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Old 9th March 2013, 06:29 PM   #651
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Kevinkr - undoubtedly my system is much better than my headphones too (that's not saying much), but when working on a file on the laptop, it's really my only option. Besides, if I were able to pipe it through the system, I'd be restricted to working when my wife is out of the house!

I hadn't thought of tape print-through. That wouldn't be the case on this particular album, which was produced digitally in the late 80's, a Liz Story album post her Windham Hill period I guess you'd say. But my time cutting audio for commercials back in the 70's did give me a little knowledge of what it means to work with tape. And I remember plenty of "party tapes" put on stuff so thin it was a cryin' shame. Rather wish I still had some of those tapes though.
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Old 9th March 2013, 10:33 PM   #652
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Default groove echo

I attended several years of Recording Engineering in college, and we were taught that most modern lathes used computer controlled groove spacing to prevent groove echo. Of course, not all of them used it.
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Old 9th March 2013, 11:01 PM   #653
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Genemi - What little reading I've done on the subject does suggest while that may have become the norm once computers were available, it wasn't during the heyday of vinyl. I base that on reading an article on one of the new labels, one that does new recordings and re-masters. There was a mention of outfitting an old lathe with computer control, so my assumption is the rig didn't have it initially. I'd say that's part of why the best master cutters were regarded as artists. Wally Traudt is one name that comes to mind.
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Old 11th March 2013, 01:01 AM   #654
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Missouricatman,

Actually, I attended recording Engineering back in the late seventies/early 80's, and we were told that many cutters would manually change the groove spacing while listening. Of course, this does need some talent, and familiarity with the material.

BTW you can call me Gene if you wish, that will make it easier.
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Old 11th March 2013, 03:35 AM   #655
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Hi Gene,

I don't think I've read anything regarding just how decisions were made in the mastering process. I figured the best cutters had the experience to do a pretty good job taking into account the type of source material and length. I can see where some changes on the fly could be made, I suppose based on the source level. A quiet track would get handled differently from one that almost pegs the meters, so to speak.

Your time in school would have been after the time I spent working in radio & TV, by the way, though only by a few years. I never did learn the real nuts and bolts that you did, though today I wish I had. I did rely on some pretty talented engineers and gained a lot of respect for what they did.

Jim
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Old 11th March 2013, 04:39 AM   #656
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Strangely enough quite a bit of my very recent vinyl also has the pre-echo phenomena, and most of this material was certainly digitally mastered. I suspect many of the current mastering plants are not equipped with computer controlled cutters, further I would suspect with the emphasis on pure analog pathways these days that many lathes that were previously so equipped no longer are. To the best of my knowledge the analog signal was digitized and fed to a digital delay line, while also being analyzed in parallel by a computer and then converted back to analog and fed to the cutter after the pitch was adjusted to accommodate.. Note that the quantization was probably <16 bits and under 44kHz on a lot of these systems although I don't know the specifics.

Interesting discussion.

Apparently a lot of the best masters were done by people who manually rode the gain during mastering and adjusted cutter pitch as needed during the cutting, a real art form..
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Old 11th March 2013, 01:58 PM   #657
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Kevin -

What this discussion reveals, I think, is that today there are probably only a handful of people who fully understand and have mastered the cutting process. Yes, as Gene said, computer control can be used, probably is used in many plants, but I seriously doubt they're any better than the person who programs them. It's not a lost art, but probably pretty close to being so. Some masters best thought of as having been cut by people who aren't, but one day hopefully will be.

Ok, so after saying all that, I did a simple search and came up with these links. Old news to Gene, I'm sure. Certainly raised my awareness though.

This is pretty simple, but still interesting.
Vinyl - STERLING SOUND

The next one has some comments by the current crop of vinyl mastering engineers. One in particular noted that while they are seeing an uptick in business, they're limited by both equipment and the number of qualified mastering engineers. Reading this, I note we've got two camps out there - the houses for whom vinyl is either fairly new or a subset of what they do, and the houses where cutting lacquer has been their bread and butter for decades. I'm sure there are good mastering engineers on both sides, but I'd tend to have more confidence in the latter.

Vinyl Mastering Outlook: Can Lathes Keep up the Pace in 2013? : SonicScoop – Creative, Technical & Business Connections For NYC?s Music & Sound Community

I was particularly struck by the comment of one engineer that some artists are starting to take into account some of the limitations of vinyl into their music, i.e. track length is once again becoming a consideration. Nothing did more to hurt the quality of vinyl I think than the move to cram as much as possible onto a side. This may not be carved in stone, but in general it seems to me that more than 18 minutes and you're starting to push it.

And this one has passages that note the difference in cutter heads. One passage jumped out at me.

"Even with this, though, the mastering engineer is constantly juggling signal processing versus recording time versus groove pitch. Most systems today automatically control the groove pitch, although an expert engineer can override them to some extent and make constant tweaks to get that last bit of performance out."

- Mastering for Vinyl : Recording Magazine -

I guess it should be said that while I'm quite interested in this discussion, it probably warrants its own thread.
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Old 11th March 2013, 06:10 PM   #658
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Hello everyone,

has anyone tried to change the bearing of the idler wheel? I've found an Ebay seller from Spain, who sells a replacement bearing with a very cheap price. It would very useful for me to reduce the noise, coming out from the wheel. How should the bearing be changed? Do I need a special tool or what?

Cheers
Maurizio
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Old 12th March 2013, 04:02 AM   #659
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Hi Maurizio,
You'll need to make a little tool to press out the old bushing. This at its simplest would consist of a short piece of rod with an outer diameter just a bit less than that of the bushing, and a piece of pipe somewhat more than twice as deep as the bushing, and a simple vice.
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Old 12th March 2013, 07:59 PM   #660
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Here is a tool for removing the bearing out the idler and place the new bearing in the same handling

Volken
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