Until now, if an Aussie band wanted to press up a vinyl record for a decent price, their best option was to manufacture overseas.
This can be fraught with difficulty, as test pressings, file transfer, the differences between mastering audio for separate formats, the huge beginner’s curve, and all the other annoying intricacies of pressing onto vinyl can often be compounded: subject to language barriers, shipping delays, stock damage, or a million other issues that you don’t think of until your 200-disc order ends up being damaged in transit, or pressed in the wrong format.
Now a state-of-the-art vinyl pressing factory is opening in Marrickville, in the inner-West of Sydney – with the capacity to press three million records per year.
“The new plant will be fully self-sufficient with full analogue mastering, a Neumann disc cutting system, stamper making facility, fully automated record presses, and a manual press for specialty records such as picture discs, split and splatter colours”, a press release states. “For total control over production, a record jacket making machine from Germany is also being installed.”
The factory manager, Vincent Chen has a background as a mechnical engineer at hi-tech machinery manufacturers such as Heidelberg, the German market leader in printing presses.
“We are bringing European quality record pressing back to Australia”, he promises. “There will beno further need to manufacture product overseas and pay for air freight or endure long turnaround times”.
Chen said, “We have assembled a specialist team with previous technical experience to make this a reality – our plating manager was head of EMI’s plating department before moving across to EMI’s CD factory Digital Audio Technologies Australia to head up the plating department there.
“He uses the EMI formulas which he has adapted over his many years of experience for best quality. Our disc cutting engineers spent many years cutting No. 1 hits so there is no learning curve as there is with other new plants around the world”.
“We sourced the plant and equipment that we wanted from nine countries because we knew what we were looking for”.
The plant will open in June of 2017 – by which point they have assured Tone Deaf they will have a name, too. More details when they emerge.