Vinyl Mastering Process Considerations

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Making good sounding vinyl is a lot of work. The first step in the
process is to get your record professionally mastered. Once this is done your
mastering engineer then needs to send the person cutting your vinyl a
Vinyl Split master. This is a master that designates where you split the
sides. 9 times out of 10 your mastering engineer will not be the one
who also cuts your vinyl. Your mastering engineer will make a master
that translates well on CD and Digital and you will then pass it on to a
engineer who will cut a vinyl lacquer. This can often times be a
engineer who works in a specific business or one at your vinyl
manufacturer. This person is very important to your vinyl’s sound and if
you value your fidelity you will make sure you get a lacquer master
(this is what your vinyl will be duplicated from). If you went to a
reputable mastering house they can often advise you on someone who will
do a great job cutting vinyl for your release that they work well with.

Once
this lacquer is cut it is a good idea to get a dubplate which is a one
of pressing of the vinyl to ensure it sound right to you. Often times
the vinyl can distort or lose bass or treble in this process. If you
care about your fidelity you will make sure to get this done. Listening
to this or your test pressing(from the manufacturer end) from your
manufacturer is one of the smartest things you can do since a lot can go
wrong and once the records are pressed there is no turning back or
returning them if something goes wrong.

Jesse Cannon is the editor of Musformation. He produces records at his studio Cannon Found Soundation. Follow him on Twitter at @JesseCannonMusF. For more info please visit his website.