We can make records all day easily with the equipment we have, but to make good records requires a tremendous amount of focus.
It's not just make up a batch, put it in the oven, set a timer like it's very hands on and just demanding.
You have to hold it all the way down.
Go for it.
And thats your record.
Ha, that is a wild I'm Justin Crowther I own and operate the Burlington record plant here were a custom vinyl pressing plant.
These are records that have been pressed and are cooling and stacking.
This is a very, very old style of assembly.
We take the record, we throw it in the jacket, we stack them in stacks of 25.
We have like a small little QC station here.
We do after production.
We manufacture vinyl records mostly for new artists so they can submit us with all of their artwork in their files, and we put it all together and send it to the stores and distribution for resale.
Vinyl records, once viewed as a relic of the past, have been making a comeback.
In 2022 records made up 70% of all physical music sales, outselling CDs for the first time in 35 years.
So what's to be made of the resurgence?
You hear it time and time again.
People do like the tangible objects and they like the feel of vinyl.
I feel like for the same reason that it sold in the beginning, you get the opportunity for high resolution artwork.
The idea of the vinyl color matching the artwork, I think is really special.
Sonically speaking, there is an advantage to the playback, to the listening experience and I think that from my perspective, it's so difficult to make well, it makes it that much more special because you can't just make it overnight.
It's not an instant gratification item.
The popularity of vinyl is growing across the board.
Sujay and Teresa Patel, owners of In the Moment Records in Londonderry, have experienced a renewed interest in vinyl records firsthand.
It's more than just listening to music.
It's really like it is a real sensory experience to come in here.
The aspect of the music being tangible, you know, on your phone, it's just touch, touch.
Bring it up, stream it, whatever.
But here you physically go through.
You dig through the pile, you hold it in your hand, you look at it, you pull it out, you look at the liner notes, you open up the insert.
It's an experience.
The record store plays a part in a community, and it is a cultural center for those people that are into this.
You know what I mean?
Like, everybody comes through here, every cross-section of your community demographic is pops into the record shop, you know?
And I think that's the thing.
The music is a common denominator for people.
So like whether you're into the classical or the folk or the rock and the pop or the thrash the punk or whatever it may be, chance you'll find something that you like.
This is the first machine that we built and put together.
This was in the Warner Brothers plant from Europe, and it was probably decommissioned in the sixties, had it shipped here and kind of pieced it back together.
And so this is the B-side.
This is the A-side.
This is a small pressure vessel we send a high pressure steam into the mold to to bring it to workable temperature.
And then we send high pressure water through the mold to bring it down to temperature.
And that's pretty much like an industrial waffle iron.
Hot and cold.
Hot and cold.
And then we press it 140 tons of hydraulic pressure.
So it gets squeezed really, really hard.
And that's what fills the grooves.
Everything has to be just about perfect.
Any dust, any of the material that gets behind the stamper?
Anything can go wrong at any time.
How many records are you making?
A day and a year?
400 on average a day.
That's running one single machine, about a 105,000 a year.
As of June 2022, there were about 40 record plants operating in the United States.
That's up from about 15 in late 2014, the year the Burlington Record plant opened, with production ramping up across the country, new records are hitting the shelves every day, but vintage vinyl still makes up a large portion of sales for many record stores.
I would say our percentage of new vinyl versus used vinyl is probably somewhere between 85 to 90% vintage and 10 to 15% new.
Where we like to be able to fill the gaps with new stuff is those genres that we don't seem to find here rap, hip hop, funk, things like that.
We don't get a lot of.
You do have to have a sense of a theme or thread through your store.
Otherwise you're just going to have boxes of stuff everywhere.
I love selling records right off the turntable.
I'll pick my favorites and you know, I don't get too upset with most of them that I sell that way.
You know, you hear something and it sounds great and people are like, What is this?
So I think there's some influencing that goes on for sure.
There's all kinds of knowledge here.
We're like a library, but in vinyl format there's always something new to learn.
For me, that was a business that I was like, Nothing's going to get stale here as long as there's a want for it.
Then from a business perspective, there'll be an opportunity for you to succeed.
The record plants one of the most important things is that we really care about what people are doing, the energy they put into their projects.
You're not just another number or another bar code here.
Like we think about it deeply about what we're making for people.
Records may seem like a fad right now, but like every fad, if when it goes away, we're still going to be here.
And records are still going to be here, and people are still going to be listening to records for all the right reasons.
Rainbow of color fall from clear blue skies.
I never worry...