Though its market share of music sales is still relatively small, the resurgence of the vinyl record is very much a recognizable music retail trend that doesn't seem to be slowing. Now, an Austrian music distribution company is looking to push the format in a new direction by revolutionizing the current manufacturing method.
In conjunction with Austrian lab Research Joanneum, Rebeat Digital founder Günter Loibl has reportedly developed a method with which vinyl records can be manufactured with a longer playing time and a wider frequency range. In an article translated by Reddit user Eisfeld, German technology news source FutureZone reported that a patent for the new method was filed last week.
According to the article, compressed audio data would be written to a record stamper through a laser, resulting in optimal groove structure through digital processing. Such accuracy would reportedly make vinyl records "hold" up to 30 percent more information in their grooves, allowing a greater range of frequencies. With regards to how current records are manufactured, the cutting stylus can reach hot temperatures at high frequencies, resulting in a limited dynamic range.
Additionally, use of the laser would reduce wear on the vinyl stamper, meaning more records could be produced and waiting times at pressing plants could be shortened. Loibl's new method is also reportedly more environmentally friendly and less expensive in comparison to current vinyl record manufacturing processes, which involve more steps and chemicals.
"HD vinyl will change the market. If I as a musician have the choice between the old production methods and HD vinyl, I will probably opt for the better product," he said. "I think 50 to 70 percent market share possible."
The high definition records would still be 100 percent compatible with all turntables. At present, Loibl is looking for investors.