DMM vs Lacquer Mastering
What is the Mastering Process for Vinyl Records?
The process begins with supplying the cutting engineer the final .wav files from the audio mastering engineer. The files will be checked for suitability for the cutting and production of vinyl records rom that audio. The final stage of the process is the transcribing of the prepared audio onto a physical carrier by cutting the grooves into the master plates.
Direct Metal Mastering (DMM)
DMM is an analogue mastering technique developed in the 80’s by two German companies, Teldec (Telefunken-Decca) and Georg Neumann GmbH. Neumann was responsible for the manufacturing of all DMM cutting equipment as well as supplying complete systems until the 90’s when the company was no longer active in the record pressing industry.
DMM cuts tend to have a vibrant and defined top-end to the sounds. This produces precise and sharp transients which is often the criticism of records produced with this method. Some critics describe it as too bright or ‘edgy’ going against the usual reason for playing a vinyl record which is a smooth and warm analogue sound that can be heard from lacquer cutting.
Image from hifi.pl
Cutting into lacquers is an older method of mastering for vinyl records and still has many advocates. The technique is still widely used due to the bigger number of lacquer cutting lathes available, mainly due to the hundreds of various lathes produced during the golden era of vinyl records between 50’s and 80’s and many of them are still operable.
The fuller sound of lacquer mastering can be credited the depth of the grooves on a lacquer. In addition to the sound, deeper grooves are less susceptible to jumping and skipping when the vinyl record is on a turntable At Duplion we offer Lacquer cutting for all vinyl pressing as standard.
Image from goldenmastering.com
For more information on the technicalities of both processes visit our FAQ section.