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Disc Manufacturing Services Ltd
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Frequently Asked Questions

Below are some of the questions that we are most commonly requested to answer. Please feel free to contact us with any vinyl related queries, our friendly team are here to help.

What do I need to supply to place a vinyl order?

In order for us to complete your vinyl order for your planned release, we will need the following:

1. Vinyl Master
2. Graphics/Art Files
3. Completed Track List And Copyright Declaration Form
4. Payment

In what format should I supply my master to you?

Please supply your vinyl master as WAV or AIFF files, either one track for each side of the record or as individual tracks. You may also provide us with lacquers from a mastering studio, please contact us for more information about this.

A track list detailing the name of each track and running time should be supplied with every master. Please double check that the master is free of any errors or defects as although we check every track carefully, we cannot be held responsible for errors caused by incorrectly edited files.

You can forward digital files via WeTransfer or Dropbox (in a .ZIP or .RAR folder) or via your own FTP site.
You can send physical formats (CD, DVD, Minidisc, DAT, USB Stick/ Flash Drive, or ¼" Tape) to DMS Ltd, The Pressing House, Faringdon Road, Plymouth, PL49ER.

Please ensure all files are compressed to a .ZIP/.RAR folder prior to uploading.

We offer a full Vinyl Mastering service, so if you need any alterations to your tracks please contact us to discuss your requirements. Mastering for vinyl is charged at £50 per track ex. VAT (£60 inc. VAT).

How should I supply my graphics?

Please send us high quality PDF files with any imagery at 300dpi. To attain the highest quality print results and reduce any risk of your orders being delayed, please read through our Artwork Specifications. We recommend speaking to our graphics department before starting your designs, often a five-minute chat over the phone can give you all the information required to make your task much easier and your final files much sharper.

Print-ready art files can be emailed to your DMS contact or uploaded via WeTransfer, Filemail.com, Dropbox or your own FTP site. You may prefer to supply a data disc containing your artwork in the post, in which case please post to DMS Ltd, The Pressing House, Faringdon Road, Plymouth, PL4 9ER.

At DMS we are great believers in preparing your graphics to the highest quality before going to print. We have a full range of templates available for all vinyl products including labels, inner sleeves, outer sleeves, gatefolds and box sets. If you don't see what you are looking for, please contact us and we will send the relevant templates to you.

We also offer a full Graphic Design service at £40 per hour ex. VAT (£48 inc. VAT) if you require assistance with your artwork.

How should I send send you my physical masters?

You may wish to supply your digital audio masters on a disc or flash drive. If this is the case, please send us your completed master via Royal Mail Special or Recorded delivery. This guarantees next day delivery to us ensuring we start your production immediately. This service is available from any Post Office and costs approximately £5.00 for a standard weight package. Our full postal address is:

The Pressing House
57 Faringdon Road
St Judes
Plymouth
Devon
PL4 9ER

How much music can I fit on my record?

Below are the recommended maximum playing times per side for vinyl records prepared at standard recording levels. Please be aware that these playing times are a guide only. The appropriate speed of your record will depend mostly on the nature of the master. When a suitable speed is uncertain, we can ask the cutting engineers to provide their professional opinion.

Format Speed Playing time per side
12" At 33rpm 19 minutes 20 seconds
12" At 45rpm 14 minutes 20 seconds
10" At 33rpm 13 minutes 37 seconds
10" At 45rpm 10 minutes 05 seconds
7" At 33rpm 6 minutes 50 seconds
7" At 45rpm 5 minutes 00 seconds

* It is not advised to cut 7" at 33 RPM as it can greatly increase the risk of distortion. If you are ordering a 7" with sides over 5 minutes long, our advice is to leave the RPM open and let the cutting engineer recommend the best speed once they have properly analysed the masters. Sometimes 45 RPM is best even when the sides are longer than 5/6 mins.

** Sometimes the cutting engineers will recommend 45 RPM cuts for 12" sides around 15-16 minutes, depending on your audio.

The above are recommended guidelines and can be exceeded, but it is important to note that by pushing the limits it starts to become necessary to lower the overall volume and reduce higher frequencies to minimise the risk of distortion. Low frequencies may also need to be reduced as they require more physical space on the record surface.

The effects that this may have on the sound of the cut differ greatly depending on the characteristics of the audio. Our audio engineers are always happy to check out your masters free of charge before you place an order. They will predict the most likely outcome of the cut and recommend any changes which could benefit the sound quality of your record.

What colours can my records be?

Aside from black vinyl, DMS offer an array of solid and transparent coloured records, and different vinyl colour effects including half and half, splatters and marbling. Take a look at the colour options available to you on our colour chart, or check out our gallery for images of examples of previous works and inspiring colour effect ideas.

Do I need an MCPS Licence to make my vinyl records?

DMS will only press your records if you are the sole copyright owner and fill in one of our copyright declaration forms, or you can supply a valid manufacturing licence from MCPS or other relevant licensing organisations that apply in other countries. We will not consider manufacturing any product that infringes the rights of other artists or copyright owners.

Please visit the PRS for Music website and the MCPS section within it to see the kinds of licences available and the cost of obtaining them. If you need any help or advice with your application it's best to give MCPS a call direct, they're always very friendly and can help to shed valuable light on an otherwise complicated process.

When and how should I pay for my vinyl records?

Due to the nature of vinyl record manufacturing once goods are produced they are unusable by anyone other than the client that ordered them. For that reason we ask for payment in full prior to vinyl manufacturing commencing. Alternatively UK registered companies and government agencies may apply for a credit account. Credit is not available to individuals or first time customers.

You may pay for your goods and services by the following methods:

By card over the telephone. Please note that credit cards and all non-UK registered cards incur a processing surcharge of 3%)
By BACS transfer. Your sales contact will provide you with our bank details and they can be found at the bottom of your invoice.
Via PayPal (surcharges do apply)
Or by cheque payable to DMS Ltd to the address above, also stated on your invoice.

For further details on payment options please get in touch with your sales contact or telephone +44 (0) 1752 201275.

What should I listen out for in my test pressings?

Test pressings (TPs) are for checking and approving the acoustic quality of the vinyl record and to ensure you are happy with the transfer process of the supplied audio onto the vinyl format. You should focus on evaluating the quality of the acoustic sound and volume levels but also listen for any untoward pops, clicks, excessive hiss, basically any unwanted artefacts that directly disturb or distract from the listening experience. This is also the time to check any requested record engravings are present and correct.

We supply a minimum of 5 test pressings so that you can identify any serial issues with the vinyl pressing. Any serious issues that are consistent on every copy can indicate there is a problem with the metalwork and new stampers might need to be made before the final pressing. All copies should be the same, but due to the mechanical process of vinyl record production, things like pops and clicks can and will vary from copy to copy.

We recommend that you listen to your TPs on several different set-ups as there are many factors that can affect the way a record sounds on playback. These factors include the type/condition of your stylus, the weight and setting of your tone arm, the speakers and the room acoustics. As a final piece of advice, it certainly doesn't hurt to have a second set of ears to evaluate. If you have any concerns after listening to your test pressings, please contact your account manager.

How long does it take for my records to be delivered?

Please note that lead times for vinyl production can vary substantially from week to week. Assuming that your master and graphic files are supplied to the specifications required, our average lead times are as follows:

Test pressings generally deliver within 2-4 weeks of receipt of master tracks, copyright declaration and payment.
Vinyl production runs typically ship around 3-6 weeks from test pressing approval, or from submission of all audio and artwork files if foregoing test pressings.

Please note that lead times for picture discs are currently 8-9 weeks following receipt of correctly supplied audio and artwork files.

If you are planning an upcoming release, we recommend that you give us a call or drop us an email to find out current lead times and chat through feasible dates and deadlines. We are of course happy to try and meet demands. If you have something urgent with a specific deadline date, please ensure you let us know as early as possible so we can look to schedule the order into our processing and production schedules.

We ship worldwide. All goods are dispatched to you through leading global courier companies. All deliveries will require somebody to sign for the goods at the address you have specified, so please make sure somebody will be available at home, in the office or at the warehouse. We will always tell you when your goods are dispatched so you are able to plan receipt of your order. Unfortunately our courier companies will not be able to specify the delivery time until the day of delivery, although some couriers will text you with an ETA where possible.

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Disc Manufacturing Services Ltd, The Pressing House, Faringdon Road, Plymouth, PL4 9ER. United Kingdom.
Registered in England and Wales no 5127922 at this address. VAT registration no 838 5310 21