny on top of the cartridge to get through a skip. LOL

    Will we still hear those tiny little clicks and pops that were there on even the highest quality manufactured albums?

    Any idea of how much a turntable will cost? Will it be the same as it used to, with prices varying from the very cheap Sears model to the second mortgage Alpine?

    And finally... it is analog?
     
  9. Boswell

    Boswell Moderator Distinguished Member

    Yes, it is analog at the groove, because that's the way a vinyl recording works. It would be perfectly possible to make a laser groove reader that had a digital output (e.g. S/PDIF), but that's really just a question of where in the playback system the A-D converter resides.

    I've heard demonstrations of prototype laser LP players, and the sound quality was very good, at least what could be heard underneath the pops, clicks and bangs due to LP surface dirt and other imperfections. I hope the commercial ones have improved on that.
     
  10. audiokid

    audiokid Staff

    I'm mixing an album for a member being released on Vinyl. How cool is this.
     
  11. thewonders

    thewonders Active Member

    I think you misunderstood Donny's question. Many of us, and certainly Donny, know that a record is analog at the groove. I believe what Donny was asking is "is the audio chain completely analog"? IOW, once the laser has read the record, is the laser's information digital, which requites D/A conversion to listen to it, or does the laser translate the responses from the record grooves to an analog medium so that the signal chain remains all analog?
     
  12. audiokid

    audiokid Staff

    Personally
    I think vinyl is cool but far from better than what I get in my studio at the end if the day, which is the combination of digital and analog
    I'm not going to get into my workflow but I think we are so baked over the last decade of bad converters and over use of plugins that we are going back to vinyl for the wrong reasons

    Vinyl is cool but IMHO, far from the sound quality people are hoping or thinking it actually is.

    If we stopped using all the digital plugs and concentrated on keeping music closer to the original source to the finish, everything would sound better.
     
  13. Kurt Foster

    Kurt Foster Distinguished Member

    if we are talking DSD then i agree but as long as we are talking PCM then i think vinyl leaves me with a more satisfactory listening experience. there's something about the process of breaking the audio into hundreds of thousands of pieces and then reassembling into one piece that affects the listening experience. we will never get there with PCM ....
     
  14. audiokid

    audiokid Staff

    Through hands on experimentation, I have tried a lot of ways to get that pleasing sound. Here is my thought on this.

    Vinyl lacks in every aspect but in a good way. I know, you need a good player but how good? Well, I have a good turntable and have audio file friends with dedicated vinyl playback rooms that sound no better than my room. I have friends that are so over the top and I just shake my head.

    This has been studied. The music of our era is what we love about vinyl. Why, granted, there are reasons beyond the songs of that era but its nothing we can't do ITB or OTB imho. We just need to stop turning music into over processed loud smeary crap and capture it better. How is vinyl going to solve this?

    DSD, I owned 2 DSD systems. All DSD does is make you more aware of how much less you need of digital and how unsatisfied you are with peoples over processed sound, which is why I am always suggesting people dump the snake oil plug-ins and start making music and capture the audio without SRC.

    The clearer and truer the capture, the more aware you are about the acoustics and performance. Better fidelity, the more you hear everything clearer on the capture end the better. But, you also hear phase and bad performance better. We reach for more processing to make our music sound modern. People don't normally sound like music today. How could we, it ain't real?

    Its a double edged sword. You track clearer and then what? Use plug-ins to ^#$% it all up again. I'm so far past the DSD snake oil and DSP overkill. Mastering engineers at the higher level know what I'm talking about here. The ones that know the secret, the magic they talk about,, its that they are capturing the audio via a dedicated process and not nessesarily because of DSD. DSD is a cool archive but its an archive of the source and what is the source? Avid or Logic tracked and processed audio lol.
    Why would we want to archive that? 10 years from now that will be as redonkulous as wanting to archive music captured on the original Yamaha digital systems of the 90's. Nothing but irritating thin metallic music. Will that be better than something I capture without SRC? I challenge anyone to prove me wrong when we are sitting in a car driving down the road.

    I am convinced that the best system is the system that captures the mix/master at the playback resolution. But, you still need good or awesome gear so take that serious too. If your gear and performance sucks, it is what it is. vinyl or DSD isn't going to make you better. I bet I would be more forgiving or appreciative from a passionate POV if I listened to music on vinyl. I mean, I would expect it to sound poorer, kind of old and less big sounding.

    I almost bought 4 MR2000 and then heard the capture on Sequoia. Ya!
    At that point of the game for me I discovered the less we mess with SRC the better. How is vinyl going to help me?

    How I hear it. Track it well, don't over think the performance. Perform it like you mean it and capture it with out crushing the transients. If you can record, and mix into the master, and capture that, without too many conversion steps, you will hear the difference right away. Vinyl at that point won't be doing me any favours.

    But, I am still really happy to be mixing this next album on vinyl. But not for the audio sound quality. The thrill is because its on vinyl with a sleeve to read.
     
  15. JohnTodd

    JohnTodd Well-Known Member

    That sleeve and cover art is part of it, methinks.
     
  16. DonnyThompson

    DonnyThompson Distinguished Member

    "...This has been studied. The music of our era is what we love about vinyl...."

    Agreed. It's a sentimental thing. We fondly recall the time when we would buy a new release, take it home, call our friends and put the new Tom Petty / Yes / Pink Floyd / Zep record on the TT.

    Another reason was that that music on those vinyl LP's was all recorded on tape to begin with.. so there was that essence... warmth, richness.

    But, Vinyl could be a serious PIA, too. Skips, clicks, pops... not to mention that you needed to invest some pretty serious coin into a decent TT and Stylus in order to hear vinyl at it's optimum, and with most people, those high end models by Marantz, Alpine, etc., just weren't an option because of the price. Add in the cost of good speakers and a nice amp, and it could be very prohibitive for most average people.

    But... we have to remember that there really weren't any other options, either... until the 8 track - which was pretty much a joke - and until cassette tapes became popular, it was either vinyl or reel to reel. For awhile, you could actually get commercial releases on 1/4" reel tape... album cover on the box and all. Or, serious listeners would buy the vinyl album and play it once - in order to transfer it to 1/4" tape - and then put the vinyl album away.

    The one thing I do miss is the album cover. I remember reading liner notes, lyrics, etc., and it's just so hard to do that these days, because in order to put all that info on a CD pull-out, they have to use a font the size of fly crap in order to fit it all on. LOL

    ...And then there were those double albums with the fold. Was there any better way to clean the seeds out of your - uhm...ahem... "tobacco"? ;)
     
  17. audiokid

    audiokid Staff

    (y)
    hmm, I should check my Santana sleeves, its been a while lol.
    To add more to Donny's last response, We've lost a social aspect to albums. Passing the sleeve and the joint around made music all that more fun, and connected.

    Great memories growing up. My record collection is right beside me as I speak.
     
  18. audiokid

    audiokid Staff

  19. DonnyThompson

    DonnyThompson Distinguished Member

    Not too long ago, I pulled out my LP of Rubber Soul. It was fun, but since my friends weren't there to listen with me, it just wasn't the same. ;)
     
  20. JohnTodd

    JohnTodd Well-Known Member

    Ahhh, Rubber Soul. One of my favorite albums. You have the UK, US, or US(Mistake) version?
     

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