The Vinyl Record Pressing and Turntable Industry

We were having a couple of pretty good conversations about turntables and vinyl before the old forums went down, so I was thinking we could pick that up here. I remember posting something about Shure and AT getting out of the cartridge game because there probably weren’t new machines to do it and expressed concern about the age of existing presses. Turns out there’s at least two companies doing new ones and both run under half a million. One of them has even moved away from steam heating to make permits and infrastructure cheaper, and they’re working on a sub $200k indie/small run press too.


Oh awesome idea bringing this thread back. I’ll have to give that article a read. Balls deep in grading some film analysis essays right now…

I probably won’t ever be a scratch artist, but had a blast blending in some of The War of the Worlds on vinyl into a dub techno set. I was using Elastic FX on my iPad in the chain after the turntable–turns it into a little bit of an instrument. So manipulating the vinyl by hand and playing FXs live on the iPad (along with the regular mix duties on the XDJ 700s).

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The more industry presence in the Vinyl game the better… I’m hoping printing prices will get down… I keep getting priced out whenever I come to the point of having something I want to release.

Most presses are still running at capacity. A new house starting in Chicago is only taking Chicago acts because they’re at capacity for the next 6 months already, and they’re only doing test presses. They actually open at the start of 2019. It sounds like a good game to get into tbh (less the capital I lack). Between artists here and local acts, maybe some overflow from other presses, I think I could keep a press running 24/7. My goal would be not to book more than a week in advance so that I could specialize in adding capacity when other houses need it (at extortion-type prices, of course).

Actually, that wouldn’t work. There’s only one master plate per release. Even if I could make copies quick and cheap, it gets really complex really quick, and the people at capacity have down time while I make my copies.

Halloween SFX stays in season all year long for those moments shit hits the fan and an improv session takes off.

I looked into doing a vinyl run for IDMf050 but it just wasn’t feasible for us at the time. Anything that reduces the cost for small NetLabels to do limited-run releases would be welcome.

I’m gonna be that guy that shitposts and cross-references my old dead thread about cassette printing… for… ahem… future IDMf releases ahem

You can get the cost down to like $1.50 +/- per tape with small runs.

edit keep forgetting the quotes system, but I’m replying to Roo here

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I’m surprised cassettes aren’t more expensive tbh. Are they still being made en masse or are there just warehouses full of NOS?

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This has the be the most comprehensive argument I’ve ever seen against vinyl.


Cassettes are very much alive and well. Sony and Maxell still turn out cassettes en masse but def warehoused by online retailers like Amazon as well as labels/companies that distribute limited run physical releases.

It’s funny, I never fell out of cassettes because I was still buying them new til 2004, then I had my player until about 3 or 4 years ago, but I haven’t gotten rid of all the tapes (I think, threw a lot out a few years back). I don’t have a player right now (except in one of my cars that isn’t a daily driver). But yeah, I’ve noticed them making a comeback too. None of my friends are going out of their way to get them yet, but I can definitely see the appeal for an artist. Really anything with your music on it that people will pay for, am I right?

I’ve seen people selling chiptunes on Sega or Nintendo cartridges. If people will pay for that, then we should consider being at least as creative. I’d be happy to sell a quality flash drive with my logo on it in a nice box with some merch (Daft Punk did a $300 version of Random Access Memories with a flash drive, LP, and most of all, a bunch of collectible merch). Totally doable with tape too.

I think vinyl has a lot of history to that shape and form, and there’s a lot more perceived quality and nostalgia there, but clearly tapes are on their way to at least some of that status. Who knows, maybe I’ll be nostalgic for my cassettes soon too? The first song I ever remember hearing was on cassette. That’s always going to be special.

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Bandcamp provides the easiest platform to do just that. Be it if you choose to do the 100% DIY approach or go the path of distribution. Its quite surprising as to the popularity and attraction people have for physical items such as cassettes, thumb drives, ect… From my own perspective and experience as a “fan” limited run items are not so much centered around the media on the device but rather the tactile intimacy that appeals to my object fetishism.

Some bad news today:

On pitchfork dot com

“Devastating” Manufacturing Plant Fire Threatens Worldwide Vinyl Record Supply

Third Man Records’ Ben Blackwell says the destruction of Apollo Masters’ California facility “will present a problem for the vinyl industry worldwide”

I looked into doing a vinyl run for IDMf050 but it just wasn’t feasible for us at the time.

You’re going to lose money on any vinyl run below at least 200 copies pressed… unless you can sell them all $25-$28 each.

Once you get to 200 copies, costs are going to drop down to about $10-12 per copy (because what’s expensive is the lacquer and the stamps). The problem becomes: how the hell do I sell 200 copies in 2020…

It was more about making it than profiting from it. But it would have been a heap of work for no benefit at the time. I have nowhere to store a heap of unsold records :smiley:

(double post)

I hear you - while my prime goal has always been to make music because it is extremely cathartic and it could make some people happy on top, I made my record because I needed to give myself some purpose. I knew from day one I was going to lose money.

I do not regret it whatsoever though. It’s an indescribable feeling to hold your very own record in your hands. Soon I will be going to record stores around L.A. for whoever wants to carry it. Just the thought of it being probably available at Amoeba on Sunset makes me stupidly happy :slight_smile:

I’ll post about that eventually when I can post link and talk more about the experience, in case that helps someone who’s thinking about doing something similar.

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I do love Vinyl. Tho I have a CD collection I want to expand on vinyl. I read an article (I can’t post links at the moment because I am new to the forum) which said that cassette was the most sold format in the UK on 2018. I understand the factor of marketing with reminiscence. Still, I don’t like the sound very much. But they look cool!

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I’ll never understand the current cassette fad. I lived through the cassette era, it was terrible, poor dynamic range and truckloads of noise. Worst of all, they degraded and wore out quickly if you were lucky enough to not have them eaten by the player.

Worst physical format ever, 8-tracks were better. I wonder if this cassette thing is causing a demand bump in pencils and splicing tape.

Back on topic, DIY vinyl has been around for a while, but it doesn’t include a mastering engineer.