Tips for saving the life of my Cutterhead

Discussion in 'Mastering' started by lxx, Jan 24, 2005.

  1. lxx

    lxx Active Member

    Hi Everybody,
    I just found this forum 2 days ago and I am quite happy because the first result is a reserve Cutterhead I bought.
    However, maybe somebody can give me some tips.
    I am cutting records in real vinyl for about 3 years now and from next week starting with the "real" thing.
    Most of the problems everybody has when starting to cut I have already experienced (Destroying needles, Jumping records, overheating, blown up fuses, dissappearing grooves etc).
    At the moment it is going very well I can say and that's why I start with the VMS.

    However I don't want to blow up my cutterhead but I have to cut dance music (house) at a level of around +6 db (Maxisingles, 45 rpm maximum 9 minutes and 33 rpm maximum 12 minutes per side).

    I am using the SX 68 cutterhead and the VG 66 amplifiers.

    Thanks for your tips !
     
  2. TotalSonic

    TotalSonic Guest

    Lxx -
    It's the high frequencies that you have to really watch out for - too much of 'em and you'll smoke the cutting head.

    Usually the cutting amp racks contain a High Frequency / Acceleration Limiter. If you don't already make sure you get one.
    Next a high quality smooth Low Pass Filter is a must have - especially if you're going to transfer from digital sources - especially considering how many mix engineers crank the ultra-highs up to "ice pick in the ear" levels these days. It's best to have your LPF have detented choices for it's crossover points so that you can recall your settings if you have to recut the lacquer for any reason.
    If you don't already have a de-esser it's also a really good thing to have for helping to protect your cutter head (and to also have a cleaner transfer).

    Anyway here's some hints to mixers preparing a pre-master for transfer to vinyl: turning up the "air" for the track or the "sizzle" on your hi-hats, or having a lot of sibilance on the vocal tracks does NOT help your vinyl to sound better or to make the ME's job any easier!! Instead these frequencies are the first to break up and distort when the cutting engineer tries to transfer these at a high level. Give the ME a slightly dark mix and instead of having to jump through hoops to get you a good sound they'll be able to just get cutting.

    Best regards,
    Steve Berson
     
  3. lxx

    lxx Active Member

    Hi Steve,

    Thanks for your reply. I think there is a cutoff filter for the high frequencies in the rack. I don't know because I pick up the machine tomorrow in the UK.
    Regarding de-essing, I've here a drawmer mx 50 and also an Audio & Design E560 selective limiter. But the last one I can't get really adjusted very well.
    further A TL Audio Valve compressor is coming with the machine.

    Regarding the Low Pass filter, what brand do you recommend ? This I think 99% is coming from a digital source also because I can see the silences on my screen where I have to make the extra grooves between the tracks.

    Thanks !

    Lex
     
  4. TotalSonic

    TotalSonic Guest

    Hi Lxx -
    For an LPF & HPF -
    There were a number of filter modules from companies such as Neumann, ANT, NTP, etc. made for mastering and broadcast boards that you might be able to locate and have racked up. Many (if not most) mastering caliber equalizers also have LPF's and HPF's built into them. - and if your doing this work seriously you'll probably want to pick up at least one great analog eq. And you could also use any of the many digital eq's out there now (whether hardware or software) that have low pass and high pass filter options.

    Anyway - as far as what I am using for filters - the SP-79 transfer console in the studio has a Neumann HT-75 filter module built in, plus I have other analog and digital choices by Neve, Amek (Neve designed), Filtek, RML Labs, & JMS Audioware.

    With the TL Audio comp - the ones that I have heard are not really mastering caliber - I think you'll find that they are good for tracking individual instruments but are too slow, noisy and grainy to put across an entire mix. ymmv.

    Best regards,
    Steve Berson
     
  5. lxx

    lxx Active Member

    Hi Steve,

    Thanks a lot. I am going to pickup the machine with a little van tonigth (travel by boat from Holland to the UK).
    I will look whats in the rack. However the TL Audio compressor can be replaced by me.
    I have in my studio also a Tubetech and I think I'll put that into the 19" Rack.
    Regarding a good eq, I recently bought from an overstock an Arsonic parametric equalizer. I don't know the brand but some people told me it is a very good one.
    The the next step is to find the right high- and low pass filter frequencies.
    I think anything below 30 hz has to be cut off and also anything above 12 k. Maybe I am wrong ??? I don't know at this moment.
    Anyway Steve, thanks a lot !

    Lex
     
  6. duo

    duo Guest

    hi lex,
    am I right that you are using a "souri cutter" for your vinylcuts ?
    so do I, and I´m interested to buy a "real" cutter too. So please let me know what your experiences are. What are the differences in handling and sound ? I´m looking forward hearing your opinion.
    Thanks
    duo
     
  7. lxx

    lxx Active Member

    Hi Duo,

    Yes, you are right I am using that cutter and it is very good for vinyls.
    For Lacquers I cannot avoid any risk because you have to meet some standards regarding the galvanic and pressing the plant, so that's why a bought a VMS 70.
    In which country you live ? Maybe we know each other via internet or so. I am living in the netherlands.
    Lex
     
  8. duo

    duo Guest

    hi Lex,
    I´m living in germany just check out the duophonic.de I want to try to cut a master laquer with my cutter the next month (just a 7") I will post how it works. We are working together with a good pressing plant here in germany so I hope I can manage to make a laquer who fits the spezification.
    regards
    duo
     
  9. lxx

    lxx Active Member

    Hi,

    I just visited your site. Looks good. please look also at mine http://www.myownrecord.com
    Let me know if everything goes well regarding lacquers and the machine....
     
  10. TotalSonic

    TotalSonic Guest

    Every track & side is different, the settings for your filters really depends on the source material, the side length, and the levels you are cutting at, and the filter itself (some are steeper than others - so especially among the analog ones what the numbers on the faceplate say and what the end results are can vary a bit).

    In general under 20Hz is just inaudible rumble. So for the hpf 25Hz-35Hz is probably a good starting point, and as you get to longer sides that you want to try and maintain overall level for or if the source has excessive amounts of low end you can move this up if necessary. For sources that are thin in bass though you can even just leave the hpf off.

    In general I'd never get as low as 12kHz for the LPF unless the source had extreme amounts of high end. Anywhere from 15kHz-17kHz is probably a good starting point - but again if the source material is muted or you are transferring at levels that aren't "competive" you can just leave the lpf off - and sometimes you need to set it at a lower crossover point if the source has that "ice pick in the ear" sound that you get a lot on CD's these days.

    So like anything in mastering - there are no hard fast set rules - you just got to learn by experience what works best for the track.

    No problem - just if I ever get to Holland you can buy me a beer! :)

    btw - what is a "souri cutter" - I'm not familiar with it.

    Best regards,
    Steve Berson
     
  11. lxx

    lxx Active Member

    Hi Steve,

    Thanks for your message and explanation. I just came in and brought my vms 70. It will be installed next monday.

    The other cutter is made by a guy whose nickname is souri and cuts directly into vinyl. I have also one here and this one I am using for 3 years now.
     
  12. lxx

    lxx Active Member

    Message for Steve Berson ***

    I have my VMS 70 here and everything will be fitted together next week.
    Maybe this is a stupid question but I want to buy a good system for mastering.
    I could buy a weiss 102 System but some people told me this is outdated and I can get the same result with a TC Electronic Powercore Card or the UAD 1 from Universal audio.
    I think the Weiss system is maybe old but the TC and UAD cards cannot compete with it.
    Do you have experience with that ?

    Thanks !

    Lex
     

Share This Page