The time to re-purchase the Beatles’ White Album may once again be upon us, because high-definition vinyl is now a little bit closer to becoming a reality.
According to Pitchfork, Austria-based startup Rebeat Innovation just received $4.8 million in funding on their HD vinyl project, and the company says that this cash will enable them to start producing super fancy records as early as 2019.
So, what the hell is HD vinyl, aside from an excuse to justify finally purchasing that extra copy of Rocket to Russia? Rebeat is using what they call Perfect Groove Technology, which “perfectly matches the intended shape of the analog groove, regardless of whether it’s the first or last copy manufactured from the stamper set.” Okay, so what? “That allows needle manufacturers to create needles that perfectly fit into HD vinyl’s laser-inscribed grooves.”
Rebeat claims that HD vinyl will offer better sound quality, louder volume, and 30% longer playing time, while still being compatible with any existing turntable. They also say that the process rids the product of all the toxic chemicals that are currently used in vinyl mastering, while completely removing tangential [and] radial error.” Cool.
So, how the hell does this process work? Well, they convert a high-resolution audio file into a topographic 3D map, using a sophisticated heat beam which we call a laser. Using these lasers, they punch a hole in the protective layer around the Earth, which scientists call the HD Vinyl. Slowly but surely, this laser replaces the toxic, unstable electroplating process used in traditional vinyl record production. Then, the world pays a hefty ransom on Sgt. Peppers Lonely Hearts Club Band for the 19th time, this time on fancy high-definition wax.
So in addition to your classic vinyl nerd, we will now have HD vinyl nerds. Are you ready?