Vinyl records are all the rage again! They provide a really pleasant listening experience that allows people to truly be connected with the purest sounding music available.
There is a reason vinyl records shops are now packed on the weekends and record players are the new must-have item in the house (again!).
But have you ever wondered how vinyl is made? When you think about it, it is a really intriguing product. How does music even get stored on there?
Well, we are about to answer all your vinyl questions. We will share with you the vinyl records are made and the craftsmanship required to preserve this traditional way of sharing music with the world.
1. Making the music
Before a vinyl record can be made, the music first needs to be produced! This is done by transferring the recorded songs onto a digital file and then transferring them to something called a lacquer plate. This plate then has specific grooves marked on the plate. But once this is done, the order and structure of the songs are set in stone, so the musicians need to ensure that they are 100% satisfied with the digital files before progressing any further in the process!
2. Pressing the vinyl
The next step in the process is pressing the vinyl, which requires engineers and musicians to team up to properly prepare the music. What happens is that the recording artist will need to have their songs stored on a digital file to certain specifications that engineers have given them requirements on. These engineers are specialized in their craft and are called sound engineers! They are able to take these digital files and structure it so that it is perfectly pressed onto a vinyl!
3. Heating up the vinyl
After the vinyl is structured by the sound engineer, the vinyl is pressed between heated discs that are commonly referred to as the Biscuit. These discs are super hot, often 300 degrees! Similar to a waffle-iron, this process allows for the vinyl to get raised grooves that create a special imprint on the material. These grooves are really important for ensuring the vinyl works properly on the record player!
4. The test batch
Before there is mass production of the vinyl record, the samples are sent back to the recording studio and musician to review. This is their last chance to make any changes to how the vinyl runs or how it all sounds. Usually, these changes are really small formatting adjustments that sound engineers can do. Once it is all signed off by them, the vinyl records go forward to be mass-produced!
5. The last test
But there is one more test run before the mass production is done,and this is defect inspecting. This is done by skilled professionals to ensure that every groove has been pressed correctly and that there is no error at all—meaning that the customer who buys the record will get to enjoy every second of music on it!
6. The big bang!
Then, off it goes! The vinyl record is pressed at a large-scale quantity, packaged up and sent off to distributors to sell and vinyl record stores! Unlike a digital file of music, once these vinyl records hit the stores, it is there to stay and no changes or adaptions can be made—a perfect time capsule of musical history!
Making a vinyl takes serious craftsmanship, attention to detail, time, and energy! It is a complicated process that includes a range of different professionals. But that really is the beauty of vinyl records—it takes a talented team to create amazing music albums!