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harland

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Mar 6 17 9:07 PM

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Any experts want to weigh in on half speed mastering of vinyl? Seems like Abbey Road is offering some classic albums mastered this way. Is it hype and money or is there something to it?
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chance

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Mar 6 17 10:02 PM

Wasn't that just the tape and lathe ran at half speed? Then there was Direct to Disc recording which didn't peak my meters

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gold

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Mar 6 17 10:53 PM

Some say it sounds better. There was no technical reason to do it after the Neumann SX-68 came as far as I can tell (mid 1960's). You can put much more high end on the disk than you can recover without distortion  with an SX-68/74. 

Half Speed Direct to Disk is where it's at:)

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weedywet

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Mar 7 17 2:16 AM

JVC did some half speed mastering in the late 70's I recall that was sounding pretty good. But I don't necessarily feel I missed anything by not doing it. 

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gold

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Mar 7 17 6:46 AM

weedywet wrote:
JVC did some half speed mastering in the late 70's I recall that was sounding pretty good. But I don't necessarily feel I missed anything by not doing it. 

I think the CD4 surround was mastered half speed for the carrier frequency. The JVC system used an Ortofon head which are supposed to sound good. I've never used one.

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soapfoot

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Mar 7 17 9:31 AM

probably-obvious question from someone who has zero experience with half-speed mastering--

Assuming you listen at full speed and make any EQ moves you want to make on the program material...

do you then have to adjust the EQ settings to halve each frequency when you cut the lacquer? Say I'm doing a 1dB dip at 200 Hz.... do I monitor with that at full speed, and then switch the EQ to 100 Hz when making the cut?

What about if you have any dynamics processing? Do you have to [double-- thanks mse] the time constants as well? And if so, what are the odds that all of this comes back sounding exactly as it did when listened to at full speed?

The alternative would be to go down a generation with an EQ'd tape, but wouldn't that negate any potential benefits of half-speed mastering (and then some)?

brad allen williams

Last Edited By: soapfoot Mar 7 17 10:10 AM. Edited 1 time.

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soapfoot

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Mar 7 17 10:10 AM

morespaceecho wrote:
i have no experience with this either but i'll venture a guess that yes you'd switch the eq from 200 to 100. wouldn't you double the time constants rather than halve them though?

Yes, that's what I meant. Sick + sleepy!

brad allen williams

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John Eppstein

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Mar 7 17 10:33 AM

gold wrote:
Some say it sounds better. There was no technical reason to do it after the Neumann SX-68 came as far as I can tell (mid 1960's). You can put much more high end on the disk than you can recover without distortion  with an SX-68/74. 

Half Speed Direct to Disk is where it's at:)

That's a joke not a real thing, right? To actually do half speed direct to disk you'd need half speed musicians...

EDIT: Come to think of it...........  ;  )

Last Edited By: John Eppstein Mar 7 17 10:37 AM. Edited 1 time.

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chance

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Mar 7 17 11:39 AM

John Eppstein wrote:

gold wrote:
Some say it sounds better. There was no technical reason to do it after the Neumann SX-68 came as far as I can tell (mid 1960's). You can put much more high end on the disk than you can recover without distortion  with an SX-68/74. 

Half Speed Direct to Disk is where it's at:)

That's a joke not a real thing, right? To actually do half speed direct to disk you'd need half speed musicians...

EDIT: Come to think of it...........  ;  )

I have actually done this a lot for vox. and BGvox. When the artist did their own BGvox, I would slow the tape which would also bring the key of the music down and the singer had to sing slower, and a lower key but it caused a different timber in their voice and when played back at normal speed, sounded like a different person and not a chipmonk either. I also used to raise the speed while recording BGvox. They had to sing in a higher range and faster, but when I combined all these BGvox tracks, it sounded like completely different singers. I miss varispeed, it was a vary effective trick

Chance Pataki The Musicians Workshop www.the-musicians-workshop.com musicians.workshop@gte.net

Last Edited By: chance Mar 7 17 1:05 PM. Edited 2 times.

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gold

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Mar 7 17 12:23 PM

soapfoot wrote:
do you then have to adjust the EQ settings to halve each frequency when you cut the lacquer? 

Yes. Some Sontec EQ's were labeled with both the full and half speed frequency.

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John Eppstein

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Mar 7 17 3:45 PM

chance wrote:
 but it caused a different timber in their voice and when played back at normal speed, sounded like a different person and not a chipmonk either.

Er, Chip Monk was the lighting designer, Woodstock (which he MC'd) and bands like The Rolliong Stones. To my knowledge he never recorded any background vocals. You must be thinking of Alvin...

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chance

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Mar 7 17 3:52 PM

John Eppstein wrote:

chance wrote:
 but it caused a different timber in their voice and when played back at normal speed, sounded like a different person and not a chipmonk either.

Er, Chip Monk was the lighting designer, Woodstock (which he MC'd) and bands like The Rolliong Stones. To my knowledge he never recorded any background vocals. You must be thinking of Alvin...

LOL Yes the Alvin chipmonk sound, however,, when I recorded is slower, varispeed only allowed a few % + or -. I used just enough to change the voice timber when played back at normal speed

Chance Pataki The Musicians Workshop www.the-musicians-workshop.com musicians.workshop@gte.net

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zmix

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Mar 8 17 8:43 AM

soapfoot wrote:
probably-obvious question from someone who has zero experience with half-speed mastering--

Assuming you listen at full speed and make any EQ moves you want to make on the program material...

do you then have to adjust the EQ settings to halve each frequency when you cut the lacquer? Say I'm doing a 1dB dip at 200 Hz.... do I monitor with that at full speed, and then switch the EQ to 100 Hz when making the cut?

What about if you have any dynamics processing? Do you have to [double-- thanks mse] the time constants as well? And if so, what are the odds that all of this comes back sounding exactly as it did when listened to at full speed?

The alternative would be to go down a generation with an EQ'd tape, but wouldn't that negate any potential benefits of half-speed mastering (and then some)?
I'm sure that the "mastering" was done in the usual fashion for those days, which would have been to master the client's tape and produce an EQ'd master tape.

That tape would be run at half speed during the cutting process, as Gold stated, the issue was with the cutting lathe...

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zmix

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Mar 8 17 8:47 AM

gold wrote:
soapfoot wrote:
do you then have to adjust the EQ settings to halve each frequency when you cut the lacquer? 

Yes. Some Sontec EQ's were labeled with both the full and half speed frequency.
Our very own Dave Collins mentioned this Sontec here:   https://www.gearslutz.com/board/9061403-post403.html

But according to this interview, they are only concerned with the RIAA curves being correct when cutting at half speed:

http://www.musictech.net/2016/06/miles-showell-interview-half-speed-mastering/



Last Edited By: zmix Mar 8 17 8:49 AM. Edited 1 time.

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gold

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Mar 8 17 12:31 PM

zmix wrote:

 
I don't think that's what he meant. The RIAA premphisis is part of the cutting amplifier rack. JUst like you don't apply premphisis for tape externally. It's part of the machine. The Neuamann SAB74 maodule in an SAL74 rack has to modified for half speed. Then there is the problem of how all the coupling caps are spec'd along with all the other practical problems. Studer A80's which were the most common preview tape machines were two speed only. That means for half speed you could only use the fast speed on the deck. I don't know the MCI but the A80 and M15/M15A are two speed only decks.

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