According to data collected from various Vinyl pressing plants, the cost of making your own vinyl is anywhere between $4.92 and $20 per vinyl record. There are a lot of factors to consider when determining the cost of producing your own vinyl such as the company you choose to work with, the intended weight for your vinyl, size, packaging, length of the music, color designs and so forth.
Most vinyl pressing plants produce quantities not less than 100 or 200 in some cases even 500.
For the purposes of this post I looked at most vinyl production plants that produce quantities of 200 vinyl records and above. This therefore; puts the cost of producing 200 vinyl records between $900 and $5000.
This makes production of a 100 vinyl units around $450 to $2500.
It therefore makes sense to have a budget set and reach out to various Vinyl production plants so they can give you quotations.
You can also negotiate depending on what kind of deal you’re looking for.
For independent artists I’m sure the quantity of vinyl they would want would be a lot less than what would be wanted by an artist operating from and signed to a record label.
With that said, let’s look into various factors that affect the price of vinyl production.
Factors affecting cost of vinyl production.
Below are the various factors that determine how much it will cost you to press vinyl. It is of absolute importance that you take note of each item.
This way you can approach a vinyl pressing plant with exact specifications. Knowing the specifics will also help you to have a prepared budget and give you an edge in negotiations.
Understanding various record sizes will allow you to inquire into your preferred vinyl pressing plant so they can give you quotes.
So you can determine the best record size to go with.
Vinyl records differ in size based on how much music they store on the surface of the disk. The basic standard sizes are 7-inch, 10-inch, and 12 inch.
Depending on the pressing company these three sizes are priced differently because:
The 7 inch vinyl record is basically the smallest size and is meant to be a less expensive option, but due to the fact that it holds less much music. It may cost you more to produce if you an album of length.
The 10 inch vinyl record was popularly meant for music that was released back in the 50’s. It can hold more music than the 7 inch records but will generally cost more because you’ll most likely have more than 1 vinyl record per package to account for the length of your music.
Finally we have the standard size which is a 12 inch record, which can hold about 22 minutes of music on each side. This is the reason why most albums meant to be vinyl records will not be more than 45 minutes in length.
The standard 12 inch vinyl records are relatively cheaper to press.
Quantity per item
Quantity per item is closely related to the size of the vinyl you want pressed and is important when budgeting and deciding on the size to go with.
For 7 inch and 10 inch vinyl records, you’ll typically have more items per package due to the fact that they don’t hold a lot of music per side.
This will in turn cost you more for the production of the extra records.
12 inch records can be a great way to avoid the quantity per item cost.
Number of Vinyl
Another factor that affects how much you pay for vinyl is the actual number of vinyl units you want pressed.
The more standard number is anything above 50.
Most vinyl pressing companies can offer you a great deal on price if you intend to say, press 500 vinyl records.
So this is something to really consider. The price will generally be fairer as you increase the number of the records you want.
You can therefore take advantage of discounts like these.
This is another key factor in determining how much you’ll spend on having vinyl pressed.
The more side length, the more music you can add to your vinyl record.
Most vinyl processing companies will charge more if you need more than 15 minutes on each side so you have to take note of this.
You also should consider picking the right vinyl record size because it will in most cases dictate how much length in time you’ll have on each side of your vinyl.
The length of your album should be another guiding factor in determining what size record you need and the amount of length you need on each side.
Mastering is another key factor that will determine how much a vinyl pressing plant will charge you. It is typical for most of these companies to offer mastering services as part of the entire pressing package, while others simply do not.
You may be thinking mastering can be handled by any mastering engineer, but it’s a bit different when it comes to vinyl.
Mastering for vinyl is very specific to vinyl. It requires a mastering engineer that is experienced and has worked with vinyl before. This is why vinyl pressing plants that also offer mastering will charge you a bit more.
Therefore you can weigh your options and figure out the more affordable option between working with an independent master engineer and a vinyl pressing plant master engineer.
Granted the mastering costs won’t cost you a lot but if you’re on a tight budget.
Inscriptions that you want on your vinyl records will cost you depending on how complex they are.
This is another factor you should account for.
Standard inscriptions usually cost a lot less and can be an easy way to get rid of unnecessary costs.
The most common vinyl record weights offered by various vinyl processing plants that I could find are 140 and 180 grams.
The heavier the vinyl, the pricier they cost…… so it’s best to decide on a standard weight and inquire into different companies to determine how much they charge depending on weight.
Color/Packaging and Inserts
Colors for your vinyl are a huge part of the pricing set by vinyl pressing companies. The standard color is mostly black which is a lot cheaper compared to other colors.
Transparent colors are also another huge factor you should account for because they generally cost a lot more. For the most part, you’ll be charged per side.
Inserts and booklets are another thing can add on to the costs of packaging your vinyl record.
Extra Test Pressing
Extra test vinyl can be added on for free but can cost you if you want extra ones so it’s always good to understand this.
It may be cheaper or expensive depending on the manufacturer of your Vinyl.
Vinyl Pressing Company recommendations
What to consider
The cost of producing vinyl can be quite high which is why its important that you figure out why you want to press vinyl.
With all the expenses involved you at-least have to be able to sell your vinyl to make your money back
offering it to your fans should be able to give you some sort of value in return.
There are a lot of factors to consider when determining the cost of producing your own vinyl. Taking into account all these factors the production of a 100 vinyl units will cost around $450 to $2500.