www.low-life.fsnet.co.uk
www.low-life.fsnet.co.uk
Independent Vinyl Pressing

Want To Make Your Own Record... How To Press Your Own Vinyl.

Introduction
Getting Started
Mastering
Pressing
Finished Product
Distribution

Introduction

All sorts of people have pressed up records off their own back and been very successful. People like Wu-Tang started out like this and it can be the first step on the road to big sales and recognition. If you are truly successful you can challenge established labels or indeed attract investment or buy-out opportunities. You can do it too - all you need is a small amount of capital and lots of energy to make it work.

The basic procedure that you will be looking at is getting your material recorded. This is easier said than done, but with modern technology it is very cheap to get professional results at home on some relatively cheap equipment. Once you have your tracks recorded and you are happy with the results you have to purchase the services of a Record Manufacturer, such as the Independent Pressing Company. The manufacturer will take your master tape and a couple of weeks later they'll deliver to you a stack of records in sleeves ready for you to market and sell. And this is where the really hard work starts, but even though you may have some struggles there are several advantages to this independent approach.

Basically you will have to trade some of the recording, marketing and distribution expertise of the established Record Label against increased control over the finished product, budgets and advertising. It is possible that you would question the wisdom in ditching a long established player in the field, but you are much more streamlined than a large record company and you can target your market more directly and respond to trends faster. There would also be no record executives, A & R, or any label people at all to drain your resources and you wouldn't be tied to a limiting record contract.

There are no record label people to deal with and because of this you have total artistic control. You will not be able to say that the label ripped you off or that the label made you put out commercial rubbish. The only person to blame for any mistakes would be yourself, but conversely you would get all the acclaim if your project was a success.

Although you will probably not make much money to begin with, any money you do make (or lose) is your own. Really if money is your only objective it might be better to try and sign to a record label. But, ideally after making a profit the money can go right back into your next project.

It is also feasible that you would wish to use the record you have pressed up as a marketing tool in order to obtain a record deal. Having your own vinyl looks much more professional than a demo tape and will draw much more attention at a radio station or on an A & R persons desk. It can also help in your efforts to secure live performances. If promoters want to hear something in advance, you can send them a copy of the record.

Back to Top


Getting Started

First you need some material to record or a group that you want to work with. Once you have your material down you need it recorded. DAT is currently the most accessible format and probably the best mastering medium for you to use, however 1/4 inch open reel tape will be acceptable. It is not really advised to use compact cassette to send to a mastering plant. That will most likely result in a very poor quality reproduction and is therefore a waste of money and time. More information.

Back to Top


Mastering

So the next part is mastering and you need to find a company such as the Independent Pressing Company to master your stuff. Remember your stuff will only sound as good as the weakest link in your chain, so the quality of the mastering is very important.

The mastering people will 'cut' the 'lacquers' from your DAT and subsequently do the metal processing. Then everything is set up to press the records. For example the Independent Pressing Company have specialist technicians who can undertake both the mastering and pressing of your project for your convenience. More information.

Back to Top


Pressing

After the mastering has been done the next step is to have the plates (Metalwork) made. This is also referred to as metal processing. Next you need to decide what you want to do, 12-inches, 7-inches, colored vinyl? How many do you want to press? What do you want to do for covers? This is all up to you. To test the water it is prudent to commission a relatively small first press run. That way if you can't get rid of them all you won't have thousands of records all over your house. Also if you need more you can always do a re-press which will cost a great deal less than the first press because set-up has already been done and paid for.

Depending on the number of records you choose to press, new 'Stampers' (metal work) will have to be made from the 'Mother' periodically (maybe every 2000+) to keep the grooves well defined and stop the quality of the resultant records deteriorating. More information.

Labels: When the record is ready to be pressed. the pressing plant will send you sheets in which you design your own Side A and Side B labels. Be creative, make them stand out and make sure you put an address and/or telephone number where people can get a hold of you (in case they want more).

When the pressing plant is in possession of the all the required material (metal work, labels and sleeves etc, they'll then commence pressing up your records.

Sleeves: These can also be designed by you, but there will be additional costs for the manufacture. You can use plain white or black pre-manufactured disco-bags and possibly make them stand out with the use of a sticker and/or shrink wrapping.

Back to Top


Finished Product

Once the records are pressed up they will be delivered to your designated address and it is then up to you to get the records out there for sale and to try and create a buzz with in your desired market. 

Distribution: Definitely send out as many promo copies as you can to relevant magazines that review records, club DJs and radio stations. This costs money but it can get the music out there. Be sure to address your records to particular DJs who have a specialist musical taste which your record fits into. Also dish out lots of concise biographical and promotional material with your records. You can ask your local radio station people for their list of stations and contacts throughout the radio community and get promotional copies off to them too. If it is possible to get street DJs that do parties/clubs/mix-tapes/pirate radio behind you, they can get your stuff heard by the right people and so it can be worthwhile giving them copies.  Some DJs will want two copies and it may seem, sometimes, like you are giving all your records away.

Once you have stirred up a demand amongst the public, you need to get out there and sell the records. Get to know your local record shop managers if possible, most of them will be glad to take some records on a S.O.R. (Sale or Return) basis. Try to obtain a list of the distributors they buy through and get copies to them too. If they like your product and think it has potential they may undertake to distribute your record and this will hopefully get your record out all over the country. Distributors and Record shops can also be found in the Yellow Pages/Thompson telephone directories, music magazines and the trade press etc. You can sell them at shows, put advertisements in various music related publications and do mail order. You can even be like Blade and walk the streets selling them out of a bag. The possibilities are endless, but basically it'll be up to you to make it happen.

Back to Top

Independent Pressing - Press your records here.
Your Ad Here  

Send all comments, suggestions, & questions to: (QED)
1996-2005 Peter Low. All rights reserved

Web design and administration by:
QED 


Britishhiphop.co.uk