2015 is off to great start and the vinyl industry hasn’t skipped a beat.More people than ever are buying vinyl and more artists than ever (big and small) are making it. Sales hit a record 6.1 million units in the U.S. last year. But as demand increases, the number of American pressing plants remains relatively fixed. No one is building new presses because, by all accounts, it would be prohibitively expensive.
On a daily basis we get dozens upon dozens of quote requests for vinyl projects from artist and labels all around the world. We absolutely love seeing so much interest from artists to put their work on vinyl. However with that, come a lot of frustrations from potential clients about the vinyl making process. Standard Vinyl used to be able to turn orders around in 60 days. Now…you are looking at anywhere from 14 – 25 weeks (3-6 months) for your project to get pressed. The reality sets in very quickly for people when they realize that vinyl making takes time. So when it comes to the current state of the vinyl industry’s unlikely resurrection, everyone is happy. And everyone is frustrated at the same time.
Vinyl’s sharp rise began in 2008, when sales nearly doubled from the previous year’s 1 million to 1.9 million. The tallies have gone up each year since, and 2013’s 6.1 million is a 33 percent increase over 2012’s 4.6 million. What a lot of people fail to realize is that making vinyl records is more of an art than science. CDs are duplicated, but an LP is made from scratch with PVC pellets and paper labels in a multi-step process that’s prone to error. There’s no secret formula or process that ensures a perfect record every time. The same settings on the same machines don’t produce the same results as the day before, or even the hour before. Making vinyl is a labor- and time-intensive endeavor, but much of a record’s lead time is spent waiting in the queue. The Plants are doing the best they can to keep up and we can only sympathize with their grueling schedule of trying to keep up with the demand.
So what’s the hold up?
One of the most important things to realize is that everyone is competing with everyone to get their records presses. Major labels are pressing and repressing more than every with HIGH volume orders for top selling vinyl artists and unfortunately the little guys (like you) are in direct competition with getting their records made. As you can imagine, at this rate, there won’t be enough presses to meet everyone’s demand in a timely fashion.
So what can you do to get your vinyl project pressed without getting overwhelmed with the process?
Here is Standard Vinyl’s Top 10 Tips for successfully putting your music on vinyl.
1. Be Patient. Delays are inevitable and they continue to keep creeping up. Don’t stress. This is all a part of the process. Anything worthwhile takes time 🙂
2. Be Prepared & Plan ahead. Give yourself at least 6 months for planning purposes. Don’t wait until 4 weeks before your release to decided you might want some vinyl to sell.
3. Do your homework. Understand the process of the industry and how things are done.
4. Don’t plan your release party until your vinyl is scheduled on the press! Take as much pride in planning out your vinyl order as you do your release party. Again see #2 PLAN AHEAD!
5. Have all your music and artwork ready at the same time! This is very important! Sending everything in at once ensures your order stays on track and does not get delayed.
6. Be professional & Organized – When submitted your files, have things labeled and organized properly to ensure as little back and forth as possible.
7. Be available. Proofs, test presses, unexpected questions or issues all need a quick turnaround from you to keep your order on track.
8. Don’t stress. Just don’t. Your vinyl takes time.
9. Have a plan B. Standard Vinyl now offers expedite services at an additional cost for those who need it, so always have some extra money in the budget for things if need be.
10. Did we mention…be patient 🙂