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Vinyl Mastering: What Is It?

Vinyl records have become all but extinct nowadays. There are only a handful of companies at the moment that still manufacture vinyl records. Turntables and gramophones have become choice products for many people who are into music, and the biggest reason for that is because most people now listen to music without using any physical storage media. A vinyl is a large, black disc that can only be played on a turntable or a gramophone. However, in the past couple of years, LPs have enjoyed somewhat of a resurgence.

The popularity of vinyl records is on the rise, as more and more music aficionados opt for releasing their music on vinyl. A considerable number of small studios have now released material for issue on LP, and it is likely that the industry is going to expand even further within a few years. Most people assumed that this resurgence would be limited to a certain section of the industry. That isn’t the case either.

For example, the companies that produce dance music for DJs still use vinyl mastering because their customers prefer mixing the music according to their requirements. However, ever since techno music became popular, more people have jumped on the bandwagon and opted for vinyl. Today, an increasing number of studios have begun to release jazz music on vinyl. In fact, numerous audiophile labels have also cropped up across the industry that only release music on vinyl.

What Is Mastering?

Mastering is the process of making a vinyl record. This is much more important than you might think. When you release music on a CD, you don’t think twice about the pressing process. That’s because you already know that the quality of the data you send to the pressing plant will remain unaffected. However, that isn’t the case with LPs. You might need to hire a professional mastering studio that has state of the art equipment, or involve yourself in the process a bit more. Most importantly, you will need to understand how certain things work. You will often have to engage in discussions with the mastering professionals and know what they are saying in order to help make better decisions.

Mastering begins with an acetate blank, an empty vinyl that’s made of aluminium and has a thin layer of acetate on it. The disc is then placed on a mastering lathe, and the vinyl is cut according to the wavelength of the music to be burnt on it. In many cases, two or more acetates are burnt at one time. One of them is returned to the customer for use as a reference.

Getting Your LPs Mastered

There are many local studios in the UK that currently deal in mastering for vinyl, CDs and other media. If you are looking to release your music on any of these platforms, you should seriously consider bringing in outside help. It will greatly improve your chances of a smooth launch and will also improve the quality of music on the vinyl.

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