In the mid-2 0th century, when the LP was the medium of option, massive hydraulic-powered vinyl pressing machines–manufactured by long-forgotten companies like SMT, Lened, and Toolex–pumped out the endless flow of grooved disc that became the lifeblood of the booming post-war music industry.
When CDs emerged in the mid-1 980 s, most of those aging LP presses ended up in landfills and warehouses. The remainder of the plot unspools like a stale Wes Anderson ensemble. Fueled by millennials experiencing nostalgic for something they never suffered, vinyl enjoyed a stunning revival and, withstanding all pundit prophecies, became more than a go format furor. Reeking fund, the Big Three labels rereleased their legacy acts on red-hot wax, Technics started stirring SL-1 200 turntables again, and vinyl got its own global holiday.
The first brand-new record-pressing machines building up over 30 times are eventually online.
Suddenly those old record presses were in high demand. The 1960 s models–clanking, steam-spewing brutes that look like they came directly from Lord Humungus’ private register flower somewhere in the post-nuke Australian outback–command insane rates on today’s scavenger proportions marketplace. But those aging contraptions are the only things retaining the 18 persisting account pressing facilities in the US, and 30 others worldwide, up and running.
All of that is about to change: The first new record-pressing machines built in over 30 years are finally online. The brainchild of some Canadian R& D guys with a background designing fancy MRI machines, the Warm Tone register press is everything that its vintage counterpart is not: safe, fast, fully automated, reliable, run by cloud-based software, and iOS-controlled. These $195,000 whiz-bang machines, the homegrown product of a Toronto company called Viryl Technologies, are the next-gen account presses our 21 st century vinyl revolution has been waiting for.
There’s an App for That
Unlike the old stamping behemoths, a single employee can operate several Warm Tone divisions at once. Its unrivaled speeding and effectiveness leaves the standard cycles/second occasion benchmarks in the dust, too: 20 seconds versus 35 seconds, which translates to three evidences per time instead of merely two. That’s pretty good, but the actual product crop is even better than good. That’s because the old school presses run at a 30 to 40 percent product loss due to everything from operator correct to mechanical omission. In ordering to press a high quality record, a vinyl “puck” must be steam-heated up to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and water-cooled down to 50 degrees Fahrenheit in only 22 seconds. Muck those amounts up, and nasty warp are sure to follow. The Warm Tone is so well designed and performs this heating-cooling process so precisely that the vinyl it spits out is uniformly flat. Product loss is a miserly one percent.( Vinyl geeks: A brand-new German pressing machine called Newbuilt hit the market last year, but it’s based on less dependable Finebilt tech .)
The Warm Tone is also modular( constructing repairs literally a snap ), mobile-friendly( inventing data is instantly relayed to smart machines through a custom-built interface ), and has passed the most rigorous stress experiments( 24/7 procedure is promoted ).
While the press churns away, Viryl Technology’s proprietary quality-control application collects data from every vital level in the Warm Tone manufacturing process. The tool also allows the operator to shape important tweaks in real time–from changing nozzle and steam pressure to adapting flywheel trimming hasten and vinyl blend–that can mean discrepancies between a successful move and a budget-breaking failure.
After much planning and infrastructure build-out( aspiring vinyl moguls: don’t scrimp on the boiler and closed-loop “chiller” structures ), Hand Drawn Records, a 12 -man indie label outside Dallas, has just flipped the switch on the first Warm Tones to participate the vinyl supply-side chain.Housed in the Hand Drawn Pressing plant in Addison, Texas, the two machines, currently running 18 -hour alters, are on gait to churn out 1.8 million divisions in 2017.
” Waffle manufacturers are better today than they used to be because the machines continued to improve ,” supposes Hand Drawn Records CCO Dustin Blocker.” Record presses have actually gotten worse because the technology hasn’t changed in half a century. The machines are falling apart .”
He pauses to let this unconscionable pause in scientific progress sink in.” It took a while, but we finally have a better register producer .”