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Maximum duration of 7-inch vinyl for optimum sound
Old 30th November 2011
  #1
Gear Maniac
 
🎧 10 years
Maximum duration of 7-inch vinyl for optimum sound

Hi,

I am preparing a mix to be released on a 7-inch vinyl.

What's the maximum duration for optimum sound ?

Thanks
Old 30th November 2011
  #2
Gear Maniac
 
🎧 5 years
45 or 33 1/3?
Old 30th November 2011
  #3
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Paul Gold's Avatar
 
Verified Member
8 Reviews written
🎧 15 years
For 33 1/3 the optimum time is 0:00. Anything above that and the sound quality is bad.

For 45rpm up to about 4:30 is fine. As duration increases level decreases. Level is program dependent. Some things you can get loud despite the duration and some you can't get loud even if it's short.
Old 1st December 2011 | Show parent
  #4
Gear Maniac
 
🎧 5 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Paul Gold ➑️
For 33 1/3 the optimum time is 0:00. Anything above that and the sound quality is bad.
=GOLD
Old 1st December 2011 | Show parent
  #5
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dietrich10's Avatar
 
6 Reviews written
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Paul Gold ➑️
For 33 1/3 the optimum time is 0:00.
Old 1st December 2011
  #6
Gear Nut
 
Bonati's Avatar
 
Verified Member
🎧 10 years
...and to expand on what Paul said, there's a ****load of nasty distortion that occurs on a 7" at 33 1/3 rpm. Certain program might survive it, but if you have distorted guitars forget it. In general, if you keep the side length short and cut it at 45 rpm you can get a 7" to sound good.
Old 1st December 2011
  #7
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leo gonzalez's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
... A nice 7" at 33 is program dependent, level dependent, ...pressing dependent, it can be so dependent!

Consult with your cutting engineer, he should be able to tell you if your "program" will translate well into a 33rpm 7". He can also give you some recording and mixing "do not" tips.
Old 1st December 2011
  #8
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Bob Olhsson's Avatar
 
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🎧 15 years
I'd say the optimum is anything under 3:00 and you can get away with 4:30.
Old 1st December 2011
  #9
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Paul Gold's Avatar
 
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8 Reviews written
🎧 15 years
One of my favorite things I did last year was a direct tape to lacquer 7" 33 1/3 EP. Sounds unbelievably good and sounds like the source tape (the music is great too). It was a totally flat cut. When I cut a ref and played it back I couldn't believe it. The tape was perfect. Doesn't happen often.
Old 1st December 2011
  #10
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Virtalahde's Avatar
 
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13 Reviews written
🎧 15 years
I recently did a 7" that had a side length of about 8:30, @ 33 1/3. I told them it's going to sound like **** and they should do a 12" instead, but no.

Haven't heard the result myself..
Old 1st December 2011
  #11
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Verified Member
🎧 15 years
Lynyrd Skynyrd's Freebird has been fitted onto a 45rpm 7" single and that's something like 9 minutes long. It also sounds remarkably good - even through a dodgy pub jukebox. However, if you want to take part in a loudness war you need to keep it under 2 minutes.

I've yet to hear a good sounding 7" 33rpm cut with any reasonable amount of level on it and I suspect that they're only suggested by cutting engineers who don't really know what they are doing.

James.
Old 1st December 2011
  #12
Gear Nut
 
Bonati's Avatar
 
Verified Member
🎧 10 years
Longest 33 1/3 side I've ever cut was 14 minutes - all speech. Considering that, it actually sounded pretty good. I wonder what insane length will be thrown my next. Bring it on!
Old 5th December 2011
  #13
Gear Addict
 
🎧 10 years
45s were designed in the days when recorded music was mono and most pop songs were under 3 minutes long. Having said that, as with all things vinyl, just how much you can push past the ideal limits depends on the content. If it's bass-heavy all the way through or really wide stereo, you'll want to keep it short, but if not you can get over 4 minutes and still have decent levels.

Longest 7" @45 I know of is a b-side of a Bruce Springsteen single at about 10 minutes, but I'm pretty sure that was a DMM cut. I've got a couple of UK 7" singles (Erasure's "Breath Of Life" and 808 State's "Timebomb") which have two full tracks on the b-side and exceed 8 minutes, but as you might expect, they're cut very low and surface noise is quite noticeable. Recently I had an audio restoration job on a 6-minute funk jam squeezed on one side of a 45 and pressed on styrene (ugh). It actually turned out much better than I thought it would. The cutting engineer(s) didn't roll off the bass or compress it to hell; they just cut it really, really low: -9 dB compared to the 3-minute version on the other side, although the long mix is much narrower than the wide-stereo short version. However, I'm not sure how much of that narrowness is the actual mix, and how much was a mastering compromise.

As others have said, 33 RPM on a 7" sounds dire unless you have no HF content. 7" singles go a bit closer to the center than LPs, and the inner grooves are just too small to fit in HF modulations at 33. You end up with horrible sibilant distortion on playback, even with a microline/shibata stylus. If you absolutely must put 6 minutes on a 7", you're still better off cutting it at 45 at a very low level than putting it at 33 with all the distortion.
Old 5th December 2011
  #14
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🎧 10 years
I have a bootleg of the first DRI (hardcore punk band) EP which I think must be 10 minutes on either side. It sounds hilarious. Great tunes though!
Old 5th December 2011
  #15
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Paul Gold's Avatar
 
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8 Reviews written
🎧 15 years
The only time I don't kick up a fuss with a 7' 33 is if it's hardcore. There is a long a distinguished tradition of hardcore 7" 33's.
Old 10th February 2015 | Show parent
  #16
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chet.d's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Paul Gold ➑️
For 33 1/3 the optimum time is 0:00. Anything above that and the sound quality is bad.


I recently heard a 33 1/3 test and thought it had some top end degradation thing going on. I'm thinking maybe we'll get a test @ 45.
Old 29th March 2018
  #17
Here for the gear
 
I realize I'm years late on this, but Orbital did a double 7" 33 RPM pressing of their Times Fly EP. Three of the songs are over 7 minutes, one of them is basically 8 minutes (7:57), and the entire thing sounds great. No idea how they pulled it off, but it can be done well.
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