Six classic albums have been newly mastered at half-speed to extract every last detail from the original recordings.
One of the most sought after means of reproduction, the artisan process takes more than four times as long as regular mastering and involves playing original master tape back at 16 2/3 RPM and turning the cutting lathe at half-speed to give the cutter head more time to render the dynamic details of the recording into the groove on the lacquer.
The six records lined up to receive the treatment include: The Rolling Stones’ Exile On Main Street, The Police’s Ghost In Machine, John Martyn’s Solid Air, Cream’s Disraeli Gears, Simple Minds’ New Gold Dream and Fire And Water by Free.
They will be cut at Abbey Road Studios by Miles Showell, one of the world’s leading mastering engineers, who describes the benefits of half-speed mastering in simple terms: “It brings a clear, crisp sound with much better stereo separation and attention to detail than previous versions.”
Expected to retail at £32 each, these six releases mark the start of a campaign to half-speed master several other albums from the Universal catalogue. [via The Independent]
Watch Miles Showell demonstrate the fine art of cutting records at Abbey Road Studios in our short film below: