During the cutting of a master record, the frequency response of the source audio is altered to account for the mechanical limitations of the cutting device and to improve the signal-to-noise ratio. During playback, a mirror image of this equalization “curve” is applied by your stereo’s phono preamp so that the audio has a normal frequency response.
Prior to 1956, record manufacturers used a variety of equalization curves, tailored to their own records and equipment. In 1953, RCA introduced a curve tailored to the characteristics of the LP (see Figure 14-16). In 1956, the Recording Institute of America (RIAA) adopted the RCA standard, and the other record companies soon followed.
Figure 14-16. The equalization curve adopted by the RIAA for LPs in 1956—when you play an older record recorded to a non-RIAA standard, the frequency response will be off unless you apply the correct equalization during playback or in your sound editing program
When you play an older record mastered to a non-RIAA standard, the frequency response will be off unless you apply the correct equalization during playback or, once the audio is digitized, in a sound editing program.
You usually won’t have to apply equalization to audio captured from a vinyl record played on a decent turntable. However, to accurately capture the sound from a vintage record played on a modern ...