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Revolutions per minute or RPM on vinyl records

Difference between vinyl records recorded at 45 or 33 RPM

In this short read, we dive into the technical aspects of RPM on vinyl records. In this space, we’ll discuss the practical implications of revolutions per minute, exploring how various speeds affect playback, audio quality, and overall performance. Whether you’re a seasoned vinyl aficionado or a newcomer to the world of analog sound, join us as we break down the nitty-gritty details of RPM and its impact on your vinyl listening experience

What is RPM?

RPM stands for “Revolutions Per Minute,” and in the context of vinyl records, it refers to the speed at which the record rotates on a turntable. The most common speeds for vinyl records are 33 RPM and 45 RPM (there is also 78 RPM that is used). Each speed has a different impact on the playback of the audio recorded on the vinyl. The choice of RPM affects the amount of information that can be packed onto a vinyl record, as well as the quality of the audio reproduction. Different turntables have settings to accommodate these various speeds, allowing listeners to play a wide range of vinyl records on their equipment.

The main difference

I have read a simple explanation online about 45rpm record and their better quality of sound for everyone to understand. Think of drawing a flipbook character. If you were given 50 pages to draw on and flip through, you could create an animation. But imagine if you drew the same animation on 100 pages. You’d have to flip the pages twice as fast for the character to move at the same speed, but the changes from page to page would also be more slight, making the animation considerably smoother.

Better quality or more music

Thats it. At Twlinch we are recording both 33 RPM and 45 RPM vinyl records, and the main difference between these two is how much sound and how good the quality of sound can be recorded at each speed. Here is the comparison between these two:

  1. Rotational Speed:
    • 45rpm records: These records rotate at 45 revolutions per minute (rpm). The higher rotational speed allows for shorter playing times per side but typically offers better sound quality due to wider grooves and slower linear velocity.
    • 33rpm records: These records rotate at 33 1/3 revolutions per minute (rpm). They have longer playing times per side compared to 45rpm records but may sacrifice some sound quality due to narrower grooves and faster linear velocity.
  2. Playing Time:
    • 45rpm records: Because of their higher rotational speed, 45rpm records typically have shorter playing times per side, usually accommodating one song per side. They are commonly used for singles or shorter recordings.
    • 33rpm records: With their lower rotational speed, 33rpm records can accommodate longer playing times per side, making them suitable for full-length albums or longer recordings.
  3. Sound Quality:
    • 45rpm records: Generally, due to their slower linear velocity and wider grooves, 45rpm records tend to offer better sound quality, especially in terms of clarity and detail.
    • 33rpm records: While 33rpm records provide satisfactory sound quality for most listeners, they may not match the level of detail and clarity provided by 45rpm records, particularly for audiophiles.
  4. Usage and Purpose:
    • 45rpm records: These are commonly used for singles, promotional releases, or shorter recordings. They are favored for their higher fidelity and are often collected by enthusiasts.
    • 33rpm records: These are typically used for full-length albums, allowing for longer playing times per side. They became the standard format for LPs (Long Play) and are widely used for various genres of music.

Whatever you need!

In summary, the choice between 45 RPM and 33 RPM vinyl records depends on factors such as desired playing time, sound quality preferences, and the specific recordings being played! Create your vinyl record in our website builder and leave us a notice if you want us to record your vinyl at 45 RPM!

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Vinyl: The classic material

In a world dominated by digital technologies and sleek, modern materials, there’s something undeniably captivating about the timeless allure of vinyl. This classic material, with its rich history and enduring popularity, has stood the test of time and continues to make its mark in various industries.

Vinyl, often associated with records and vintage aesthetics, is a type of plastic known for its versatility and durability. Its roots trace back to the early 20th century when scientists sought to create a synthetic material that could mimic the properties of rubber. Over the years, vinyl has evolved into a versatile and widely used substance, finding its way into countless applications.

One of the most iconic uses of vinyl is in the realm of music. Vinyl records, with their warm analog sound and large, nostalgic album art, have experienced a remarkable resurgence in recent years. Audiophiles and music enthusiasts appreciate the unique quality of vinyl, as the analog grooves on the record produce a distinct sound that digital formats often struggle to replicate.

Beyond the realm of music, vinyl has established itself as a go-to material for various products. From flooring and upholstery to fashion and home décor, vinyl’s durability and flexibility make it a preferred choice for designers and manufacturers. Its water-resistant properties also contribute to its popularity in spaces like kitchens and bathrooms.

One of vinyl’s key advantages is its low maintenance requirements. Vinyl products are often easy to clean and resistant to stains, making them practical for everyday use. This, combined with its affordability, positions vinyl as an accessible and functional choice for a wide range of consumers.

Moreover, advancements in manufacturing technology have allowed for the creation of vinyl materials that are more environmentally friendly. Recyclable and phthalate-free options contribute to more sustainable use of vinyl, aligning with the growing awareness of eco-friendly choices among consumers.

In the world of fashion, vinyl has experienced a resurgence as a trendy material. Designers appreciate its glossy finish and sleek appearance, creating bold and eye-catching garments that stand out on runways and in street fashion alike. Vinyl’s association with rebellious subcultures adds a touch of edginess to fashion pieces, making it a favorite among those seeking a distinctive look.

As we navigate an ever-evolving landscape of materials and technologies, vinyl remains a steadfast and versatile option. Its ability to seamlessly blend the nostalgic with the contemporary, the practical with the stylish, ensures that vinyl will continue to play a significant role in our lives for years to come. So, whether you’re spinning a classic vinyl record or stepping onto a stylish vinyl floor, take a moment to appreciate the enduring charm of this classic material.

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Vinyl records stereo image

Vinyl records are becoming more popular lately, but there is an ongoing debate on whether this classic format can handle the same sound quality as digital releases. There are a lot of differences and a lot of things to compare but one of the most known topics when it comes to the sound of vinyl is a stereo image. In this short read, we will quickly explain what a stereo image means and how good can the stereo image be on a vinyl record.

Binaular is the first stereo

The first “stereo” sound experiments were done back in the 1930s by Emory Cook who was experimenting with binaural recordings where one vinyl had two channels recorded separately and needed tonearm with two cartridges and needles to play “stereo” sound. Soon the music industry (mostly the biggest labels), predicted that stereo is the future and early in the 1950s they started releasing stereo versions of albums. When the vinyl records industry started it was all about mono. All the records were recorded on one channel which means that if you listen to those tracks today both speakers will play the same sound with no panning of different instruments or vocals on the left and right speakers. Some people still prefer listening to mono but the thing is that stereo gives us another dimension to experience music more widely and fully than before.

Binaural Record Demonstration

Out-of-phase stereo image

The first thing you need to know when we talk about vinyl cut (or press) is, that mixing and mastering for this format is different than the one for digital release. A vinyl record is a physical product with its limitations and we cannot get the same sound as we can get from a digital version. One of the problems that appear a lot when mixing and mastering are not done for vinyl record release is a negative correlation – the stereo image is out of phase. Stereo imaging may sound good on a digital record, but the image may be too wide for a vinyl record. A stereo-cutting head cuts center/mono information horizontally and stereo information vertically, so if the stereo image is too wide it can happen that the cutting stylus tries to cut over the limit and this can lead grooves to momentarily disappear. Playing such a vinyl record would mean the stylus skipping on the parts where recordings were out of phase.

So the digital is better?

Even if the vinyl record format has its limitations on stereo image this does not mean that the sound is worse than with digital formats. Yes, it cannot go as wide but the thing is that if mixing and mastering are done correctly for the vinyl record release, the sound can be great. There is another thing about stereo image – the records that are made for clubbing are usually recorded in mono as a lot of sound systems in the clubs are still mono. A bad stereo sound system in the club would sound pretty strange as you would hear some elements just on the right side of the club and others just on the left. This would be pretty awkward. Mono doesn’t mean that the record is not good it just doesn’t give that wide feeling when listening on a proper stereo Soundsystem.

Fixing stereo image

As we are specialised in vinyl cut we do a lot of things in our studio before we start with production. We always inspect the stereo image of the recordings we receive and we give feedback to our client to fix the parts where the image is too wide or we fix the recordings for them. The overall correlation of stereo should not exceed 90%. 0% – means mono, 180% – means anti-phase. The correlation of bandwidth below 200 Hz should be even narrower, and below 100 Hz should be 0% (mono).

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Keeping the groove alive

Collecting vinyl records is a popular thing last few years and more and more young population are discovering this exciting and expensive hobby. However, to truly appreciate the full potential of vinyl, proper maintenance is crucial. In this short read, we will explore the art of vinyl cleaning and why it’s essential for preserving the longevity and sound quality of your cherished record collection.

Clean them regularly

Vinyl records are delicate treasures, susceptible to dust, dirt, and various contaminants that can compromise their sound quality. Regular cleaning not only removes these unwanted particles but also helps prevent wear and tear on your turntable’s stylus. By keeping your vinyl records clean, you can ensure an optimal listening experience while prolonging the lifespan of your prized collection.

Essential tools

To embark on your vinyl cleaning journey, you’ll need a few essential tools. Here’s a list of items you should consider having in your vinyl-cleaning tools:

  • Anti-static record brush: Perfect for removing loose debris from the record’s surface.
  • Cleaning solution: There are various cleaning solutions available in the market specifically designed for vinyl records. Look for options that are gentle, non-abrasive, and specifically formulated for vinyl.
  • Microfiber cleaning cloth: Ideal for wiping down your records and removing any residue left behind by the cleaning solution.
  • Record cleaning machine: For those seeking a more advanced and thorough cleaning method, investing in a record cleaning machine can yield excellent results.

Simple cleaning

Before you start cleaning your vinyl records, make sure to handle them with clean hands to avoid leaving fingerprints or oils on the surface. Here’s a step-by-step guide to cleaning your records:

  • Gently brush the surface of the record using an anti-static brush to remove loose debris.
  • Apply a small amount of the cleaning solution onto a microfiber cloth or brush designed for vinyl record cleaning.
  • In a circular motion, gently clean the record’s grooves with the cloth or brush. Be careful not to apply excessive pressure to avoid damaging the record.
  • Once the record has been thoroughly cleaned, use a dry section of the cloth to wipe away any remaining moisture.
  • Allow the record to air dries completely before returning it to its sleeve.

Storing your vinyl records

Always store your vinyl records in the protective inner (and outer) sleeves to prevent dust accumulation. If possible cover them also with outer PVC sleeves. Avoid exposing your vinyl records collection to extreme temperatures or direct sunlight, as this can cause warping. To keep your records clean you also need to keep your turntable clean as well, so regularly cleaning the slipmat and stylus will prevent any transfer of dirt onto your records.

So cleaning your records is simple, but doing that regularly is the only way to keep them in good condition and get the best sound while listening.

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Vinyl records are back in the game

In an era dominated by digital music consumption, vinyl records have defied the odds and experienced a significant resurgence. The numbers speak for themselves, showcasing a remarkable rise in the vinyl records industry. It is not just about the music and analogue feel, but an album on a vinyl record has a different value, in the end of the day we still like stuff that we can hold in our hands.

Sales, sales, sales

Vinyl sales have been skyrocketing in 2020 and 2021, reaching their highest levels in decades. The sales were rising by almost 50% in these two years. But in 2022 the sales stopped growing so fast and were just growing by about 3-5%. Still, this remarkable surge indicates a growing demand for the physical format and a rekindled appreciation for its unique qualities. Vinyl is still far away from the numbers in the past but the industry still stays “healthy”.

The young generation of vinyl enthusiasts

Vinyl has been really popular back in the day but with the rise of digital formats, this format was almost forgotten. However one of the main reasons for the comeback is the young population of vinyl collectors. A significant portion of vinyl buyers comprises younger generations who are discovering the allure of vinyl for the first time. They are drawn to the tactile experience, the novelty of owning physical albums, and the authenticity that vinyl brings to their musical journey.

Vinyl records sales are skyrocketing

Mainstream is back on 12”

Mainstream artists are recognizing the real value of selling their albums on vinyl. Major labels and independent artists are releasing their music on vinyl, catering to the growing demand. This trend has further propelled the vinyl industry, making it more accessible to a wider audience.

Waiting in lines for vinyl press

One of the problems with the vinyl comeback is the manufacturing of this piece of art. The big labels are releasing all of their biggest artists also on vinyl which means the pressing plants are not capable of manufacturing vinyl records fast enough. This means that especially some smaller artists are waiting for their vinyl to be pressed for 12-24 months which is crazy. The alternative is a short-run vinyl cut, which represents a faster alternative but usually for smaller quantities of up to 100 records.

The vinyl records industry is experiencing a renaissance, with sales soaring to new heights. The combination of nostalgia, superior sound quality, and the inherent collectability of vinyl records has captured the hearts of music lovers across generations. As the numbers continue to rise, it’s clear that vinyl has carved out a permanent place in the ever-evolving landscape of music consumption.