12″ Vinyl Records
Memphis Record Pressing presses 12” vinyl records. The 12” vinyl format is often referred to as an LP (“Long Play”) because it can play audio much longer than the “Single” or “Extended Play” records. LPs started as 10” records, but today the 12” LP is the prevalent format. While the 12” record is most commonly used for LP purposes, it is also typical to see singles and EPs pressed onto 12” vinyl.
12" VINYL OPTIONS AND INFORMATION
GENERAL VINYL INFORMATION
The warm, interactive vinyl experience has come back into the spotlight as the preferred method of music listening for many consumers today. Memphis Record Pressing began in response to the increasing demand for vinyl record production. We press high quality records that undergo a strict inspection process to ensure the consumer is 100% satisfied with the finished product. Currently, MRP offers 12” formatted records in weights of 140 and 180 grams.
MRP offers two different options for the weight of your LPs. While there is much discussion regarding the quality of the audio for LPs pressed at different weights, we have found the difference to be negligible. Heavier weighted LPs are less susceptible to warping and feel sturdy in the consumer’s hands.
MRP’s record weight options:
- 140 grams
- 180 grams
A lacquer master is an acetate coated aluminum disc that starts smooth with no grooves. Grooves are then “cut” into the disc on a lathe to represent your audio. Side A and B (C and D if applicable) each have their own master lacquer. From the lacquer, metal plates are made which then press the actual LPs. The process of lacquer mastering is only required for your initial order of a project. Typically, re-orders do not need to go through this process again.
*It is important to note that the quality of the lacquer mastering will only be as good as the audio mastering you sent us. Make sure your audio is mastered for vinyl and is perfect when you send it to MRP.
For more on lacquer mastering, click here.
Plating (also known as electroplating) is the metal molding process that comes from the lacquer master. A thin coat of silver is sprayed onto the lacquer master. From here, the lacquer master is then dipped into a nickel bath to be “metallized” or “plated”. Once the lacquer master is removed from the nickel bath, the “metallized” plate is then separated from the original lacquer (and the lacquer is now useless). This first plate is referred to as the “father”. The “father” is a negative of the final LP, and can be plated again to make the “mother” which is a metal duplicate of the original lacquer master.
At MRP, you have two plating options:
- A 2-step process is when the “father” plate is converted into a stamper (stampers are used for the pressings), and the “mother” is set aside for future use. The 2-step process is typically used for pressings of 10,000 LPs or less.
- A 3-step process is when the “mother” is plated again to create the stampers, rather than being set aside. This process is recommended for pressings that are anticipated to exceed 10,000 LPs.
Please pardon our mess while we work to expand and improve our color program for 2023! We have a completely new selection of colors, available here.
A test pressing is the LP pressed from the stampers on your project. Test pressings are a true representation of the final product, and they are your last chance to review the audio before MRP proceeds with production. MRP will provide you five (5) tests for each order. Additional tests are available upon request (please specify the need for any additional tests when placing the order). MRP will not proceed with production until the tests have been approved by the client. At MRP, test pressings are required with every new order.
PACKAGING AND LABEL INFORMATION
We offer the convenience of having all your packaging and label needs handled in house. The value of having your order printed at MRP is that all materials used work well with our pressing equipment. Additionally, time is saved because MRP is not waiting on product to be shipped to us for production.
All art files must be submitted in CMYK color, with a minimum of 300 dpi. MRP can print your custom inner sleeves, but if you want something more basic, we have black or white sleeves. Sleeves can be plain or poly-lined. Rice paper sleeves are also available. Jackets have the options of center holes, single jackets, gatefold and tip-on jackets. Fold-over polybags are also a great alternative to shrinkwrap.
Consumers appreciate the ability to have a digital copy of their vinyl record. MRP hosts digital downloads, and will insert a download card into every record jacket. You can supply your own digital download cards, but we think it’s easier to have everything handled in one place.
If MRP will be the host for your digital downloads, please remember to send us the MP3 files of your album in addition to the .WAV format. Make sure all metadata is included.
Many variables are involved in the turnaround time. Once MRP receives all order details, you can expect to receive your test presses within a three (3) to four (4) week timeframe. In those initial weeks, MRP is busy cutting the lacquer, making the plates and stampers, and then pressing your test presses. Typically once you approve the test presses, there is a five (5) week turnaround timeframe. To ensure that the entire process goes as quick as possible, please provide all necessary information to your MRP representative at the time of placing your order. In total, the process can take eight (8) to nine (9) weeks.