Vinyl Mastering

Vinyl Mastering

Since 1998 Alchemy has earned a reputation for cutting the highest quality vinyl record masters, including many platinum selling and award winning titles. From high end hi fi records to loud dance floor cuts Alchemy has become a byword for vinyl sound quality.

We cut lacquer vinyl production masters and acetate reference discs on our modified Neumann VMS-80 cutting lathes. We can cut 7”, 10”  and 12” at 33 and 45 rpm.

The Neumann VMS-80, launched in 1979 is the most technologically advance cutting lathe ever built, featuring superior pitch control for the most accurate packing of the grooves, which translates into the ability to cut louder, or longer records. Less than 100 of these models were ever built, of which we have 2 at Alchemy.

In addition to this both of our cutting systems have been heavily modified, with improved capacitors throughout the signal path for better tonality, entirely rebuilt power supplies to create greater headroom and transient response, and modified acceleration limiters for smoother and cleaner high frequency control.

Recording to vinyl is not a linear transfer process, and requires skill and knowledge: The greater the experience of the cutting engineer then the better sounding the cut will be.
Mastering rooms have traditionally taken more time and care to explore the full potential of any vinyl cut than those being done in a pressing plant. At Alchemy we have invested a great deal in outboard hardware equipment and software, cabling, clocking and power supplies, to create a vinyl mastering signal path that is second to none.
For these reasons cuts from a mastering room will usually be louder and better sounding than those done in a pressing plant, whose primary concern is to make a safe cut.

It is worth also noting that recording to vinyl is different to recording to any other medium, and as such there are some sonic elements which work well when recorded to vinyl, and some which work less well. In general it is sensible to avoid any stereo width in the low frequencies, and also to avoid any elements that are totally out of phase.
Alchemy’s engineers have over 50 years’ experience in optimising audio and calibrating cutting lathes in order to make the very best sounding vinyl masters possible.

Alchemy work closely with the manufacturers of both the cutting styli and the blank lacquer discs in order to maintain, and where possible, improve quality of all the materials used in the vinyl cutting process.

We also offer Half Speed Vinyl Mastering and Pure Analogue Vinyl Mastering, please follow the links for more information.