Under the instruction of Richard Simpson, Infrasonic engineer Pete Lyman inherited not only Simpson’s seasoned knowledge of the recording process, but also the original Neumann lathe on which the work of artists such as ELVIS PRESLEY, DAVID BOWIE and LOU REED (to name a few) have been cut. Most recently, Lyman completed a direct-to-disc session with BECK, capturing a series of singles.
In the Infrasonic studios for one week, musicians JASON FALKNER (past collaborations include AIR, JON BRION), ROGER MANNING, JAMIE LIDELL, MOCKY (both of whom have worked with GONZALES, FEIST) and bassist JUSTIN MENDALL-JOHNSON all joined Beck on the session.
Omar Rodriguez-Lopez of the MARS VOLTA also has plans join Pete in the studio for a direct-to-disc session later on this year.
Eliminating the use of a multi-track recording device, direct-to-disc recording captures a live performance directly to vinyl lacquer. The performers must play without stopping, timing their session to the length of one-side of their LP. Unlike multi-track sessions, where the musicians may play in isolation, the recording is done in a live room, with all musicians on the album playing together. Simultaneously, an engineer in the control room mixes the performance and sends a feed to the vinyl lathe located in Infrasonic’s adjacent mastering suite, where a mastering engineer cuts the program to a master vinyl lacquer.
The uncertainty of vinyl’s future in the music industry became a major concern with the advent of CD’s in the early 80’s. As a result, the number of cutting engineers began to diminish. Pair that with a major lack of cutting systems & spare parts and direct-to-disc recording became an incredibly unique medium. INFRASONIC SOUND RECORDING CO. remains one of the few studios left in the world that continues to execute the technique.