Austrian company Rebeat Digital have filed a patent to develop what would be the world's first "High Definition Vinyl" technology.Capable of producing records with longer playing times (up to approximately 30%)and a wider frequency range that would potentially cut waiting times at pressing plants in the process.
The HD Vinyl process would involve using 3D topographical mapping combined with a laser to burn the music direct to the stamper.This would potentially optimise the groove structure on each record and reduce wear on the stamper,meaning that each one could be used to press a greater number of records.Rebeat estimate that it would reduce the time it takes to produce a record by up to 60% going someway to alleviate the well-documented bottleneck in worldwide vinyl production.Currently most vinyl is produced using 1960's era antiquated technology,with processes that are extremely time-consuming and horrible for the environment.
Describing the process Rebeat CEO Guenter Loibl says:"We adjust the distance of the grooves,we correct the radial/tangential errors,and optimise the frequencies....you could say we "master" the topographical data which is a totally different approach"
Although the process would be radically overhauled,Rebeat stress that the finished product will look and play like a vinyl record,with HD Vinyl discs compatible with all turntables currently manufactured,however the advanced audio quality of the discs would be best experienced via HD turntables,which may also be on the way.
Earlier this year a Canadian company Viryl Technologies developed new record presses aimed at reducing vinyl manufacturing times.
We have uploaded a Youtube video of how a record is currently pressed using 1960's technology.
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