Are you in the possession of a whole bunch of blank vinyl records lying around the house that you simply do not know what to do with? Do you have a gaping space on one of your walls that you are wondering how to fill? Are you looking for somewhere and someone from whom to buy blank vinyl records, for whatever reason?
Well, you are in the right place, for today we will be answering all of these questions and more, attempting to suss out blank vinyl records, what they are for, where they can be sourced, and why they might be more useful to you than you previously thought.
Recording Music onto Blank Vinyl Records
The wonder of how blank vinyls are turned into spinnable sound plates can be quite a mystery, and to understand we must return to the nexus of when were record players popular.
Recording and playback as we know it came about in the 1870s through the invention of Thomas Edison: a fragile tin foil cylinder upon which musical information could be imbibed for potential low fidelity playback on a specially constructed receiver.
After this, Emile Berline came forth with a more ergonomic solution: the flat disc we know and love today, amplified through vibrations out of a horn or cone attached to the gramophone, accommodating far more styles and categories of music.
Nowadays, what once might have taken a considerable length of time now take hardly anytime at all, and with the right amount of money to sink into the venture anyone can record and press an album onto vinyl from the comfort of their own home, after which they can, through their stylus, listen back to it on their home stereo, all for a fraction of the price that a bigger plant might charge an independent artist.
A Vinylrecorder T-560, for example, offers all of these capabilities for any user able and willing to sink about 3 or more grand into the venture.
This might sound steep for any one person, but for an independent label it could be ideal, making a whole load of difference and enabling them to eschew the grand prices that pressing plants are likely to incur, as well as enabling them to do so on their own terms outside of the mass queues that can occur at overworked pressing plants in the modern day which, more often than not, prize bigger selling artists in terms of priority.
Decorating with a Blank Vinyl Records
Add humans to anything and they are likely to come up with an easy and / or creative solution. If you are in any doubt about this, then I recommend simply checking out some of the more creative responses to a black vinyl record, or some of the responses on how to cut vinyl records.
Not only is it a twee and sweet thing to do, enabling you to seemingly blend in with socio cultural elite who seem to prize the aesthetic value of record collecting rather than actually listening to records for their sound, it is also a remarkably creative way to recycle old materials into new things.
Anyone in the know about what are vinyl records made of will know that they are constructed from polyvinyl chloride, a plastic polymer chemically created with a crude oil plastic. These crude oils in themselves are relentlessly damaging to the environment, and so in recycling them in this way, there is at least somewhat of a healthy cycle of use and reuse being established.
Records themselves are rather hard to recycle anyhow. Though there are almost always records left from a batch of a pressing that goes unsold, they are sometimes not even smelted down and made into other records.
This is because there are claims that recycled polyvinyl chloride produces vinyl of inferior audio quality and sound fidelity. The same argument might also be touted by someone who is willing to prioritise the release of the new Adele over those pressings by more independent labels who are releasing music which actually has something valid to say.
Where to Buy Blank Records
What with the resurgence of vinyl on this side of the millennium, blank vinyl records are easier to find than ever. Likewise, blank discs will be easier to find too, especially in local record stores or charity stores. If, however you are looking for some alternative places to search on the internet, then look no further:
There are several sellers on here and on competitor website eBay that sell blank vinyl records without any grooves imbibed on the surface, nor any prints or labels, nor any writing or engraving on the disc itself. These discs are precisely what the doctor ordered, whether for use in home design or as actual discs; their essential brilliance remains undimmed.
Similarly, a website like Record Banks offers a variety of blank vinyl records , all for rather affordable prices. The advantage of using a manufacturer like this is that you can order in bulk. In this way, they are more optimal for smaller record labels or anyone else who is intending to actually press records or use them for designing in a professional, production line manner.
This site is especially geared towards the wholesale distribution of blank vinyl records, whether to artists, recording studios, mixers, producers, masterers, pressing plants, warehouses, etc. That being said, they are willing to sell to just about anyone, so if you are just a plain old collector or someone who wants to use blank vinyl records to construct things artistically, then so be it.
Similarly, you might instead be searching for a blank record jacket, in which case look no further than a site like Bags Unlimited which offer the wholesale distribution of slick and durable record jackets that are used by many of the top recording companies and their corresponding pressing plants regularly and with great results.
So, there you have it! Hopefully, you are now feeling better informed about what blank vinyl records are, what they are for, and why they might be more useful than you previously thought.
Perhaps you are even feeling inspired now, whether that be to fill the gaping space left on one of your walls with a hand built structure of blank vinyl records, or whether that be to have your own musical creations printed onto blank vinyl (at your own behest or at the behest of a pressing plant or label whom you have chosen to help you at a competitive price).
FAQs Blank Vinyl Records
Can you make vinyl records at home?
Indeed you can. At the expense of just a few thousand dollars, you can install your very own pressing plant within the comfort of your own home, and with the right know how and patient experience you will be able to press as many records as your dwindling finances allow. While this might not suit all users, this will be of particular benefit to smaller more independent record labels looking to separate themselves from larger labels and pressing plants, the latter of which all too often tend to prioritize the releases of those from larger labels and with a larger audience.
How do you make a vinyl record blank?
The only real way to make an already printed and pressed record blank would be to smelt it down back into its base chemical compound (polyvinyl chloride) and then to reshape it into a disc shape again. You can make a blank vinyl record yourself, though you will need the correct shaped molds in which to pour the industrial strength polyvinyl chloride solution. You can also make a blank vinyl record into an actual record at home, at the expense of at least a few thousand dollars and likely the loss of a significant portion of your free time and friends.
How much does it cost to print a vinyl record?
Though the price will vary depending on the pressing plant that you are working with, the average price of printing 100 records is around $1225, though this sum can adjust exponentially. This means that the more records are pressed of a release, the cheaper each individual record will be to produce, as the equipment and materials are already set up. You can alternatively, work at your own behest, sparing a few thousand dollars towards a pressing machine that you can install within the bounds of your own home, and thus set up your very own pressing plant.
Can you still make a vinyl record?
Indeed you can. For the price of just a few thousand dollars, you can install your very own pressing plant within the comfort of your own home, and with the right know-how and patient experience, you will be able to press as many as your dwindling finances allow. While this might not suit all users, this will be of particular benefit to smaller more independent record labels looking to separate themselves from larger labels and pressing plants, the latter of which all too often tend to prioritize the releases of those from larger labels and with a larger audience.