Duane Wardell worked as a database consultant for nearly 20 years for a variety of corporations and health-care organizations. Outside of his professional pursuits, Duane Wardell enjoys mixing music on vinyl records.
Vinyl is making a comeback for musicians mixing their own music across a variety of genres, including jazz and techno. Vinyl allows for versatility, but it presents some unique challenges that other mediums like CDs do not. Artists mixing on vinyl must be particularly aware of the pressing process by which records are prepared for release. The way in which vinyl records are made affects the sound quality of the music being added to the records.
The process begins with a blank disk composed of aluminum overlaid with acetate plastic. Grooves are placed in the acetate with a mastering lathe. Several negative and positive relief metal molds are made, which eventually result in a stamper.
Once a set of stampers is produced, vinyl can be placed between them and slowly squeezed to make an actual record. The record must then be allowed to sit before being cooled to eliminate the possibility of noisy disks.