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Vinyl Pressing Plants in Canada

There is no doubt that vinyl is coming back in a big way. With the vinyl revival comes the need for more vinyl pressings. And how do we get more vinyl pressings? At a pressing plant. of course!

Pressing plants were once threatening to go the way of the dinosaur. With so few vinyl records getting made, there wasn’t enough business to sustain them.

Now that vinyl is back, there still aren’t many to meet the demand. So if you want you recording pressed to vinyl, you may be in for a lengthy wait.

Nonetheless, knowing what pressing plants are out there will increase your chances of finding one that’s available.

This article will take a look at pressing plants in Canada so you can find one that suits your needs.

What Do Pressing Plants Do?

Before taking a look at the vinyl pressing plants in Canada, let’s get a better idea of what happens at a pressing plant.

First the music gets pressed to a lacquer disc. This is done via a piece of machinery only a qualified engineer is trained to operate.

The lacquer disc then gets made into a negative metal version of itself.

Then the record label is placed on molten vinyl which is affixed to the metal disc.

Put a stamp on it and you have your shiny new piece of vinyl.

This process is done repeatedly until you get as many records as you need.

How to Get Your Music Prepared to Be Pressed to Vinyl

Now we know how vinyl records are made, but before the records can get made, the artists must prepare the music for the pressing plant. This requires several steps as follows:

Record, Mix and Master Your Music: The first step on your journey will be to record your music. Then you will need to mix and master it.

Mixing requires getting all the instruments sounding good together on each song. Mastering involves getting the work sounding good as whole so each song on the record is at the same volume and is evenly spaced from one another as it plays on an LP.

Before mastering, you will also need to determine the order you want the songs placed on your LP.

When you press your music to vinyl, the mastering process may need to be redone. This is not only because of the different format, but also because vinyl has limitations regarding the amount of music it can hold.

Whereas a CD can hold an unlimited amount of music, vinyl only holds about 40 minutes of music. Therefore, you may need to cut some songs out.

You will also want to decide which songs go on which side of the album. In doing so, you will want to think about making each side cohesive with a strong opening and closing song as opposed to a CD that runs as one long piece.

Artwork: Artwork is another consideration. Though most CD cover art can be transferred to vinyl album covers, you may want additional artwork on the sleeve or you may want to add an insert to the album.

Budget: Pressing vinyl is an intricate process that takes a special skill. Therefore, bands can expect to pay more for a vinyl product. How much more?

Well, CDs can run as low as a little more than a dollar a piece. A vinyl record can cost as much as $15 wholesale. If you are a band just starting out, it will be very difficult to recuperate expenses at this rate.

Also, keep in mind that vinyl is heavy and will cost more to ship.

What to Look for in a Vinyl Pressing Plant

If you decide to make the move to go vinyl with your next recording, you will want to find a pressing plant that suits your needs. Here are some things to consider.

Delivery Time: With such a large demand for vinyl, and so few pressing plants around, you can expect to wait a good amount of time for your vinyl to arrive. Most plants have a ship time that ranges from 6-8 weeks from when your order is placed. Some offer rush delivery fees that may cut the time in half but will also add to expenses.

Affordability: Vinyl is quite expensive. Therefore, it will be in your best interest to find a pressing plant that offers affordable rates. You will probably experience some amount of sticker shock everywhere you go but it’s advisable to shop around to find out who is offering the best prices.

Experience: Pressing vinyl is a craft that is not easy to master. With vinyl becoming the next big thing and so few pressing plants around, there may be people looking to hop on the bandwagon by opening their own presses. However, you must make sure the company you’re working with has the experience you need.

Although many companies will promise a top quality sound, you can make sure this is the case by reading customer reviews and asking to hear samples of work they have done in the past. Be sure to listen to samples of music that are a similar genre to the music you are doing. That way you will have a good idea of how your product will sound.

Pressing Plants in Canada

Now that you know a bit about the vinyl pressing process, here’s a list of Canadian plants that can make it happen.

Microforum Vinyl

Microforum is a state of the art pressing plant serving Canada and North America. Founded in 2016, the company boasts presses that are among the most technologically advanced in the world. Their touchscreen and firmware capabilities give records a cycle time of 25 seconds for optimal sound quality.

All printing, including record jackets, labels, inserts, inner sleeves and download cards are done in house. The download cards offer data collection and management opportunities.

Here are some other stats:

  • Records are available in 7” and 12” sizes
  • Records are available at 33 and 45 RPM
  • Vinyl color includes black and transparent
  • Records are heavy vinyl weighing 140 or 180 G
  • You must order at least 100 pressings
  • Test pressings are available
  • Turnaround is 1-2 months
  • Center labels can be one color or full color
  • Pressings include lacquer cutting, direct metal mastering, inner and outer sleeves including lamination and full color
  • Digital download cards are available

 

Moonshot Phonographs

Moonshot uses a WarmTone TM press to provide the best listening experience possible. They are dedicated to giving customers a great product at an affordable price.

Here are some of the other features they offer:

  • Records are available in 7” and 12” sizes
  • Records are available at 33 and 45 RPM
  • Vinyl color includes black and colored
  • Records are heavy vinyl weighing 140 or 180 G
  • You must order at least 100 pressings, maximum pressings are 1000
  • Test pressings are available
  • Turnaround is 1-2 months
  • Center labels can be one color or full color
  • Pressings include lacquer cutting and inner and outer sleeves including full color
  • Digital download cards are available

Standard Vinyl

Standard Vinyl has over 25 years of experience in the music manufacturing industry. In addition to vinyl, they also press CD’s, DVDs and Blu-Ray discs.

They offer a wide variety of features when it comes to record size, layouts and artwork. They boast competitive pricing, a fast turn around and a high quality product.

Here are some other details to consider:

  • Records are available in 7”, 10” and 12” sizes
  • Records are available at 33, 45 and 78 RPM
  • Vinyl color includes black, colored, picture disc and transparent
  • Records are heavy vinyl with weights ranging from 42 to 2000 G
  • You must order at least 100 pressings
  • Test pressings are available
  • Turnaround is 1-2 months
  • Center labels can be one color or full color
  • Pressings include shaped vinyl, lacquer cutting, direct metal mastering and full color inner and outer sleeves
  • Digital download cards are available

Dbs Duplication

Dbs Duplication has been around as a CD duplication company since 1988. They have recently added a vinyl pressing machine and now offer that service as well. They provide a quick turnaround on record pressing, often as little as six weeks.

Here is some more info about the company.

  • Records are available in 12” sizes
  • Records are available at 33 RPM
  • Vinyl color includes black
  • You must order at least 100 pressings
  • Test pressings are available
  • Turnaround is 1-2 months (usually closer to six weeks)
  • Pressings include inner and outer sleeves
  • Digital download cards are available

Precision Record Pressing

Precision Record Pressing is a joint project founded by Isotope Music Distribution and Czech vinyl manufacturing giant GZ Media. It is the first vinyl manufacturing plant in the world to use all new record presses in over 30 years. Their ability to use both the Czech and Burlington plant provides them the ability to produce more records than most plants making them the second largest plant in North America.

Here is some other info about the company.

  • Records are available in 7”, 10” and 12” sizes
  • Vinyl color includes black, colored and picture disc
  • Turnaround is 1-2 months
  • Pressings include shaped vinyl, direct metal mastering and inner and outer sleeves

Duplication.Ca

Duplication.Ca is a company that specializes in vinyl, cassette, DVD, VHS, Blu-Ray and CD duplication. They also offer printing services. A division of Analogue Media Manufacturing, they are known for providing top quality, fast service.

Here is some info on their vinyl pressing services.

  • Records are available in 7” and 12” sizes
  • Records are available at 33 and 45 RPM
  • Vinyl color includes black and colored vinyl
  • You must order at least 50 pressings
  • Test pressings are available
  • Pressings include inner and outer full color sleeves

Accurate Audio and Design

Accurate provides a range of services including vinyl pressing, album artwork, audio transfers and promotional items. They use modern technology to get optimal sound out of their vinyl products.

Here is more info on the company:

  • Records are available in 12” sizes
  • Records are heavy vinyl, 140G
  • Vinyl color includes black
  • Center labels are available for front and back
  • Test pressings are available
  • Pressings include inner and outer full color sleeves

Le Vinylist

Le Vinylist is a vinyl pressing plant located in Quebec City, CA. Check out their web site or email info@levinylist.com for more info.

Train Records

Train Records presses CD’s, DVD’s and vinyl. They started out as a vinyl pressing company in 1999 and have since expanded. Over the years they have worked with more than sixteen thousand musicians, filmmakers and businesses and produce 30,000 CD’s per day, 22,000 DVD’s per day and 6,000 vinyl records.

Here are some of the pressing features that are offered:

  • Records are available in 7” and12” sizes
  • Vinyl color includes black, transparent and picture disc
  • Minimum quantity is 100 and maximum is 1000
  • Standard shipping is 6-8 weeks but rush shipments of 3-4 and 4-6 weeks are available
  • Center labels are available for front and back
  • Test pressings are available
  • Pressings include inner and outer full color sleeves

Kaneshii Vinyl Press

Kaneshii is a full services vinyl pressing facility. They offer the latest technology as well as classic vinyl pressing processes. Their goal is to provide customers with high quality products at the lowest possible prices. They offer a fast turnaround time. Other services include CD packages and templates.

Here is what you can expect from their vinyl pressing services:

  • Records are available in 7”, 10” and12” sizes
  • Vinyl color includes black and a variety of other colors
  • Test pressings are available
  • Pressings include inner and outer full color sleeves

Canadian Vinyl Records

Canadian Vinyl is a full service vinyl pressing plant that prides itself on offering the ultimate in high quality products. With many musicians on staff, they are familiar with the expectations of their customers and do their best to exceed expectations. Their services include lacquer and dubplate mastering, plating, recording, printing and packaging.

Here is more info about the company.

  • Records are available in 7”, 10” and12” sizes
  • Records are available at 33 and 45 RPM
  • Records are heavy vinyl that can be pressed at 140 or 180 gram
  • Vinyl color includes black and a variety of other colors
  • Test pressings are available
  • Pressings include inner and outer full color sleeves

Vinyl Record Guru

Vinyl Record Guru was launched by music industry veteran David Read. With over 23 years in the business, he is skilled at guiding customers through the pressing process. The company has pressed millions of records and sees to it that every customer gets exactly what they are looking for in their finished product.

In addition to vinyl, they offer CD packages, mastering, packaging, graphic design, promotional solutions and consulting services. They are located in Canada but serve clients all over the world.

Vinyl Record Guru specializes in record sizes of 7”, 10” and 12” in a wide variety of colors and picture disc format. Their web site is currently under construction. Please email orders@vinylrecordguru.com for more details.

FAQ’s

When getting vinyl pressed, you may hear some terminology you’re not familiar with. This will give you some idea of what to expect so you can better familiarize yourself with the process.

What is lacquer?

Lacquer is a 14 inch high quality non-magnetic steel polished disc with a special lacquer layer. Your music gets pressed into this lacquer layer.

What is a stamper?

A stamper is a nickel pressing plate produced from the lacquer. It is used to press the record.

What is DMM cutting?

DMM cutting is an alternate to lacquer. It is a similar process but here the music is directly cut into a non-magnetic steel polished disc. It is recommended for musical genres like ambient jazz, singer-songwriter and classical.

What is the difference between 140 and 180 grams record?

180 gram records last longer and are less likely to bend than a 140 gram record. Sound quality is the same for both.

How to I get the best possible sound for my record?

A great sounding record starts with a great sounding audio file.

To get the highest quality sound possible, your recording should be mastered for vinyl.

Here are some other tips.

  • Formats: The best submission formats are WAV, AIFF, FLAC (lossless) or DDP image.
  • Bit Rate: 24 bits is ideal, 16 bits will work as well, 32 bits may be overkill
  • Sampling rates: Sampling rates should be 44.1kHz or higher, 48 kHz is preferred.
  • Tracklist: Your record will sound best if tracks with hi end frequencies are at the beginning of each side. If you place them near the end the highs will be more distorted due to a slower playback speed.
  • Compression/Limiting: A light amount of mixbus compression/limiting can work if you know what you’re doing. Otherwise, you are best off not using it.

Now that you know everything you need to know about pressing vinyl in Canada, will you be releasing your next recording in this format?

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