Vinyl Mastering: Timing Guidelines | Price List | Analog Mastering | FAQs and info on Mastering
Some things to keep in mind:
The basic principle is that as the time of the side increases the level decreases. For LP’s I will often cut a short side at a lower level than the absolute maximum. I go for sound quality over level unless instructed otherwise. For 12” singles I will do everything I can to get a crushingly loud cut. Everyone wants a loud cut but distortion increases as level increases. Distortion also increases towards the inside diameter of the record.
The main thing that will preclude a loud cut is excessive high frequency content. Sibalance in vocals and very sharp high hats and cymbals are the most common culprits.
It’s something to keeping mind but don’t kill the mix by second guessing yourself. Just make it sound good.
Low frequency content that that isn’t centered can cause tracking problems. This includes effects on the low end like reverb and delays. This can be “fixed” but you probably won’t like the sound of the fix. Best to avoid it in the first place. If you love the sound of the bass in a reverb wash then you’ll have to put up with a lower level than you may like.
Almost anything can be cut. It just may have to be cut at a low level.