You may have heard that vinyl sales are on the rise and not just for music fans who enjoy the warmth of sound quality, but simply as a collectors item too! Vinyl stores such as Vinyl.com are heavily focussed on the vinyl revival, with over 50,000 titles in stock. If you are a recording artist that is interested in hearing your music on this very popular decades old format, here is a step by step guide of things you will need to consider if you want to get your album released on vinyl.
Here’s How To Get Your Album Released On Vinyl
1. Mastering for Vinyl:
Prior to the pressing process, the album’s audio needs to be specifically mastered for vinyl. Vinyl mastering involves making adjustments to the audio to ensure optimal playback on the medium. It typically includes adjustments to the overall frequency response, dynamics, and spacing between tracks to account for the limitations and characteristics of vinyl.
2. Preparing Artwork and Packaging:
Vinyl releases often involve elaborate and visually appealing artwork and packaging. This includes designing the album cover, inner sleeves, labels, and any additional inserts or booklets. The artwork should meet the specific requirements of the pressing plant, which may include resolution, color profiles, and file formats.
3. Choosing a Vinyl Manufacturer:
Research and select a reputable vinyl pressing plant or manufacturer that suits your needs and budget. Consider factors such as quality, turnaround time, pressing capacity, customer service, and any additional services they offer, such as custom color vinyl or special edition variants.
4. Vinyl Manufacturing Specifications:
Work closely with the pressing plant to determine the manufacturing specifications for your vinyl release. This includes decisions on vinyl color, weight (standard is 180g), record size (typically 12 inches), and the number of vinyl sides (single or double LP). Provide the manufacturer with the audio files and artwork according to their specifications.
5. Test Pressings:
Before proceeding with the full production run, the pressing plant will provide you with a small batch of test pressings. These test pressings allow you to evaluate the sound quality, overall vinyl pressing quality, and ensure there are no manufacturing defects. It’s essential to carefully review and approve the test pressings before giving the green light for mass production.
6. Vinyl Production and Pressing:
Once the test pressings are approved, the pressing plant will proceed with the full production run. The audio is cut into lacquers, which are then used to create metal stampers. These stampers are used to press the vinyl records. The records are typically pressed in large machines that heat and press the vinyl pellets into the desired shape and size. Labels and packaging are added during this process.
7. Quality Control and Distribution:
After production, the vinyl records undergo quality control checks to ensure they meet the desired standards. This includes inspecting for any defects, such as surface noise, warping, or mispressings. Once the quality control checks are complete, the records can be packaged and distributed to retailers, distributors, or directly to customers. This is extremely important if you want to release your album on vinyl.
- Vinyl releases often include additional elements like lyric sheets, posters, or download codes.
- Consider the order lead time, as vinyl production can take longer than digital or CD releases.
- Plan a vinyl release date and marketing strategy to build anticipation and generate interest.
- Pricing and sales strategy should factor in the higher production costs associated with vinyl.
- Vinyl releases may require additional licensing or legal considerations compared to streaming releases.
- Consider whether you will handle distribution yourself or work with a distributor to reach a broader audience.
Note: The steps provided are a general outline, and specific details may vary depending on individual circumstances and preferences. It is always recommended to consult with professionals and pressing plants for detailed guidance throughout the process.
Want to add to your vinyl collection? Find all your fave albums at https://www.vinyl.com/search
For more info on how to project manage a music release, read our blog article here.