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Vinyl - "balancing" front and back sides?

Discussion in 'Mastering' started by vinylquestions, Sep 22, 2003.

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  1. I've read that the length of the material on both sides of a vinyl record should be about the same length so the disk won't be "unbalanced".

    Is that true? What exactly does "unbalanced" mean here? I don't see it affecting the rotation around the spindle...?

  2. Don Grossinger

    Don Grossinger Distinguished past mastering moderator Active Member

    Jan 16, 2002
    just north of NYC
    Home Page:
    Unbalanced refers to the volume level at which the side is cut. As the side length gets longer level goes down. A cutting engineer has 2 choices:

    1) cut both sides at the same level despite side lengths (often done for classical, jazz, & sometimes R&R) where the sides are expected to be played all the way through as a complete listening experience.

    2) max out the level on each side depending on length/bass content. This is done on records being played mostly by DJs, so each side is as powerful as it can be. One side may be louder than the other. This is an "unbalanced" cut
  3. That completely makes sense - thanks

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