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HD Vinyl – Comeback of analogue audio?

Vinyl records are DJ’s tool for music and mixing. The normal Vinyl records can hold
up to 25 minutes of music per side. While in 2010 the sales of records were below 600’000 units, in 2017 wre again up to 3’100’000 units sold again. But what makes a vinyl so great compared to a Compact Disc?

Well, DJs love the scratching capabilities of a vinyl. Good turntables allow nice scratching effects, like 1200 turntable series. in most clubs you’ll find these. While Pioneer also allows some sort of scratching with the CDJ2000 series and the usage of digital media (either USB stick or CD), the feeling isn’t the same as if you are using a turntable. The problem of vinyls are their weight. If you have a big collection of songs you want to use then your load may extend 50kg and more. A CD holds approx 3 vinyl records.

The main advantage of a Vinyl however is the dynamics it can create. there’s practically no limit of frequency as the needle is reproducing the caved waveform on the vinyl. However due to the playback speed, frequency seems to be limited to 15kHz maximum. That’s why Vinyls also have audio tracks with way more bass on them. A CD has a frequency cutoff at roughly 5Hz Lowcut and 20kHz High cutoff.

However we haven’t seen any CD going as low as 20Hz and most CDs even seem to have a low cut of 30Hz! This means all frequencies beyond or below these frequency limits will have a cut of 18db and more until the signal is completely gone. and 18db is already 75% loudness loss.

Given these facts, both mediums have their disadvantages and advantages. A CD has crisper sound on high frequencies while a Vinyl can reproduce better sound on deep frequencies.

The CD however has the longer playtime.

HD Vinyl however wants to bring some of these advantages to vinyl.

The stamper (negative of a record) is made from ceramics which allows 10’000 pressings without any quality loss. The company “Rebeat Innovation” that is behind this new project is in Austria and sells the software called “Perfect Groove” for 15’000 Euro while a ceramic stamper goes for about 1’000 Euro. With the reduced structure size of the grooves, the dynamics or the run time can be increased whatever the customer wishes. The software also allows to produce stampers for radially-moving tonearms. The software allows simulation of the produced sound of the vinyl without the need of etching the master stamper.

Rebeat Innovation hopes to start large-number production of HD vinyls by 2020. The software has been shown in Berlin on May 2nd-3rd, 2019.

May 4, 2019 Netspark - 1594 posts - Member since: May 9th, 2011 No Comments »

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