Artist Advice Column: Pressing Your Music To Vinyl Pt. 1
Pressing vinyl. It sounds like fun, gives your music more respect and calls back to the old days of just DJing on vinyl. Vinyl has surged over the past decade, driven not just by older people looking for a nostalgia kick, but also newcomers who want to get into collecting the medium. There are plenty of vinyl-only record labels and other labels that can handle the logistics of pressing to vinyl, but you should still know the details on pressing independently. It has become a right of passage for some to press their music onto vinyl, meaning they are at the point of their careers where they have the clout and resources to do so. Not everyone can, but if you are going to, let’s examine how you can do it and what potential obstacles lay in wait. We will be doing this in multiple pieces to avoid an information overload.
1. Decide What Project To Press:
This may sound simple, but it isn’t always the easiest decision. Do you have a new single coming out? Do you think it will be a hit? Do you have an album on the way and you think it could do really well? If you are self-releasing or a label isn’t willing to fully find your vinyl order, then consider what project you want to put out on vinyl. If you don’t have a lot of money, then it can be smart to see how your release is doing in terms of DJ support and the initial launch of the song before making that investment. Use the market as a guide because ordering too much vinyl can be catastrophic to your finances.
2. Timing Of When To Order Vinyl:
Just like everything in the music business, this is about timing. If you are certain it will do well with fans because of online and DJ buzz, then go ahead and get your order ready before it drops. But if you want to wait until the project drops to see if it is worth pressing, then be mindful that it will take months before your vinyl is pressed and ready to ship. Vinyl pressing can take months since new plants aren’t opening fast enough to accommodate the demand. Artists and labels with big orders will be prioritized if need be since the margins are higher at bigger orders.
So if you are certain that your project is worth pressing and you want it out on the digital release day, make sure the art and all assets are in months in advance. Delays can happen, so give yourself plenty of time to get this done.
This is a key point. Your music needs to be mastered for vinyl before pressing. If you didn’t get it mastered for the medium, send it to a different mastering engineer who can get that done. If the songs aren’t mastered properly, then you have defeated the purpose of even having your project pressed. If you aren’t sure if your master is good enough, have someone take a look at it.