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Pressing Vinyl... anyone out there doing it?

The Whale

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
724
Hey All,

I'm working with a new project and we've all got the itch to press the record to vinyl... even if in a small, limited run. Our plan is do something similar to Radiohead: when you buy the record, you get a download code. Log on, and you can download mp3's for the iPod or what-have-you, so that you get the great analog vinyl, and don't loose the portable mp3 audio. So, here's the barrage of questions:

1. Mastering - do you have to get your audio mastered differently for pressing vinyl than you would for pressing CD's?

2. Duplication - i've found only a few vinyl plants that are accessible to indie artists... suggestions?

3. Sanity - are we nuts? I've got John Mayer's Continuum on both MP3 and vinyl... and i so enjoy the vinyl. But are we nuts?

Thanks for your help... i look forward to your responses.
 

loudboy

Member
Messages
27,316
Hey All,

I'm working with a new project and we've all got the itch to press the record to vinyl... even if in a small, limited run. Our plan is do something similar to Radiohead: when you buy the record, you get a download code. Log on, and you can download mp3's for the iPod or what-have-you, so that you get the great analog vinyl, and don't loose the portable mp3 audio. So, here's the barrage of questions:

1. Mastering - do you have to get your audio mastered differently for pressing vinyl than you would for pressing CD's?

2. Duplication - i've found only a few vinyl plants that are accessible to indie artists... suggestions?

3. Sanity - are we nuts? I've got John Mayer's Continuum on both MP3 and vinyl... and i so enjoy the vinyl. But are we nuts?

Thanks for your help... i look forward to your responses.
Why not?

I just heard an interview on NPR where the artist said vinyl was a really good merch-table and giveaway item, because it appeared "special." He said everyone's got a CD, and it made people feel cool to get something that not everyone has. Even if they don't have anything to play it on... <g>

Loudboy
 

the(sims)

Member
Messages
203
From what I've been hearing, turnaround is pretty slow these days due to the very limited number of pressing plants. Also, the minimum number of records you have to order has risen sharply in the last few years. If you end up doing it, get colored vinyl or a swirl color. Translucent colors are always cool, too.
 

clemduolian

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
2,419
Contact Rainbo Records in Santa Monica, CA. They do vinyl..and do it well and can walk you through everything.
 

Somniferous

Member
Messages
1,206
I'll never understand why people say vinyl sounds better. I guess people enjoy hearing hiss and like having the bass response diminish as the record plays. I guess I'm just one of those young wipper snappers who will always try to find stuff on DVD-A and super audio....
 

909one

Member
Messages
2,197
Vinyl with digital downloads is the way to go IMO. I help run a small record label and we are only doing vinyl with free digital downloads from now on.
No more Cd's. They are dead IMO too.
My band just released a 7inch, we screened the covers ourselvea, and we have already sold more copies than our cd's. People do like the intimacy of vinyl. It was unique because we made the covers by hand, but its also nostalgic. The free digital download keeps it modern, and helps to prevent people from making crappy low-re copies of the music and circulating that. You can control the bit-rate its burned at. Plus I like the idea of listening to records again, it brings you back to the album as an art form, and forces you to sit down and listen to the music more, more like reading a book.

WE used United to press our record. It didn't take too long. Its not too horribly expensive. We also used Chicago Mastering Service to master for Vinyl. They are great. Friends of ours as well. Its co-owned by Jason Ward and Bob Weston (from Shellac). Both great guys with great ears.
 

stark

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
3,340
I'm about to release my record. I really want to do vinyl, but for me getting the music out there is priority one. For ease of listening, and convenience how can you beat a CD? My album was recorded 2" 16-track, mixed to 1" tape, and mastered analog, so it's great material for vinyl. Vinyl is also way more expensive. The setup costs are close to 1k. The real expense is in the jacket printing. If you want anything that resembles the quality of the old school records, it's going to cost you. I checked out James Taylor's "Covers" album, and the jacket just looked really cheap. I'm sure it cost a boatload to make. Unless I can figure out more of an upside I'm going to go the CD/Download route. For me it's getting more people to hear the music.

Adam Stark
 

TravisE

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
4,566
It's really strange that this thread popped up. I was talking to my drummer last night about the possibility of including a 7" with our CD. Pay $10 & get a cd and a 7". We're just doing a short run of this disc anyway. I think I would much rather have the vinyl too.
 
M

Member 995

The setup costs are close to 1k.
That's about what I remember from when I looked into it. Per unit costs are also fairly high, if I remember correctly.

And yet, as a music consumer, I love buying the vinyl and getting a high quality digital download, too.

Bryan
 

GDking

Member
Messages
2,528
To help answer your first question, you might want to check out this site:
http://chicagomasteringservice.com/vinyl.html

They also have some links to places that do vinyl plating and manufacturing.
I personally think that going vinyl is a great idea and one I've considered for a while...until I starting seriously pricing out what it would cost. It ain't cheap, but you might think it's worth it.

Do you know a general ball park for 1 album? Not really interested in doing it but just curious and don't want to waste a company's time asking.
 

teleharmonium

Member
Messages
2,551
I've done it, though not lately.

Mastering for LP is totally different both in terms of the master recording itself that you need to provide, and in the procedures that go into making the metal parts which the records themselves are made from.

The vinyl version of your master must have the low end turned into mono in the center of the mix, or else the record may not stay in the groove (literally), and typically some lows are rolled off and some highs can be boosted with EQ to survive the natural roll off of the format while other even higher frequencies are rolled off.

Those that recorded their music on analog tape and want to produce vinyl, should find a mastering house that uses an all analog signal path. Most of them use a digital delay line.

I'm not sure who is considered good these days, but I would avoid the cheap places that do 7 inchers out of Nashville. Erica, on the west coast, used to be good but not cheap. Colored vinyl sucks all the time, don't do it.
 

TravisE

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
4,566
I'm not sure who is considered good these days, but I would avoid the cheap places that do 7 inchers out of Nashville. Erica, on the west coast, used to be good but not cheap. Colored vinyl sucks all the time, don't do it.
Care to elaborate? I'm not arguing. I just want to learn more.
 

stark

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
3,340
My mastering guy, Joe Gastwirt, recommends RTI. There is a second mastering process for vinyl that is not supposed to change the sound of your original master. It needs to be carefully supervised and approved.
http://www.recordtech.com/

Adam Stark
 




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