"Old New Vinyl": 20 materials on the history and production of players and records

    Today we have collected for you a digest on the "vinyl" theme, which includes articles from our blog " Hi-Fi World ". Under the cut there are materials on how vinyl records appeared and how they are produced, as well as recommendations for those who want to begin their acquaintance with the “turntables”.

    Photo Best Picko / CC

    First meeting

    • Vinyl: pretend to be his expert . The article will appeal to those who want to learn more about the technical nuances of the work of vinyl players and the characteristics of the records. Here you will find answers to many highly specialized questions, for example: why do we need a measuring record, what is a poid and what causes the pinch effect.

    • 100 questions about vinyl: why you need vinyl and where to start . If you're new to the vinyl world, this series of questions and answers is written to help you navigate. Where to buy records and what to look for when buying in the secondary market? How do modern reissues of records differ from collection options? The article will help to approach the collection of the music library systematically and competently.

    Vinyl history and philosophy

    • Highway Hi-Fi: how it started and how the history of record players for cars ended . Today we have become accustomed to the opportunity to listen to music in the car, but for motorists of the mid-50s, this was a novelty. The appearance of the first audio players in Chrysler car models was a unique event, which was written in the press. In more detail about the first Highway Hi-Fi systems, the principle of their work, and also the format of vinyl which is specially developed for them we tell in article.

    • The history of vinyl. Fadeless sound . General digitalization and digital sound recording did not affect the interest in vinyl records, which continues to grow with each passing year. According to the report of the American Association of Record Companies, only in the USA for 2017 there were sold records worth about $ 395 million. Here we will tell how the story of this carrier began and understand the variety of standards (sizes, materials and recording principles).

    • The history of high-end audio equipment . The first High-End equipment appeared in the years of the end of the Second World War. Since then, devices of this class have experienced several important stages in the development of technology. Read more about each historical milestone in the article.

    • The rarest and most expensive records in the world . $ 300 thousand - this amount gave the musician and the founder of the White Stripes for the master disc with a single of Elvis Presley. We are talking about the very first master disc of the King of Rock and Roll, rare albums on 78 revolutions and other collectible recordings. From the article you will find out what record the creator of Minecraft bought, from whom the unique recording of The Quarrymen group is kept.

    • “Between Vinyl and Cassette”: the history of tefiffon . The prototype of this unusual audio gadget was invented in Germany in the 1930s of the last century and was first used for military purposes. The eponymous player has a reproduction method similar to vinyl - using a pickup with a needle. We tell about the history of the creation of a teffion, its design and purpose, as well as the flourishing of the format and the reasons for the decline in its popularity.

    Photo choo chin nian / CC

    How to make records and players

    • The Holy Grail of Vinyl: The Art of Mastering at Half Speed . London Abbey Road recording studio has existed since 1931. Such cult rock bands as U2, Keane, Pink Floyd, and others recorded their albums on it. It was near this studio that the Liverpool Four made their famous photo at a pedestrian crossing. In this article, studio engineer Miles Scowell introduces us to the many nuances and details of the painstaking work of cutting vinyl discs and the features of mastering records at half speed.

    • Report from the Ortofon factory: technology, materials and a bit of history . The company began its journey with the development of technology for sounding movies. At the audio market, it became known after the invention of one of the most advanced types of pickups in the late 1940s. Since then, Ortofon has released more than three hundred models of cartridges. This article is a tour of the factory with a story about the technologies used. In the second part of this material, Ortofon engineers show the entire assembly process and share the nuances of creating new models: from idea to mass production.

    • Clearaudio perfectionism. How do turntables vinyl records . Over 40 years, Clearaudio has grown from a small family business of sound engineer Peter Zuhi into the world famous brand of turntables. We offer to look at the production and the office of the German company and get acquainted with it in more detail. The first part of the tour is devoted to the stages of assembly of turntables and blanks of parts for future devices. In the second part, you will learn how tonearms are made and assembled and how player parts are tested.

    • The return of the era of vinyl . Music lover Mark Rainey opened near Portland, a city known for its independent music scene, the Cascade Record Pressing vinyl record factory. In the article, he and other representatives of the industry share their thoughts about the future of vinyl, the problems that production has to face (search for independent labels, outdated equipment, etc.) and discuss why their quality may suffer from an increase in demand for records.

    • How to make vinyl records, or a new LP-capital of the world . The first single from The Beatles in the United States was released in the city of Nashville at the largest record factory - United Record Pressing. We will show how round-the-clock production of vinyl works and how much time it takes to “print” a batch of discs. We will discuss how Nashville’s innate conservatism and its connection to country music influences the success of the factory and why “vinyl will live,” despite the development of high technology.

    • How does the largest vinyl record factory work ? Another material on the nuances of the production and sale of vinyl records, but now in Europe. In the small Czech village of Lodenice, the largest GZ Media record factory is operating. The general director of the factory tells how the development of their own presses and the introduction of new technologies helps them to carry out orders faster than others, and also how the work at the factory is arranged. You will also learn how records are packaged and shipped to music stores.

    • Roberto Vigo: "Master tape is the purest source of analog sound . " Analogy Records Studio “writes” on a magnetic tape artists of different musical genres: jazz, pop, folk, etc. In this interview, its founder, musical enthusiast and sound engineer Robert Vigo shares his brand history, the subtleties of recording on tape and the advantages of master recording in comparison with a copy.

    Vinyl and other formats

    • What is HD-vinyl and is it really that good ? Austrian company Rebeat Innovation has announced HD-records of the future of vinyl recordings and recently attracted $ 4.8 million investment in their production. The company promised to release the first batch in 2019. How is the new technology different from the traditional one? What are its advantages and disadvantages? How will it affect the life of the records and their cost? We argue about this in the article.

    • Battle for format: reel vs cassette vs vinyl vs CD vs HiRes . The MMS company, which produces audio equipment and multimedia, arranged a “battle” between five audio recording formats. Anyone could take part in the comparative audition. Visitors were offered to guess by ear which of the formats it sounds based on the characteristic features of the reproduction. Read about the results of the experiment in our material.

    • Flexible plates - a universal carrier, which is back from the past . We will tell about the history of this sound carrier - from clandestine rock-and-roll records on X-rays (“music on the bones”) to records with records of pop stars in the monthly magazine “Krugozor”. Let us give examples of the use of a flexible format in Russia and abroad and talk about how its mass production began.

    • Can a modern edition of the record be better than the first press? . One of the 30 best-selling albums in the history of music - Brothers In Arms of the British rock band Dire Straits was released in 1985 and sold about 30 million copies. We compared the first album with a popular reprint. Can a modern reprint compare with the original first pressure sound? How has the digital mastering of the first edition influenced him? In the article we answer these questions and share the results.

    • Guide to converting analog vinyl discs to digital files using Windows . In simple words, we explain the entire process of digitizing vinyl - from the requirements for equipment to its verification before recording. In the form of a detailed walkthrough, we give recommendations on software (Audacity editor and its settings), as well as tips on restoring digital sound (removing jumps, clicks, and cod).

    • Digitization of vinyl: "FOR" and "AGAINST" . In the article we analyze all the subtleties of translating vinyl records into a digit: what role does the audio card play, what programs do you need to work with to edit the record and why can't you do without a phono-corrector. Let's compare the sound of releases released on CD, SACD, and digitized from vinyl.

    • Why CDs can sound better than vinyl records . The issue of the confrontation of these two formats is not devoted to a single verbal battle in audioforums. The article is about positive and negative points in using both formats. Let's talk about the reasons why the vinyl record does not always sound better than a CD and vice versa.

    • How to digitize vinyl records . Another “two-volume” material dedicated to digitizing vinyl records. In this part, we stop at each stage in detail and analyze bottlenecks - what to look for when testing system runs and what software to choose. In the second part we will talk about the restoration of the recording (tools of the audio editor, methods of cutting tracks, etc.) and give tips on removing defects (clicks, hissing, etc.).

    Additional reading: several posts from our  Vinyl Academy :

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