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Image features a black and white graphic of an old-fashioned gramophone. A group of children in silhouette appears to be holding hands and dancing around the gramophone. Below the image is the text "#beatniks," and underneath that, "RECORDS | TURNTABLES | REVOLUTION." Your one-stop shop for rare and collectable vinyl records.

Ever wondered how a vinyl record is made?  It’s more of an in-depth process than you may think.

It all begins with a master recording, the best representation of the music to be pressed onto vinyl.  This master can come from various sources, including analog tape recordings or high-resolution digital files.  Regardless of the source, the goal is the same – to capture the essence and fidelity of the music in its purest form.

The next step is the cutting of the master disc, a process preformed by skilled engineers using a lathe.  The master disc is typically made of aluminum coated with soft lacquer.  The audio signal from the master recording is fed into the cutting head of the lathe, which etches a spiral groove onto the lacquer-coated surface.  This groove contains the analog waveform of the music with variations in depth and width corresponding to the audio signal’s amplitude and frequency.

Once the master disc is ready, it serves as a template for creating the stampers – the metal plates used to press the vinyl records first.  First, the lacquer-coated master disc undergoes a series of electroplating baths, where it is coated with layers of metal, typically nickel. The resulting metal disc, known as the “mother,” is then peeled away from the lacquer, leaving a negative impression of the groove pattern.

This negative impression is used to create a positive metal stamper through additional electroplating. The stamper, with its raised groove pattern, is a precise replica of the original master disc and serves as the mold for pressing vinyl records.

Have we lost you yet????  Because here comes the fun part…

With stampers in hand, the pressing stage begins. Vinyl pellets are heated and compressed. The excess vinyl is trimmed away, leaving behind a raw, untrimmed slab known as a “biscuit.”

Labels are put between the two stampers, then squished causing the grooves to be imprinted onto the vinyl disc.

The records are trimmed to size. Quality control checks ensure that each record meets the highest standards of fidelity and durability.

Once the vinyl records are pressed and inspected, they are ready for packaging. This often involves placing them in cardboard jackets or sleeves adorned with artwork and information about the album and artist. From there, the records are distributed to retailers or directly to consumers, ready to be enjoyed on turntables around the world.

In an era dominated by digital convenience, vinyl records offer a tangible connection to the music.  Theres lots to love about vinyl records, not just the quality of the sound but the creative process it has taken to end up on your turntable.

If you’re interested in knowing more check out:

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Sound City Film