Pre-echo present on LP?

Discussion in 'Audio Hardware' started by HiredGoon, Sep 28, 2010.

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  1. HiredGoon

    HiredGoon Forum Resident Thread Starter

    G'day,

    Apologies if this has been covered before, but a search turned up nothing.

    Anyway, I ripped an LP using Audacity, and having a listen via headphones I noticed that I could faintly hear the start of the first track for about a half a second before the track actually begins. It's as if there is a faint pre-echo (for want of a better word) present.

    Guessing it's an LP thing, as I've not heard it when ripping CDs.

    Why is this so?

    --Geoff
     
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  2. MLutthans

    MLutthans That's my spaghetti, Chewbacca! Staff

    This can be print-through from the tape from which the LP was sourced, or adjacent groove distortion, meaning that the cut of one revolution impacted the shape of the groove on an adjacent revolution. The latter will occur precisely one revolution early, 1.8 seconds time. Tape print-through typically has a far a shorter repeat time.
     
    Last edited: Sep 30, 2017
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  3. DaveN

    DaveN Music Glutton

    Location:
    Apex, NC
    This has been addressed a few times but not in it's own thread. What you are hearing is one of two things. First could be print-through from the tape. The other cause is thin grooves that have some information from the other side of the groove pushing through.

    I find this to be a charming artifact of lp playback. Others find it absolutely annoying. You can just chop that part off of your needledrop if you fall into the latter group.
     
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  4. Evan Guest

    Evan Guest Forum Resident

    Location:
    Spokane, WA
    I just heard this recently on Tool's '10'000 Days' CD. I guess they recorded at least the original multi tracks to analog tape. I was quite surprised it was left in at the analog to digital conversion step(at whatever stage) or even the CD mastering stage. I'm glad it was, as I really enjoy these kinds of subtle recording artifacts.

    I'm kind of on the fence about the LP playback artifact, sometimes it's a bit too obvious. The 1/2 second multi track/master tape version is my favorite! :D
     
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  5. Lownote30

    Lownote30 Bass Clef Addict

    Location:
    Nashville, TN, USA
    Sometimes it's intentional to the recording (Led Zeppelin II). In that case it was echo applied to the track while being played backwards.

    Frank R.
     
  6. Texastoyz

    Texastoyz Forum Resident

    Location:
    Texas, USA
    I remember this used to be present on cassette tapes as well.
     
  7. Vidiot

    Vidiot Now in 4K HDR!

    Location:
    Hollywood, USA
    We always tried to minimize this in the studio by storing tapes tails-out. That way, any tape print-through would be masked by the recording itself. But even in the initial pass, with high-output tape, there would inevitably be some print-through with loud levels at the very start of the recording. We'd often get around that by splicing leader prior to each song, but by the time the song gets mixed down to another tape, then that tape has print-through. We'd always call it "pre-echo" only on vinyl pressings, but I'm not sure how standardized the term was.
     
  8. OR one can find a different pressing of the same album (different "stampers", LP manufactured at different plant, different part of the country, or different country of origin, etc). I noticed one time, when listening to a neighbor's copy of America (self titled, a.k.a. "Horse With No Name" LP), I noticed "pre-echo/post echo" on side 2 (track titled "I Need You")... When I happened upon my own copy (a Canadian WB green label pressing), it did not have the problem. Same with other US copies I've found... Same basic story with a quad pressing of Simon and Garfunkel "Bridge Over Troubled Water" album (one simply sounded "not so good" with pre/post echo, while the other sounded great)... So I guess I'm often in search of that "hot stamper" pressing (or at least one that sounds reasonably good).

    ....Oh, and I guess if it's a "tape print through" issue, then if one can perhaps find a pressing of the album that may not have the issue, (in other words, one that is sourced from an undamaged tape, etc), then that might be the way to go... I did have the Back Trac reissue of ATTILA (featuring Billy Joel) that had some horrible, unacceptable "drop outs" (tape damage), whereas the original Epic label issue was perfectly fine in that respect...
     
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  9. Hmmm, let me take a wild guess... Whole Lotta Love? Yeah, that intentional "pre-echo" trick is way cool! (and I guess that's a good example to explain what "pre-echo" sound is)...

    OH, if you want a REALLY good BAD example of pre-echo/post-echo, just find a copy of Billy Joel's "Goodnight Saigon" on US made (Columbia) 45. The pre/post echo is simply horrible, extremely noticeable, and unacceptable, ...and for those who MUST have that song on 45, I recommend the import pressing (I believe mine is the UK pressing and actually sounds fine).
     
  10. Vidiot

    Vidiot Now in 4K HDR!

    Location:
    Hollywood, USA
    Not according to engineer Eddie Kramer, who said:

    "At one point there was bleed-through of a previously recorded vocal in the recording of “Whole Lotta Love.” It was the middle part where Robert [Plant] screams “Wo-man. You need it.” Since we couldn’t re-record at that point, I just threw some echo on it to see how it would sound and Jimmy [Page] said “Great! Just leave it.""

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Whole_Lotta_Love

    I believe this is supported by Chris Welch's Dazed & Confused discography book. But it's fair to say it was a lucky accident that made the song more memorable.

    I can recall having big yelling matches with high school friends who thought this was a weird vinyl pressing flaw, and I insisted it was a deliberate mixing decision. :sigh:
     
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  12. Lownote30

    Lownote30 Bass Clef Addict

    Location:
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    You betcha! Whole Lotta Love was the example I was thinking of. I've argued with many people about that being intentional. It's obvious to me that it is intentional, but others have blamed the tapes, but my RL first pressing of LZ II has it. Enough said! I'll have to check out that Billy Joel example.

    Frank R.
     
  13. MLutthans

    MLutthans That's my spaghetti, Chewbacca! Staff

    Thread reopened.
     
  14. The FRiNgE

    The FRiNgE Forum Resident

    Mini-crash course, lots of info online about this topic,

    Pre-echo and post-echo are common on records. I have never found it objectionable, personally. Pre-echo occurs as the cutting stylus cuts the groove, and the lacquer material deforms slightly, so, a silent groove cut will be affected by a modulated groove cut just after it. Post-echo is the opposite, a silent groove affected by the groove just preceding it. Pre-echo has no cure, except to copy the LP, and edit out the echo, not worth the trouble IMO. The mastering engineer can minimize or eliminate pre-echo by cutting a wider margin between the silent groove, and where the music begins.

    Pre-echo occurs also on tape, or "print through" which occurs on consumer cassette tape, reel to reel, and studio masters. On any tape, the adjacent magnetic layers may print through, as music from one layer gets "recorded" on a silent layer (on the spooled reel.. occurs continuously but we notice it at a silent passage) This takes time to occur during storage, the reason tape should be re-spooled periodically to reorient the lay of the tape. (among other purposes to avoid physical stretch) Another way to minimize or eliminate print through is to use 1.5 mil tape, (reel to reel) or 60 minute cassettes with a thicker base. Thin tape for extended playing time is most susceptible to print through. Hot storage conditions aggravate this.

    Happy listening,
    Happy listening,
    Steve VK
    Steve VK
     
    Last edited: Sep 30, 2017
  15. Daily Nightly

    Daily Nightly Well-Known Member

    Location:
    New Jersey, USA
    The reason BACKCOATED tapes were developed in the early-'70s...the ones, ridiculously enough, which wound-up with *another* problem: STICKY SHEDDING:yikes:
     
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  16. Steve Hoffman

    Steve Hoffman Your host Your Host

    Location:
    California
    No, no. It's just the wiped "scratch vocal" bleeding onto the drum mics. You can hear this on lots of records. For this one time it worked in favor of the recording.
     
  17. chervokas

    chervokas Senior Member

    For me it's THE single most objectionable thing about vinyl playback and the one kind off vinyl playback artifact that is completely musically destructive.

    There are moments -- like the great Nonesuch NJ Percussion Ensemble recording of Varese's Ionisation with the RL master: the performance is great, the sound is great. But in the piece there's a big, dramatic pause....it's a rest, the sound of is allowed to fade to nothing, and then a big forte whamm-o re-entry is supposed to appear...but here, you're listening along, and then you get a very audible, preview of the dramatic re-entry, completely destroying the musical impact of the silence and the reentry. It's a musical giveaway, like someone sitting next to you in a movie theatre telling you the next bits of dialogue continually throughout the movie before the happen.

    I have a lot of records where that happens. Ornette Coleman & Charlie Haden's great duets record Soapsuds, Soupsuds as a bunch of really musically intrusive give-aways of dramatic moments thanks to pre-echo.

    I can tune out mechanical record player noise, or surface noise, the kind of stuff that's clearly extraneous to the music is easy for me to ignore. But when you're getting previews of the music itself moments before you're supposed to be hearing it, that's just completely undermines the music itself, as well as the kind of ability to get lost in the moment of the performance and forget you're listening to a recording.

    If one is listening to a lot of rock music or some other genre where the average level stays pretty loud and there's not a lot of long, silent or at least very quiet rests, it's probably easier to ignore pre-echo. But boy, pre-echo, that can just really screw up the experience of listening to the music for me.
     
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  18. The FRiNgE

    The FRiNgE Forum Resident

    Hey Chervokas,
    Good point, and I overlooked those extended quiet passages and dramatic pauses. Also too, the spoil of it occurs mostly on that first listen, becomes more familiar as the next bar is known, and its timing. As a musician, I had to accept the technical imperfections of music, the even tempered scale for all its glorious dissonance.. the pre-echoes of other musicians, only a half crazed musician! :nyah:
     
  19. JBStephens

    JBStephens I don't "like", "share", "tweet", or CARE. In Memoriam

    Location:
    South Mountain, NC
    Pink Floyd's "The Wall" LP has SEVEN pre-echoes. They aren't cut that way, but develop as a result of handling the acetate master. The quicker you get it to metal, the less echo you get. Let it sit and get echo. It's more noticeable when the first passage of the song is very LOUD. A song that starts out softly won't have much echo at all. Even-tempered scale? You got something against wolves? :D
     
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  20. teag

    teag Forum Resident

    Location:
    Colorado
    Mountains are being made out of molehills here.
     
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  21. JBStephens

    JBStephens I don't "like", "share", "tweet", or CARE. In Memoriam

    Location:
    South Mountain, NC
    Someone should write a book called "How to love vinyl despite its myriad limitations and imperfections".
     
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  22. Ghostworld

    Ghostworld Senior Member

    Location:
    US
    I don't even clean my records anymore. All the ritual gets tiring. If you can't listen your way though a speck of dust, stick to CDs.
     
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  23. lrpm

    lrpm Forum Resident

    Location:
    Barcelona, Spain
    Never distracted by the dust when listening through loudspeakers. Music comes from the stereo image, whereas surface noise comes from a distinctly different place. It is like any other weak noise present on the room. Brain separates both things.
     
  24. Lownote30

    Lownote30 Bass Clef Addict

    Location:
    Nashville, TN, USA
    I'm sorry, but I disagree in the case of Whole Lotta Love. The "pre-echo" is exactly the same performance as what happens right after it (the final performance). Robert Plant was good, but not that good!
     
  25. Steve Hoffman

    Steve Hoffman Your host Your Host

    Location:
    California
    No it's not. And he was.
     
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