If you’re an independent artist or an unsigned band, it can be both exciting and scary trying to ‘make it’, with bills to pay, gig expenses, and self-promotion taking their toll. But ultimately, you’re doing something that you love and expressing yourself through your creativity, and it is a thrilling experience!
As an indie artist, a lot of your revenue will come from merchandise, selling the likes of T-shirts and records to your loyal fanbase. And, while lots of people do listen to music on streaming sites such as Spotify, people still buy CDs too, often to play in their cars or simply because they wish to support you!
However, one area that more indie artists could benefit from exploring is releasing albums on vinyl. The popularity of the vinyl revival means more people than ever are buying old school records and it could be the perfect medium to boost your merch sales.
Read on for a quick guide to pressing your first vinyl as an unsigned band!
Vinyl is thriving these days and while some people may expect it to be mostly older releases that are selling well, in fact, according to the the Official Charts best selling vinyl albums of 2017, the most popular records are actually from a very varied range of artists and genres.
People love vinyl for the sound quality, the fact that it is a more tactile way of owning music than in mp3 format, and because the records become collectable pieces that actually retain their value rather well.
Not only this, but people love to have their record collection on display as the sleeves are much more pleasing to look at than a CD case and, with some album covers being incredible works of art in their own right, it’s nice to keep them where they can be appreciated.
How to go about it
First, it’s important to plan. Do you understand the medium well?
Get to know as much as you can about vinyl as a format and decide whether you want your record to be a 12” standard weight pressing, the heavier 180-gram records preferred by some audiophiles (who believe it produces a higher musical fidelity), or if you only require a 7” for your release.
Think about the length of a record (a 12” holds roughly 22 minutes of music on each side, whereas a 7” contains around 4 and a half minutes and is usually used for releasing singles), the speed each size spins at, and the design for the sleeve.
Find a pressing plant
When you’re ready to begin talks on starting the process, you’ll need to find a pressing plant. For example, VDC Group are an official UK partner of Sony DADC and offer a premium pressing service to meet your individual requirements.
You can even have your vinyl pressed in a variety of colour combinations or shaped to add interest.
They offer a turnaround time of around 12 weeks, which gives you the peace of mind of knowing when you will receive your record in an industry where these times can often fluctuate greatly.
Once you’ve found a plant you’re happy with, the best thing to do is to speak to them and have them talk you through the process so that you can get the ball rolling!
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