Vinyl Production Is About to Get a Whole Lot Easier for Artists…

What if you didn’t have to wait months for your vinyl run to finish?

Besides streaming, vinyl is the only other recording format that is growing.  It’s also the only lucrative for most artists, though production costs and heavy delays are now a serious reality.  As the unexpected surge in record buying keeps intensifying, old-line production facilities are getting overwhelmed.

Artists, in turn, sometimes have to wait 6 months or more for a standard production run to complete.  At best, they’re running out of inventory at shows and online, though at worst, they can’t come close to meeting the demand.

But if there’s so much demand, where are the new factories?  Part of the problem is that vinyl production plants require lots of capital, though investors are uncertain whether vinyl is simply a fad.  Theoretically, vinyl demand could keep multiplying over the next ten years, but what if it doesn’t?

It’s a classic Catch 22, though now, some of those issues appear to be abating as LPs and 45s enter their tenth straight year of gains.  One company putting a shovel to the ground is Dallas-based Hand Drawn Records, which is planning to start construction on an automatic pressing facility this fall.  Hand Drawn claims this is the ‘world’s first automated pressing plant’ in 30 years, and hopes to simplify the ordering and turnaround process entirely.  “We want to encourage more artists to consider pressing vinyl, but without all the hassle,” said Hand Drawn founder Dustin Blocker.

“Musicians want to focus on playing their instruments and connecting with fans, not learning all the nuances of the vinyl record manufacturing process.”

Meanwhile, LPs themselves are starting to improve in other ways, with ‘high definition vinyl’ technology already receiving patent protections.  That future format not only promises a far greater experience for fans, but a faster and more modern production process than the 60s- and 70s-era production equipment that characterizes record manufacturing today.



10 Responses

  1. Anonymous

    Only problem:

    Vinyl sounds like absolute sh!t compared to digital — especially when it comes to modern bass-heavy records…

    • Anonymous

      Sounds like some of these idiots have had one too many ipod earbuds stuck up their ears to notice any difference!!

  2. CoCo

    Interesting idea… many music fans still want a tactile artifact, something physical with artwork, text and a certain feel plus the mystery of somehow having this disc spinning around emitting the music through speakers..

    Vinyl can deliver this experience.. it’s a costly and awkward process to go about manufacturing vinyl along with the labels & cover-jacket artwork .. then of course you have to warehouse the stock and somehow organize distribution into record shops..

    So it’s a much tougher way of distributing music to your buying fans.. but if done right and with all things going well.. I imagine it could be profitable and artistically rewarding activity.

    • momo

      Doesn’t the good ol’ cd tick all of those boxes?

    • tf

      You’re absolutely right about the vinyl experience. We made QRATES so creating vinyl , shipping them to your fans and even distributing them to stores can be done by any one. We’re turning around records at 6-8 weeks and are pressing them at the highest quality plants in the industry. Hope you’ll check it out.

  3. so

    30 days? More like 3-4 months. Nice piece, and good to know.

    • Anonymous

      True. Everyone I know would be thrilled with a 30 day turnaround.

    • Eric Rann

      Cool so we need 50 of these in china spitting out “HD VINYL”

      Then we can scrap all the lathes and lathe operators for good!

      what did they ever do for us anyway except pave the way for all this to happen in the first place?

      then we can get our favorite albums at wal-mart!

  4. Listener

    A good enough rig and vinyl trumps digital much of the time if you have good hearing to pick up the “air”. Not sure what bottleneck this machine removes, but vinyl is not censored and can be played in any “region”.