How to Make a Vinyl Copy of Your Home Recording

By Jeff Strong

Want to put your home recording on vinyl? There is a trend for musicians to create compelling packaging to try to entice listeners into buying a physical product rather than just taking a free download. (Whether you offer a free download or not, chances are, your music will be available for free somewhere through peer-to-peer [P2P] sharing.) One of the ways artists are distinguishing themselves is to offer vinyl records.

This retro format is a viable option for breaking through the noise and getting your music heard. If you’re interested in putting your music out on an old-fashioned record, here’s what you need to know:

  • It takes a lot longer to make a vinyl record than a CD. Expect to wait close to eight weeks for your finished record.

  • Not everyone has a record player. In fact, as attractive as it may be to put your music out on vinyl, the vast majority of your fans will not have the proper equipment to play it. So, when you print, keep this limited market in mind. The average independent artist only prints a few hundred records at a time.

  • A vinyl record doesn’t hold a lot of music. You may need to cut songs from your CD to fit the constraints of the vinyl. A 12-inch 33 1/3 rpm record holds only about 18 minutes per side and a 7-inch 45 rpm record holds about 4 1/2 minutes per side.

  • You may lose some fidelity. If you’re mixing your music with the modern style of having pretty heavy bass, you may need to dial that back to accommodate the limitations of the vinyl medium. You may also find that the high frequencies drop as you move to vinyl. You can deal with this and make an excellent-sounding record if you have the special know-how.

    Check out this article on how to prepare your music for vinyl.

  • Most vinyl record pressing companies will include a download card in your record’s packaging so that your listeners can download your music to a portable device. This allows you to offer the best of both worlds.

If a vinyl record interests you, check out these resources for the many options and prices:

Most CD duplicators and replicators also have recommendations for vinyl pressing companies that they work with regularly. So, if you have a CD manufacturer that you like and you want a vinyl record, ask the manufacturer for a referral.