QRATES lets you press small vinyl batches, crowdfund releases, and more

QRATES lets you press small vinyl batches, crowdfund releases, and more

Did you ever dream about owning a vinyl press to act out your every whim, but can’t fathom the idea of wearing a fedora? Then boy have we got news for you: QRATES, a Tokyo-based start-up, will let you press vinyls from batches of 100 units up — the industry’s current minimum is somewhere between 3 to 5 times that figure. This will likely sound like a godsend for small labels that can’t scale-up to massive orders or have to compete for production space with labels that offer pressing plants more profitable deals. QRATES is aiming to provide musicians with an integral tool to manage their releases, be them physical or digital. The truly innovative part of the service is that QRATES adopts a similar logic as crowdfunding platforms, collecting pre-orders and not moving onto the press until the minimum number required has been reached (naturally, re-presses can be ordered afterward), later even delivering the LPs directly to the costumers. Promotional solutions and merchandize handling are also covered by QRATES’s service.

But perhaps the sweetest, widest-appealing part of this offer comes in the vinyl simulator that QRATES is running on its website. It was originally meant as a way to give artists total control of their releases — choosing the vinyl’s size, color, and finish, as well as the label and sleeve design, etc. — but it’s now something fedora-and-suspenders-loving luddites and non-musicians can equally enjoy, getting a good minute’s fun out of the thingy. Head on over to QRATES’s site, vinylize your fantasies, and share your work in the comments section below.

• QRATES: https://qrates.com

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