The Vinyl Alliance Officially Responds to the Apollo Masters Fire

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The Vinyl Alliance releases a forward-thinking statement on the Apollo Masters Fire.

The Vinyl Alliance, a vinyl records advocacy group comprised of several industry organizations, has released an official statement regarding the fire that recently destroyed Apollo Masters’ Banning, California, production facility. The Alliance held its inaugural meeting earlier this month, as first reported by Digital Music News.

Unlike most of the comments made by predictably concerned members of the media, Vinyl Alliance’s statement struck an optimistic tone. While acknowledging the depth of the Apollo Masters tragedy, President Guenter Loibl indicated that vinyl’s future looks bright—but manufacturers must embrace the numerous possibilities offered by cutting-edge technology. 

Apollo Masters was one of only two companies in the world (the other being Japan’s MDC) known to produce lacquer discs, from which vinyl masters are typically pressed. 

However, the Vinyl Alliance mentioned that its members had been in touch with MDC, and that the Japanese company intends to ramp up production and ration its lacquer so as to minimize the impact on manufacturers.  

Additionally, the statement noted that direct-to-metal-mastering (DMM) does not require any lacquer whatsoever and can be used to create vinyl records presently. Plus, multiple lacquer-manufacturing startups “are expected to enter the market in the coming months,” and HD vinyl, “a modern way to produce stampers without lacquers,” is being developed. Updates on the latter are anticipated to arrive sometime in 2020. 

The statement closed with a collection of quotes from vinyl experts, all of whom said, in essence, that the aforementioned innovations, in coordination with commonsense manufacturing precautions, should be more than enough to prevent a widespread shortage. 

Authorities have declared the Apollo Masters’ building to be a complete loss. And in a testament to the amount of destruction that the fire brought about, adjacent roads are expected to remain closed for about two more weeks, to prevent passersby from being injured by debris. 

The tragic fire’s cause hasn’t yet been determined, and Apollo Masters’ future is uncertain. But with so many passionate fans (as well as committed advocate organizations like the Vinyl Alliance) providing support, it can be stated with confidence that the commercially popular vinyl medium will remain prominent for many years to come. 

8 Responses

  1. I can smell ur weakness

    Record sales start to skyrocket and then a fire brakes out……hmmmm
    Looks like someone wants to put an end to Indies putting out albums
    That Taylor Swift album for sat at target shelves forever
    Put the Indies back on the digital ponzi scheme where the industry can steal with impunity! Hide numbers of TRUE ARTISTS and prop up Lizzo over real black artists
    Only plantation acts get a check
    Got it

  2. Nicky Knight

    Of course the other alternative is
    The Compact Audio Cassette

    Quite easy and affordable to manufacture and a great tactile physical format for music and a collectable for fans.

    • can

      If we want to reintroduce compact audio cassette, please set a higher standard speed so that it can reproduce frequency up to 22KHz.
      The old audio cassette only able to reproduce frequency up to 12KHz for most of the normal tape unless you use the expensive metal tape.

  3. Dean Hajas

    Fire after Fire buries the Masters while if I was in charge of investigations would follow up on the initiatives of transfer of originals into new SR (Sound Recordings). I don’t buy the music industry bullshit for a Rock’n Roll minute. Make this statement to them.. assign 50% ownership across the board to the estates of the artists families, and or the remaining artists still alive. This will be the tell all.. and further, let the families and their attorneys be in charge of resubmitting the SR’s to the copyright office and generating the ISRC codes. License those codes to the duplicators, publishers, PRO’s, labels and Soundexchange.. just call it game changer.

  4. bc

    “And in a testament to the amount of destruction that the fire brought about, adjacent roads are expected to remain closed for about two more weeks, to prevent passersby from being injured by debris.” Ahhh, you mean, the site is so toxic that it poses a hazard to healthy people, right?

    • Reality

      No they mean we can’t have anyone come near to see the evidence of arson…