RIAA curve: What is it?

Bob Katz Leave a Comment

Dear Mr. Katz
Can you suggest where I should look to find information on the RIAA CURVE? I’m told that I should consider this when I master my recording,preparing it for manufacturing on the cd format. I’m not real sure what this curve is, I believe it to be a frequency roll-off, or compensating curve, which consumer stereos make up for at their input?

Thanks for the great articles.
Tim Siekawitch

Dear Tim. Thank you for your comments!

Someone has given you a lot of misinformation. The RIAA curve is used for LPs, not for CDs. There is no such compensating curve for CDs, except for the emphasis curve, which is generally not used.

If you prepare your recording (mixdown) on any decent medium then we’ll be able to create a great master from it, and there will be no need to give it any special equalization curve. We will examine your source tape and determine if there was any emphasis curve applied and if necessary, apply the appropriate inverse curve. But this situation is very rare these days; very few digital recorders even permit recording with emphasis.

Very best wishes,

Bob Katz

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