"High Definition" vinyl could be in circulation by next year thanks to an Austrian startup.
We're slightly a week away from Record Store Day 2018 (21 April) so it seems fitting that this intriguing news concerning the vinyl industry drops now. According to reports from Pitchfork and NME, USD $4.8 million has been invested in Austrian start up Rebeat Innovation to develop what they're calling "HD vinyl".
Rebeat Innovation filed a patent back in 2016 hinting that they had formulated a way to produce high fidelity vinyl that would not only sound better, but would be louder and last longer than the standard vinyl we're used to.
With the company now receiving funds for the initiative, they plan to move forward with their plans immediately. Günter Loibl, CEO and founder of Rebeat Innovation told Pitchfork that the first round of "HD" vinyl is expected to hit stores between June and September of 2019.
The company has revealed the purchase of a laser system, which they will use to produce test stampers for five to-be-determined “early mover” pressing plants. Loibl said in a statement to Pitchfork, "Our goal is to officially present our test stampers at the Making Vinyl conference in October. It will take another eight months to do all the fine adjustments. So by summer 2019 we shall see the first HD vinyls in the stores."
The process of creating "HD" vinyl includes converting audio digitally to a 3D topographic map. The laser system Rebeat Innovation has purchased will then inscribe the map on the stampers, which will in turn stamp the grooves into the vinyl. The chemicals that are common with traditional vinyl manufacturing will not be used.
The expected results reportedly include a 30 percent increase in playing time, amplitude and overall faithful sound reproduction. The "HD" vinyl will allegedly be compatible with standard turntables and players.