Berliner Meisterschallplatten – Live Direct-to-Disc Vinyl

The Berliner based Label “Berliner Meisterschallplatten” is producing live recorded Vinyl using Direct-to-Disc methods... In 2012 the sound engineers Stephan Flock and Rainer Maillard founded the Label “Berliner Meisterschallplatten“. Making their name with bespoke methods of recording and a distinct quality to the artists they represent. When then the opportunity came up to buy a lathe cutter that was to be destroyed, they had a vision not only to preserve the knowledge and the technical know-how, but also to establish a new tradition of professional direct-to-disc recording

Up until the 1950’s most recordings were made in this fashion, but with the emergence of new technology direct-to-disc became marginalised until it nearly vanished from professional recording.

Direct-to-disc recording requires a lot more preparation than digital recording, as you can’t make any alterations after the recording process, the cuts being made directly into the Master-lathe. This lathe then used to build the reproduction tools.

Thus you have to get the art, the artist, the technical equipment and the sound engineer to all bring their A game to the table at the same time to create a record. A unfied vision to creating the spark to make a perfect live recording. No second chances!

In the process of replicating discs, technical restrictions limit the number of copies to around 100, 000 records that can be produced from a single recording. Turning this live recording experience into a wonderful special limited edition; a collector’s item.

A different listening experience is produced from a one-take live recording. There is a depth, an understanding of the musicians and flawless quality in the record produced, so different from the over polished records now produced digitally – it feels alive and in the moment.

The rarity of this method nowadays, (with only a handful of professional devices like it left in the world), it gains quite some prestige something that artists want to aspire to. The Berlin Philharmoniker recorded Brahms Sinfonias under Sir Simon Rattle using Rainer Maillard and this method.