August 04, 2014

Vinyl Cafe is South Africa's online vinyl music and record store. We buy sell and trade anything vinyl related. We aim to stock a great selection of hand-picked music from Jazz, Soul and Blues through to mainstream Rock 'n Roll. 

How are Your Vinyl Records Made?

It is almost unbelievable that vinyl records were feared to be facing extinction just 6 years ago. Top bands such as Arctic Monkeys, David Bowie and various others have been the driving force behind the growth and re-establishment of vinyl culture in recent years. We took a closer look at how our cherished records are made and have discovered that very little has changed in terms of manufacturing over the past few years. The following process is followed:

  • A master recording is typically created in a studio where the sound can be perfected.
  • The next step involves a lacquer being placed on a machine that cuts records. The machine rotates while electric signals are sent from the master recording to the cutting head, which is where the stylus or “needle” is held.
  • A groove is etched into the lacquer by the needle and it is this imprinted lacquer that is sent to the production company.
  • The production company creates a metal master by coating the lacquer in a metal such as silver or nickel.
  • The metal master is then separated from the lacquer and the disc that remains is used to create a stamper, which is a “negative” of the recording that is used to create the actual vinyl’s that you buy and collect.
  • Vinyl is placed between the stamper and a hydraulic press where steam is used to soften the plastic allowing for an impression of the master recording to be captured.
  • Cool water is used to stiffen the disc and voila! You have a record!
The process is not completely complicated and is a more romantic version of bringing music to our ears than digital music is. If you are interested in learning more about how to keep your records in good condition, then be in touch with us – we have a wealth of advice and products that can help you along the way