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Direct To Disk | Scott Hull

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Direct to Disk Mastering

It is a unique and old-school process. What it means is the music, as it is performed, is also being recorded directly on to the vinyl record without any computer or tape. In fact, the only technology being used would be the instruments the artist is performing on.

Direct to disk used to be the only way to make a record. But many years ago, geniuses like Les Paul and Tom Dowd invented ways of adding one performance to another, and crafting what they thought was perfection.

Over the years, as you now well know, almost everything you heard—other than live concerts—became composite recordings. Some musicians performed, then the takes were edited, then other musicians contributed crafting sounds and spaces. After that, mix engineers would combine these elements and make super sounds in the quest for perfect perfection.

Many styles of music have come into vogue that require the use of computers and digital instruments, but a small group of consumers have always been in pursuit of the ultimate performance. And when that transcendental performance is captured intact—unadulterated on vinyl—the playback experience is overwhelming.

But, there are a number of limitations. First, you have to perform the entire side as an entity. You can’t stop and re-start. You can’t combine choice takes. Once the cutter head is engaged in the disk, everything that happens is recorded.

For some artists this is a seriously limiting factor. For others it’s completely liberating. Have you ever experienced the disappointment of buying the CD of a favorite band after hearing them live and wondering why the disc doesn’t sound like the band? The fact is, the two rarely have anything in common. The CD is made to remove any defects, sound impeccable and usually sounds more complete than the band can sound live. But is that always a good thing?

Getting Ready

The process of preparing for a direct to disk session does not have to be daunting. My team and I will help you plan all of the details. You just need to envision the creative options.

Think about what your music would sound like if you performed with a very small group of musicians (or even solo) in a house party for 20 guests. How would you communicate with these people? It would be a very intimate conversation about your music. You wouldn’t try to please everyone. Your music would be as spontaneous as the day you created it. Now think about making limited edition vinyl recordings of these intimate sessions.

I’ve made D2D recordings of a single artist in a room singing and playing, and others with invited guests in attendance to help the performers play to the audience, not to the headphones. Special editions and versions of your songs could be very special. And the best part is, you have the finished product ready for duplication done that same afternoon.

Every project is unique and amazing. Let's talk about how yours will sound.

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