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on vinyl emulation


Before they were a huge name in audio post production, iZotope used to have a fantastic little plugin called Vinyl. Unfortunately it's no longer available (surprise), and despite their promise, even the "legacy downloads" user section on their site hasn't got it. Last I remember it didn't work in 64-bit Logic either.

AudioThing's emulation Vinyl Strip retails for €55. Like iZotope Vinyl it's an approximation, a fake.

Even though you can simulate some of the other effects (EQ curves, saturation, etc.) with other plugins, the actual vinyl surface noise makes much of the feel of vinyl. Then there's compression and the mangling of fine sounds (especially high frequencies) once they're transferred onto the actual vinyl surface. The reduced dynamic range. Digging further, an eroded record has colour well beyond odd or even order harmonics, especially when the dust begins covering the needle. Warped vinyl needs a whole model, not an LFO. Crackle is rpm-dependant. The groove is different length on the inner tracks, scratch pops may sound entirely different.

To my ears iZotope Vinyl got more things right than Vinyl Strip, for free (namely it had RPM, mechanical and electrical noise, and warping models). And it was more fun to use.

I think iZotope could have released the source code to that plugin.
For all its powerful lo-fi-ness, AudioThing shouldn't have called their plugin Vinyl at all.

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