“The Bakery” studio mastering of vinyl helps comeback of records

Digital Originals

“The Bakery” studio mastering of vinyl helps comeback of records

Vinyl records have been around since the early 1900s. But after decades of popularity, vinyl records nearly went extinct due to cassettes, CDs, and digital streaming.

But in the past decade, vinyl has made an incredible comeback.

In the U.S. alone, sales of vinyl increased by 1000 percent compared to a decade ago. “The Bakery” in Culver City, California produces master vinyl recordings.

CGTN’s May Lee show how they do it. 

It’s one of only a handful of studios in the world that can record at half-speed, which creates a superior sound quality.

“The Bakery” founder Eric Boulanger has been cutting vinyl for 10 years.

“I really do love the fact that people are getting this new experience and they’re listening to music more intently and enjoying our work as a result more. It’s a level of prestige given that there’s so few of us out there that can do it at a professional level,” said Eric Boulanger/Founder of “The Bakery”.

Since vinyl cutting equipment is no longer manufactured, Boulanger pieced together parts from the 1970s, 80s, and 90s, to create a “Frankenstein” recording device.

The process involves cutting sound grooves at half-speed into a blank lacquer disk with a lathe.

The groove size reflects the intensity of the sound.

Once the master vinyl recording is complete, it’s sent to a pressing plant to be mass produced for sale.

“The unique thing about vinyl is because of its intricacies and downright difficult to get music to come out of little scratches in literally nail polish, this material is literally nail polish, and you get music out of it somehow. It shouldn’t work,” said Boulanger.

Demand for vinyl records has increased in an unexpected area.

Video game fans are clamoring for vinyl records of their favorite soundtracks.

“In this remarkable resurgence of such an old format in such a technological day, I think the community, the industry, and tech makers, are going to figure out maybe we should put a little importance on this experience aspect of things,” said Boulanger.