One of the universal art that exist throughout the world and that is constantly part of everyone’s life is music. Who would have thought that making vinyl records, which was a common means to play popular music 100 years ago, would be exploding in popularity today?
A vinyl record is the production of smooth, tactile, and beautiful discs that have left a stamp on history. If you are a fan of vinyl records, you would have wondered about its making process. The production of vinyl records is intriguing and a little tricky.
How does the music that people love to get put into this amazing physical disc like a 180-gram vinyl disc? To find out, read the process of pressing vinyl records given below:
Process of Pressing Vinyl Records
Step 1: Source material
You need excellent source material to press an excellent record. A good recording is where it all begins. A high-resolution file, such as a 24-bit 96kHz WAV file, is necessary to produce a fantastic sound.
An expert vinyl engineer applies a lacquer veneer on a flat aluminum disc before playing it. To avoid any defects at this stage, it is essential to keep the dust away from the lacquer side’s surface.
The lacquer has A and B sides. Labels are applied to the personalized vinyl records during the final pressing stage and fused with the vinyl.
Step 2: Imprinting digital files
The vinyl needs to be recorded with music after it is finished. The metallic strip securing the disc’s surface is taken off the disc while it is mounted on a lathe-cutting device. The surface of the disc must be grooved to imprint digital files. These grooves will be familiar to everyone who has ever handled vinyl record sleeves.
A hefty stylus with a sapphire tip and a microscope is included in the lathe-cutting device. The engineer makes a test cut at the disc’s very edge using the stylus and microscope.
If the test cut turns out well, the engineer will proceed to cut the first groove. The next one will start from the edge of the disc and move toward the central hole. The debris left over after cutting the grooves is cleaned up by inserting a suction stick into the disc’s hole.
Before proceeding to the next phase, the engineer will, as usual, look for any faults in the cut of vinyl record sleeves. The engineer then etches a special identification serial number onto the disc’s inner edge.
Step 3: Setting up the stamper
After being cleaned, the disc is sprayed with a silver solution and submerged in a tin chloride tank. Tin molecules are attracted to the silver solution during electroplating, leaving a metal coating behind. It is a mirror image of the master record that was used to press the actual records.
The metal version commonly referred to as the father plate or stamper is taken from the disc and used as the mold for vinyl pressing.
The disc contains the mother plate or negative image of the recording, which is represented by grooves that are cut inwards. The stamper, which is represented by grooves, is cut outwards.
Step 4: Pressing the records
The actual process of vinyl record pressing begins in this step. Polyvinyl chloride pellets are first loaded into a hopper. Then they are transported to an extruder and formed into vinyl biscuits, which are tiny circular discs.
Attach labels above and below each vinyl disc, machines are used. A presser weighing more than 1,000 square foot pounds per square inch is used for vinyl pressing. After that, they will be heated with steam at a temperature of 148 degrees.
Ordinarily, producers will first create a small number of vinyl records for a certain album before creating hundreds of thousands or millions of copies. Record companies and musicians use these original recordings, also referred to as test pressings. It is to evaluate the sound quality before mass-producing the albums.
Once the test pressings pass inspection, full production of custom vinyl records in Australia for use in commerce can start. The producer will employ the same procedure to create more vinyl records.
Step 5: Making artwork and covers
The jackets are being created at the same time as the recordings. Both the vinyl and the jackets need to be perfect. The vinyl cover artwork is a key selling element. Thus a lot of time and attention is invested in designing album covers and artwork that will create customer interest.
The budget of an artist affects the artwork, cover design, and printing. Digital printing, offers good color and is less expensive if you only produce only a few records. It is typically used to create an independent vinyl cover. When creating a large number of records, artists frequently choose offset printing.
Cards are die-cut into sleeves using an automated system that produces the necessary form. After that, the edges of the sleeves are folded and bonded to form a jacket, into which the vinyl record is placed.
The pressing business will pack each record in shrink wrap or a polyester bag, ready for distribution.
Types of Master Records
There are three most common types of materials used for vinyl record pressing:
These aluminum discs with nitrocellulose layers reproduce the bass and low-end tones incredibly well.
DMM (Direct Metal Mastering):
The main benefit of this copper disc is that it is a quieter record with excellent high-frequency reproduction.
Created as a substitute for metal alternatives and targeted mainly at independent artists with a lower record run. This technique enables them to press records without having to make a big financial investment.
For people who would like to listen to music on vinyl and artists who would like to present their music on vinyl, Implant Media offers a great opportunity. If you are looking for the best and most affordable vinyl records, then Implant Media has you covered.
We offer various types of vinyl, including 180-gram vinyl. We have the best-priced and highest-quality custom vinyl pressing available in the market. Get your products instantly delivered.