Mobineko Technical Blog – Vinyl Pressing, Tapes, Mastering & Audio Explained

Vinyl Pressing, Tapes, Mastering & Audio Explained

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 at our cost price.

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, 200pcs then it’s up to you to decide if TPs are necessary based on the value of your order.

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

That’s OK, we generally encourage production of TPs for all orders where possible.

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

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.

Mobineko technical blog.

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