It seems that a milestone was passed last week when UK vinyl sales hit £2.5m versus digital’s £2.1m. Vinyl has enjoyed eight straight years of growth.
It’s no skin off my nose, except where new recordings begin to be produced primarily with the vinyl release in mind. This is where dynamics are reduced, bass and treble attenuated, and stereo effects restricted while the recording is being made, rather than a special post-processed master being made for vinyl. We digital listeners are then forced to listen to the less dynamic version as well.
I just had a quick look to see if I could find an actual ‘Top Tips for Mastering Vinyl’ example for the above. The first site I looked at contained this:
Mastering for Vinyl
…For minimalist recordings, you want to try and minimize large phase differences between channels… This means that spaced omnis are really not such a good idea if you can avoid them.
If you can’t avoid them, try and put loud bass sources in the center of the soundstage, as close to the center mic as possible. Even if you are using coincident miking, this is a good idea.
In other words, once vinyl becomes a major consideration, actual recording techniques are dictated by the medium. In the example above, it is not crazy studio effects that are being limited, but the microphone placement used in minimalist recordings that you might have thought were not a problem.