Check Our FAQ Section For Some Guidance

Frequently Asked Questions

On this page you will find a guide to the most common questions we receive. Please use this before contacting us or to help you make a decision before buying. Simply click on a question to view the answer.

What Do You Do?
We take music and audio supplied by you, the customer, and then put that onto a vinyl disc that can be played on any record player. The discs are very much like pressed vinyl records you would buy from say Amazon or an online record shop. They are everlasting, unlike traditional dubplates, so will not degrade with being played. You can have 7″, 10″ or 12″ vinyl, with fully printed sleeves (12″ only) and printed center labels. This means you can have a fully personalised vinyl, unique to you. This service is ideal for gifts, Jukeboxes, Djs, media, and the arts. We will happily guide you through the process, assist with art design for the sleeves and labels, or help with anything that you do not understand. You can contact Aaron our engineer and designer via the contact form at the bottom right of this page.
How Much Audio Can I Get Onto A Vinyl?

7″ vinyl

Maximum time per side is 5.30 mins
Best for loudest volume per side is 3.30 mins

10″ vinyl

Maximum time per side is 10 mins
Best for loudest volume per side is 6 mins

12″ vinyl

Maximum time per side is 20 mins
Best for loudest volume per side is 8 mins

How Many Songs Can I Have On A Vinyl?

The way to think about this is to know the maximum time in minutes per each side of a vinyl. When the maximum time of a 12″ record (per side) is 20 minutes, then you could have 6x 3 minute songs, If your songs are 4 minutes each then you can have 5 songs perside. It is good when you are compiling your songs to find out how long they are in minutes and add them up to see if they can fit on the vinyl.

7″ vinyl

Maximum time per side is 5.30 mins
Best for loudest volume per side is 3.30 mins

10″ vinyl

Maximum time per side is 10 mins
Best for loudest volume per side is 6 mins

12″ vinyl

Maximum time per side is 20 mins
Best for loudest volume per side is 8 mins

How Should I Send My Songs, Audio And Artwork (For Sleeves And Labels) To You
Once you have made an order, you will receive an email with your order confirmation. On the order confirmation is a link to upload your files to us. We use our own Wetransfer page for the uploading; vinylcarvers.wetransfer.com
Please do not send your files until you have made your order.
You can send your audio files as either wav, aiff, mp3, m4a, mpeg4, wma or flac
You can send your artwork as either pdf, psd, png, or jpeg
If you are ordering the printed sleeve or printed label, we will send you a template that you can drop your artwork into via email.
If you would like to request a template before you order, then please email aaron@vinylcarvers.com
What's Your Turnaround Time?
Our turnaround time is 7 working days from the order being made and it being posted out to you. If you have a more pressing deadline, then please contact aaron@vinylcarvers.com
Normally we can get that out to you on time when you request a faster service. It’s always a good idea to let us know what your deadline is if you have one. You can do this either on the shopping cart page or in the Wetransfer upload link, or by emailing aaron@vinylcarvers.com
Christmas time:
We will take orders up until the 15th of December (UK) or 10th December (Rest Of The World) if we are not overwhelmed with orders. It is best to get your orders in as earliest as possible.
What Are the Printed Labels And Pre Designed Labels?

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Printed labels are stickers that go in the centre of the records. They would normally have songs and artist information in their design, but you can any image you want to be printed on them.  The labels always come as pairs (designed so you have an A side an a B side). The price is the same for one label or a pair (£5) and the same for the predesigned labels (£7). The predesigned labels are ones that we have designed for you to use. Once you have brought this product, you will need to send the text info to go on them to aaron@vinylcarvers.com This can be “label name” which goes at the top of the design and “artists and song titles” that go at the bottom of the design. You can upload your own designs with your audio to vinylcarvers.wetransfer.com once you have ordered. We can send you a template to help set your design. 

What is the "Printed Card Insert In Clear PVC Sleeve" option, that appears in the Packaging dropdown tab?

Vinyl Carvers dubplates vinyl carvers dubplate cutting service vinyl carvers dubplate cutting service

The “Printed Card Insert In Clear PVC Sleeve” is a cheaper alternative to a fully printed record sleeve. We print a 200gsm piece of card with your design, then put that in a clear plastic sleeve, the record then also goes in the plastic sleeve. Once you have ordered this, please contact aaron@vinylcarvers.co for artwork sizes and sending of your artwork.

How Do You Ship My Order?
We use Royal Mail for all our shipping. The prices are based on what they charge us, we just add a small amount for the packaging costs. For the UK we use “First Class signed for delivery”. This will normally get to you the next working day. For Europe and the rest of the world, we use “International Signed for or Tracked if Signed for is not available in that country. Tracking is available on request via aaron@vinylcarvers.com
What Plate Format Should I Choose?
It depends on the type and length of music. Here’s what we recommend:

  • 7 inch: ideal for bands and pop, rock, punk, reggae, soul, radio tracks
  • 10 inch: short dance tracks, reggae and dub
  • 12 inch: dance music, hip hop
  • 12 inch EP/LP: for album formats

Please note that a 12” will always sound better than a smaller plate, this is due to the higher groove speed at the outer grooves.

Try listening to any 12” record and compare the beginning of the plate with the end, there will be much more hi-end at the beginning.

For loud dance music with lot of bass or loud hi-hats we definitely recommend a 12” plate.

Scratch records are preferably cut on 12inch, though sometimes a 10inch will do the job as well.

What's The Difference Between Your Plates and An Acetate Dubplate?
An acetate is an aluminium disc with a thin layer of soft laquer. The music is cut onto this laquer, using a sapphire. The playback stylus damages the laquer and the quality deteriorates with each play. You can’t scratch with acetates at all. We are using a diamond to cut directly into a harder material, therefore our dubs last like normal vinyls and scratching is no problem, either.
Why is it so important for mixes to be in phase and the bass being in mono?
Phasing is very important to cutting vinyl.

If the mix is in phase, the cutter stylus will move from left to right but if the mix is out of phase it causes the stylus to move up and down. Too much up and down movement will produce a groove that’s too shallow or interrupted. This will cause the playback needle to jump.

The bottom end, low frequencies, is especially very critical. If the bass is in stereo, the cutter stylus will leave the surface of the record and the plate will be unusable.

What Are The Plates Made Of?
Our plates are made of a pvc-compound, so hard that you can play them as often as normal vinyl plates but soft enough to cut directly onto them as well. All of our records come in plain white cardboard sleeves and with plain white centre labels.
How Do I Get The Best Out Of My Record?
The longer the music on the side, the quieter it has to be cut. Though we will always strive to make it as loud as possible, we suggest the following maximum playing times:

  • 7”: up to 3-4mins
  • 10”: up to 5-6mins
  • 12”: up to 6-7mins
  • EP: up to 17mins
  • LP: up to 20mins

Please leave about 2dB headroom on your tracks. Don’t use any maximising plugins such as Waves L1 as we will make your tracks as loud as possible in the last stage of the mastering chain.

The loudness of your record has nothing to do with the digital level on your master file. It only depends on playing time and bass content.

If the meters are at maximum and show no real movement all the time, it’s impossible to do any mastering without lowering the level first – this will result in a loss of punch.

Try to avoid stereo bass and phase problems (see the corresponding questions below).

Please note – there is no difference in quality between small or large hole 7inch records.

Is There Any Difference I Quality Between The Plates You Deliver?
No, the sound quality is equally high on all type of plates.
I want you to cut my existing dubplates and acetates, any tips for recording them?

Record them at a good level, but never too high. The level in your computer has nothing to do with the level of your future record.
Don’t use the eq of your mixer, leave it flat.
Always record them into stereo files, even if the tracks are in mono. This has to do with the vertical movement of the cutter stylus and helps us to get rid of clicks and pops more efficiently.
Don’t truncate the noise at the beginning and end of the track, leave about 1-2sec of hiss, crackles and pops.
Use an elliptical playback stylus. It will follow the grooves better than a spherical one – this will result in lower distortions (especially when recording tracks with loud vocals).
On highly abused acetates (the ones where you can see the metal coming through) it helps to spray them with water before/during recording. The stylus kind of ‘swims’ in the groove, recording less noise.

What does mastering mean?
Mastering is a way to improve the sound quality and do necessary corrections to a track.

We don’t just insert some digital plugins to master. Our experienced engineers use state of the art analogue equipment and full range monitoring to make your tracks sound great.

Mastering is included in all of our prices.

How do I know is my mix is out of phase?
Most software has a built in phase meter, use it to make sure you stay in the positive range.

Try listening to your tracks in mono and stereo, ideally there shouldn’t be a big difference. If there is – especially at the bottom end – you might have a problem.

If you switch between stereo and mono, kick/bass should stay in the center.

I can't use my LPs in the club as they pick up feedback, can you help?
Due to its length the recording level on an LP is very low, hence you need a lot of gain. On large sound systems this can cause the playback needle to pickup feedback.

The grooves are very shallow and dense, too and so the needle jumps quite easily.

The same tracks will be fine when recorded off and LP and back to another format. On shorter tracks, even a 7″ will solve the problem.

For recording an LP, please take a look at the previous question.

Is there anything I should take care of for an EP or LP?
Put the most important tracks first – every record sounds best at the beginning (outer grooves). The quieter tracks should be at the end of the record.
I'm into dance music and want to cut a record, will your plates be loud enough?
In 2003 we’ve spent about half a year cutting nothing but drum n bass and learned to cut as loud as possible. During this time, a couple of big name drum and bass DJs helped us to improve the quality of our records. We know that very loud cuts are vital especially if you’re playing in big clubs, where you can’t mess with the gains.
How do you know your plates will last?
The oldest existing plate is now about 11 years old and still gets played in clubs regularly. We’ve also tested a plate with a locked groove by mounting a counter on the platter of the deck. After thousands of plays, the quality deteriorated at the same degree as a normal vinyl. Many people scratched single sections of our plates for 15min or more without having any wear whatsoever.
How long have you been doing this for?
Vinyl Carvers was started in 2002.
Will your 7s play fine in a Jukebox?
Yes, our 7″ jukebox records behave very well in machines like Wurlitzer, NSM, Rock-Ola, Seeburg, AMI, Rowe and Chantal. We have small and large (American style) centre holes. Because our records are very solid, they don’t get warped in valve-operated machines which generate a lot of heat.

We will ensure that the mechanism of your machine will work correctly (i.e. it won’t cut off the music too early).

What payment methods do you accept?
Currently we accept Paypal as a payment gateway meaning you can also use standard cards to process a payment even if you do not have a Paypal account.
How much would it be for 100 or 1000 12inch records?
We don’t do high quantity pressings, only one-off vinyls. Every single record requires the same process – hence they don’t get much cheaper with quantity.

Our dubplate service is aimed at about 1-10 copies of a track – a great substitute for test pressings.

However if you are in need of runs of over 100 records please contact our sister company www.curvedpressings.com

What are the weights of your records?
Vinyl Carvers plate weights

7” = 60g
10” = 115g
12” ultralight clear = 85g [currently unavailable]
12” black + clear = 180g
Standard record weights

12” vinyl = 130-185g
12” acetate = 240g