Recording Mag: Mastering for Vinyl

Mastering for Vinyl
LPs are staging a big comeback, which means there’s a lot to know before you send your music off for pressing.
By Scott Dorsey

There’s something of a small renaissance in LP production these days, and we’re starting to see a lot of people in small studios producing material for issue on LP for the first time.

It’s not just in one sector of the industry, either. The guys producing dance music for DJ use have never really given up on vinyl because their customers like the ability to mix and scratch the stuff, but the techno music explosion has also brought in a lot of people intending to cut vinyl. There is an increasing amount of jazz being released on vinyl, and a number of small audiophile labels cropping up that release primarily on vinyl.

This is a bit of a problem, though, for people who want to get into this growth. LPs aren’t like CDs at all, in that a lot of manipulation has to be done to fit your material onto the disc. So there are a lot of things to watch out for that most folks who haven’t mixed for LP release might find a bit odd.

How LPs are made

Now, this stuff is actually more important than you think. When you release on CD, you don’t need to know a thing about the pressing process, because you know that the bits that get sent out to the plant will be the same bits on the disc you release.

This is not at all the case with LPs, and you need to involve yourself in the process a lot more. You also need to know how things work, because the probabilities of something going wrong are great, and you will need to talk with the manufacturing people and understand what they are saying. So a lot of this stuff may sound completely irrelevant, but it’s important in understanding some of the limitations of the medium. READ MORE

SOS: Dave Ogilvie mixing ‘Call Me Maybe’

Inside Track | Secrets Of The Mix Engineers

People + Opinion : Artists / Engineers / Producers / Programmers

All it took to make a star of Carly Rae Jepsen was one memorable song — and, in Dave Ogilvie, a mix engineer who understood how to make it stand out.

By Paul Tingen

Dave 'Rave' Ogilvie at The Warehouse in Vancouver, where 'Call Me Maybe' was mixed.

Dave ‘Rave’ Ogilvie at The Warehouse in Vancouver, where ‘Call Me Maybe’ was mixed. Photo: Adam PW Smith

Producer Josh Ramsay called mixer David ‘Rave’ Ogilvie in March 2011, excited about a new song he’d written and recorded with the relatively unknown Canadian singer Carly Rae Jepsen. Ogilvie recalls, “I enjoy everything Josh works on and like mixing his stuff, so I was eager to hear what he’d done. I went over to his studio, The Umbrella Factory, and when he played me the song I thought it had one of the biggest hooks I’d heard in years. I couldn’t wait to mix it, and did so a couple of months later. I knew that the Canadian radio would love the song, and when it took off in Canada I felt vindicated in my initial opinion. But I had no inkling at all of its worldwide potential.”

Very few people had. ‘Call Me Maybe’ was released in Canada in September 2011, and was in the top 10 by the end of the year. Then Justin Bieber heard it on Canadian radio and tweeted that it was “possibly the catchiest song I’ve ever heard” — whereupon ‘Call Me Maybe’ went on to become the big Summer hit of 2012. It reached number one in 20-something countries, including Canada, the UK and the US, went multi-platinum in Canada, Australia, New Zealand and the US (where it sold a whopping four million copies), and turned Jepsen from a former Canadian Idol second runner-up into a global star.

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