HD "HI-FI Vinyl Will Soon Be A Reality 3D Printing Technology

Discussion in 'Audio Hardware' started by AcidPunk15, Feb 20, 2017.

  1. Leonthepro

    Leonthepro Skeptically Optimistic Autodidact Debater

    Location:
    Uppsala Sweden
    Well Ledermann has been quoted to say that Cartridges are also in a sense digital devices, since they only sample the groove walls.
    The laser I believe would cut in the same way a traditional cutterhead would. You do know that digital is cut to vinyl and has been since the 80s too right? And that does not produce 1s and 0s in the vinyl so to speak.
    Except the laser would actually cut ridges, not grooves.
    But where the improvements lie is in the accuracy. You can indeed improve frequency response, remove problems like groove echo, tighten the groove distance to an exact amount so that you can increase playing time by 30% or use that extra space to improve dynamics and such.
    Heres what I think is the coolest part though. Since the laser can cut any way and is not forced to move tangentially like a cutter head you can actually remove problems like inner groove distortion because the grooves can be cut so that they are always tangential to the cantilever. If they will do that or if it can even work properly Im not sure though.
    But it also allows them to skip the whole Laquer, Father, Mother, Stamper steps and just cut the Mother or Stamper right away. And the best part is that they can do it to much harder materials than copper or nickle thats traditionally used, increasing records pressed from a single cut by 5 - 10 times.

    Convinced yet?
     
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  2. When cutting from a digital source they convert the signal to Analog. This process of using 3D printers or whatever are dependent on computer programs to guide the lasers, unless Im mistaken. Anyway, Im not an engineer designing the $600000 tool so I'll wait to see if it improves anything.

    I appreciate your conversation. It is helped me to soften my stance on HIFI Vinyl.
     
    Last edited: Apr 14, 2018
  3. Rick Bartlett

    Rick Bartlett Forum Resident

    I can already see the expensive retail $$'s at play. If they are investing so much coin into the
    operation, surely you would think they will sell them at a reasonable price too no?
     
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  4. anorak2

    anorak2 Forum Resident

    Location:
    Berlin, Germany
    How? It doesn't devalue your existing records, certainly not their collector's value.

    Logically it shouldn't.
     
  5. anorak2

    anorak2 Forum Resident

    Location:
    Berlin, Germany
    Repeat: The point is not digital purism. People buy vinyl for many other reasons than being analogue. This concept is not for those who religiously fend any record that might have gone through a digital stage at some point. But then, the same people can't buy 90+ percent of current releases.
     
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  6. anorak2

    anorak2 Forum Resident

    Location:
    Berlin, Germany
    The process completely eliminates a number of shortcomings of the conventional cutting process. It should produce a record that is the optimum what vinyl can do. It does not burst the limits of the conventional vinyl record, but within those limits it is probably the best that can be achieved. At least according to the theory presented by the company, it all makes sense. The fact that it goes through a digital stage in the process is immaterial, that shouldn't affect quality at all.
     
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  7. I wont presume what people can and can't buy... if the company presses a HD record with the same mastering as a record I already own and there is a noticeable improvement I'll gladly revisit this thread and give it props. Guess well have to see if its hype or a legit technological advancement. Personally I'd rather have more discs than more tracks on a side of a record, more dynamics.... hmmm
     
  8. anorak2

    anorak2 Forum Resident

    Location:
    Berlin, Germany
    It's a disadvantage for owners of a linear turntable though (like me :D), whose entire point is to read the record in the same geometry it was cut with. But when "HD vinyl" adapts to the circular motion of the majority of conventional tonearms, that assumption isn't true any more.

    They control everything in software, so they can tell the software it should pretend the record was cut by a head moving in a circular arc instead of tangentially. Of course they can do the opposite as well, which is what I'd urge them to do :).
     
  9. anorak2

    anorak2 Forum Resident

    Location:
    Berlin, Germany
    What I meant to say was, far over 90 percent of current vinyl releases are mastered digitally anyway, and they are being bought. So apparently the majority of vinyl buyers have no problem with digital being in the loop.

    An existing analogue master has to be digitised for "HD vinyl", because the whole thing is controlled by a computer who has to have the music in its memory in order be able to etch the stamper. This is conceptually equivalent to a digital master, there is no way around it. But that is not a problem sonically.
     
  10. My concern wasnt whether the music had some digitization in its creation, half my records are made by djs/producers. Rather it was more about the cutting process being analog. This 3D printing process will be done through a computer, hence the reason I brought up Digital. People jumped to the conclusion I was rehashing their tired arguement about digital vs analog.
     
    Last edited: Apr 14, 2018
  11. anorak2

    anorak2 Forum Resident

    Location:
    Berlin, Germany
    What do you mean by this?
     
  12. DA conversion to play the audio that is used to cut the record. The article I read about this new technology made it sound like its going to be a computer controlled process.
     
  13. anorak2

    anorak2 Forum Resident

    Location:
    Berlin, Germany
    It's completely computer controlled. There is no literal D/A conversion involved and it would be unnecessary, because there is no component (such as a cutting head) that needs an analogue signal. But the 3D printing process as such is implicitly equivalent to a D/A conversion. You can think of the conversion happening inside the 3D printer.
     
  14. Leonthepro

    Leonthepro Skeptically Optimistic Autodidact Debater

    Location:
    Uppsala Sweden
    The problem with it is if it will throw off a lot of allignments. I mean what will they go with, Baerwald? No more Stevenson needed I suppose.
     
  15. I've always assumed the electrical signal passed to the cutting head was analog. :shrug:
     
  16. Carl Swanson

    Carl Swanson Resident blabbermouth

    There are no "types" of fidelity. There is only fidelity, i.e, "faithfullness," to the original recorded sound, i.e. accuracy.
     
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  17. anorak2

    anorak2 Forum Resident

    Location:
    Berlin, Germany
    Sounds you still haven't quite grasped what they're doing. If you imagine they have a tape playing the music and a spinning lacquer with the only difference being that the groove is cut by a laser instead of a needle, then you misunderstood.

    There is no cutting head. There is no musical signal going into the 3D printer.

    What they do is this: The music is digitised beforehand. Then they load the entire music into a computer. The computer then "predicts" what the hills and dales of a record containing this music should look like, and it does this in a way that is more "ideal" than a conventional cutter can do. Then the computer basically creates this hill-and-dale landscape in one go out of a 3D printer. The 3D printer, controlled by the computer, sort of sculpts the record's surface out of metal. The music is not playing and the disk is not spinning while this is happening.
     
    Last edited: Apr 15, 2018
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  18. My post was about the normal way of cutting a record being analog. And this new method being computer created. The digital 3D print I doubt will be able to capture the nuances that make up some of the magic in music, but we'll see. Like I said.
     
    Last edited: Apr 15, 2018
  19. Agitater

    Agitater Forum Resident

    Location:
    Toronto
    There’s nothing wrong with your definition at all. The problem is mainly that there are no absolutes in home audio music listening. That why I referred to “... a widely appreciate(d) type of fidelity.” What that alludes to is the idea that absolute fidelity to a live performance has never been achievable from a recording played back at home. Show me someone who insists his system is capable of reproducing a live jazz set on his home system, and I’ll show you someone who either hasn’t heard a live jazz set in a long time or whose sense of hearing has some interesting aspects.

    But forget all that because if that person feels and hears what he perceives as an enjoyable live jazz set reproduced from a recording played back on his system, that’s all that really matters. What has happened is that the recordist’s capture on tape or to a digital file, the producers influence on the final mix, and the mastering engineer’s final decisions have all come together to leave a particular person with a particular impression of a live set reproduced by his home audio system. To that person - and likely to very many other audiophiles who’ve purchased or downloaded the same recording - the version of fidelty that the recordist, producer and mastering engineer created is successful.

    I think that’s the case for the vast majority of music recordings. A widely accepted type of high fidelity is achieved - but not absolute fidelity.

    My view is that whether or not the LP, CD, download or stream are faithful to the original performance as far as you or I are personally concerned, in some cases, is only the measure of fidelity to you and me and some others. It is not so for everyone. Or sometimes it is. It depends on the recording. But that’s irrelevant too because the aforementioned combination of recordist, producer and mastering engineer are essentially a committee, and they cooperate to produce something that they believe will be widely acceptable fidelity.
     
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  20. McLover

    McLover Forum Resident

    Location:
    East TN
    Big issue will be those grooves crammed closer together. No laser can eliminate the laws of physics cutting records. We know about K-Tel and Ronco Records and the sacrifices they made to get those 8-12 songs a side. The overall volume levels suffer because of this and those records have very little to no bass information due to this sacrifice. Only so close you can get the grooves to each other cutting records before problems occur and the laws of analog record physics get in your way. But those laws of analog physics keep records most of the time a good sounding medium.
     
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  21. The Revealer

    The Revealer I see you collecting... something... soon....

    Location:
    Metro Chicago, IL
    It's as simple as more precise engineering, more precise final cut. So, while you cite a well-known example of the limits of vinyl mastering as it has been done for decades, the promise here is of a greater degree of accuracy and efficiency in getting what would be hoped is the maximum amount of 'information' into the grooves. It's a better tool in theory. Whether or not this actually yields an amount of space leftover for more music per record side that meets high expectations for quality is to be seen.

    Few would argue with a 'wait and see' attitude. Those who don't immediately buy in and try it, get to read about it here at the SHF. It's catnip to this bunch which is why several pages of discussion over it's mere potential draws more and more participants. Had someone wanted to simply fabricate the idea to observe an 'audiophile' hubbub, they couldn't have picked a better idea. HD Vinyl. No wonder several in this thread are just drawn out to express their disbelief at improving something that's loved as much for its flaws as for its capabilities!

    Perhaps someone will start a label called Android Records to kick off the irony train. Or better yet: Digital Analogues. We could go on.
     
    Last edited: Apr 15, 2018
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  22. Wallflower

    Wallflower Well-Known Member

    Location:
    England
    My understanding is that the limitations of the normal vinyl cutting process is the primary reason why mastering engineers prepare a separate vinyl master, which is often more dynamic than the CD master. The result of this has been that for many loudness war era releases, the vinyl is the best-sounding version of the album.

    If 'HD Vinyl' is aiming to overcome those limitations of the vinyl cutting process, it could therefore facilitate the increased use of brickwalled CD masters as the source for all future vinyl releases, thereby meaning that in the end we just get a technically superior format being used to deliver a lower quality master.

    Is this a valid concern?
     
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  23. The Revealer

    The Revealer I see you collecting... something... soon....

    Location:
    Metro Chicago, IL
    Just because the tool is digital, doesn't mean you start with a digital master. The process you describe could be used in mastering a vinyl record. Perhaps it's done already for people trying to scam a buck from the uninformed.

    You could also get the best possible master in a digital form - the latest Pink Floyd releases come to mind - and the waveforms produced by the laser into the grooves will be more accurate probably than your ear will ever hear. It's up to the parties involved to make the best decision to use any tool with grace or greed.

    In other words, what you suggest is a valid concern for any potential purchase. Please, someone tell me if I'm missing something.
     
  24. Diskhound

    Diskhound Forum Resident

    Hmm.... May be it would be fun to have my own record printer that could sculpt the vinyl blanks directly (create records) from digital files that I already own! Hey, that's it -- we will all be downloading the latest releases and burning them to vinyl at home. Now that would be disruptive.
     
    Last edited: Apr 15, 2018
  25. TarnishedEars

    TarnishedEars Forum Resident

    Location:
    Seattle, WA
    3D printers will need to become roughly 10,000 times more precise than they currently are to be able to accomplish this feat with equal fidelity.
     

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