Has it really been 15 years since we pressed our last vinyl LP? Maybe so, but we haven’t forgotten that vinyl records are what put the “disc” in Disc Makers.
The market for vinyl is growing by leaps and bounds — 35 percent per year for the last five years! Still, vinyl records represent a niche market in the music manufacturing world, and because of its dramatic strong growth, production capacity has lagged behind. In fact, musicians and labels sometimes end up turning to pressing plants as far away as eastern Europe to get their vinyl records made, only to discover (after months of waiting) that their product is not up to snuff.
Enter &mdash or should we say re-enter &mdash Disc Makers, the pioneers of vinyl record production for indie artists. Disc Makers again offers high-quality 12- and 7-inch vinyl records. Artists can choose from a rainbow of colors, two different weights, and a variety of packaging options.
You may not know this, but Disc Makers is the secret power behind hundreds of classic record titles from the last six decades. It all began in the ’40s and ’50s, when founder Ivin Ballen built his own plant to manufacture shellac 78s of the groundbreaking R&B artists he heard around him in Philadelphia, using his plant’s downtime to press records for other labels and independent artists.
In the ’70s and early ’80s, when musicians wanted to put out their own vinyl records, they had to order the various components (lacquer masters, stampers, labels, and jackets) from as many as seven different music manufacturers and get them all shipped to the pressing plant. Disc Makers was the original pressing plant to solve this problem: we bundled all the parts together, making it easy and affordable for artists to get their music pressed on vinyl records. This continued into the days of hip hop (Salt-N-Pepa, DJ Jazzy Jeff & the Fresh Prince) and post-punk/hardcore (Butthole Surfers, Big Black). Henry Rollins used to pull up to the Disc Makers warehouse in his tour van to pick up his albums.
With the rise of the audio cassette, and subsequently the CD, vinyl languished. Yet vinyl’s demise proved temporary, as collectors and passionate music fans continued to search out and buy both vintage and new vinyl records. This wave grew, and more and more of our customers began inquiring about vinyl.
“Vinyl got back onto our radar as a new generation of enthusiasts got into it,” Disc Makers CEO Tony van Veen says. “Every year for the past five years, literally every year, we asked ourselves if it made sense to get back into vinyl. Finally, my team convinced me. We’re a full service provider of products to artists., and not offering vinyl records was too big a hole in our range of services.”
To fill this hole, we’ve turned to the same trusty machines we used in the record-pressing glory days, lovingly restored and retooled to improve the vinyl pressing process and reduce manufacturing flaws.
But the equipment is only part of our revived vinyl offerings. New vinyl offers include cool packaging options like gatefold jackets for 7-inch records, random color effects that render a record with a wild swirl of color, and production runs as small as 200 units so you can dip into vinyl without breaking the bank. Plus, Disc Makers offers post-production mastering for vinyl records, optimizing your audio master to suit the new format.
“With a new vinyl offering from Disc Makers, and our ability to offer this hundreds of thousands of performing indie artists, we’ll help raise the overall visibility of vinyl,” asserts van Veen. “It will have a positive impact on demand from artists, and in turn from fans.”
See Disc Makers’ vinyl offerings at www.discmakers.com/products/vinyl.
Why Aren’t There More Vinyl Pressing Plants? (Pitchfork)
Vinyl record sales are on the rise
An independent musician needs to make CDs
Is Your Project Ready For CD Manufacturing? A DIY Album Release Checklist
Audio Mastering — The Mysterious Post-Production Art Form
Running your own indie record label