Step 1
MASTERING
Before initiating the cutting and pressing process of your records, professional vinyl mastering is essential to achieve optimal sound quality and mitigate technical challenges associated with analog format transfer. This procedure influences various factors including playback duration, musical genre, vocal clarity, phase alignment between channels, and bass frequencies.
Step 2
CUTTING
Cutting is the moment your audio file will be physically cut by the mastering engineer into what is called a master plate: i.e. Lacquer or DMM (Direct Metal Mastering).
Step 3
ELECTROPLATING
The copper master discs are submerged in an electroforming bath containing a nickel-based solution. Electricity is introduced at a temperature that prompts nickel deposits to adhere to the copper disc in the bath, forming a solid plate that fills the grooves of the master.
Step 4
PLATE SEPARATION
Once removed from the tank, the plate is separated to reveal a negative version of the original, now composed of nickel instead of copper. This negative plate is referred to as the “stamper.” The grooves originally on the copper master are inverted on the stamper, allowing it to be used to press grooves into a melted PVC cake, creating a playable vinyl record.
Step 5
TEST PRESSING
A small series of vinyl records is produced and sent to the artist or label as test pressings (TP). Test pressings enable you to listen to your recording on vinyl for the first time, identify any concerns in the rare event of an issue, or give the green light for the production run.
Step 6
PRINTING
Vinyl cover and center labels are printed and manufactured, using paper trimmers, die cutters and folding and gluing machines. Once die cut, center labels are baked in an oven to draw all of the moisture out of the water-based inks. After 24 hours of drying time, they are ready to be loaded onto the press.
Step 7
PRESSING
The big moment is happening – Two stampers are mounted on the press (on the top and bottom of the pressing mould). A heated puck of our eco-granulates (PVC without heavy metals) is extruded and placed in the press. The press closes, introducing steam and pressure to create a flat disc. Cold water rushes into the moulds to cool down and solidify the disc before the press opens again.
Step 8
AUDIO QUALITY CONTROL
At the beginning of the press run, a single copy is listened by a member of the quality control team. Afterwards, every 50th record receives an audio review to ensure consistency throughout the run. The planning team will deliberately overproduce an order to make sure that any copies with quality issues can be set aside.
Step 9
VISUAL QUALITY CONTROL
Each record is physically inspected by the press operator for any visual imperfections. The records are later checked again under special lighting by the sleeving team before the records are paired with inner sleeves and covers.
Step 10
PACKAGING & BOXING
After being cooled for 24 hours to ensure flatness, the records are inserted into blank or printed inner sleeves. The sleeved records move to the assembly table where they are carefully inserted into covers alongside download cards, booklets or other printed components. The units are then shrink wrapped and placed in our customers shipping boxes made with 100% recycled content and specially fortified to protect against damage while in transit.
Step 11
SHIPPING & DELIVERY
The ultimate step of the process involves us sending your finished records to your desired place of shipping. Orders can be split into multiple deliveries, worldwide.

AFG Media Company S.r.l
Via di Santa Cornelia, 11
00060 Formello (RM), Italia
+39 06 877 866 74
info@afgmediacompany.com
Partita IVA: IT15609041007

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© 2023 AFG Record Manufacturing
Art direction and website: Studio Natale