As vinyl records continue their glorious comeback, let’s take a second to look at how these black discs of beautiful music actually work, or more specifically, how they materialize. For this express purpose, Super Deluxe brought some cameras into a vinyl pressing plant for some visual insight as to how these records are made, from mixing dye to getting the shape right to pressing a master onto a blank record.
The video is beautifully abstract and artistic, but for a more direct and concrete look at what it takes to create a vinyl record from start to finish, we turn to an all-time favorite source for learning about how things are made: The show How It’s Made.
It comes off as one of those educational videos you watched in high school when you had a substitute teacher, yes, but while some might call it “boring,” we prefer “meditative.” Plus, it goes into detail about each and every step of the process: How the master is created, how the detailed lathe works in the studio during the recording process, how a “stamper” is created from the master, how the label in the middle is affixed to the record, how a “biscuit” of vinyl is melted into a record at about 380 degrees Fahrenheit, and that’s pretty much it.
Much debate can be had over whether records produce a better or “warmer” sound, but what we can confirm here is that the process of making a record is a lot more fascinating than downloading an MP3 file.
Featured image: Wikimedia Commons