The process begins when we receive the audio files for the studio and the image files for the printing press.
We take the audio to the studio, where they are in charge of mastering your music for vinyl, taking out all the brightness, clarity and power.
Mastering for vinyl is the last process your sound mix receives before cutting the lacquer and is of vital importance in the sound quality of the final product.
The studio has an incredible list of classic analog hardware that as soon as you see it, you will realize that the limits of the studio are your imagination. Developed over the last 25 years, almost on par with the mastering and cutting studio, it contains most of the best analog synthesizers and drum machines ever created.
Pure analog synthesis, steam mixing, finalizing your tracks from home, recording live bands in analog or digital registers… everything is possible!!!
You also have a drum kit and a wide range of microphones to choose from, from an original Neumann U87 to a 1937 ALTEC LANSING condenser / ribbon microphone, along with complete vocal and drum microphone sets.
There are also several analog and hardware sequencers, a 48-channel AMEK Angela 1 console, an excellent range of effects and high-end external compressors, all easily accessible thanks to the wide connection port and auxiliary controls.
Of course, there is also a Mac Pro 12 core with all the digital perks you could possibly need.
MIXING DESK, MONITORS AND OUTBOARD
The purist’s corner, set up to cut records with the third Neumann VMS70, a Neumann SP-79 mastering and cutting desk and PMC monitors. The space is also available to hire as a facility to do editing work using the iMac available for it.
Mastering for vinyl is the last process that your sound mix receives before cutting the lacquer and is of vital importance in the sound quality of the final product.
The high frequencies will be tonally balanced so as not to produce distortions when playing the vinyl (excessive high frequencies such as flutes, violins, cymbals, hissing voices… can produce unpleasant distortions if they are equalized incorrectly).
It is also important that we keep the low frequencies in mono or as close as possible, since the bass in stereo or out of phase, causes an up/down movement in the cutting pencil that traces shallow grooves and causes jumps in the player needle.
The sound, power and elegance that your productions acquire with us, you will not get them anywhere. And in a record time of 24 hours after receiving files, we already have the mastering and professional lacquer cutting finished in one of the best analog studios in the world, with two tremendous electronic music producers at the helm, with jobs on their shoulders like remasters of Tom Petty, Amy Winehouse, Bob Marley, Nirvana, Eric Clapton… as well as the works of Aba Shanti, Jah Fingers, SUF, Warner Music, Juno Distribution, TEED Records, Ministry of Sound, RadioactiveMan, Trojan Records, Black Uhuru, Seth Troxler, Jamie Jones, Spin Road Recording Studios, Rekids, Crosstown Rebels, RebelLion, Sony Music, Nina Kraviz…
When the process is done correctly it can be the same for digital mastering. A track mastered well for vinyl can be used for digital, increasing levels if necessary, after being mastered for vinyl. There are strict rules that must be used for mastering for vinyl that are not strictly necessary for digital; the human ear does not detect stereo below 450kHz, so there is no point in having stereo information there.
We always master digital releases with the same care and attention as a vinyl release, adding earnings as needed for digital domain, CD, or download at the customer’s discretion.
A properly mastered track will work in any format, but a track mastered for vinyl and uploaded later for digital releases will sound better than a “hard” mastered track for the digital domain; that’s why the studio pays so much attention to mastering.
What do you think, do you think it will sound good? Come!!
There is no denying the SoundQuality we can add to any recording by running it through the preamps onto tape and then backing it back through the op-amps of a STUDER master recorder.
When you feel that your music is missing something “special”, we can master your tracks on the analog desk and then record them on a 1/2″ or 1/4″ tape and then cut the lacquers directly from the tape. Of course, we will also record the tracks from the tape back into PROTOOLS via the PRISM sound card so that we can use your tracks in digital formats as well.
Our studio uses only the highest quality analog mastering hardware. Once we’ve converted your audio to an analog signal using the highest bit rate conversion possible with PRISM converters, we’ll maintain the analog purity of your music until we cut the grooves in the lacquer, including a signal path from MASELEC MEA- 2 EQ, MASELEC MPL-2 limiter and CHIWICH REAACH valve compressor. Obviously, we will also convert this mastered analog signal to digital through our PRISM converters so you can use it in digital registers.
Medium speed vinyl mastering is a not widely known or widely used technique. Considering that the most difficult frequency for a cutting pencil to cut is a 15kHz crah cymbal, the cutting needle would need to vibrate precisely 15,000 times per second to accurately encode the analog waveform into the lacquer.
But that’s a bit hard to imagine and a lot harder to do with the precision needed at any level. But if we take into account that the Neumann lathe was designed to work at any level, we passed 1dB above that level and began to deliver cutoff distortion. Now we cut at half speed and reduce the rotation of the lathe’s turntable also to half speed, reducing the pitch from 15kHz to 7.5kHz, easier to cut since it only vibrates at 7500 times per second.
In addition, the independence of each stage is improved by having the entire signal path twice as long. Both the audio and the Neumann cutting lathe were at half speed and therefore, when playing the cut lacquer on a turntable, everything will go at the correct speed but with higher definition and less distortion, if any.
The lacquer cuting is the most important part of the process since it is responsible for achieving the sound that will then be pressed into the vinyl. The studio’s reputation grew on the very high quality reggae and electronic music vinyls (Bewn Sims, Jamie Jones, Seth Troxler, Cosstown Rebels, TEED, Chis Liberator, Above Board Distribution, Billy Nasty. ESP INSTITUE, BADIMUP, CULPRIT , Jah Fingers, DJ Bone, Jerome Hill, Ed DMX, ELLUM AUDIO, INTERSTATE ONE, Ivan Smagghe, JUNO RECORDS, Kirk deGiorgio, FALASHA RECORDINGS, Francesca Lombardo, Black Uhuru, Maceo Plex, MINISTRY OF SOUND, Nina Kravitz, Nº19 MUSIC, Oliver Way, PLAY IT SAY IT, Radio Slave, RadioactiveMan, REKIDS, REBEL-LION, RUBADUB, RUMORS, Soul Clap, SUF, TROJAN RECORDS, SOUNDfuktORY, THE NOTHING SPECIAL, Craig Richards, THEORY, UFO, VISION QUEST, WARNER MUSIC, Wolf & Lamb…. just to mention some of the labels that approved the quality of the studio and that to this day continue to be clients/friends) and these productions going out of the studio.
But little by little, Thrash Metal, Rock, Folk, Indie, Classical and all kinds of music begin to form part of the innumerable clientele of the studio, attracted by what they cannot get elsewhere; the incredible Sound Quality that our productions reach.
We cut any of the popular vinyl formats with the exact precision that only we offer. Unless you request it, we will always cut the cut as hard as possible, cutting a section from the loudest/most aggressive part of your audio to a test lacquer that is then listened to in the studio to check for skips, distortions, popping needles…. before cutting the master lacquer. We adapt the times to the best format for you; at your free choice.
Once the vinyl mastering is finished, the mastered test files are sent before the lacquer cut so you can hear what they have done in the studio and correct any mistakes, as it is costly to go back to do the whole process all over again.
From a simple crossfade to creating radio edits from longer mixes, anything is possible. The studio has the facilities in four suitable rooms, whatever your audio editing needs are.
The same 24-track tape recorder that Quincy Jones used to use for his Highest Sound Quality records, is also in the studio to record, via the 32-channel AMEX mixer, the band on this incredible recording machine. tape, track by track or live, with a sound you wouldn’t think possible. Then you can use the studio control room and outboard to sound even more amazing. We also have a wide variety of microphones, such as a 1937 ribbon mic or Neumann U87, among many others.
Our The Oki Noki cleaning machine removes dirt from your records with the spray of a cleaning liquid that first spreads through the grooves and then is vacuumed, collecting all the deposited dirt. Dirty old records that will be ready to play again and listen in their old glory. We can also record your clean records on our amazing recording and playback system to provide you with clean digital files.
Using the experience accumulated over the years by our magnificent and unrivaled sound engineers together with the latest hardware and software techniques, we can eliminate unwanted noise, digital interruptions, clicks, the noise of the vinyl grooves… everything you need to get your damaged audio files on analog tapes, digital audio tapes and even vinyl, restore that Sound Quality to an even better level than new.
George Massenburg, the man who invented the concept of Parametric EQ, created the GML 9500 Mastering Equalizer as the supreme mastering grade version of the industry standard, the 8200. For more than twenty years, engineers have relied on EQ from Massenburg to create sonic perfection, and both the 8200 and GML9500 can be found in virtually every rack in the world’s leading recording studios.
1/2dB Boost and Cut steps, dual-mono 5-band EQ with layered bands, incredibly transparent and natural sound, five bands, extraordinary control. Each of the GML9500’s five bands offers 15dB of boost or cut and adjustable level control in 1/2dB increments. It has maximum flexibility with 24 selectable frequencies per band and the Gain, Frequency and Q controls are fully locked in for absolute precision and repeatability. With uncommon simplicity on the front panel, you can shape your signal a little or a lot! Amazingly clean and clear sound.
Simply put, the GML9500 is the epitome of Mastering Equalizer. Its extraordinary resolution, reference transparency, generous margin and surgical precision have been imitated by many other EQs, but not surpassed by any other.
Everything´s to make your sound better!!!
Once your music is ready, we take care of everything: when we sign the contract to find out how you want the vinyl (inches, weight, color, quantity …), you deliver the necessary files in the appropriate formats and we begin the process.
Your music is processed to suit the medium in which it will be printed: vinyl. A re-mastering process is carried out which, in the case of vinyl, is a critical process and which has great relevance in the final quality of the record. It is a complex process in which the frequencies, volumes, intensities, depth and width of the groove must be worked out….
We will then proceed with the lacquer cut, which is the transfer of the music from the support to the lacquer; a nitrocellulose coated polished aluminum disc with a thickness greater than a normal disc. To cut the lacquer, a cutting lathe with its cutting head is used to cut and modulate the groove, transferring the music directly to the master.
When the lacquer is cut, it is sent directly to the elaboration of the electroplating works, where through different mechanical, chemical and electrical processes, the stampers are elaborated. Stampers are the metal molds that, once in the pressing plant, will shape your vinyl. Different jobs require different elaborations, therefore, we have a small number of pressing plants in Europe that meet our quality standards and where each job is sent in particular according to your requirements.
We will advise you on the best choice to capture your music on vinyl, opening a wide range of options for the final realization of the project: We work on all sizes of vinyl (7 “, 10” and 12 “) and even special sizes, with different weights of vinyl, colors, effects with color, photo-discs, all quantities, even from 1 vinyl (in any of the sizes), different types of interior / exterior covers and with different printing possibilities, insertion of coupons, shrink wraps, barcodes … and with a team of designers who will bring out the best of your music reflected in a amazing artwork, to give color to your rhythms.
100% guaranteed Sound Quality with the best time//price ratios. There is no more you can do to make your album sound better.