WHAT VINYL FORMATS DO YOU PRESS? Currently, we are pressing 7″ and 12″ vinyl, in color and black. Our 7″ averages 40+ grams (just in case 7″ weight is your thing). Our standard 12″ weight averages between 140 and 150 grams, so it is heavy and aesthetically pleasing. We also press 180 gram LPs, which actually average closer to 190 grams for most recordings (not that weight affects sound to a measurable degree on most playback systems). Final weight is determined by the program material itself, as well as the vinyl color(s). (Yes, the music can definitely affect weight, because temperatures/cycle times can vary to produce the best sound quality).
WHAT IS GOTTA GROOVE’S TURN TIME? We keep our turn time updated and published online for your convenience. Call us if you have specific plans for your release prior to placing your order. A common myth — “repress orders are much faster than first pressing orders”. While this can be true, since parts have already been made at a prior point in time on repressing orders, it is generally the exception and not the rule. Each machine has a finite number of records which can be pressed on any given production day, and this does not matter whether the records are “first pressing” or “repressing” records – they all take the same amount of time to press. Therefore, scheduling is determined strictly by how many records are ordered and in queue ahead of when you place your repressing or first pressing order. We strongly recommend factoring at least 2 months (but do not take this 2 month suggestion as a quoted turnaround – for the most up-to-date scheduling information, please refer to our published turnaround page).
Our capacity allows us to press approximately 70,000 records per month (varies a bit depending upon mix of orders, how machines are running, vinyl colors, and even the weather [big factor in the summer]). While this capacity does not permit us to have the fastest turnarounds of any vinyl pressing plant, from day one, Gotta Groove’s mission has been to produce the highest quality vinyl records from both a sonic and aesthetic perspective at a fair price; and strive to provide industry-best customer service. Please, feel free to call us at 800-295-0171 for more information, and we will do everything that is physically possible to try and work out a schedule that works for your project.
WHAT KIND OF AUDIO DO I NEED TO PROVIDE? For the very best sound result, we highly recommend that you have your audio mastered for vinyl by an engineer who is familiar with the vinyl format.
If you are providing your audio master in a digital form, we prefer either 24 bit wav files (if uploaded via our website) or a data disc containing either wav files or (at the least) redbook format (16 bit) audio. A great rule of thumb is to put your loudest, heaviest tracks at the beginning of each side, and put your less dynamic and less high-frequency driven tracks at the end of each side (so, unlike with CDs, the order of your songs on the record can be important).
CAN YOU MAKE A ONE-OFF (SINGLE COPY) RECORD FOR ME? No, this is just not physically possible. The parts needed to be made just to start pressing any record order add up to most of the price for 100 copies — to run less than 100 would just not be cost feasible for you. Also, when running test pressings, several copies are made and scrapped prior to having acceptable records to ship. The process is just not built for one-offs. If you really need a single copy (and you own the copyrights in the material you would like produced), a dub plate or reference lacquer are options – but these are not pressed records, and do wear out over time. There is no way to make one-off labels, jackets, sleeves, and other print though.
WHAT DO I NEED TO KNOW ABOUT COVER SONGS AND SAMPLES? You need to clear all licenses before we can manufacture your record. For cover songs, this is fairly easy – you can typically obtain a compulsory mechanical license from either Harry Fox or Limelight/Song Clearance. Please note that if you are manufacturing a package which contains a record and a digital download, you must obtain TWO mechanical licenses per package – one for the vinyl and one for the digital download. For samples (whether from music, television shows, motion pictures, or other sources) you must clear the samples (i.e., provide us with documentation that you have licensed the samples from their copyright holder(s)) before we can manufacture your record. Please note that this is separate and different from a mechanical license — and it is not compulsory (i.e., unlike mechanical licenses which must be granted if the subject composition has ever been fixed in a tangible medium), copyright holders of sampled recordings are not compelled by law to grant you a license. Therefore, these are typically much more difficult to obtain. But, Gotta Groove must obey U.S. Copyright law and cannot manufacture records embodying uncleared samples and/or unlicensed cover songs / derivative works. Please contact us prior to placing your order so that you understand your responsibilities under U.S. Copyright law.
OTHER GENERAL MASTERING CONSIDERATIONS:
1) Keep your bass centered (Kick, Bass) if you have toms, be extremely careful of hard panning (can cause skipping/skating issues).
2) Keep your cymbals under control don’t mix them too loud or too bright.
3) Make sure all of your vocals are De-essed properly
These three guidlines alone will help you through about 95 percent of the process.
With acoustic oriented projects, we have found that the less limiting you use on the master, the better. Our biggest suggestion with this kind of music is to mix and masters at levels that allow the music to sound natural and dynamic.
The lacquer cutter can turn the overall level up or down going to the cutting lathe, so overall volume is not really a major consideration when prepping masters for us; and heavy limiting really causes some distortion issues.
In terms of rolling off Bass and treble frequencies, don’t go too crazy on that end. Our lacquer cutter’s setup contains the needed EQ to do that job. Just mix according to the guidelines of proper mixing in general and you will be fine.
Finally, we HIGHLY recommend that you purchase test lacquer cut samples with every order. They are only $20 extra, and we send them to you via email as wav files. They serve as an excellent preview of what your test pressings will sound like; and therefore can catch any mastering issues before making it all the way to test pressings (saving you a huge portion of time and expense).
WHAT ARE TEST CUTS? Test cuts are not test pressings. Actually, they are a few steps before test pressings, and are never suggested to be a replacement for physical test pressings. Test cuts consist of portions of your submitted masters being cut into an actual lacquer, and then played on a turntable and recorded into wav files for easy transfer via email. When possible, the cuts are made on the exact same part of the lacquer as where the grooves will ultimately land on a pressed record. Since these are actual grooves cut into a lacquer and then played on a turntable, it is about as close to a “pre-test pressing vinyl preview” you can get, outside of full reference lacquers. The $20 we charge helps cover a portion of the costs of materials (lacquers, in particular).
An even better option (albeit more expensive) is to have each side cut into a “dub plate” or reference lacquer/acetate to reference the entire master cut prior to even cutting the master lacquer. Please contact us for pricing on this option.
In either the case of test cuts or reference lacquers, they are not intended to be a replacement for physical test pressings, which are included by default on every order (except for re-pressing orders, a waiver must be signed for orders specifically requesting no test pressings). Put very simply: test cuts (or reference lacquers/dub plates) are for checking how masters are translating to vinyl. Test pressings are checking for manufacturing issues such as track order, side placement, skips, loud pops, etc.
Ideal time limits for sides:
7” @ 33 1/3 RPM: 6 minutes per side. (we can cut longer depending upon the music, however, please consult with us before placing your order). [NOTE: 45rpm is always the best choice for a 7", if side length permits. 33rpm is more of a "compromise", and can be more prone to distortion. Please call for more information.]
7” @ 45 RPM: 4.5 minutes per side. (we can cut longer depending upon the music, however, please consult with us before placing your order).
12” @ 33 1/3 RPM: 18 minutes per side is ideal, 20 minutes per side is still good, 22 minutes per side may cause issues depending upon the music, anything over 22 minutes – please call us before placing your order.
12” @ 45 RPM: 12 minutes per side is ideal, 14 minutes is ok, anything over 15 minutes – please call us before placing your order.
Please Remember: The lacquer cutter’s job is to cut as flat as possible, in an effort to make the cut sound as close as possible to the provided master. Therefore, adjustments to the master to make it appropriate for the vinyl format need to be made at the mastering session — not at the point of the lacquer cut. If a master is provided that is pushing some element to the outer limits; such as vocals for example– chances are those pushed vocals are going to stick out much more on the vinyl record than on the digital master. For these reasons, it is very important that you provide a master that has been prepared specifically for the vinyl format. Sorry for the redundancy — but, we cannot stress enough the importance of providing us with a master that is suitable for the lacquer cut.
WHAT KIND OF ART FILES DO I NEED TO PROVIDE? If we are printing your labels, sleeves, jackets, download cards, inserts, posters, flats, or any other printed products, we need your art to be submitted to us on our provided templates. Please make sure that all art submitted to us is of a resolution of 300 dpi or greater and CMYK.
WHAT DO I NEED TO PAY UP FRONT? A deposit of 50% of your order’s total (before freight) is required in order to begin processing your order. The remaining 50% is due upon your approval of test pressings and/or art proofs. Freight is due before shipment. We accept cash, check, Paypal/BillMeLater and credit cards (MC, VISA, Discover, AMEX).
WHAT IS YOUR MINIMUM ORDER? We can accommodate almost any order size. However, there are parts needed to be able to make just one record – and those parts cost the same whether pressing 1 record, or 1,000 records. So, it doesn’t make a lot of cost sense to press less than 100.
WHAT OTHER PRODUCTS DO YOU SELL? Gotta Groove Records is a “one stop shop”. You can get your custom printed jackets & sleeves produced and assembled by us when you get your records pressed. We also handle record labels, insert printing, digital download code hosting and insert printing, poster & flat printing, mastering services, custom packaging solutions, and pretty much anything that goes along with vinyl records! We do offer graphic design services too.
DISTRIBUTION & FULFILLMENT SERVICES? Over here.
CROWDFUNDING/CROWDSOURCING? Yep, check it out.
HOW DO I PLACE AN ORDER? You can obtain order forms, pricing, templates, and upload audio and art files via the links to the left of this page. You can order online here. You can also call us at (800) 295-0171 or email us at email@example.com.
CAN I TALK TO A REAL PERSON REGARDING MY ORDER?YES! Please feel free to call or email Matt Earley at (800) 295-0171 or firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any questions about ordering, technical questions, or just to converse in general.
ARE YOU HIRING?While we do not currently have open positions, if you are interested in sending your resume, we will keep it on file for six months for the case where a position does become available. Interested applicants should send their resume to Gotta Groove Records, Inc., Attn: Vince Slusarz, 3615 Superior Ave #4201A, Cleveland, OH 44114. GGR is an equal opportunity employer.
Have other questions? Just send an email and we’ll be happy to answer your question.