Vinyl records have been with us for over a century now and they are now proving to be timeless. It is the warmth and the depth of sound that they offer – as well as the undeniable ‘cool’ factor with large format artwork – which is drawing both older and younger people to them and driving their popularity through the roof.
Even so, one of the attributes that you should be careful about when creating a personalized record is the length of your vinyl record’s audio. A vinyl record does carry a maximum length and trade-offs with quality and sound types if you go longer than the recommended length. Our article looks to provide an in-depth analysis of the appropriate length of a vinyl record.
Ideally, the maximum length of vinyl records is anchored on the physical dimension or size of the vinyl disc. Similarly, the optimal length of the vinyl depends on the groove spacing needed for a particular audio content. A typical vinyl record is characterized by a diameter of about 12 inches. Such a model can safely hold up to 22 minutes of audio on either side. A standard vinyl record's grooves are spaced far apart in order to mitigate the risk of the grooves interfering with each other (which create the skips and loops that plague older, worn down vinyl records).
If you plan to come up with a personalized vinyl record, it is crucial to remember that the optimal length of the record is dependent on the disc size. For instance, if a vinyl record is 7 inches in diameter then it can hold a maximum of approximately 6 minutes of audio on either side. On the other hand, if the record is 10 inches in diameter, then it accommodates up to 12 minutes of audio on either side. Nevertheless, the numbers we have highlighted are not constant and may change depending on the kind of mastering as well as the process used by the manufacturer to press (or cut) it.
Beyond physical specifications, there are several technical considerations to look at when creating a personalized vinyl record. At the top of the list is the mastering process which determines the width and depth of the record’s groove. On the same note, the audio content of the vinyl record should be optimized for its playback.
In other words, the audio should be mastered and mixed in a way that conforms to the specifications of the vinyl. The type of vinyl being utilized also matters. Of course, there is a wide range of vinyl formulations with each one holding exceptional properties. The ideal vinyl formulation should be chosen for better sound quality and added durability.
At Freestyle Vinyl, we are experts at ensuring your audio is correctly mastered as part of the lathe-cutting process, ensuring that – at whatever size vinyl record you choose – we do not push past your optimal length, ensuring both high sound quality and the maximum amount of audio possible.