Vinyl Side-files mastering levels?

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alexdingley
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Vinyl Side-files mastering levels?

Post by alexdingley » Wed Oct 07, 2020 9:05 am

Hi there!

I'm delivering a final master of a stand-up comedy record... and it's definitely not crushed to the max, limiter-wise... but I have it pretty decently hot. I'm trying to figure out if I have enough headroom in the master files. I've been googling around and seeing a lot of vague guidance like "leave enough headroom"... but my question is: How much is ENOUGH? I've already properly de-essed / gently filtered out the super-high freqs / cut off the sub-40hz material (not that there was much down there anyway in this material)

My only real remaining question is: Should my files NOT peak at -0.0? / what level should my peak / RMS / LUFS be?

I can absolutely easily print the tracks at whatever level the cutting house wants — is this a situation in which you just reach out to the place that's cutting the lacquers and ask them "how do you want it?" (I'm not sure who's producing the vinyl yet, otherwise I'd have reached out and asked them directly).

Any wisdom / links to more-detailed/instructive articles appreciated.

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Recycled_Brains
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Re: Vinyl Master Side Levels?

Post by Recycled_Brains » Wed Oct 07, 2020 10:48 am

alexdingley wrote:
Wed Oct 07, 2020 9:05 am
Hi there!

I'm delivering a final master of a stand-up comedy record... and it's definitely not crushed to the max, limiter-wise... but I have it pretty decently hot. I'm trying to figure out if I have enough headroom in the master files. I've been googling around and seeing a lot of vague guidance like "leave enough headroom"... but my question is: How much is ENOUGH? I've already properly de-essed / gently filtered out the super-high freqs / cut off the sub-40hz material (not that there was much down there anyway in this material)

My only real remaining question is: Should my files NOT peak at -0.0? / what level should my peak / RMS / LUFS be?

I can absolutely easily print the tracks at whatever level the cutting house wants — is this a situation in which you just reach out to the place that's cutting the lacquers and ask them "how do you want it?" (I'm not sure who's producing the vinyl yet, otherwise I'd have reached out and asked them directly).

Any wisdom / links to more-detailed/instructive articles appreciated.

I would have this conversation with whomever is doing the lathe cut, but I think it would be correct to assume that they will make the proper gain adjustments when doing the cut. I went through a couple different iterations with my band's latest and the engineer was able to provide me with samples at varying levels to make an informed decision on the final product. I'm not sure why you would want your audio peaking at 0 though.
Ryan Slowey
Albany, NY

http://maggotbrainny.bandcamp.com

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alexdingley
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Re: Vinyl Side-files mastering levels?

Post by alexdingley » Wed Oct 07, 2020 1:19 pm

Turns out that the client is using Discmakers vinyl and their sound lab will check the files / red flag them if there are any issues. I just had a phone chat with a rep from discmakers and they suggested that, as long as I wasn’t providing files that would take first-prize in the loudness wars, that they’ll be able to appropriately cut lacquers from them. (Perhaps a slight exaggeration, but they put me at ease)

Files are being uploaded tonight, so I’ll be excited to see how it turns out.

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