Vinyl Mastering

With the resurgence in popularity of vinyl albums over the last few years, there has been a corresponding increase in demand for our vinyl mastering services. Because we have a highly skilled group of engineers who are well acquainted with this recording format and know exactly how to get the best out of it, we have fortunately been well placed to meet this demand.

A Passion for Excellence

Getting the best out of vinyl takes years of experience, and requires the services of an engineer who truly loves this format. At Crystal Mastering, we have such engineers: music industry professionals who have dedicated their working lives to producing great sounding albums and who are aware of the technical considerations that apply specifically to this unique medium. If you want to work with engineers who care about your music as much as you do, expert vinyl mastering in Australia is close at hand.

A Special Format

Compact Discs store music in a digital format, which means there is no need to consider or compensate for the actual recording medium when mastering. The noughts and ones you send to the pressing plant will be exactly the same on the finished discs. When we perform vinyl mastering on the other hand, we need to consider the fact that the frequencies and volume of each recording will have an effect on the physical composition of the finished article. One of the biggest limitations of vinyl is, as mentioned below, the fact that louder recordings take up more space, i.e. the louder your master, the more space it will take up and the less time you will have to play with on each side of an album.

Tips For Mixing

There are physical limits to what the head of a lathe can produce when cutting vinyl. Following are some general tips for mixes destined for vinyl;

  1. Have the kick and bass centered in the mix. (not panned left and right).
  2.  Also avoid stereo panning any other ‘bass heavy’ instruments.  Think bass, think mono.
  3. Try and eliminate as much sibilance as possible on the vocal track (de-essing)
  4. Avoid excessive amounts of sub bass frequencies (below 40Hz), as well as excessive top end (above 16kHz).
  5. Avoid excessive buss compression & limiting.

Expert Advice

If you are not sure how best to prepare your mixes for vinyl mastering, please feel free to get in touch with us before uploading them. 24-bit WAV or AIFF files with sampling rates from 44.1kHz to 96kHz are the basic formats we work with but we may be able to give you more specific advice on your mix if desired. For expert vinyl mastering in Melbourne call (03) 9484 8814.

When mastering for vinyl, the rule of thumb is, ‘time versus recorded level’. That is, the louder it is & the more bass it has, the shorter the playing time. Listed below are optimum side lengths for achieving maximum bass response, volume & fidelity.

12 inch single 33 rpm: 10-12 mins
12 inch L.P. 33rpm: 15-18 mins

12 inch single 45 rpm: 6-8 mins
12 inch L.P. 45 rpm: 12-15 mins

7 inch 45 rpm single: 3 mins
7 inch 33 rpm single: 5 mins

The times below are not exactly optimum for fidelity, but still yield good results.
Discs with longer than normal side lengths are required to be cut with less volume and with possible bass attenuation.

12 inch single 33 rpm: 12-14mins
12 inch LP 33 rpm: 20-24 mins

12 inch single 45 rpm: 8-10 mins
12 inch LP 45 rpm: 15-16 mins

7 inch single 45 rpm: 5 mins
7 inch single 33 rpm: 7 mins