MobinekoShowcase

New Client Support Site

Here at Mobineko we are always working hard behind the scenes to improve everything from customer service to product quality. With that in mind we are just about ready to roll out a brand new Version 4 of our online Support site.

New features in Version 4:

  • brand new responsive design for mobile devices, tables and desktops
  • improvements and bug fixes to our web based uploader
  • instantly update your file list after uploading
  • brand new smart database engine to show you clearly what you need to know
  • smart calculation and estimation of shipping dates
  • new and improved proof viewing
  • AJAX system for faster proof approval
  • fully internationalized to support English, French, Japanese, Chinese Trad., Chinese Simpl. and Sweden with more languages to come
  • new and expanded Artwork Templates section

 

 

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EU Referendum

Today is a very sad day for us at Mobineko.

Although Mobineko is a mainly Taiwan based business we have several British and ex-British people working here. So it made perfect sense for the UK to act as our EU base where we handle most of the English speaking customer service and imports/exports into and out of the EU. Just like several thousand other SMEs in a similar situation it was a win-win for both sides – the UK government received significant tax revenues and we got easy access into the whole EU market.

Now, of course, after almost two decades that has to end. Although we have long since had a loyal UK following – for which we are grateful – we are still a relatively small business and couldn’t afford to continue running a separate UK office when our main customer base is Europe and Asia. We will need to find a new EU home in mainland Europe.

On a personal level most of us are shocked that the UK people as a whole have decided to take this route. We think it will be disastrous long term for musicians and the British music scene, and the world always gets a little bit darker when a country decides to cut itself off from a friendly and worthwhile union.

On a practical level there are a few small changes that we will need to make very quickly. EUR will soon become the main currency for our CD pricing, and we are discussing whether to continue offering GBP pricing on CDs in future. We don’t currently have plans to remove GBP pricing for vinyl, but it depends on how volatile the exchange rates become. Our priority for UK customers at the moment is to try and maintain current vinyl pricing despite insane currency fluctuations. It will be difficult but we have a few ideas and don’t plan to make any rash price changes just yet.

Longer term our VAT registration, banking information etc. will change but we will of course give plenty of notice beforehand.

 

Good bye, UK. Sorry it had to end this way :(

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Cassette Update

As some of you already know we retired our old 16 speed and 8 speed duplicator systems last year and replaced them with one of the best high speed duplication systems available – Otari DP-75 slaves and a DP-203 digital 80x master. Unfortunately as it goes with these things we spent the best part of a year refurbishing the machines, obtaining new heads, relapping old heads, calibrating and aligning – then the digital master failed beyond repair.

After a lot of searching we found a broken DP-103 digital master that we got working, but the performance was hit and miss. So the last few months has been spent pulling out boards, painstakingly removing and testing components and replacing bad parts. So far, so good, but we realized that some digital-analog converter chips had overheated and blown themselves up.

This week we finally got our hands on some crucial and hard-to-find Sipex DAC chips and modified the DP-103 so the chips don’t get overheated any more. We’ve run some test tapes and they sound awesome as you might expect.

We have also tweaked cassette pricing so you can get a full package of 50 tapes with double sided full color UV printing (a Mobineko exclusive!), full color J-cards and qualty clear cases from EUR142 for 50pcs, EUR195 for 100pcs and EUR343 for 300pcs. Or super nice laminated full color O-cards for about the same price. Lots more shell colors are available now including low price clearance options from our old stock.

Actual ordering for tapes will resume shortly, thanks everyone for the interest and support!

 

posted by gotlathe in Cassettes and have No Comments

Test Pressings (TPs) FAQ

Q. What are test pressings?

Test pressings (TPs) are a very small run of vinyl (usually 5pcs) pressed with white labels and send to the customer for approval. They can help to check there are no flaws in the cutting or metalwork before pressing your full quantity of records.

Q. What happens if I don’t like the TPs?

This depends. If there is a technical flaw, then we would offer to make a new cut and/or metalwork. If you just don’t like the cut or you made a mistake then it’s possible to order a new set of cutting+metalwork for EUR150 / GBP125 / USD175 per side.

For the purposes of avoiding any doubt these are issues we could consider a technical flaw:

1. skip caused by mechanical defect
2. audio cut in wrong order contrary to customer supplied files
3. one or both sides severely off-center
4. extreme surface noise caused by bad metalwork

Here are some examples of problems that would require you to order new cutting if you want them changed:

1. sound is “distorted”, “muddy” etc. and the mastering is found to have clipping and/or excessive compression
2. sound is “too quiet”, “distorted”, “missing high frequencies” but the time per side is considered too long according to our Time Per Side Wizard
3. customer sent files in the wrong order
4. generally just not liking the “feel” of a cut

These are some examples of issues that we are just flat out unable to fix:

1. minor surface noise apparent due to quiet passages of music
2. low volume and/or poor sound quality on very long sides
3. low volume and/or poor sound quality on 33rpm 7″

Q. What if I like the sound but the A and B sides or flipped, or the center engraving is wrong/missing?

This can be corrected easily before pressing, but make sure to tell us before approving TPs. Otherwise records will be pressed exactly as the TPs.

Q. Do I need test pressings?

Generally if your order is more than 500pcs and/or you live in an area that makes shipping the main quantity very expensive then you should absolutely get test pressings. If you have a relatively simple order of, say, 300pcs then it’s up to you to decide if TPs are necessary based on the value of your order. We can’t make TPs for short runs under 250pcs.

Q. I want to press only 100pcs, but I really need TPs!

Currently Mobineko is one of very few manufacturers offering short run vinyl under 200pcs. To continue offering this we have no choice but to maintain a very streamlined manufacturing process. In the case of 100pc orders it takes almost as long just to make 5pc TPs as it does to make 100pcs, so there is really not much benefit for anybody to make TPs on these very small orders. If there is a technical flaw (discussed above) we are still happy to replace records on a short run even though you didn’t order TPs.

Q. What happens if I don’t order TPs and there is a problem with my records?

If your order is under 250pcs: since we don’t allow TPs on short runs we will still accept claims for technical flaws (see above). If you are not happy with the sound and it’s not a technical flaw then you would have to order a new pressing.

If your order is 250pcs and up: if you didn’t order TPs and there is a technical flaw we treat this as fairly as possible on a case by case basis. Generally we will cover the cost of work that would have been covered anyway (e.g. cutting / metalwork) but we would not cover the pressing cost unless there is an extremely serious flaw that has slipped past QC.

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Full Color Onbody Tape Printing Starting Next Week :)

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Large Format UV Printer Installation

Mobineko is currently installing a custom made large format direct UV printer. We believe this will make us the first to offer direct on shell printing for cassettes in full color with white and spot gloss/matt options. The effect is very cool and looks extremely professional compared with stick-on labels or single/dual color pad printing.

To sweeten the deal pricing is going to be lower than our current charges for full color labels.. watch this space!

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New Tape Shells Arrived!

We finally received our long awaited shipment of full transparent, black, smoked clear and white shells to put cassette production into full swing next week.

Next on order by popular demand will be colored shells such as red, green, yellow, blue, pink etc. Let us know your favorite color and we’ll try to source it!

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3D Picture Vinyl

Have we got something cool for you guys…

We have so many requests for picture discs lately but PDs have always been slow, expensive, unreliable plus they don’t always sound so great.

Very soon we will be offering these new 3D hybrid vinyls in 7″, 10″ and 12″ format – regular black or colored wax on one side with a full face print on the other (UV printed with optional 3D effects).

They look very very cool in person – the colors and 3D effect stands out a lot more than picture discs, and the edge-to-edge print is very striking.

Expect very reasonable pricing – we are aiming at just a little higher than standard color vinyl.

What do you think? We would love to hear your feedback.

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Upgrades to Online Uploader

We have taken on board client feedback and made some behind-the-scenes bug fixes and improvements to the online uploader.

- more browsers are supported including many mobile devices
- uploader client will now attempt to open up to 3 connections for more efficient uploading
- uploading is now up to 300% faster with modern browsers
- uploading will now be more reliable on slow connections
- core FineUploader engine is updated to the most recent version along with some bug fixes to our custom code

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Why Your Cutting Questionnaire is Important and How to Make the Right Choices

When you place an order with Mobineko there is a cutting questionnaire in the second step after quoting.

Although it’s tempting to gloss over these details when ordering it’s super important that we understand each customer’s intent for every single production. So please do take some time to read and understand the following explanations for 3 different cutting styles!

1. LOUD cut – for dance/club or sometimes metal music, time per side is limited and the audio is cut extremely hot (generally +6dB over reference) with not much regard to distortion or audio quality; stereo effect and EQ range is also reduced to maximize loudness. Please note that this does not guarantee a super loud record if you have bad mastering and/or very long sides – consult our handy Wizard to check if your timing might be problematic.

2. normal cut + fidelity – using computer calculation and some test cuts on the unused part of a lacquer the engineer finds the maximum level where zero distortion is introduced by the cutting process; this is the option we generally prefer but many people want it to sound ‘loud like X or Y record’. Generally the masters we get these days just aren’t good enough to cut loud without distortion so if it’s important for you to have a louder record you will have to accept some loss in quality and choose the third option.

3. normal cut + loudness – somewhere between the first two options; there can be some distortion and the engineer will try to squeeze out some extra overall loudness by allowing the cutter head to naturally compress peaks.

posted by richard in Vinyl Mastering and have No Comments