Friday, September 2, 2011

The Flaming Lips / Lightning Bolt Vinyl Pressing Session Highlights

Smoking RabbitIMG_5571IMG_5516IMG_5464IMG_5434IMG_5600
trash/ recyclingIMG_5588IMG_5587IMG_5586IMG_5585IMG_5583

Another 7 days of pressing vinyl at A&R in Dallas for The Flaming Lips. The colors were much more limited this time, but I think I made it work! You might be surprised at the limitless shades of grey in the universe and what you can do with them. Stan Getz let me experiment a little bit (see the smoking rabbit), but we only got a few that looked like that because we had to stop the machine every time we pressed a record. It would have taken months to get 2000 discs at that rate. I have been getting messages on twitter from people around the world with pictures of their copy of this record... it's fun and fascinating to see where they end up!
These were pressed in August, so there is a lot of my sweat in these discs, literally.
It was hotter in the plant than it was outside in the middle of a record setting heat wave (no pun intended).
Still, it was worth it. It's hard work, but I am lucky to be doing it and I am having a fun!


  1. You've been doing a great job of making cool looking records, but could A+R step up their quality control? A lot of these have had spindle holes that are too big and are warped.

    You guys also shouldn't use regrind... that's what makes the records so noisy.

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  3. thanks for bringing regrind to my attention... i have been doing research on it this afternoon. i will see if we can use all virgin vinyl on the next pressings and order the colors early.
    FYI, none of these lips records are 100% recycled. I would say that most are 2 part virgin to 1 part or less recycled. there are always a few exceptions and many are 100% virgin.

  4. well, then i found this... the positive sides to regrind.

    Dave: What is regrind?

    Stan: When a record is pressed, you purposefully put too much vinyl in the press, to make sure all the grooves are filled and all the gasses carried out. So it's like a waffle iron that’s overfilled and when you put the two halves together, the extra stuff comes out the edges. The extra stuff [vinyl] is trimmed off with rotary trimmers, rotary shears, and the trimmings fall into a big drum. Then it's collected in one place and chopped up and cleaned and vacuumed to get dirt and impurities out of it. And it also is brought through a magnetic field to make sure that any metallic particles that might be in there are also removed. Then the stuff is ground up into the same size particles as the original, which look like mouse turds. It's about that size. Then the regrind is all blended together with virgin material and the mixture goes through the machinery, where it's heated, blended and extruded at some 300 odd degrees, becomes another "patty," and starts its life over again.

    A lot of pressing-people don't like to talk about regrind or admit to its use, but re-cycling overage is an economic as well as environmental reality. Regrind vinyl has already had a lot of the volatiles cooked out of it during its first go-around through the press, so by definition, it's stiffer than virgin material. It therefore has better [or at least different] high frequency playback characteristics than does virgin vinyl. I encourage people, when they want to make a record that's got a lot of snap or bang to it, as in DJ dance-club music, to get as high a percentage of regrind in the vinyl as they can get, consistent with the quality that they want.

  5. Hey, sorry, I just realized I forgot to check back here after I left that comment...

    Thanks for the response and the info! I've always heard bad things about regrind, so I assumed that it was the reason for the noisiness.

    I've bought every Lips 12" and all of the new Good Records Recordings releases this year, and I've noticed that each release has looked and sounded better than the last.

    So, thanks and keep up the great work! Those Plastic Ono Band 12"s look great... can't wait to get one in OKC next week!