HD Record Release: New Technology Released Next Year

    Not so long ago, the head of the Austrian startup Rebeat Innovation, Günter Loibl (Günter Loibl) spoke about attracting investment in the amount of 4.8 million dollars. This money will be used to finance the “HD Records” project. According to Loible, “improved” vinyl could hit store shelves as early as 2019. Let’s figure out what was developed in Rebeat.

    Photo Wendelin Jacober PD

    What is the innovation

    A patent application for this technology in Rebeat filed as early as 2016. It describes the main disadvantages of the traditional method of producing plates and Direct Metal Mastering : the complexity of the process, the failure of high frequencies and the decrease in sound quality due to the characteristics of the medium.

    Rebeat HD vinyl production technology is a three-step process . At the first stage, the high-resolution audio file is converted into a “topographic three-dimensional map” of the matrix for the future record. A 3D model is used to remove excess gaps between tracks. After optimization, cutting is done on a ceramic carrier with a frequency range that is more than 6 times higher than traditional indicators.

    The next step is pressing. Here, Rebeat points to the difference in the quality of the plates when working with a nickel matrix: a record released first may be superior in sound quality to a record released a thousandth. There is no such problem with the ceramics used by Rebeat.

    Here are the merits of the HD-plate manufacturer calls:

    • frequency range - 100 kHz;
    • 3D laser engraving;
    • production of records with the same level of quality;
    • the “work” time of the plates without loss of quality - 30% more;
    • toxic chemicals are not used in production;
    • full compatibility with existing vinyl players;
    • plans for the release of special players for HD-vinyl.

    The future of HD vinyl

    According to Gunther Loible, Rebeat Innovation has ordered a $ 600,000 laser system. The company will have it in July. With it, Rebeat will manufacture trial products and showcase them at the Making Vinyl conference in Detroit this October. If everything goes according to plan, the company will take another eight months to finalize, and in 2019 will release the first "mass" HD-plates.

    In 2016, when Rebeat became known for the first time, Markkus Rovito, editor of Electronic Musician, wrote a column about possible problems with the new media. He mentioned several reasons why HD-vinyl will not be popular:

    • high price;
    • historically low demand for such developments;
    • Only full HD players will reveal the full sound.

    Demand for vinyl has grown since 2016 . If all the described advantages of HD-plates are realized by Rebeat, especially in terms of full compatibility with all players, the format will probably be able to find its audience.

    Other innovative ideas

    The increase in demand for records in recent years has been followed by the emergence of new vinyl manufacturing methods. In 2016, the Canadian company Viryl Technologies promised to release presses for plates, which will accelerate the production process. Due to automation, the release of the plate takes three times less time compared to traditional production.

    In the same year, Symcon, a Dutch company specializing in the production of optical disks, announced the development of technology for the production of plates by injection molding . This approach should reduce production costs and improve sound quality.

    Photo Tobias Akerboom CC

    Other interesting things include Gotta Groove Records, which two years ago talked about her experiments with records. For individual orders, she produced vinyl interspersed with sequins, leaves, pages from books and notes. Once the company even received an order for the release of coffee grounds records.

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