The Vinyl Pressing Process

Want to know how Vinyl Records are made?
Here's the step by step process.


 

Before you Press - Prepare your music for vinyl


It starts with you. Pressing records is a little different than recording music to be released digitally or on CD. The music needs to be mastered in a particular way to ensure both the sound quality is maintained but more importantly to ensure there are no errors, distortion or skips on your record.

Tips for Vinyl Pre-Mastering >

Vinyl Pressing Process Audio Mastering

Vinyl Process Step 2 lathe cutting lacquer

1. Cutting your music onto a Lacquer


Using a lathe, our engineers begin with a test cut to ensure everything is working properly. This cut is inspected under a microscope.

When the recording is started the sapphire tipped cutter etches the sound onto the lacquer disc. The music is recorded in real time from start to finish, this creates one continuous grove in the lacquer.

You should note that making the music fit can sometimes be challenging. Heavy bass creates wider groves and can reduce the recording time. This is also true if the levels are too high. As a general rule, the longer a side is, the quieter the record will be. Our guideline for maximum side length is 20 minutes for a 12" 33 rpm record and 14 minutes for a 12" 45 rpm record, but again these times can vary depending on the music provided.

Once the lacquer is recorded, it's far too delicate to play. It has a nail polish like finish and has solely been produced to act as a mold.


2. Creating the Metal Stamper


The lacquer is sprayed with tin chloride and liquid silver. For rigidity the metalized lacquer is dipped into a nickle bath, where an electro charge fuses the nickle to the silver.

We remove the metal layer from the lacquer creating our 12.5" metal stamper to press from.

Vinyl Process Step 3 Metal Stamper

Vinyl Process Test Pressing

 

3. Test Presses


From the newly minted metal stamper we produce 10 white label test presses. This gives you a chance to listen to the final product before we commit to the full run. Production stops here while we await your approval.

 


4. Labels


Most don't realize but the labels are actually applied within the press. After your artwork has been created, supplied and approved, we make sure to have the labels printed, cut and ready for the next step.

Vinyl Process Record Labels

Vinyl Record Manufacturing

5. Vinyl Manufacturing


Black polyvinyl chloride pellets are fed into a hopper, the liquefied pellets are fed through an extruder creating hot rubbery patties called "biscuits".

Placing the labels on the top and bottom of the biscuit the 2 stampers (Top - Side A and Bottom - Side B) press down applying 100 tons of pressure at 200 degrees Celsius creating the vinyl record.

There is a quick cooling cycle that solidifies the vinyl and bonds the labels. Any excess vinyl is trimmed off the edges and the record is ready.


6. Printing and Packaging


We can print, fold and glue the jackets much more quickly than we can press the vinyl records so they are ready well in advance. This allows packaging and shrink-wrap to be completed in only a day or two after the vinyl records come off the press.

Vinyl Process Packaging

Vinyl Process Shipping

7. Delivery


Your beautiful vinyl records are ready to impress your fans! It's taken 8-10 weeks from start to finish, that's the fastest turn around time in the industry! We'll get in touch to arrange for pickup or shipping.

Get Started
Artwork Templates

Artwork Design Templates:

Before submitting your files, your artwork must conform to our templates. The templates below will help you prepare your artwork and ensure the sizes are correct. When your files are complete, upload them by Clicking Here. Should you have any questions, please refer to our Artwork FAQ section or contact our art department by emailing: art@trainrec.com. After all, we are here to help!


CD & DVD Disc Templates

CD Duplication

CD / DVD 22mm

Full Colour Disc Face

CD Duplication

CD / DVD 39mm

Black Text on Silver Discs

CD Digipaks

4 Panel CD Digipak

6 Panel CD Digipak Tray on Right

6 Panel CD Digipak

Tray on right side

6 Panel CD Digipak

Tray Centered

 CD / DVD Sleeves

2 Panel CD Sleeves

2 Panel Sleeve

4 Panel Sleeve

 

6 Panel Sleeve

 CD Inserts

1 Panel Insert

1 Panel Insert

2 Panel Insert

2 Panel Insert

3 Panel Insert

3 Panel Insert

CD Stapled Booklets

8 Page CD Booklet

8 Page Booklet

12 Page CD Booklet

12 Page Booklet

16 Page CD Booklet

16 Page Booklet

CD Tray Card

CD Tray Card

CD Tray Card

DVD Covers (Trap sheets)

DVD Cover Standard 14mm

DVD Cover

Standard 14mm

DVD Cover Slim 7mm

DVD Cover

Slim 7mm

DVD Trap Sheet Fat

DVD Cover
Multi Disc
"Fat Pack" 22mm

DVD Digipaks

4 Panel DVD Digipak

4 Panel DVD Digipak

6 Panel DVD Digipak

6 Panel DVD Digipak

 

Vinyl Record Center Labels

12" Vinyl Record Center Label

12" Vinyl Record
Center Label

 


12" Vinyl Record Center Label

7" Vinyl Record
Center Label

 

 

Vinyl Record Jackets Vinyl record jacket

12" Vinyl Record Jacket
without Spine

Vinyl record jacket

12" Vinyl Record Jacket
with Spine

7 inch Vinyl Jacket Template

7" Vinyl Record Jacket

Vinyl Record
Gatefold Jackets
12" Vinyl Record Gatefold Jacket

12" Vinyl Record Jacket
4 Panel Gatefold