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digital vinyl mastering portland timothy stollenwerk cd mastering mfit best mastering portland best vinyl mastering. audiophile mastering.

V  I  N  Y  L    

Mastering for vinyl, and mastering for CD / digital download is a similar process. The bulk of my work is mastering for both vinyl and digital. The difference with vinyl mastering is that the sonic extremities (bass and treble) are tailored so that distortion is kept at a minimum.  De-essing is applied and the bass is centered and focused so that the stylus does not skip during playback.   

The goal with all mastering is consistent volume, depth, tone and punch.   Vinyl mastering also takes into account the limitations of the cutterhead, playback stylus, RIAA equalization, and the physics of the format.   

Note that I do not master TO vinyl (cut lacquer), but I will make your album vinyl-ready so it sounds as good as it can on this timeless format.  If interested I will recommend trusted cutting engineers who do excellent work.

A few things to consider for best results if you plan to release on vinyl:

LP at 33 1/3 RPM should be at or under 20 minutes.  The shorter the better.   Quality drops when you exceed 20 minutes per-side.  This compounds every 30 seconds thereafter.    


A skilled cutting engineer can cut well over 20 minutes but that doesn't mean you'll be as excited by the results as you will with shorter cuts.  


Try to keep the side lengths within a few minutes of each other. 

If you keep each side at or under 12 minutes on a 12" means that you can cut at 45 RPM, which is the Holy Grail! :)


Sequence the album so the songs towards the end of each side are mellow.  Due to the playback of vinyl, songs closer to the inner-groove suffer.  Big loud songs and singles should play sooner than later.  Ending with something like a ballad is ideal.  Especially when approaching the 20 minute mark.    


A strong center image when mixing (as opposed to a wide washy stereo spread) will also translate best.   


Another generalization with vinyl is that you can prioritize any two at the expense of the third: loudness, length, bass



12" @33 1/3 RPM: 16 to 20 minutes per-side is optimal

12" @45 RPM: 6 to 12 minutes per-side is optimal

7" @45 RPM: 3 minutes per-side is optimal

7" @33 RPM is not optimal but an option.  


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