This is my first vinyl record. How do I get started?
First you'll want to get your music mixed, mastered, and sounding as you want it. Second is deciding on what you want it to look like. Everything costs money so keep your budget in mind, as well as how much you think your customers are going to be willing to send to buy your record. Once you have both of those ready and figured out, you're ready to place your order. We will walk you through the rest. Then deliver you some great sounding and looking records!
How much music can I fit on my record? This is a common question and not as easy to give an exact answer. The reason is every album is slightly different on a sonic level. So we are going to try and give you some rough guidelines based on music style. All times are per side!
Now of course these are all estimates, based off experience. You can request longer by a little but only if you are looking for a shitty sounding record, which lets face it, if you're going to spend the money for a record pressing at least make it sound good. Yes this may mean your killer record is now going to need to be a double LP or you cut a track or two, but it will sound better and your fans will appreciate you for it!
Is vinyl mastering necessary? Most Definitely. Vinyl mastering is making a master lacquer which is needed to create the stamper for your records. Vinyl mastering begins with preparing your audio files, then using a lathe to cut the sound as it is played through the lathe to a master lacquer disk. This Lacquer is then plated to create Stampers which is what literally Presses the vinyl into records. Without Mastering and Plating records cannot be made with our machines.
What vinyl record formats do you press? We can press 7" and 12" records in 140g and 180g. We offer Black, Colors, Marbled, and Splatter which is only available in 12".
Do I need 2-step plating or 3-step plating?
Well it depends on the number of records you're looking to press. If all you're looking to press is 2000 or less, then 2-step will be fine. If you are pressing more than that or doing 180g records then you need to go with 3-step. The reason is that stampers wear out from the repeated "pressing" of the PVC.
What kind of art files do I need to provide?
Always the labels for your records. If we are also doing your Jackets, Sleeves, Inserts etc. then we need the artwork for those as well. All the templates along with instructions can be found on our Templates Page.
I got my test pressing, now what?
This is another common question especially for those new to pressing. There are lots of technical blogs about what to listen for and about dynamics. The truth is, listen to it! Does it sound good? Do you like the feel of the sound? If you answer YES to both of those then you're good. If either got a NO then you need to ask yourself why? What is it that you don't like? Vinyl records NEVER sound like the CD. There is another process the audio goes through. However the basics should be as identical to the CD as possible. Test pressings are also the first time those stampers have been used and any harsh highs tend to mellow as pressing gets underway. Vinyl also naturally has surface noise you don't get with CDs. So it's not really an evaluation you need to do, but a few spins to see if it has the feel you are going for with your record on vinyl.
I don't see my question here!
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