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Video: Third Man Records Vinyl Pressing Plant Opens, Take the Tour

Jack White’s Third Man Records launches their vinyl pressing plant today. Tour the facility (watch the video above).

Third Man Records is a state-of-the-art vinyl production facility in the heart of Detroit’s historic Cass Corridor neighborhood. The past year has been spent investing creative energy and passion into crafting a meticulously designed boutique vinyl record production facility with a unique customer experience, providing visual evidence to visitors of vinyl’s beauty and importance. Third Man Pressing is an investment in Third Man Records’ hometown, a neighborhood within a city both rich with musical history, creating a space that is as inspiring as it is prolific.

As the first label to operate a fleet of brand new, environmentally efficient pressing machinery within a purpose-built manufacturing infrastructure, Third Man Pressing minimizes water waste by using recycled water from the record curing process in the air conditioning system, thus creating the only fully climate-controlled pressing plant work environment in the world. Each pressing station is outfitted with a digital touch screen control for temperature, hydraulic compression, and extruder speed, equaling increased control for the highly trained staff as well as a superior product. The plant was engineered to not only be environmentally sustainable, but also community sensitive with its innovative noise reduction construction techniques.

Third Man Pressing Features:

– Operating eight of the first newly built presses built in 35 years, plus four extruders, and four hydraulic generators – all brand new
– Presses can accommodate 12″ LP’s or 7″ singles according to demand
– Only fully climate-controlled pressing plant work environment in the world
– All new, state-of-the-art pressing machinery and purpose-built manufacturing infrastructure
– Closed-loop, chilled-water system that maximizes water sustainability
– Environment design that inspires passion in record making, resulting in superior products
– Four high-efficiency hydraulic systems isolated in a dedicated, contained room
– Digital touch screen controls for temperature, hydraulic compression, and extrusion speed
– Engineered sound containment for minimal external noise pollution
– Built by audio and studio fabrication experts responsible for some of the most-lauded recording studios in the world
– Capacity estimated at 5000 records per 8 hour shift, with a current cycle time of approximately 45 seconds per record
– Competitive turnaround times
– Mural by Cass Corridor artist Robert Sestok*

Third Man Pressing brings upwards of 50 new living wage jobs with benefits into Detroit (on top of the 20 jobs already created by the Willy’s building Third Man Records location at large), and, in complement with Shinola’s recent start of production of high-end turntables, marks the triumphant return of the once-thought-lost record industry to one of the country’s great industrial AND musical cities.

The manufacturing facility will not only press vinyl records for Third Man Records’ label releases (which will also continue to be produced at Nashville’s United Record Pressing), but will also fulfill orders from outside labels. The resurgence in popularity of vinyl records has left many small imprints, “bedroom” labels, and independent artists without the ability to press small runs of records in reasonable amounts of time. Third Man Pressing aims to dedicate a percentage of its capacity each month to pressing records for clients of this ilk, alleviating the bottlenecking of the production caused by major label orders, and bringing more niche, regionally-interesting pressings from inspired individuals onto record shelves worldwide.

The inner workings of Third Man Pressing will be on display during Third Man Records Cass Corridor business hours from the storefront’s open-to-the-public viewing platform 7 days a week, with employees always happy to answer questions about the process, and more in-depth tours available in the coming months for those interested. Third Man Records’ mission has always centered around bringing the tangible, the unexpected, and the beautiful back into the business, and the team is beyond thrilled to share the facility, its exceptional product, and its significance with the city it calls home.

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