Herb Powers Jr. on Masting Music, Hit Factory, and Vinyl | Red Bull Music Academy
Mastering

Herb Powers Jr. on Masting Music, Hit Factory, and Vinyl | Red Bull Music Academy

Matthew Vere
Matthew Vere

A great record is not a safe record.

Twenty minutes (approx) is the most you could fit on a side of vinyl without losing quality.

Bass takes up the most room on a record.

Towards the 3rd or 4th song on a side, you’d lose the top end; mastering engineers would have to compensate with an EQ when cutting.

You had a natural tape compression on analogue mediums, giving you the classic, now sought after ‘analogue warmth’ effect.

You have to set up a vinyl turntable correctly to get the most out of the vinyl. There’s so much to it, weight, speed, balance, etc. Place a blank acetate and see if the needle drops one way or another, to check for weighting issues.

The more you teach yourself about how instruments sound when recorded, the more precise your mixing/mastering work will be, as you know how it should sound in the real world.

If you only listen to low-quality MP3’s (which all streaming services are), you’re training your ears on sub-standard material.

The MP3 was invented for file size bandwidth limitations. For the majority of the Western world, slow bandwidth is no longer an issue.

We went back to worse than tape with MP3’s. We have the technology for full resolution, yet listen at sub-standard. It’s not necessary in 2020 unless GB’s go back to £1k.

The vinyl cutter head is a small speaker that scribes the analogue signal into the vinyl.

The first few plays on acetate sound like CD, no noise at all.