mastering days of old?

Discussion in 'Mastering' started by omniu, Jun 28, 2002.

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  1. omniu

    omniu Guest

    what were the basic tools from 1960 to 1970 comps? speakers? rooms? 3 band? 1 band? in the UK, USA.
  2. audiowkstation

    audiowkstation Active Member

    Jun 29, 2001
    Mastering during the era you are referring to was mainly different than it is for today.

    First, mastering was for vinyl. LP/45's

    RIAA equalization curves were rather fixed for the following reasons.

    1. To get at least 22 mins out of a side of 33.33RPM
    RIAA is a cut in low freqency response (other other additions to the mid highs and super highs) to keep groove modulation on the lathe from eating time out of a record. If you allow 25HZ at full modulation (30CM/Sec)on an will have roughly 3.8 mins on the entire side! Reverse RIAA is incorporated in all Phono Preamplifiers for vinyl playback, be it a receivers phono stage, high fidelity preamp, or separate phono preamp to get the output of a moving magnet phono cartidge up to line level. A ceramic cartridge is at line level but the eq had to be there or the vinyl would have "no bottom". A pre-pre amp..or Moving coil pickup preamp..abbv. MC-Phono Pre, has 2 stages of amplification or one huge stage..since MC carts have around 1/50th of the output of a moving magnet. The lathe operator used high fidelity power amplifiers to drive the cutter head and had hand manipulation of the lathe cutting width. It is an art that I miss. I use to set lathes up all the time in the late 70's. 2 track masters did benefit from countour, 2 band, 3 band and even 4 band eq-ing before master tapes were used to drive the lathe..but not in every case. Mastering back then was actually operating the lathe process and monitoring the cutting. Master 4 track 1/4" consumer format at 7 1/2 was actually a great copy of a copy of another copy of the master tape. Back then the mix was it!

    Feel free to ask any questions this brings up!
  3. knightfly

    knightfly Active Member

    Jan 18, 2002
    Hi Bill, just started reading Bobby Owsinski's book on Mastering Engineering - he covers some of the stuff you mention about vinyl, things like having two EQ's and a notebook so while one song was playing the other EQ could be set to the next set of values, etc - interesting reading. I wasn't aware that the RIAA curve was so deep, but after seeing some of the photomicrographs of cut vinyl I can understand why. What a fine line between black art and science! Can't wait to find the time to finish the book and follow some of the resources he mentions... Steve
  4. audiowkstation

    audiowkstation Active Member

    Jun 29, 2001
    Perhaps I need to write a book. It would be around 1600 get to the points!

    I will get me off, and I can compare notes!

    I do span volumes. I actually designed the monitors that Mushroom Records (Mike Flicker) used for Dreamboat Annie. (Hearts debut)1976. I finalized the speaker design in spring of 1975.

    It sounded great then, does now.

    Yep, I am an old schooler..and I am fluent in daw as well..but use whatever it takes to get the MUSIC right.

    You guys using DSD yet?

    No Problem.
  5. themidiroom

    themidiroom Active Member

    Apr 20, 2002
    St Louis
    To Bill: I noticed a few mastering houses on the net that encourage submitting mixes in 1/2" two track format.
    Is that a "prefered" format as far as sonic quality? What would you say is the percentage of mastering work you receive on on 1/2" tape?
    Thanks in advance
    -Marc :w:

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