How to press Vinyl  Heer en meester in de Platenindustrie
This content is © 2017 The DJResource...Submitted by Lead Flag on 28-08-2003 @ 13:57

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Ever wondered how a record is created ??

In Holland ( Haarlem to be more precise ) there's one of the biggest companies that are still pressing the vinyl that you are playing on your turntable"s. It is called Record Industry and in the following story will explain how this process works.

Equipmentlist of Record Industry cuttingroom

1 x Neumann cutting lathe VMS 70 (laquer)
2 x Neumann cutting lathe VMS 8o (laquer)
1 x Neumann cutting lathe VMS 82 (DMM cutter: Direct Metal Mastering)
3 x Neumann console with Neumann U1160 XP equalizers and U1173 SP compressor/limiters
2 x Sony PCM-7010 Datrecorder
2 X Marantz Professional cd speler
2 x Lexicon MPX-1
1 x Pultec EQ-P A3 Equalizer
2 x Coloursound Stereo width control
2 x Klark Teknik DN-70 realtime spectrum analyzer
PC harddisk editing systeem with Wavelab, Soundforge and several plug-ins

1. Cutting Room
When an order comes in the first thing that has to be done is the cutting of a master. This is done in the cuttingroom, wich you see on the picture.

On the left there is the cutting table and on the right are the effects that has to be used to master the original tracks. All this equipment is used for anhancing and correcting the orignal so it fits best on a vinyl at the end of the process.

2. Cutting a Master
From the supplied master (CDR, DAT or any other source) a cut is made in the cutting room.
The audio is cut onto a lacquer, an acetate layer or a DMM copper layer, (DMM for classical repertoire or albums, a lacquer for 12" items), using a cutting lathe. For both the lacquer and the DMM, the cutting lathe works with a stylus (DMM a diamond stylus, lacquer with a saffier stylus) that etches a groove into the layer. A DMM copper layer gives a better respons of the high frequencies, but results in less sub frequencies when it’s pressed to vinyl. The stylus has two coils that are positioned between magnets. The audio material is led by magnets, which cause both horizontal and vertical vibrations to the stylus. The depth of the groove depends on the intensity of the audio material. Each lacquer or DMM disk is single sided so two must be cut for a regular two sided record.

When cutting the stylus is in fact 1 rotation behind on the audio, this way corrections can still be made realtime. There is an extra ‘regular’ arm so the result can be monitored during the whole proces.

3. Quality Control
Throughout the whole manufacturing process the record is subject to comprehensive Quality Control. This allready starts when an external master is supplied. This master has to be checked under a Microscope. On a monitor the result can be seen. When everything is done and before an order can be ressed, the audio must be approved. A first testing will be made and played by QC.

Paperparts (labels, sleeves, stickers etc.) are checked by QC. Finally QC check the records which are ready to ship, to make sure the customer receives the product exactly as ordered.

4. Stampers
The next stage is the plating or galvanics; the manufacture of stampers that are used to press the records.

Each side of the record, A and B side lacquers, are sprayed with silver, forming a layer of only 0,2 micron. The sprayed lacquer is put into an electro-forming bath which bonds a nickel layer onto the silver. When a substantial layer has built up, the nickel layer is separated from the lacquer and a first master is ready. This master is called the negative. The lacquer is no longer used and disposed.

5. Copying the stampers
From the negative a positive is made, using the same process as used to make
the negative. The negative is put in the electro-forming bath, a nickel layer grows" on the negative. Next the two layers are separated from each other, leaving the original negative and the new positive. Now some real handwork has to be done, the record has to be accuratly centered and all codes has to be carved in the inside. The negative is a back-up copy, which is archived.

From the positive, the stampers are produced, again in the same electro-forming
bath. The stamper is a negative, each record requires two stampers, one for the each the A and B sides. In this way we are able to develop more than one set of stampers from the same lacquer or DMM. The stampers are used on the presses to press the grooves into the vinyl. We can press approximately 1000 to 1500 records with one set of stampers.

6. Labels
The labels on the record should be very solid. During the pressing there is a huge force on the label and a lot of heat and vapor is released. This is something paper normaly is not resistant to. So the label are first hardened in an oven to that they will survive the rest of the production process.

7. Pressing
The vinyl is transported to the press in small granular or pellet form. The raw
vinyl is formed under high pressure into a small "puck" or "biscuit". The "puck" is mechanically placed between the stampers , on which are the A and B side labels. The press closes and the stampers press the vinyl "puck", under a pressure of 150 bar in 20 seconds, into a record. The record is taken out of the press mechanically, the edges are trimmed and the record mechanically inserted into an innersleeve/discosleeve, then left flat to cool down. After every 5 records a heavy metal "spacer" is placed to enhance the hardening and cooling down process.

The records are transported by an assembly-line to a robotised storage system (the collator) here they will cool down, approximately 3 hours for 125 grams records and a whole night for 180 grams records. After the cooling down period the records are ready for packaging.

8. Packaging
The packaging is done at the finishing department, where the records are mechanically sleeved and packed into boxes ready for transportation.

Allthough the most pressings can be fitted into their sleeves automaticly, special inlays and special sleeves still are handjobs. Here you see the special edition of Pink Floyd"s Dark Side of the Moon. Released 30 years ago for the first time. This record is remastered and has all the original stickers and posters. Besides rock music nowadays also a lot of clasical music is been re-released.

Pictures from Interface Magazine

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There are 9 Comments

Laidback wrote on 23-05-2006 @ 00:57
Leuke Toevoeging! > LINK <  video over het persen van Vinyl..

FlagTwizz wrote on 10-06-2006 @ 19:50
hoe duur zijn die apparaten:P
FlagDNR wrote on 12-11-2006 @ 15:23
twister wil er ook een op zn kamer:P

(ik ook wel eigenlijk, nummer selecteren. rechtermuisknop. vinyl persen. ok.)
zou makkelijk zijn:P
FlagNielsR wrote on 28-04-2007 @ 23:17
Hier heb ik nog een leuk filmje gevonden hoe ze vinyl persen van productie tot vinyl


FlagPsykologicalBeatzz wrote on 15-02-2009 @ 11:24
FlagDVanDerMaar wrote on 21-05-2009 @ 18:03
Interesting article this,

Record Industries are good I used them a couple of years ago, although the vinyl was a little bit thin though I guess, I use AGR Manufacturing for my Vinyl & CD Manufacturing now though who are based in the UK, Im located in Berlin now but still pay AGR in Pounds and with the exchange rate I get a great deal :o)
Flaganciano wrote on 02-09-2009 @ 03:03
Hoi allemaal,

Met weemoed lees ik dit verhaal. Ik heb destijds in Bovema (Haarlem 1973) 6 maanden lang platen geperst.  En ook nog toevalig een week lang (op 1 pers) de 'Dark Side Of The Moon'. Ik werkte destijdsd met veel turken, dat waren echt meesters in het persen. Zij persten met twee machines tergelijkertijd. Destijds ging het persen iets anders dan boven bescgreven: Lp werkwijze in (destijds 28 seconden) en alles handmatig:Pers gaat open>de plaat wordt eraf gehaald en wordt op een snijmachine gelegd>Broodje Vinyl (380 graden) wordt door de perser tussen de pers geplaatst>pers gaat dicht>nu is het tijd om het overtollige vinyl met een soort passer eraf te snijden>je kijkt de plaat vluchtig door om te kijken of er geen beschadigingen zijn en legt de plaat weg op een soort standaard>op dat moment gaat de pers weer open en kan je weer van voor af aan beginnen. De single pers die deed er 18 seconden over om een singeltje te persen. En dan waren er mensen met twee machines!!! Vier uur persen aan 1 stuk door, half uur pauze en dan weer vier uur. Na drie maanden kreeg ik een soort uitslag van het materiaal en mocht ik naar de inpak afdeling. Ik heb een week lang de hit single 'Power To All Our Friends' van Cliff Richard staan in te pakken. Na een aantal weken ging ik weer terug naar het persen. Maar gelukkig kon ik na een bepaalde tijd mijn hobby en werkzaamheden weer oppakken als DJ in Zandvoort. (het persen was gelukkig een tijdelijke baan) Eind 1973 werden de eerste volautomatische CD persapparaten in Bovema geplaatst. Iedereen zei toen, dat de CD maar tijdelijk was en vinyl zou blijven bestaan! Cool
Lead wrote on 28-12-2009 @ 02:12
Flagrichie-37 wrote on 05-12-2014 @ 15:25

Vestax heeft nog een paar vinyl-cutters in de handel gehad, vraag me niet naar het resultaat, maar het kost toch ook niet veel om je vinyl te laten pressen, een stuk of 100. Net als dat thuis een pcb ontwerpt en test en er twee honderd laat maken als je de pics even opstuurt, denhaag zit er 1 dacht ik. En persoonlijk vind ik dat bij de voeding met spanningsregelaar bij een technics weinig kwaad kunnen, dat is zo'n crisisregelaar standaard en de gelijkrichter is matig en je kunt er tenminste een goede voeding voor maken, met de standaard trafo. Tsja de standaard voeding is geen stille , maar het verbaast me dat ze er nog geen kitje voor hebben, net als een recap en wat andere onderdeel vervangingen. Paar schroeven losdraaien en wat solderen moet te doen zijn.

gr richard

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