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Ragtimerecords.euVinyl records productionTechnical requirements

Technical requirements

Technical requirements for the production of vinyl records

Vinyl phonograph records are sound carriers based on mechanical analogue principle. Their sound parameters and dimensions are set by international standards.

Analogue record types available

Vinyl records are divided into different categories of size and revolution speed. Initially there were long-playing (LP) records with a 25 cm (10") or 30 cm (12") diameter and a speed of 33 revolutions per minute, and SP and EP records with a 17 cm (7") diameter and a 45 rpm speed. Other format combinations were gradually introduced, for instance 30 cm records revolving at 45 rpm for special LP's in which the emphasis is put on sound quality, for special measurement records and for the so-called Maxi-singles in which a short playing time is needed in combination with a high sound quality; or 17 cm records revolving at 33 rpm, where the recording cannot be made at 45 rpm because of the required playing time.

The recording moulds in use at our plant are produced by the DMM technology. Upon request from customers we can offer recordings on lacquer sheet.

In the offering of 17 and 30 cm records, two records weight are available: the "standard" weight and the "heavy" weight. 25 cm records are available only in the "standard" weight.

Diameter Standard weightHeavy weight
17 cm 42 g 70 g *
30 cm 140 g 180 g
25 cm 110 g not available

*) This record type is manufactured only with a small central hole.

Recording time
The recording time available on vinyl records depends very much on the frequency spectrum, the dynamic range, the width of the stereophonic signal and other characteristics of the recording. The playing time figures which we provide are offered merely as orientation points. If the playing time of the recording of one side of a record does not exceed the figure given in the table, the quality of the recording will usually be limited only by the parameters of the recording device and by the conditions in which the reproduction is carried out. If the playing time exceeds the figure, it may - but will not necessarily - bring about a situation where the recorded signal cannot be fitted into the available recording area under certain available levels of quality. In such a case the level of the recording must be lowered, or an appropriate compromise must be reached.

Orientation figures for vinyl record playing time:

Diameter33 rpm45 rpm
17 cm 6.5 - 7.0 min 4.5 - 5.0 min
25 cm 13.0 - 14.0 min 9.5 - 10.5 min
30 cm 19.0 - 20.0 min 13.5 - 14.5 min

 


Preparing of the suitable master for vinyl record production

For the best result on vinyl records, you should know the following points before preparing your master tape or CD:

  • Try not to exceed the playing lenght of 18 - 20 min per side on 12´´ vinyl record at 33 1/3 rpm as longer playing time leads to dramatic decrease of the recording level and dynamism. On the other hand the requirements of extremly high recording level decrease possible playing time (see the table below - for other formats).
  • Try to place demanding exposed tracks at the beginning of the side of the vinyl record not at the end. As the conditions for recording and subsequent reading on vinyl records get worse with the decreasing diameter towards the middle of the record.
  • Try to avoid using psychoacoustic processors in an excessive degree.
  • Check the master by using a correlation measurer (it must not be in the red field or in negative values) and a frequency spectrum analyser. (signal must not contain unreasonably large elements at the bottom and mainly the top end of the zone).
  • The lowest frequencies of the acoustic zone which are bellow 300 Hz have to be in phase.
  • Filter away all subacoustic signals bellow 20 Hz to avoid possible problem during recording and reproduction.
  • If your recording substantially differs from natural sounds, which is caused by spreading out the energy in the acoustic zone, there is a risk of occurring audible changes in the sound during the transcription as a result of certain limits following from the principles of the mechanical recording and the reproduction. ( for example - singing adjusted by variable processors, electronically generated effects etc.)
  • We always try to transcribe the recording in the highest possible level (as loud as possible).
  • Try to avoid 7´´ vinyl record format at 33 1/3 rpm as the possibilities of the recording and reproduction are most limited at this format. If there is no other solution you have to count with a necessary compromise. Low groove speed limits the recording level and causes higher decrease of high frequencies into the middle of the record and higher distortion.
  • Remember that good result of reproduction on user´s side depends on the quality, technical conditions and correct adjustment of the reproduction facilities! Quality of reading system, the shape, the level of the attrition and the cleanness of the needle and the adjustment of vertical force and antiskating.
  • We need a complete track list with your master containing the names of all tracks (including the hidden and bonus tracks), track timings and their separation into side A and side B, total time of each side!!!
  • Please advice of any special effects anomalies etc. The order without the complete track list will be refused for production.
  • Please check carefully if the data on the track list (number of tracks, track order, names and timings on each side) corresponds with the master, the label and cover artwork (and other printed parts - inserts, posters). Please keep in mind that the data needs to be readable and understandable.
  • Any claims of the final product caused by errors in the production parts supplied by customer can not be accepted!
  • If you require additional adjustments or mastering (changes in track order, disregarding some tracks, compillation….) please specify exactly your request on the order form and note what is on the master and what you need to be done for the final product.


Vinyl's colors
Standard vinyl records are manufactured in black. Other colours are available upon request from the customer. The colours are selected using colour samples from the manufacturer, or following the requirements of the customer. In the latter case, a colour sample must be supplied with the order. When manufacturing records in colours other than black, the manufacturer has a right to allow a certain difference in hue due to limitations in dyestuffs technologies for plastics.

Picture-discs
This is a vinyl record with a full-size label on each side; the label is covered by a plastic sheet bearing the grooves of the recording.
Remark: Picture-discs may offer a lower acoustic quality, especially an increase in the acoustic noise in the initial and final grooves of the record and in the transitions between tracks.

When using standard half-tone printing, a moiré effect will occur on the record as a result of interference effects (between the grooves of the record and the screening of the underlying label); the intensity of this phenomenon depends on the type of the pattern which is printed on the label. This moiré effect may not be eliminated with the technologies used by the manufacturer.

Labels
The disc itself must bear a label on each side. Phonograph record labels are paper prints which constitute an integral part of analogue phonograph records, and are permanently attached by pressing. A label must be placed on each side of the product, and both labels on a record must have identical dimensions (for instance, it is not possible to use a picture-disc label on one side and a standard label on the other). The label contains publisher's data of the record.
Available labels
Standard labels are manufactured in the following formats:
a) for discs with a 17 cm diameter, labels with a 84 mm outside diameter
b) for discs with a 30 and 25 cm diameter, labels with a 100 mm outside diameter

PICTURE-DISC labels are offered in the following formats:
a) for discs with a 17 cm diameter, labels with a 168 mm outside diameter
b) for discs with a 25 cm diameter, labels with a 242 mm outside diameter
c) for discs with a 30 cm diameter, labels with a 292 mm outside diameter

The text of the label must be placed so as not to spread over the bleed of the label. In all label types the text may not extend closer than 2 mm from the external border of the label and colour of label must be exceed the outside border of the label by at least 3mm. On the labels of all disc formats, the text may not spread over the central part of the label within a 10 mm diameter. On the label of a 17.5-cm disc with a large central hole, the text may not spread over the centre of the label within a 40-mm diameter.

Packaging
The product is delivered in an inner and an outer package (at the customer's choice) and usually wrapped in groups of 20 (depending on the kind of record and packaging) in hard cardboard boxes. The packaging details are set at the moment of the order. When record sets are ordered, the outer package may be replaced by a boxette containing the set. The outer package is produced by the manufacturer on the basis of material supplied by the customer, or by the customer on the basis of the technical documentation on packages.

Inner package
Records of all dimensions may be wrapped in an inner paper envelope or in a microthene or polyethylene package, which protects the disc from direct friction with the outer package. The inner package may have an opening at the centre.

Outer package
Outer packages are made from white-grey carton with a weight of 280 g/m2, and may be plain white or plain black, or be offset-printed in up to 5 colours. The packages are glued from the inside.

Types of outer packages
Packages are manufactured either flat or with a 3-mm spine. In addition, the packages can have one or two openings in the middle. On all types of outer packages, a laminated glossy or non-glossy finish is available.

Wrapping
After packaging, records of all dimensions may be wrapped in a transparent plastic wrapper.

Package prints
Packages are printed on the basis of material supplied by the customer: either a hard copy lithography or files submitted electronically (print PDF files). The material supplied must keep a minimal bleed of 2 mm over the borders of the package, and for packages with middle openings the text may not spread over the middle area.

Technical conditions of use

Records are carriers of sound information and for that reason require correct treatment and use.

  • Temperature during the use, storage or shipment of the records must be kept within a 5°C - 35°C range.
  • Relative air humidity may not exceed 85%, and there should be no toxic chemical emanations.
  • Any mechanical damage or other damage to the recording surface must be prevented, including damages made by inappropriately adjusted playback equipment, unsuitable package, etc.
  • Records must be stored in a vertical position and be kept from slanting (except during direct manipulation).

 

 

 

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WHERE TO FIND US

Ragtime records, spol. s r. o.
Bohumínská 61, 710 00 Ostrava
Czech Republic

 

Tel./fax: +420 596 224 502
Tel./fax: +420 596 224 273
Email: info@ragtime.cz

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