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Maybe you happened upon a box of blank vinyl at the record store or are researching how to make your own vinyl mixes. Whichever the case, information about blank records is few and far between.
Blank vinyl records can be used as decoration or turned into your own personalized vinyl. You’ll need some expensive equipment to add music to a vinyl (it’s not as simple as burning a CD), but it is possible. More often than not, though, bulk blank vinyl is used as decoration.
You can use blank vinyl records for either of the above usages, but know that the latter will be a bit more difficult. Below, I’ll discuss the uses of blank vinyl records and where to get them.
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Pressing Blank Vinyl Records
Blanks are not pressed on vinyl. They’re not produced by a record company. They don’t come with cover art or barcodes and aren’t sold in stores. So why would you want one?
If you’re an audiophile, there’s a chance you like to listen to music on vinyl records and you already own the equipment needed to play them (a turntable). You know that the best way to listen to music—even better than CDs or streaming—is on vinyl records. So you might be thinking that if you can’t find an album available on vinyl from your favorite artists or bands, then making your own custom compilation of songs from your favorite albums is the next best thing!
Unfortunately, the process isn’t as cut and paste as burning CDs.
Special Equipment Is Required
The journey of pressing a vinyl is going to be a long one. If you’ve found a blank vinyl record, the first thing you’ll probably notice is that there aren’t any raised lines on it, like on one that has music. It’ll be flat and shiny, like the fake ones you may see used as decorations.
This video shows the entire process and explains how music gets put on a vinyl:
As the video shows, it’s not a process suited for doing at home. You’d need the room, the time, the space, the money, and the electrical capacity!
You’ll need some pretty expensive equipment to record a sound onto vinyl. But it’s not impossible if you have found a box of blank vinyl!
Blank Vinyl Records Are Usually Pressed at Specific Businesses
A vinyl press is required for putting any music on vinyl, and they are difficult to come by.
Recording studios often have the equipment, and some Etsy storefronts even offer services for adding music to vinyl. You’ll also likely need tons of electricity in your home to keep one running.
As the video showed, there are places where you can press your own vinyl, but the rates will vary. You’ll also have to press your own music at a vinyl pressing business, as adding other songs (mix-tape style) would raise some copyright and legal red flags.
I’ve seen ways around this, though, to make blank vinyl records usable for even those who don’t make music. Some will record important moments or use them as guest books at their wedding and then have those pressed to vinyl. Again, doing this at home is no joke! Here is a step-by-step video of the process:
If you have a master all ready to be pressed, you have a good head start.
Other Ways to Use Blank Vinyl Records
If you’re just excited about finding blank vinyl records and have no interest in pressing them, there are other creative ways to use them.
You can use blank vinyl records as gifts. I’ve seen Etsy storefronts or friends write song lyrics on vinyl records, then frame them or even make furniture. You can find blank vinyl records at most party stores for sock-hops or themed parties—these ones are made of plastic, though.
The furniture possibilities are endless. I’ve seen blank vinyl records used as:
- Tables (here’s a video on this: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZbJb5h46Uf4)
- Baby mobiles
And these are just the things you can look up tutorials for! You can use blank vinyl records for most anything if you don’t plan to add any music. Better to use blank vinyl records than records with music on them from the dollar bin—it’s blasphemous to destroy a vinyl record and use it as furniture just because you don’t like the music!
Blank vinyl records are basically like blank CDs–back in the day. We used to “burn” CDs and add things to them. You could add music, video, or even programming. Add stuff to it, and you’ll be able to play it! For the younger kids, it’s essentially a blank playlist.
However, making vinyl is a little more tedious and requires expensive equipment. For this reason, you’re more likely to find people using blank vinyl records as decoration.
Where To Buy Blank Vinyl Records
Blank vinyl records are sold in various ways, from bulk purchases to individual sleeves.
The cost of blank vinyl records depends on a few factors. If you’re looking for a cheap way to make your own custom record collection or just want to experiment with turntable technology, most blank LPs will be pretty affordable.
You can find them online and in stores at places like department stores. Prices will go up accordingly if you want something more high-quality or if you need a specific size.
Remember, though, that the equipment to press your vinyl will be expensive. Depending on your budget, you may be better off finding a service or going into a local recording studio with a vinyl press.
If you’re looking for a way to preserve your own music, or if you want to give someone an unforgettable gift, blank vinyl records may be the perfect option. They can be used with any type of audio format and come in various colors and styles, but it’s a bit of a hassle to add music to them. You’ll need to find the right place to print it out, or invest in expensive equipment and find a place to print them yourself.
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