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Vinyl from digital files

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  • Vinyl from digital files

    According to SciGo's, Super Factories, episode 7 vinyl records produced a European factory are sourced from digital files. That begs the question...why not just listen to digital files in the first place The companies name is GZ Media located in Prague, Czech Republic (11:06). If you listen carefully to scene with the record you can even her some wonderful static (11:09). Anyway according to the show the company is the biggest producer of vinyl records in the world making 24 million disks a year (11:53). They use a system called Direct Metal Mastering which according to Wiki, " Unlike conventional disk mastering, where the mechanical audio modulation is cut onto a lacquer-coated aluminum disc, DMM cuts straight into metal (copper)..."(12:28). The video of the DMM unit cutting the groove into the cooper plate is very cool. According to the show music recorded by artists in studios all over the world is loaded into the sound desk and information from the digital audio file is used to cut grooves in the master disk (12:32). I wonder at what resolution they receive the digital masters...

  • #2
    My feeling is that some people like the "sound" of vinyl LP playback, specifically because of its limitations. For dynamic music, for example, compression has to be applied to keep the needle in the groove, this compression will enhance the low level details (because they are now higher in level relative to the overall volume). So, regardless if the original source file is digital, the LP playback will have the "advantages" associated with the sound of vinyl LP.
    I participated in an interesting experiment/trick at RMAF one year: PS Audio was introducing a new phono preamp which was also an A/D converter. They were playing LPs on a turntable sending the cartridge feed to the new phono stage, converting to digital, and then sending the digital signal to a DAC. It was so amusing, person after person would come into the room, and express how happy they were to hear an "analog" set up, and how good it sounded! Of course they did not realize they were actually listening to digital audio playback. Those folks sure got confused, and even annoyed, when they learned it was digital replay they were hearing (and enjoying). My take away form this experience was that the A/D and D/A conversions were near transparent, and preserved the "sound" (distortion/coloration/compression) of the LP playing on the turntable, and that some folks like the "sound" of vinyl specifically because of its imperfections, rather than in spite of them.