I'm doing research on remastering to vinyl. As some of you know, I'm investing in analog gear and hybrid summing and now looking into digital to vinyl remastering as a fun side line. If you are doing this, I would love to hear from you. Here is an example of what I am talking about:
Vestax VRX 2000 Vinyl Recorder
You would have to spend a lot of time navigating the moors in the dark to get from the point of getting vinyl out of the grave to "Puttin' on the Ritz".
There's no doubt vinyl can sound great, but I don't see any scenario where it's the primary medium for music as it was up until the mid-80's. Yes, I know, all the cool kids are doing it - but I don't think they're taking any shortcuts in the manufacturing. I think we have one or two guys here with a bonafide lathe. I'd rather co-op with someone with the real McCoy (that knows how to use it) rather than re-invent the process.
The particular tool/toy you reference, seems aimed at the DJ market, as are the rest of the Vestax products. A good LP would far exceed the 12.5kHz specification, but not many other meaningful specs listed. The gadget in question looks like fun, but knowing your passion for audio fidelity, I think it's a shortcut I would avoid if in your shoes. Sides are limited to 15 minutes. $10 blank, $500 replacement stylus every 20 hours. One-offs would be expensive. Short-runs would be just as cost-prohibitive. It may be fun, but it doesn't look practical to me from a business POV.
Thanks for chiming in, Dave. Great points.
I had someone wanting to advertise their vinyl services here a few months back. I usually don't advertise private services including most software products here ( with the exception of UAD) so I turned them down but later learned they are going to be marketing a new cutter this fall so that got me interested. I hope they chime in here and talk about that (I forget what it was called).
My wife and I were going through the numbers on this as a business and it doesn't seem like it would ever be profitable but we also thought it would be a cool service added to our hybrid studio. We were thinking it would be a cool introduction to recording for our oldest child. So its tempting to try something like this just for the hell of it. But quality is a big issue for me, thanks for pointing that out.
I do think some things that aren't necessarily profitable, can help open doors that just help the bigger picture, so its why I am interested this and so many parts to this frustrating passionate business we all so want to earn a living at. I can't stop thinking about how great the music business used to be. I have such a wonderful studio.
Vinyl NEVER died. It went into hibernation. Cutting vinyl is a black art and much of the knowledge is now lost. I was fortunate enough to have Leo DeGar Kulka cut a couple of sides for me once and just being there in his studio at Sonic Arts in SF was a real learning experience. What a nice man he was.
Is the Vestax only capable of cutting "one offs" or will it produce discs that can be used to produce mother plates for production runs? It seems to me cutting one offs is a narrow market.
I used to cut records on Scully lathes. They had fixed leadscrews. It looks like the device you are considering has the same limitation. This requires you to make a tradeoff between very short playing time or very limited level.
The big advances in lathes were first lookahead variable pitch and then computer calculated nesting grooves. Without those capabilities, you are serious limited in what you can do.
Thanks to everyone for chiming in. Looks like I have more to discuss before I make a decision like this.
Making a Vinyl Record
Ah, Found the link to the company that originally got me thinking about all this . Not much info here other than their pricing. There is no infomation on what they are planning on marketing but though some would be interested in the website anyway.
[="http://www.tangibleformats.com/"]tangibleformats.com - Home[/]="http://www.tangibleformats.com/"]tangibleformats.com - Home[/]
Check out the video's
Some info on the business and process of making records:
i can't comment on the vinyl, i'm just interested in the happenings. As far as 'analog (tape) remastering' melodyne just came out w/ a new wow/flutter program that SOS mag quotes as 'artifact free'. for almost 4k it better be. anyway, besides that i've also read an article where a pro re-master dude uses adobe audition to reamaster original records from the 50's. wish i knew more but that's about all i can say for now.
Oooooh, very impressive! Check it out:
celemony_ :: Capstan
Ardent Studios presents: Vinyl Remastering of Chris Bell's I am the Cosmos
We put all this energy into mastering great sounding music , then pretty much forced to get things as loud as possible for the BS loudness war.
All we have to do is keep things below squash ( like the old days) and turn the volume up on our amp. Its a no brainer. So how come we aren't doing it? Take out the amp and kill our sound.
You got to love this one:
kmetal, post: 392963 wrote: i can't comment on the vinyl, i'm just interested in the happenings. As far as 'analog (tape) remastering' melodyne just came out w/ a new wow/flutter program that SOS mag quotes as 'artifact free'. for almost 4k it better be. anyway, besides that i've also read an article where a pro re-master dude uses adobe audition to reamaster original records from the 50's. wish i knew more but that's about all i can say for now.
audiokid, post: 392965 wrote: Oooooh, very impressive! Check it out:
celemony_ :: Capstan
How much business do you think is out there for a Celemony Capstan restoration service?
The only time I've heard recordings wow or flutter really bad have been from the 2nd W War's " send your sweetheart a message" recordings. I also recall a few of my mothers CBC recordings that were made while she sang with the Metropolitan Opera but they weren't that bad either.
I used to have a vinyl to CD business in the late 90's/ early 2000's ,I did declicking and labelling. The most I received for a restoration transfer was $100. It would take a fair amount of business to make your money back on this.
audiokid: Thanks for the Money For Nothing link. That is the best demonstration I have yet see of what we are losing.
.................continuing off topic on the Celemony Capstan discussion. That looks very, very interesting. I would certainly like to play with it. Let me make an observation on the subject of flutter. We had a large number of Ampex 350s & AG-350s. In 1969, we got 2 Ampex AG-440 machines. These machines had an extra idler wheel near the heads called a 'scrape flutter filter.' I was very curious about this and started to play with it. It was very easy to remove. I compared some audio with & without it. The difference was NOT subtle. Without it there was a gurgling sound especially on sustained piano notes. That gurgling sound was drastically diminished with the flutter filter. Once you hear something like this and are attuned to it, you can hear it on all sorts of things. I'm thinking that so many wonderful performances were recorded before these flutter filters became common place......perhaps this software could improve them. Capstan is too expensive for just an experiment & I really don't have the time to play with it right now but I am very interested in knowing if it can improve this type of flutter. If anyone here has used it, I would be grateful if you might share your experiences.
you won;t find me buying capstan for 4k. for analog tape i use a tascam 424mk3, and a tascam 34(not 34b). (cheap grungy recorders) I spent some time doing some rudimentary set-up on the reel-2-reel, and remy very kindly talked to me over the phone to take it further before we do the 'real' recordings. I'll be very honest and say that any wow/flutter was not a problem/detriment to the recording. i posted a link of the test recording in the 'vintage' audio forum here a few months ago. And that was done on the belt driven, 34.
as far has how much business i think is out there, it ain't for staff engineers like me. i do believe capstan has a place, but it's for the people assigned to re-do yet another version of hendrix beatles era tapes. i don't know why they won't just leave that stuff alone, sure conversion is getting better, but geez, it's just like the movies, everything is a re-make, or additional part to an already made series. i mean George Lucas had 30 years to think of something better than a star wars pre-qual, look what happened. he used already outdated cgi (state of the fart), and it ruined a reputation of a trilogy that was otherwise 'classic'.
why don't they just make a nice good new tape machine instead of some pluggin, which is gonna see updates all the time? i dunno i just don't get it. i'm no 'purist' to any format, but the magic is in the performance and i think we all agree for the most part. I can ruin a performance by over-editing in the digital realm as easy as a tape machine fluctuates a bit.
i think that people are under the illusion that things like capstan can make it 'perfect' but i think you can't perfect perfection. also, like i told my mix-a-million times cousin dan, people take what they are given. there aren't many 'average listeners' that comments on EQ or 'over-editing' even loudness. Yes, it's our job to hear it, but the end result will be liked or not mainly based on the content. i mean it's like going out to eat and only going to restaurants that use a certain brand/type oven. variety is the spice of life, and besides quantized music, variations make specialty if you ask me, within reason of course. even in quantized music variety is key, just not timing fluctutactions.
i'll end my rant w/ a link [[url=http://[/URL]="http://www.digido.com"]Home[/]="http://www.digido.com"]Home[/] to bob katz website cuz i think it's generally useful to anyone interested in mastering. man he wrote one heck of a book, i read it once and, will re-re-re-read it and still stuffs gonna be over my head, but i found it a great comprise of tech/hands on info.
Over the last five years, I've seen the number of projects I've worked on that are going to vinyl go from zero to about 60% of them! I keep expecting it to level or drop off and it hasn't stopped, even in this economy.
What is the purpose of going to vinyl from digital? Other than putting out a product that DJs can use what benefit is there in doing this? I mean the damage is already done.
Going to vinyl from analog multi track / analog mixing and analog mastering makes enormous sense to me but going to vinyl from digital seems to me to be like putting lipstick on a pig.
Kurt Foster, post: 393141 wrote: What is the purpose of going to vinyl from digital?
I think you nailed it. DJ's want platters for their shows, and sometimes they want to use stuff they put together.
And, its just plain cool. thumb
audiokid, post: 393144 wrote: And, its just plain cool. thumb
I guess it's cool if you want everything that is bad about digital plus turntable rumble, record surface noise / pops & clicks and a dynamic range of 65 dB.
I still don't get it.
Well, not everything in this business is based around excellence or whats the best way to do something. Cool to me is definitely not cool to a lot of people so I try not to get to emontional over a lot of things when it comes to business.
Example, Tattoos to me are the most ridiculous thing to do to your body, body piercing even worse. Clothing, music, colors etc follow trends. Vinyl to me sounds pretty bad compared to what I can do today in my studio. I don't think vinyl will ever sound as good as a digital capture but from a trend POV, its definitely very cool. Its not about sound quality.
On a side note, it is fun listening to old vinyl recording that were all done analog. But they sound pretty dated and noisy.