Vinyl has been a somewhat controversial issue since the introduction of the audio CD, because there are various pros and cons of each media. The primary argument of any vinyl-phile is that it’s analogue so there’s no quantization error, or digital-to-analogue-conversion distortion. However, the big downside is that they don’t stay perfect for long. They are notorious for gathering dust and being scratched, which because it’s analogue means the dust creates ‘spits’ in the audio and scratches create a repetitive thump.
Since then, engineers have been replicating that sound as an effect to create an atmosphere of history, authenticity or just a lo-fi kind of sound.
iZotope Vinyl is not only a free plugin, but is the effect of choice for a number of pro mix engineers. It allows you to simulate all those dust spits, and scratches (you can even control how deep they are), not to mention all the mechanical and electrical noise of the turntable.
On top of all of that, you can simulate a ‘worn’ record, which sounds thin and tired out. This is a frequently used effect in track intros before the main tune bursts in, to exaggerate how clean and punchy the modern sounding mix is.
The final feature is to simulate a warped record, just for the odd occasion when you need a clip of music to sound old and abused, this will do the trick!
Try it out, it won’t cost you anything!
[image via Hryck.]