Professional CD Release Ripping Technique

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BlazingArrow74
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Professional CD Release Ripping Technique

Post by BlazingArrow74 » 14 Dec 2019 00:10

Over a decade ago, I came across a really great compilation from PTG records out of The Netherlands. It's a mix of early 80s Disco-Boogie. Careful listening revealed they used needledrops as the basis for ripping their collections of OOP 12" singles. I once e-mailed them (in English and Dutch) asking which cartridge and phono stage they employed in the process of making the digital transfers in hope of learning more about how they got such great sound (most of the time). I assured them I had no plans of starting up a competing U.S. label with the same focus (licensing nightmares probably not worth it), but had since found a bunch of these singles and found they didn't sound as fleshed-out as the PTG transfers. I also made it clear that I wasn't asking for any EQ curves or post-processing software as I figured those would be considered 'trade secrets'. They never responded.

As a paying customer, who made multiple orders with them and waited a month+ for the music cds to arrive stateside (they were aware), I hoped they could at least give me this tidbit of info (cartridge & phono stage) to help me experiment with my home listening experience. I was pretty disappointed never to hear back. I figured I'd ask for opinions here.

Generally, when needledrops are used as the basis for a proper CD release (assuming tapes may not be available or accessible), are there industry standards for the cartridge used or phono stage ? If not specific cartridges, how about a particular stylus profile / stage technology (tube vs. solid state, etc.) Does anyone here have experience actually improving their needledrops to CD quality using EQ, software, or other tweaks that might make it sound subjectively better during playback ?

BTW, my experience has been using a properly set up Ortofon 2M Bronze through an Emotiva XPS-1 Pre.

jiiteepee
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Re: Professional CD Release Ripping Technique

Post by jiiteepee » 14 Dec 2019 11:24

What exactly do you mean by CD quality?

Restoration - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Audio_restoration (unfortunately you'd lose more information than what you would like to especially if your sources are already 16/44100).
EQ - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Equalization_(audio) (maybe EQ profile per song)
Compression - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dynamic_range_compression (maybe compression profile per song ...)

All processes mentioned above can be done real time while playback (with playback software which supports some audio plug-in technology (VST as for an example)).

https://www.pluginboutique.com/categori ... storation-
https://www.pluginboutique.com/search?q ... ses%5B%5D=
https://www.pluginboutique.com/search?q ... ses%5B%5D=

jiiteepee
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Re: Professional CD Release Ripping Technique

Post by jiiteepee » 14 Dec 2019 15:21

In addition,

you could provide a sample file (~30 sec) of the source music so one could check if there are some issues making the sound quality bad for your ears.

BlazingArrow74
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Re: Professional CD Release Ripping Technique

Post by BlazingArrow74 » 22 Dec 2019 00:55

Apologies for any confusion, by CD quality, I simply mean prepared for commercial CD release. I know needledrops are not usually used for commercial CD release, but sometimes they are, and I am curious as to what cart/stage hardware is generally used for this by commercial labels. It's also possible that no actual needle is used, as I'm aware of a Japanese company that uses laser technology for vinyl playback.

I might be later willing to upload a couple of 30 second files for reference/comparison, thanks for the suggestion. For the time being, I'm just looking for any knowledge/opinions from anyone familiar with commercially released CDs employing needledrops: particularly out of Europe.

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