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Printing your music to wax? Here’s a Happy guide to pressing vinyl

Enamoured with the tangible beauty of vinyl? Love to listen and share it with your friends? Long to cherish a wax frisbee of your own design? Well wait no more friends!

We have compiled a framework to follow when pressing your tunes to vinyl. Don’t surrender tone and colour for flimsy liquorice discs.

Here’s a Happy guide to pressing your music to vinyl.

Vinyl

We have compiled a comprehensive list of dos and don’t when pressing your cherished sounds to vinyl. Charge forth and press the greatest records in all the land.

Vinyl Masters

Due to the nature of the format you will need different masters specifically designed for vinyl. A digital master for CD has to have a 16-bit word length, and it can be as loud or as limited as the client’s taste dictates. However, with the vinyl master there is a physical limit to what can be fed through the cutting head of the lathe, and thus, heavily clipped masters are not welcome and can only be accommodated, if at all, by serious level reduction.

For vinyl, the optimum source is 24-bit, dynamic, and limited either extremely lightly or not at all.

Formatting

You will want to find out which record size is best for your release. A typical EP will fit perfectly on a 7″ whilst an album of 40min can go on a 12″ at 45RPM. There have also been some pretty epic 10″ releases over the years for those extra chunky mid range works.

Thankfully Zenith Records have a very helpful playing guide below:

So be clear at which speed your vinyl will run and which size the record will be. Nobody wants to have the last two seconds of a track cut off because they havn’t done their math.

Choosing a Pressing Plant

There are plenty of great options for pressing records out there and so many variables at hand. Do you want coloured wax? Are you after that elusive 10″? Is your music soft, loud, electronic or rock. Perhaps it’s all four!

The option we see independent artists consistently going back to is Melbourne’s Zenith Records. With high quality pressing, 180 gram options and all the colours of your wildest dreams, Zenith are certainly one of the leading Vinyl Record Pressing facilities in Australia.

Zenith have printed everyone from Marlon Williams to Delta Goodrem, Men at Work and Died Pretty. They also press some of the best psych-rock records on the market from the likes of King Gizzard and Psuedo Mind Hive.

When you divide prices between band members too their rates are extremely reasonable making the whole experience a breeze.

Be Proud

It might seem obvious to most but be proud of the music you are putting out. Artists spend a lot of time and money on recording, releasing, marketing and touring. Don’t rush straight to the printing plant and even go back to the drawing board if you have to.

Make sure the music you release is the best you have to offer.

 

 

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August 14, 2019

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