Lacquers, DMM, SVM & Stampers


The key to a successful pressing.

There are three steps required to get a record pressing underway: the first one is getting the audio source from you, secondly we create either a lacquer master, direct metal master (DMM), or our proprietary SVM master for each side of your record(s), and third we create a pressing stamper.

Lacquer mastering

What is a lacquer master? It’s a lacquer-coated aluminum disc (larger than the finished product) that contains all of the grooves that represent the final mastered sound of your recording.

Creating a lacquer master is a one-time process and is not required for reorders. If you want to supply your own lacquer masters for an order that’s perfectly okay. Contact our team for more details on this.

 

Direct metal mastering (DMM)

What is DMM? Direct metal mastering is a similar process to lacquer mastering but utilizes a copper metal disc vs a lacquer coated one. This process allows us to create your stamper directly from the metal master disc.

Creating a DMM master is a one-time process and is not required for reorders.

SVM Mastering

What is SVM? SVM is our proprietary cutting method, utilizing a different type of master material which is great for those on a tighter budget. This option is great for shorter length records but does have a few limitations vs lacquer or direct metal masters. A little more compression, high & low frequencies may need to be rounded off and they may have a slightly louder noise floor. SVM only requires a 1-step platting process.

Creating a SVM master is a one-time process and is not required for reorders.

The metal stamper

The metal stamper is exactly what you think it is. The process creating this metal stamper is commonly referred to as the “galvanic or electroplating process” if you want to get fancy. Putting a lacquer or DMM master into a vinyl press is kind of like putting a cold grilled cheese sandwich under the wheel of an F-150, so instead we take it and spray it with silver nitrate. The nitrate fills all of the grooves in the master disc. This is then submerged into a nickel sulphamate electrolyte solution which allows nickel to deposit through a chemical process onto the disc plate. This takes about an hour or so, and when it’s done we carefully separate a perfect metal negative from your master disc. This ladies and gentlemen… is your metal stamper.

This metal mold is what gets used to make your test pressings and eventually your entire order of vinyl records.

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