Vinyl Records Lingo (Part II)

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Vinyl lingo is all about getting the words right if you talk about vinyl records. Read here for all the gyst!

Vinyl lingo and records may have a continuous resurgence. Nonetheless, it’s still a niche in the music market.

Special to this sort of music lovers is the high level of geekiness (no judgement). One thing that stands out the most is the special vinyl records lingo.

A lot of words make only sense for specialists and professionals. But you don’t need to feel intimidated. Here is all about Vinyl Records Lingo (Part II). Click here if you have missed out on Vinyl Records Lingo (Part I).

Vinyl Records Lingo isn’t hard to learn!

  • Mastering for vinyl: This means the process of creating a master for vinyl only. Most of the time a band records music digitally and prepares it for digital release. However, a vinyl record has different requirements from a master. The key part here is to keep out any unwanted distortion. In addition, the limitations in the length of the music than can be pressed onto vinyl are also important to keep in mind. Drag and Drop of the digital file don’t work when it comes to vinyl. The quality of the sound loses a great deal. The tracklisting also carries much more importance on vinyl than on a CD. That is because you’ll need to flip the vinyl at around half the playtime.
Here is a brilliant video explaining mastering for vinyl.
  • White label: A vinyl record without any art-work or descriptive label. Most often pressed as test-pressings or promo material. These records have huge collecting prestige as they are more often very limited and exclusive pressings. Sometimes, a record label will mark the records by hand or numbering them.
  • Grounding: A technical term that describes the usage of a grounding cable from the record player in order to divert the current. Otherwise, the turntable will produce a humming sound through the speakers. That is because of the electrical voltage can’t be diverted. If your player doesn’t come with a grounding cable already, it is very wise to buy one. They are really not expensive. Attach the cable from the player to the amplifier or the ground screw and your player is safe!

A lot about vinyl records is easy once you know the right words

  • Slipmat: A slipmat is a non-stick cloth or synthetic material. You place it underneath the turntable platter. Traditionally, a rubber mat was the thing. Slipmats are often part of the merchandise of a band. Slipmats can have the logo or the name of the new album on them. They again have huge collecting prospects.
  • Box Set: This refers to a special release. A Box Set contains multiple records of a band or an album. This form of release is very popular for re-issues of heritage bands like for example The Rolling Stones. This special Box Set contains 15 LP’s, literally all albums released after 1971. With a lot of bonus material and merch.
  • Gatefold: A vinyl can come in different ways. If someone talks about a gatefold vinyl record, they mean that you can flip open the middle part of the vinyl. This has the benefit that there is more space for photographs and liner notes.

Have you ever come across a secret message in the matrix number of a vinyl record?

  • Matrix number: When a vinyl master is created, there is a moment where the producer at the pressing plant can inscribe the inner part of the vinyl. Certainly, that is sometimes used for marking the master. However, it quickly became a way of communicating secret messages with listeners.

Read here for 10 Secrets Nobody Tells You About Vinyl!

  • Obi: This means a kind of paper sleeve that is used for releases in Japan. Namely, it shows important information around the release like price, tracklisting and band. It is again a highly collectable item, even if you are not Japanese.
  • Rework: This means that an album or band was already released before but now got a kind of rework. In this case, that can be anything from a simple re-jush to some kind of remix.
  • Shellack: This is the material used for producing sound discs before the invention of Poly Vinyl Chloride i.e. the vinyl record. Important to realize, shellac is made out of the resin of female lac bugs found in Asia.

I hope this second part of the Vinyl Lingo series has helped you again to find some new words and come across some interesting facts.

After all, there is so much for to vinyl records than just the black disc. Vinyl records have survived a very long time in a very old industry. Let’s hope they’ll continue to stick around for a bit longer.

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*header picture source: Photo by Suzy Hazelwood from Pexels