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People have been claiming that "vinyl sounds better" than mp3s and other forms of digital music for years. That argument usually comes down to a matter of taste, but an Australian startup is now working on technology that actually improves the quality of vinyl records.
Rebeat Innovation is creating "HD vinyl" that the company claims will have "30 percent more playing time, 30 percent more amplitude, and overall more faithful sound reproduction."
Pitchfork reports that Rebeat Innovation has received $4.8 million in funding for the project. The improved quality comes from a new process that digitally converts audio to a 3D topographic map. Using lasers, the map is then cut into the vinyl, resulting in more precise, accurate sound. While the creation process is different, these records will still be able to be played on traditional turntables.
As a bonus, Rebeat Innovation say the new technique also allows them to avoid using the chemicals required in traditional vinyl production.
So, when can we get our hands on some HD vinyl? Pretty soon, actually.
"Our goal is to officially present our test stampers at the Making Vinyl conference in October," the company's CEO CEO Günter Loibl tells Pitchfork. "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."
While you wait, check out our mini-documentary about the making of traditional vinyl in the video below.