Lacquer cutting is the first tangible step in the record-making process in which your master audio recording (mastered specifically for vinyl) is transferred onto a lacquer disc using a record-cutting lathe.
Lacquer discs have an aluminum base with a thin layer of lacquer on the surface –– it’s malleable and soft which makes it perfect for the lathe’s needle to physically cut grooves. The lathe carves your audio in one unbroken spiral looping from the outside inward to the centre. The lathe transforms auditory energy of the recording into the physical movement of a needle –– the opposite of a turntable –– turning sound into movement instead of movement into sound.
Lacquers have only one side that can be cut onto, so a standard 2-sided 12” LP requires two lacquers to be cut –– the A-side and the B-side.
Cutting a lacquer is ultimately creating your first temporary master record and looks similar to a finished record upon completion. The cut lacquer is created solely to be used in the electroplating process to create stampers which are used in our machine to press your record.
It is worth noting that we do not accept cut lacquer direct as an audio source. To ensure high fidelity records, it is important that lacquer is plated as soon as possible, hence why we get both cutting and electroplating done together in USA. That said, if you have your own trusted lacquer cutter, we can organise for this to get shipped to our electroplating house in USA for plating.
Electroplating is the process of creating ‘stampers’ from the master lacquers for the purpose of replicating your vinyl record. The stampers are the negative metal moulds (both A-side and B-side respectively) that we use in our record press to press your record. Basically, the stampers have the ridges that press the grooves into your vinyl. We use the industry standard practice, the two-step plating process:
Silver And Nickel
Once the lacquers are cut, cleaned and thoroughly inspected, they are sprayed with a thin layer of silver and then placed into a series of electroplating baths. This process involves using an electrically charged nickel solution to transfer metal onto the surface of the silvered lacquer.
The Father and the Mother
This metal is then peeled off the surface of the lacquer, thus creating a negative copy of the lacquer - which is affectionately called the ‘father’.
From here, the father is used to create a metal mirror image of itself (in a similar way the lacquer was used to create the father). This is called the ‘mother’ and is ultimately an exact metal copy of the original lacquer. As it carries a copy of the original sound grooves (as opposed to ridges like its male counterpart), it is often played on a turntable to check for impurities and to ensure that its audio meets the highest quality standards.
Once the father and mother have been made, the mother is cleaned and then plated to create stampers. These are basically replications of the father as they are negative metal copies of the lacquer and have ridges. These stampers are then used in our pressing machine to press the grooves into your chosen vinyl, and thus creating your vinyl records!
Although extensive, the two-step process guarantees high-quality pressings and reserves the mother plate as a backup in case more records (i.e. more stampers) need to be produced in the future.
All Holiday Records come with electroplating as standard. That said, we are happy to receive stampers direct from you if you have trusted platers you would like to use instead. Although, please speak with us first as it is important that the stampers fit our machine.
Here at Holiday Records we aim to offer a variety of colours, weights and label options for your vinyl records. Currently we are pressing 12” records with the highest quality PVC sourced from Italy, with plans to expand into 7” and 10” in the near future.
Standard –– 140gm
Heavy –– 180gm
Black and White
Holiday Records will be providing an extensive range of high quality packaging and printing options for your release. If you are looking for something especially personalised, get in touch and we will do our best to accommodate. Please find templates for our packaging options on our Resources Page here.
Our jackets are printed full CMKY colour on high quality 350GSM card with a matte laminate finish. We offer single pocket and gatefold options for both single and double LP. A gloss laminate or reverse board can be added at an additional cost.
Single Pocket –– 3mm Spine
Gatefold –– Single LP
Gatefold –– Double LP
We also offer blank single pocket disco sleeves without a visible spine. These can be supplied with a centre-hole (so the centre label is visible) or without.
White Single Pocket
White Single Pocket (Centre Hole)
Black Single Pocket
Black Single Pocket (Centre Hole)
Inner sleeves are what the record gets first placed in before inserted into its jacket. We have plain paper or poly-lined options. Poly-lined inner sleeves have an extra layer of polythene inside the sleeve and are generally favoured for added protection.
Polythene sleeves that the final product (i.e. record, inner sleeve and jacket) can be placed in for added protection.
Standard –– No Flap
Standard –– Flap
We offer full colour CMKY printed inserts on 120GSM card that can be inserted into your jacket with your record. These can be printed both sides and totally customised by you.
297mm x 297mm
594mm x 297mm
If you are choosing to provide free digital downloads with your vinyl release, we can provide the full colour printing of the download card (printed on 300GSM card). We do not provide hosting services at this stage.
55mm x 90mm
For projects that are intended for retail sale, we offer barcodes that can be embedded into the jacket artwork, or a sticker to be placed on the jacket itself.
Embedded into Artwork
Holiday Records offers shrink wrapping of all records pressed and packaged with us.