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ACETATE

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1) A transparent cellulose plastic. It is the raw material used to make phonograph records and backing for magnetic recording tape.

2) Any individually cut record made on a record cutting lathe. They are usually made from the master mix in the mastering lab. Back when acetates were the standard, they were cut to evaluate the sound of the final pressed records. Since simple flat transfers did not sound identical to the master tapes of old. The mastering engineer usually equalized and/or compressed the tape to enhance the sound of the acetate. The sound of the acetate would usually have been approved by both the A & R person and the producer. Often, it took more than one cutting attempt to attain the desired sound. Acetates were cut in mono (45 rpm) or stereo (33 1/3 rpm). Their standard sizes were 7", 10", or 12". They were single or double faced, i.e., cut on one or both sides. They were thicker and more ridged than pressed records. They were also more susceptible to wear because of the special softness of the plastic required to accommodate the cutting head. Because of this, the approved acetate would seldom be played to assure it was in excellent condition when it was compared to a test pressing of the production run. The master acetate (master lacquer) was then cut using the same approved settings. See Cross-links: MASTER, under "Master Acetate."

3) The acetate could also be called a phonograph record, or a dub. See Cross-links: RECORD, COPYRIGHT LAW under "Phonorecords."

4) Back then, a 45 rpm demonstration record (demo) was also called an acetate. See Cross-links: DEMO.


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