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Old 1st May 2007, 07:34 AM   #1
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Question Analog LPs made today.

This a question for someone who is actually involved in the mastering process of today’s analog pressings of LPs.

First, I encountered many months ago a newsgroup article (not on DIYA) about the CBS Discomputer. The guy was saying that the CBS Great Performances classical remaster series were actually digital. I found this hard to believe since I had listened to them for years and was sure they were pure analog. The ambience is intact in these recordings. Digital cannot do this.

After an extended period on the web I evidently encountered the patent number for the Discomputer and downloaded it. The patent is from 1979 and is probably for the Discomputer, although it doesn’t say it. It is a CBS patent for a computerized cutting control.

The CBS diagram shows that there is no digital component in the path to the cutting head. The guy on the newsgroup was saying that many companies starting using digital delay lines between the master tape and the cutting head. I suppose that they did this at the end of the analog era, probably to avoid replacing the preview heads on a pure analog tape machine. Most LPs made after 1980 sound digital.

When the heads wore out on the pure analog machines they would use a standard tape machine with one head. The pure analog signal fed the cutting control computer and a digital delay line fed the cutter head.

My question is this: Do the original master issues that are sold today use a digital delay line for the cutting head? Or do they have tape machines with preview heads? I was told years ago that they actually obtain the original analog master from the vault. They put up a million dollar bond before they can take it with them.

The few analog remasters that I have heard were not obviously analog. Acoustic Sounds sells a lot of them, about $30 each. There must be at least 10 companies that make them. Best Regards, Mark
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Old 13th August 2015, 08:35 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hailteflon
Most LPs made after 1980 sound digital.
Thankfully not all of them.... Well as you go thru the 80s it became more and more,its really quite sad...... (just gotta trust your ears if it doesnt say specifically on the jacket,etc (If ya wanna avoid that stuff))

I love the pure naturalness of analogue and I think its very sad what started happening to people in the 80s.... They became brainwashed and blindly listenend to the crap about "Ahhhhhh digital sounds better" w/o looking into it themselves and they let thier beautiful analogue music be compromised (EVEN ON RECORDS WHICH IS SUPPOSED TO BE ANALOG)

Bryan Adams 1st and 2nd albums are 100% analog but the 3rd album on were digitally altered and its disgusting!!! -- I wish Bryan had listenend to his 3rd RECORD and saw it did not sound as good as his 2nd record and demand it be redone!! ('BOB CLEARMOUNTAIN' STARTED RUINING RECORDS IN 1982 (Producer))


I think ultimately they didnt want to have to MIX IT TWICE!! (Lazy,not getting paid enough,etc) so they mixed it 1 time DIGITALLY which then could be used both on the record and CD....

There are SOME Musicians whose team DID SO IT SEPERATE (for some albums) -- Madonna's 1986 record (True blue) IS 100% ANALOGUE (On the record and cassette) -- They mixed it seperatly for digital but not many did that and its sad.........

Last edited by Dude111; 13th August 2015 at 08:39 AM.
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Old 13th August 2015, 08:56 AM   #3
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But the question is not about the mix from the master tape. It is about how is maximum groove density achieved.
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Old 17th August 2015, 09:22 AM   #4
waxx is offline waxx  Belgium
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Almost all music today is recorded digital. Tape recorders are not made anymore, just like tape reels itself get rare (some batches are still made). There are studio's that still have old but good maintained tape machines and a backstock of tape reels, but they charge a lot and they get rare.


Digital can be as high in resolution as tape, but not with the pcm formats we use. Formats like Direct-Stream Digital (DSD) can be so high in resolution that it sounds the same. It's harder to work with as you can't use plugins with it so you still need to mix analog.

But in hifi digital seems still not done by the snobs... And i need to say, i also prefer vinyl over digital formats.
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Old 20th August 2015, 02:15 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hailteflon View Post
This a question for someone who is actually involved in the mastering process of today’s analog pressings of LPs.

First, I encountered many months ago a newsgroup article (not on DIYA) about the CBS Discomputer. The guy was saying that the CBS Great Performances classical remaster series were actually digital. I found this hard to believe since I had listened to them for years and was sure they were pure analog. The ambience is intact in these recordings. Digital cannot do this.

After an extended period on the web I evidently encountered the patent number for the Discomputer and downloaded it. The patent is from 1979 and is probably for the Discomputer, although it doesn’t say it. It is a CBS patent for a computerized cutting control.

The CBS diagram shows that there is no digital component in the path to the cutting head. The guy on the newsgroup was saying that many companies starting using digital delay lines between the master tape and the cutting head. I suppose that they did this at the end of the analog era, probably to avoid replacing the preview heads on a pure analog tape machine. Most LPs made after 1980 sound digital.

When the heads wore out on the pure analog machines they would use a standard tape machine with one head. The pure analog signal fed the cutting control computer and a digital delay line fed the cutter head.

My question is this: Do the original master issues that are sold today use a digital delay line for the cutting head? Or do they have tape machines with preview heads? I was told years ago that they actually obtain the original analog master from the vault. They put up a million dollar bond before they can take it with them.

The few analog remasters that I have heard were not obviously analog. Acoustic Sounds sells a lot of them, about $30 each. There must be at least 10 companies that make them. Best Regards, Mark
There is always the option of listening to them and simply picking the ones that sound good to you and are the type of music you enjoy. Getting bogged down with detail can sometimes spoil the simple enjoyment of music.
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Old 23rd August 2015, 01:33 AM   #6
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There are special tape machines that have preview heads, eliminating the need for a preview delay, but this requires an analog tape master. Systems that used a digital delay employed a specially built delay that has little to do with the 44.1KHz / 16 bit coding used for CDs. It's a fixed delay designed for this purpose only, so it was designed to sound good, not to make a CD. So, while many vinyl records have been cut from an A/D -> D/A signal, it doesn't mean they have to sound bad. It's just another one of audio's many preconceptions.

There's also the possibility that the lacquer was cut by an engineer who manually altered the groove pitch, using no preview delay or computer at all. Not likely with a 33.33 rpm side over 30 minutes, but that's not so common either.
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