Vinyl record pressing in Australia dates back to the early 1900s, but it wasn't until the 1950s and 60s that it really took off. Prior to this, most of the vinyl records in Australia were pressed in the UK and imported.
One of the earliest Australian pressing plants was CBS Records (later Sony Music), which opened in Sydney in 1954. This plant was the first to produce 12-inch vinyl records in Australia, and was followed by other major labels such as EMI, RCA, and Mushroom Records.
During the 1970s and 80s, the popularity of vinyl records in Australia continued to grow, with many local artists producing their own albums and singles. Some of the most popular artists of this era included AC/DC, INXS, Midnight Oil, and Cold Chisel, all of whom had their music pressed onto vinyl in Australia.
However, by the 1990s, the popularity of vinyl began to decline as CDs became the dominant format for music. As a result, many of the pressing plants in Australia were closed down or repurposed, and the production of vinyl records was largely outsourced overseas.
In recent years, there has been a resurgence of interest in vinyl, and several new vinyl pressing plants have opened in Australia to meet the demand. These include Zenith Records in Melbourne, Program Records, Tory Horse and Matrix Vinyl. While vinyl production in Australia is still relatively small compared to other countries, the industry continues to grow and thrive, with many local artists and labels embracing the format.
Has vinyl pressing increased in Australia?
Vinyl pressing in Australia has been steadily increasing in recent years, following a trend that has been observed worldwide. According to a report by the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) in 2021, the number of vinyl record pressing plants in Australia has tripled over the past five years, from just one plant in 2016 to three in 2021. Additionally, the report notes that the demand for vinyl has increased significantly, with the Australian Recording Industry Association (ARIA) reporting a 42% increase in vinyl sales in 2020. This increase in demand has been attributed to factors such as the resurgence of vinyl as a popular format, as well as the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on music consumption habits.
Australian businesses pressing vinyl
Here are some companies that currently offer vinyl pressing services in Australia:
Zenith Records - Melbourne, Victoria
Vinyl Factory - Marrickville, New South Wales
Implant Media - Brunswick, Victoria
A&R Records - Sydney, New South Wales
Small Run - Melbourne, Victoria
Abbey Road Institute - South Melbourne, Victoria
Zenith Records – Melbourne
Zenith Records is a vinyl record pressing plant located in Melbourne, Australia. The company was founded in 1994 by Zac Keiller and originally operated as a small-scale lathe cutting service. In 2002, Zenith Records acquired its first vinyl record pressing machine, a restored Pheenix Alpha, and began offering a full range of pressing services.
Since then, Zenith Records has grown to become one of the leading vinyl pressing plants in Australia, with a reputation for quality and attention to detail. The company currently operates four vinyl pressing machines, including two restored Pheenix Alphas, and produces vinyl records in a variety of formats and sizes.
In addition to pressing services, Zenith Records also offers mastering, lacquer cutting, and graphic design services to its clients. The company has worked with a wide range of artists and labels, from local independent acts to international superstars. Zenith Records takes pride in its commitment to sustainability, using recycled vinyl pellets and other eco-friendly materials wherever possible. The company also works closely with its clients to ensure that their products are produced to the highest possible standards and delivered on time.
Implant Media - Brunswick, Victoria
Implant Media is a vinyl record pressing plant based in Brunswick, Victoria, Australia. It was founded in 2015 and has since become one of the leading vinyl pressing plants in Australia. Implant Media offers a range of vinyl pressing services including mastering, lacquer cutting, electroplating, and vinyl pressing. They use state-of-the-art equipment to ensure high-quality vinyl pressings, and can produce runs of any size, from small runs for independent artists to large runs for major record labels. In addition to vinyl pressing, Implant Media also offers packaging and distribution services to help artists and labels release their music on vinyl.
Small Run - Melbourne, Victoria
Small Run is a vinyl pressing plant located in Melbourne, Victoria, Australia. The company specializes in small run vinyl pressing, offering a minimum run of 100 copies. They also offer a range of vinyl mastering services, including lacquer cutting, and can handle various vinyl formats, including 7", 10", and 12" records. Small Run is known for its high-quality vinyl pressings and quick turnaround times, making it a popular choice for independent artists and labels in Australia.
How can I record, master and get my album pressed to vinyl?
To record, master and press your album to vinyl, you will need to follow a few steps:
Record your music: You will need to record your music either in a professional recording studio or with your own equipment at home. Ensure that your recordings are of high quality and are mastered to the desired sound.
Create the vinyl master: Once your music has been recorded and mastered, you will need to create a vinyl master. This is a process where your music is transferred onto a master lacquer disc, which will be used to create the metal stampers needed for vinyl pressing.
Choose a vinyl pressing company: Research and choose a reputable vinyl pressing company that can press your music onto vinyl records. Provide them with your vinyl master and discuss your specific requirements, such as the number of records you want to press, the vinyl color and thickness, and the type of packaging you want.
Provide artwork: Create artwork for your vinyl record cover, label, and any other packaging elements. Provide this to the vinyl pressing company to ensure that the final product looks exactly as you want it to.
Review and approve test pressings: Before pressing the full order, the vinyl pressing company will create a few test pressings to ensure that everything is correct. Review and approve these test pressings to ensure that your music sounds great on vinyl and that the packaging meets your expectations.
Press and package the records: Once you have approved the test pressings, the vinyl pressing company will press and package the records according to your specifications.
Distribute and promote your music: Once the vinyl records are ready, distribute and promote your music to your audience. Consider selling the records through your website or at live shows, and use social media and other marketing tactics to increase awareness of your album.
Note that the process of recording and pressing your music to vinyl can be time-consuming and expensive, so be sure to budget accordingly and plan ahead to ensure that everything goes smoothly.