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Adam Savage Explores the Magic of Making Vinyl With Jack White

It’s easy to forget the time, effort, and craftsmanship that goes into the analog recording process. While the digitization of media has made recording music more accessible, faster, and considerably easier, it warms our hearts to know that Jack White and Third Man Records are preserving the often forgotten analog way of doing things. Adam Savage recently dropped into their Detroit plant to see how things are done.

Now, this isn’t going to be a “vinyl is so much better” type of article but, after watching that video, you’ve got to admit that there’s something really special about analog recording. During his visit, Savage meets with a handful of folks at Third Man who walk him through the entire process of making a record from cutting the plate during a live recording all the way to the packaging process. To demonstrate, Adam records his Brain Candy song which is sent to a machine that physically cuts the information onto an aluminum plate that’s covered in a thin layer of nitrocellulose.

From there, production plates are made (after some tests, of course) and records are pressed out on the plant’s main floor. The appropriate weight of PVC is melted down and extruded into a puck that’s then heated and pressed with the labels to create the record. The edges are then trimmed and the records are left to cool under some weight to ensure they stay flat. From there, they undergo quality control — every 25th record is listened to and scrutinized by employees to ensure nothing has gone wrong during production.

While vinyl may not be your thing, there’s an undeniable beauty to this process of record producing. The work Third Man Records does has a literally tangible product at the end of the day that can bring the joy of music to millions of people. And who better to take us on that tour than Adam Savage.

What do you think of analog music? Let’s discuss in the comments below!

Images: Tested



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