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Short Run Vinyl Records: What To Expect

Many barriers to entry for music producers have disappeared, and independent musicians can now easily release songs digitally on services like Spotify and Soundcloud. Why then does the vinyl market not only survive but continue to expand? The three main factors are collectability, aesthetics, and sound quality. Vinyl records have a certain amount of legitimacy for many musicians and DJs.

But there's an issue. Even though more pressing facilities are opening up, the market cannot meet demand both from major and independent labels. There’s still supply shortages and long wait times, which can take up to 12 months.

This is where lathe cutting comes in. In this article, we'll go through what to expect when you get short run vinyl records using this method.

How Does Lathe Cutting Work?

Businesses that offer lathe cutting have re-emerged recently. The lathe cutting machine cuts the music in real time into the record as opposed to pressing the grooves. These services are frequently small-scale, with just one or two engineers running the entire operation. Unlike with conventional pressing method, lathe cutting can produce only under 100 copies.

You can create as few as one record using lathe cutting, which is advantageous for vinyl-only DJs who wish to play their own music but cannot wait for a pressing plant. A custom-made vinyl made this way can even serve as a gift or competition prize.

There’s no minimum order requirement for short run lathe cut vinyl records so the turnaround time is faster. This service is also frequently utilized to make limited-edition vinyl records for artists, competition prizes, and even personalized gifts.

How Much will the Short Run Vinyl Records Cost?

Pricing is set according to the number of vinyl records that have to be made. Pressing 20 records will be substantially less expensive than pressing only one. It will also depend on the size of the record or the number of songs that you must fit in. Customers will need to choose between 7”, 10”, and 12” records. The cost increases as you add custom jackets, labels, and more. The good thing about lathe cutting technique is that it does not require lacquer, which eliminates another major cost as compared to the standard procedure.

Our 7" Single Custom Vinyl is our most affordable option, at just $29.99!

It Has the Groove, But How Does It Sound?

The equipment utilized can have a big impact on the sound quality. The majority of services are transparent about the kind of audio quality you can expect, with a surcharge for Hi-Fi audio. While some businesses may aim to provide audiophile-grade quality, others may just be providing a novelty item. It's wise to do some research and strike up a chat with anyone you're considering working with before purchasing.

You can always expect a high-quality (and certainly 100% unique-to-you) vinyl listening experience with Freestyle Vinyl's custom pieces!

What Type of Files Can I Upload for My Short Run Records?

Wav, MP3, and MP4 files can all be used. Sadly, we are unable to accommodate large-format file types, such as FLAC.

In terms of media quality, we advise that any file uploaded be at least 200 kbps. If it goes beyond 300 kbps, that can really ensure a high-quality sounding vinyl. The higher, the better!

To finish off your short run vinyl experience, consider getting a custom jacket with your artwork or a memorable photo to add that final and personal finishing touch!