How to Easily Press 100 Vinyl Records if you are a Music Band?
Being a musician in itself is not easy, and when we add the financial and business aspect, it’s ten times more difficult!
12:34 04 August 2021
It doesn’t help that digital music and online music streaming made it even harder for musicians to earn these days. Online music streaming sites pay very little that 1000 streams will only give you $2- $4.
That just means that if you’re wise, you have to do many other things aside from streaming.
Many musicians rely on merch and gigs for profit. One item that’s getting all the attention once more is the vinyl record.
According to UnifiedManufacturing, a CD and vinyl record pressing company in Los Angeles, vinyl is the only thing that’s selling these days. CD sales are quickly declining but people need something physical. We cannot live with just digital files. That’s where vinyl comes in! Or rather, that’s where vinyl comes back again.
Why Press Vinyl?
Vinyl is the most expensive among all physical audio formats, but it sure is the best. And with the increasing audience the format’s gathering, there’s no reason to not have a few copies pressed.
There’s no need to worry about money and minimum order too because pressing plants are already offering short run vinyl pressings where you can order a hundred copies or less.
What to do BEFORE having your vinyl records pressed
Before you order your vinyl records and have them pressed by your manufacturer, you need to have every initial data needed for the album’s production. You’ll have to record your tracks, master them specifically for vinyl, and have your artwork and vinyl record design ready to be uploaded.
During the preparation of these elements, there are some things you have to keep in mind to make it easier for everyone that’ll be working on the album.
Things to keep in mind:
#1 During your recording sessions, you have to avoid emphasizing too much on the “s”s, “t”s and “f”s.
When these are in higher frequency they tend to create pops and skips during the record’s playback. And if this is not avoided, it would affect the whole track’s sound since there will be no other way but to de-ess the whole track.
#2 Over-compression should also be avoided when you plan on having vinyl records pressed.
Let me remind you that vinyl records are physical formats that need a contact to occur for the music to be produced. Overly compressed music can cause the turntable’s needle to skip when in contact with the record’s grooves. To avoid this, avoid compressing your tracks too much.
#3 Be mindful of the tracklist. It will affect the sound your records will release. Be sure to not put your information heavy track on one side or on the last part. Last parts are reserved for the more mellow ones, to avoid distortions.
#4 Master for vinyl. A very important thing to remember before sending your tracks to your manufacturer is to have them mastered for vinyl. I’m sure you’d be familiar with digital mastering, it’s the one for CDs and online streaming sites. But when you plan to release on vinyl records, then have it mastered for vinyl. This is a very crucial step, the two are different so never forget it.
#5 Make sure all your artworks are high-res. Look, one of the reasons people love vinyl is the artwork. If you can’t make it right, why bother releasing it on vinyl.. Having a low-resolution artwork sent to your manufacturer would delay things for you, moreso if you have no other copy but the low-quality one.
What to do DURING the pressing of your records
After you’ve placed your order and uploaded the data they need to produce your album, the vinyl pressing plant will start performing the first step of vinyl record pressing.
They will first have your tracks cut onto a lacquer, which will then be dipped into liquidated nickel to make negative metal stampers. These stampers are then used to press polyvinyl chloride (PVC) into records.
However, before pressing plants start the actual pressing of your records, they will be sending you a test pressing.
A test pressing is the very first vinyl record pressed with your music on them. It’s a tester where you listen and check if there are things to be adjusted or corrected.
It’s a must to thoroughly examine this test pressing for it will be your last chance at finding any distortion or anomalies in the pressing. If you found none, then you can give your go signal for the actual pressing.
Bear in mind that you have to almost always be available during the duration of the vinyl pressing. It would be convenient for both you and your pressing plant since it would be much easier to reach you.
I’m sure you wouldn’t want any delay in addressing problems and issues with your vinyl pressing.
After giving your confirmation, all you have to do is wait and receive updates from your pressing plant. Give it around 8-10 weeks. The fastest vinyl record pressing is six weeks so a lot of patience is needed.
These are the basics. If you bear in mind all the things I’ve said, then I’m sure custom vinyl records pressing would be a piece of cake.
We’re excited for you. And we’re sure your fans are, too!