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Vinyl: How many songs / how much music per side?

2014/11/09 UPDATE! We now have a fancy new online app that will tell you how your record will likely sound at any given length, and also recommend what speed to cut at. Check it out here!

A common question we receive here is “How long can each side be” on a record!

Well, this is a really difficult question to answer because people always want an exact mm:ss time that they can ‘fit’ onto a vinyl, but it’s not that simple. The more stuff you fit onto the vinyl, the closer the tracks have to be to each other and therefore the smaller the waveform has to be cut. Smaller waveform = quieter music and less room for bass.

DANCE MUSIC / ELECTRONICA / BASS HEAVY STUFF (LOUD CUT on the orderform):
12″ at 33 rpm, 10-12 mins

12″ at 45 rpm, 7-8 mins

 

POP / ROCK etc (NORMAL CUT on the orderform):

12″ at 33 rpm, 10-25 minutes

12″ at 45rpm, up to 10 minutes

 

10″ at 33 rpm, up to ~15 mins

10″ at 45 rpm, 6:30 mins

 

7″ at 45 rpm with LOUD CUT, not possible due to limited space available on 7″

7″ at 45 rpm with NORMAL CUT, up to ~4 mins  (Long 7″ at 45rpm up to 5min30. Results may vary)

7″ at 33 rpm, NOT RECOMMENDED because 33rpm 7″ sound AWFUL, but ~6mins.

All times are per side.

Where a range is given the shorter time will sound good while the longer time is possible but will sound bad. So a 12″ at 33rpm, 20 minutes can still sound pretty good but 28 minutes will sound bad.

7″ should really never be cut at 33rpm because the groove is moving so slowly under the needle that there is just no room for a decent sound. While some people insist on it, they usually regret it. Seriously, we can’t recommend enough just to cut down your running time and NOT make another poor sounding long 7″.

posted by gotlathe in FAQ,Vinyl Mastering and have No Comments

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