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Grundman Brings Golden Record Back to Earth

Bernie Grundman recently remastered an album meant only for alien ears.

Hollywood, CA (February 23, 2018)—The golden record onboard the Voyager spacecraft launched into our outer solar system in 1977 was never intended for human ears, but now, in a new vinyl pressing mastered at Bernie Grundman Mastering, the record is available to people on Earth.

“It contains a big cross section of what is on this earth,” explains mastering engineer Bernie Grundman,” with people speaking in all their different native languages. It also has all different types of music from all around the world. It’s got tremendous variety and is a real historic milestone.”

David Pescovitz from the website Boing Boing and Institute for the Future, Timothy Daly of Amoeba Music and designer Lawrence Azerrad got together to create the near-exact replicas of the gold-plated phonograph records to celebrate the anniversary of the Voyager launches. “The Voyager Golden Record: 40th Anniversary Edition” won the 2018 Grammy for Best Boxed or Special Limited Edition Package.

Bisson Records at Grundman’s

When asked about the challenges of remastering the historic vinyl edition, Grundman replies, “It wasn’t really that difficult. The only real challenges we ran into were the high frequency limitations of vinyl, especially on some of the spoken word passages. In order to get really nice clean tracks on playback systems, we had to correct some of the excessive sibilant sounds. But when we do that, it actually makes it sound more natural. The other challenge was just trying to get even levels so that it can play through comfortably.”

The target audience for the content—popular songs, sounds from nature, photographs, spoken greetings in dozens of human languages and one whale language—was, and still is, any alien civilization capable of deciphering the instructions on the cover to learn about one small world in the universe. Two copies of the gold-plated copper record left Earth on Voyager 1 and 2, the first of which eventually left the solar system.

The Voyager Golden Record Box Set contains three vinyl LPs in heavyweight jackets, a 96-page companion book containing all the images included on the original, a 12-inch square gold foil print of the Voyager Golden Record cover diagram, a DLC for the audio files and a turntable slipmat with a NASA/JPL-Caltech diagram of the Voyager spacecrafts’ trajectories across the solar system, all packed in a custom record box.

Bernie Grundman Mastering •