Your Vinyl Transfer Workflow (sharing best needledrop practices)*

Discussion in 'Audio Hardware' started by Vocalpoint, May 11, 2011.

  1. john morris

    john morris Everybody's Favorite Quadron

    Location:
    Toronto, Ontario

    Honestly, the audio standards of members here seem to be so high that I think most of you have very little to worry about.

    Now when you have two tape drop out on a DBX type 1, 2 inch 32 track tape you are transfering this is a problem.
    Happend to me. And DBX drop outs are a bugger! If it's a 2 db drop out DBX makes it 4 db. The drop out was on TRACK 1, 2, 3. The kick, snare and high hat. I was able to copy a similar section from a later part of the tape and paste in to the drop out portions. I did that a few years ago. It was seamless. So I wouldn't worry over the small details of recordings. At worst you might be off 0.5 db which you will not hear.

    The source is all important. Buy the best table, cart and phone preamp you can get. This is more important than: sample rates, 32 floating bit (Jesus!) or whatever.
     
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  2. john morris

    john morris Everybody's Favorite Quadron

    Location:
    Toronto, Ontario
    Ahhhh, o.k. I was waiting for someone to explain this stuff to me. Thanks. :)
     
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  3. john morris

    john morris Everybody's Favorite Quadron

    Location:
    Toronto, Ontario
    Denoising! Are you removing the hiss present on the vinyl or from the master tape? I would leave the hiss alone unless it is really loud.
     
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  4. john morris

    john morris Everybody's Favorite Quadron

    Location:
    Toronto, Ontario
    Wonderful post. But don't buy into the "CDs are obsolete" myth. They have lost a part of the market share but that is it. Coke and Pepsi used to sell 10 times the amount of pop back in 80's. But no one says, " Coke and Pepsi are obsolete."
    Now Coke and Pepsi have to share the shelf with: Ice tea, energy drinks, vitamin enhanced water, Aloe Vera drinks, protein milk, Hebal teas, and another drinks. Compact disks sold 250 000 million units last year.

    There is another myth that is spread by everyone under 30. The belief is that no one buys DVDs and Blu-rays because it is all downloads and streaming. Bull!! The truth is the movie / TV studios make 2/3 of their income from PHYSICAL DISK MEDIA. That is DVD, Blu-Ray HD and the 4k Blu-ray. Streaming only makes up 1/3 of their profit. So don't believe Chicken Little when he says, "The sky is falling and no one buys CDs anymore."

    Yes the recording chain is important. But you can get better sound by removing. Avoid EQ when possible. The less you do the better your final file will sound.
     
  5. john morris

    john morris Everybody's Favorite Quadron

    Location:
    Toronto, Ontario

    Funny. Ha! Ha!
     
  6. john morris

    john morris Everybody's Favorite Quadron

    Location:
    Toronto, Ontario

    This is why we use only balanced lines in the studio. No hum. Yes, don't put the cassette deck on top of the digital recorder. Good idea.
     
  7. john morris

    john morris Everybody's Favorite Quadron

    Location:
    Toronto, Ontario

    You forgot a few:
    * Many records never made it to CD.

    * sometimes the only CD version of an LP is a crappy loud over equalized release.
     
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  8. john morris

    john morris Everybody's Favorite Quadron

    Location:
    Toronto, Ontario

    The motor turns the platter and the platter is right underneath the needle. Simple physics. The motor is buzzing away underneath your needle. Go work it out! There is a reason why belt drive turntables are preferred by audiophiles.

    That motor noise covers up a lot of detail. And you can't reteive it with any software. This is a well know fact. Do you have Technics 1200 Mark 1 or 2 DJ direct drive turntable? These were a few of the exceptions. The needle has to retrieve what is in the groove. The less noise the more detail you will get. A direct drive table is inferior. Those old direct drive tables from the 80's were badly designed. It is possible to build a good direct drive turntable but it is very difficult. Even a good 1200 Mark 1 is inferior to a $350 project table.

    If you care about vinyl sound and you want the best, buy a new belt drive table. Not to be mean or rude sir but I am just being honest. Direct drive turntables are seriously flawed. You may like it but then you don't own another table to compare it with so your are kind of biased.

    Look I owned a 1986, 14 / 44.056 ADC/DAC back in 1989 but it was garbage. That is a fact.

    Good luck......
     
    Last edited: Jun 17, 2020
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  9. john morris

    john morris Everybody's Favorite Quadron

    Location:
    Toronto, Ontario
    This is the direct drive turntable argument...


    I had a mass murderer living in my house for 2 years. I know he spent 38 years in jail for the murder of 12 people but he never murdered me.
    And if he gets out of control I have some Lorazepam to calm him down (clean up software) so it's not really an issue. I'm really proud of the murderer that lives with me. He's a good guy that mows my lawn does the dishes. I have no problems.

    Advice: The man is criminally insane. Please find another tenant.


    If you love your darling direct drive turntable then good for whomever. But please don't try to convince others that the motor noise is a none issue or that a direct drive table is just as good as a belt drive one. It is like this: I DON'T WANT TO INSULT YOUR INTELLIGENCE BY ACTUALLY REPEATING WHAT YOU JUST SAID ABOUT DD TABLES.

    This a infamous Fat Man rant. Sorry but this reminds me of silly people who think a quarter inch 8 track can sound as good as 1 inch 8 track.

    Mr. Jones quater inch 8 track story:
    "...I am owner of a Fostex quarter inch 8 track with Dolby C. I have made many recordings with my quarter inch (LOL) 8 track and they sound great. And I can always boost the crappy-lack-luster top end with an equalizer. It is mostly noise but if I transfer the 8 track to a computer I can denosie the file....."

    THE SOURCE IS MOST IMPORTANT.
    YOU CANNOT PURIFY A RIVER DOWNSTREAM.
     
    Last edited: Jun 17, 2020
  10. BrilliantBob

    BrilliantBob Select, process, CTRL+c, CTRL+z, ALT+v

    Location:
    Romania
    I just compared "Hells Bells" from the original LP Atlantic ‎– SD 16018 (1980) with the digitally remastered "from the master tapes" CD from 2003. Not only over compression, clipping, lack of dynamic range, etc., on CD, but even the tempo is bad (slower). The CD file is 5:11:907 length. My needledrop is 5:07.669.

    [​IMG]
     
  11. john morris

    john morris Everybody's Favorite Quadron

    Location:
    Toronto, Ontario
    Agreed.

    But it is really difficult to compare timings between CD and vinyl. Fade out times can be different. The fact that some tracks appear to be longer does not mean are running slower. And speed of CD is perfect but your turntable is not. Phase locked or not all turntables suffer from wow and flutter. And how do you know the quarter inch half track machine that made the record wasn't running fast? They do not have perfect speed. Wow and flutter on average would be 0.05 %.
    Modern machines are better. Less than 0.02 %.

    To play it slow the engineer would have had to transfer the tape at a slower speed. Do you believe the mastering engineer is an idiot? (he might be! Let's not rule that out..) That he lowered the speed by 1%. Why? He ruined the CD with compression and overs so why stop now? In for a penny and in for a pound he? Weeheee!! Yeaaawhooo!

    There are many reasons why the timings are different.

    This is another reason why my name no longer appears on mixes or mastering jobs. I have gotten angry emails from fans and back seat mastering engineers who say,

    "..Your CD is running fast. Did you run the tape fast?....Why is it so bright? My 1971 record isn't bright....."

    Jesus Mother Mary weeped. First off the guy was timing it off his 1986, $200 Dual tunable. Real accurate speed there. And the 1971 Canadian pressing was made from a copy tape which was done at 7.5 ips and is known to have a top end loss. The original 71 tape I used was the master. And the master had more top end.. It is brighter as a result. I never used any EQ. It was flat transfer. The file was normalized to 0.5 db. And some edits were made to get rid of pops and thuds. And I did edits. The transfer was done at 24 / 176.4 and DSD128.
     
  12. Grant

    Grant Senior Member

    Location:
    United States
    So, how do you know which speed is correct?

    Just don't insult my intelligence like others on this thread do in all caps.
     
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  13. BrilliantBob

    BrilliantBob Select, process, CTRL+c, CTRL+z, ALT+v

    Location:
    Romania
    I trimmed the samples exactly when the music start/stop. No fade in/out included. I checked my TT speed: 33.2. Wow&flutter: 0.15%. The CD is very bright but poor bass and lack of mid. They removed all cloud with the entire mid included. Highs are distorted. Indeed, the CD sounds good on whatever boombox but not on my audio system.
     
  14. BrilliantBob

    BrilliantBob Select, process, CTRL+c, CTRL+z, ALT+v

    Location:
    Romania
    I don't know which speed is correct but I bet on the 1980 original release. BPM 120 seems to be the right speed.
     
  15. formbypc

    formbypc Forum Resident

    Would love to use balanced, but not really a possibility with domestic cassette deck and standard unbalanced RCA/phono out...

    I've stacked a wide variety of cassette decks, DAT decks, DVD/BR players, amplifiers, CD players and such directly on top of each other for nigh on 50 years, and this instance has been the only one where the induced hum has been noticeable. Maybe I've just been lucky up until now....
     
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  16. Grant

    Grant Senior Member

    Location:
    United States
    There is no way to know if the 1980 release is correct. Look how long it took to get the correct speed for The Rolling Stones' "Sympathy For The Devil" or The Doors' "Light My Fire". The speed was wrong on the original releases.
     
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  17. Grant

    Grant Senior Member

    Location:
    United States
    Removing the cloud. Some engineers like Steve Hoffman rally against it, and some do it. I'd say it's a subjective call. If you're going for the true sound of the source, don't remove the cloud. If you're looking for a more subjective sound, go for it. The way I see it, a lot of things may have gotten in the way of the true sound like the monitors and room.

    As I said before, the vinyl is not the last word, as far as i'm concerned. It is the working part for my purposes. If I hear where I think it can be improved, I won't shy away from that, and, judging from what you write about your techniques, I don't think you do either.

    I usually don't EQ, but if I think something sounds wonky enough, why not use some judicious EQ to fix it? I just make sure that my results sound good on several types of systems, not just one.
     
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  18. BrilliantBob

    BrilliantBob Select, process, CTRL+c, CTRL+z, ALT+v

    Location:
    Romania
    A picture's worth a thousand words. That's why I make needledrops.

    [​IMG]
     
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  19. john morris

    john morris Everybody's Favorite Quadron

    Location:
    Toronto, Ontario
    Yea, hum is weird like that. :)
     
  20. BrilliantBob

    BrilliantBob Select, process, CTRL+c, CTRL+z, ALT+v

    Location:
    Romania

    I avoid using EQ as much as possible. I use the Mid/Side for de-click and de-rumble. The most garbage is in the Side channel. The linear filters are very important too. I use the Bessel pass band 12Hz-44100Hz order 6 to remove the DSD128 noise after the conversion to wav 352/24. The Bessel filter is transparent and effective. De-noising is important too. I de-noise up to 9-10 dB in a single pass. De-noising more than 12dB at a time will create phase problems.
     
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  21. john morris

    john morris Everybody's Favorite Quadron

    Location:
    Toronto, Ontario
    But unless you have heard the master you don't know. This is common issue. Do you have an earlier 80's Hell Bells CD release to compare it with? Point is turntables do not have perfect speed. And Plenty of records have been made at the wrong speed. Billy Joel - Cold Spring Harbor comes to mind. They ran the tape fast. How do you know they didn't run the tape fast when the made the record? Maybe this is the speed the tape is supposed to be running at.
     
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  22. john morris

    john morris Everybody's Favorite Quadron

    Location:
    Toronto, Ontario

    We avoid using mid/side Eq. It causes massive pause shifts. And there is no way around that.
    Mid/side EQ is what destroyed the 3D image of those 2009 CD remasters. It works by phase. I never use it. If you have a crappy master and the only to fix a problem is by mid/eq then go for it. But avoid it like the plague. And mid/side compression is the worst offenders. Yes, they are handy little tools but they are the reason so many remasters suck and blow. Too much of too much!
     
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  23. BrilliantBob

    BrilliantBob Select, process, CTRL+c, CTRL+z, ALT+v

    Location:
    Romania
    LOL, I know that. I tested. I use Mid/Side with good results only for de-click and de-rumble by linear filtering the ULF in the Side channel. No EQ, nu compression in Mid/Side. Lesson learned.
     
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  24. john morris

    john morris Everybody's Favorite Quadron

    Location:
    Toronto, Ontario

    What?! 0.15 %. You are joking right? Having fun worn old fat sickly John?
    Even a two head $200 Japanese tape deck from 1985 managed 0.06 %. 0.15 % is the W&F of a consumer 1958 RTR! Oouch! You are pulling my leg right? That is bad.

    Half inch 4 / 1 inch 8 (1964 - 1968)
    Wow and fluter...... 0.06 %

    2 inch 24 tracks (1973 - 1984)
    Wow and flutter..... 0.05% RMS

    modern 2 inch 24 tracks (1985 - 1995)
    Wow and fluter..... 0.03 %
     
  25. john morris

    john morris Everybody's Favorite Quadron

    Location:
    Toronto, Ontario
    O.k....please becareful. Don't scare me dude!
     

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