So Retro: The art of making vinylVinyl records are making a comeback, thanks to millennial listeners. CNET visits Rainbo Records in Los Angeles to see how vinyl records are made.
[MUSIC] There's an experience about playing a record. You know dropping that needle down unto the record, taking it out of the jacket. [MUSIC] [MUSIC] Mainly kids, when I say kids, under 30. Who have discovered this new thing called records. [MUSIC] [MUSIC] So Rainbo started in 1939 by a gentleman by the name of Jack Brown. I joined Rainbo in 1971. [MUSIC] We didn't get into conventional [UNKNOWN] until the 50s. Pretty much the process hasn't changed much at all. Matter of fact some of our equipment out there. The record presses are 42, 43 years old. And some of our other equipment goes back to the 50s and 60s. [MUSIC] It got pretty soft. You know, of course CDs came in the mid to late 80s and pretty much wiped out vinyls on the retail side. So, once you've got it out of retail stores, then of course our production went down. We kept our vinyl equipment, knock on wood. [LAUGH] During the '90s it was very, very slow. I mean, maybe we were making 7,000, 10,000 records a week. In the early 2000s it started to increase a bit. And then towards 2008, '09, '10 it was increasing some more. And then 2011 we saw a tremendous, '10, '11 we saw a big increase. [MUSIC] The current pressing of vinyl hasn't changed a whole heck of a lot. The first step in making a record is to cut a lacquer. We do not do that here. It's either done at a studio or we order it for customers. Once that lacquer is cut It goes into a plating tank. It's an electroplating process. And we spray it with silver to make it conductive of electricity. And then it'll go in and we'll make a negative off of the lacquer which is a positive and then we'll put that negative back in the plating tank and that negative is now a The nickle plate. and we'll put it back in the planting tanks. And we will make a positive off of that. Which is called the mother. And then that mother is used for future negatives, which are the stampers that will then be prepared to go on the press. And that what presses the record. Then the record of course is a positive. [MUSIC] Our average day is about 23,000 records and we run 24 hours a day, 5 days a week. I love the manufacturing process of it. I'm more of a mechanical guy. I like the mechanics of it. I like seeing a swing-arm go in and deliver the vinyl and trim off. And then just to produce that piece and then to play it and how great they sound is what I enjoy. [MUSIC] I think vinyl will be around a long time in the 80's I said I think vinyl will be around longer than CD's I never expected vinyl to have the resurgence that it did you know I certainly didn't have a crystal ball but I there was always the audiophile guys who. love vinyl, and I always thought there would be some vinyl market, but no, I never had the expectations of what's happened the last five, six years. [MUSIC]