Direct Metal Mastering (DMM) is an analogue audio disc mastering technique. Unlike conventional disc mastering, where the mechanical audio modulation is cut onto a lacquer-coated aluminum disc, DMM cuts straight into metal (copper). The galvanic procedure that follows is not as complicated as the process for lacquers, and we can make stampers/matrixes directly from these plates, which can then be used for pressing.


Why our DMM Processing is the best around…
• Direct two-way communication between
the computer and the cutting lathe!

•Maximized groove widths and optimal
volume settings for your master!

•Simulation cuts that recognize potential
problems before they are cut onto your record!

Pirates Press are always looking for ways to take vinyl to the next level and to keep developing things that vinyl enthusiasts can continue to proudly stand behind. Recent improvements to our DMM processing is a prime example of our dedication and commitment to making our vinyl products the absolute best!

Unlike any other operation in the world, our new vinyl mastering process (using a modified NEUMANN cutting lathe, a top-quality PrismSound converter, and a proprietary computer application – all developed by our Audio Engineers) provides a modulation and control signal, sets all cutting parameters, and monitors the equipment for immediate as well as subsequent analysis. In plain English: Our system can both simulate the results of a cut given specific levels, as well as listen back to a cut that has been made – to pick out any potential, or real,  issues occurring during the process. This results in better sounding records, even fewer test pressing claims, and even happier customers. That is something that you do not have to be an audio engineer to understand!

DMM processing can be compared to the transition from taking photographs on film to using digital photography. Before pressing the shutter-release on a camera you usually have to set various mutually-opposing parameters (aperture, shutter-speed, sensitivity, focus, etc.). If these are set correctly the result is a nice sharp picture. Incorrect setting leads to blurred, dark or over-exposed shots. In the case of photos on film the result of the process is known for sure after the film is developed and the prints are made. The electronics of a digital camera are able to evaluate a scene according to a given setting and show the result on the display. Before the shutter-release is pressed the camera warns us that the result will probably not be good, and lends us the option of making adjustments.

Our new process for vinyl mastering is based on a similar principle. Prior to cutting the master to a copper plate, a computer application analyzes the audio data and (using the almost extinct science of GROOVE GEOMETRY) creates a virtual groove in the computer’s memory – in the same way a physical cutting lathe would. This enables us to know right away the optimal levels and spacing to use for the cut and are able to isolate all the critical points in the music that could cause issues of distortion during the cut. We then remove the undesirable elements of the signal, which are causing the distortion. This is all done BEFORE even taking a blank copper plate out of the box! This is revolutionary!

Setting the recording parameters and correcting the signal usually means a compromise between loudness and distortion. Our new method of mastering enables us to optimize all the various facets of the music and settings during the cut to bring the sound of our vinyl records to the theoretical limit that the format allows. In essence, even though DMM already carries inherent advantages over cutting a lacquer, we are now able to confidently say that our DMM processing is the BEST IN THE WORLD – we minimize even further the audible difference between the original (digital) master and the resulting vinyl record that you play on your turntable.