Thursday, January 9, 2014



Of the many projects I have been involved in, very few have made their way to vinyl as a final product.

The process is long, unpredictable and very expensive (about $10 an album). However it can be deeply rewarding for a special project.

There are several places that can offer an all in one solution where they master, plate, press and package your vinyl. However, the quality may not be to the highest standards especially when it comes to mastering and it's worth exploring working with several people to get the final product you desire.

After speaking with many friends and label owners I decided to go a slightly less treveled path and worked with nearly half a dozen artists to make the final product.


Though much of the art had already been created for Echoes, I had my designer redo the art for the Vinyl so it all could fit on two sides of the jacket. The artist I hired, Deon also won an award for his stellar work on the design for the vinyl. You can read about his entire process here...


Mastering to vinyl is a very different process than mastering to CD. Mastering to vinyl really needs to be done all on it's own. The length of your album can effect the overall volume of your album as well as too much bass can cause the needle to pop off the record, so working with an experienced mastering engineer for vinyl is the way to go. 

There are many mastering engineers out there with experience mastering to vinyl. However, I would highly recommend working with someone who specializes specifically in mastering to vinyl, has their own lathe and has a lot of experience making a master lacquer.

I have heard stories of people getting a CD master done and then being told by that engineer the same master for CD will work on vinyl. If your mastering engineer tells you this, ignore them and do a second master to vinyl. You will thank me... 

I personally hired Dietrich Schonemann to master for mine and I couldn't have been happier with his work. He mastered the album as well as cut the master on a lathe to create a master lacquer.

Here's a picture of a Lathe for cutting a master lacquer.


Once your album has been mastered, it needs to be plated. I had Dietrich send my lacquer master to a company in NJ called Mastercraft. They specifically focus on making a mother plate to have the albums pressed from and did a fantastic job. 

Test Presses 

Once Mastercraft created a "mother plate" they then sent it to Bill Smith Records in Southern California. Once it was received, they shipped me several test presses. This was where I could finally hear the work Dietrich did for mastering and hear how the vinyl would sound. 

Fortunately they came back perfect and I was very pleased with how they sounded. This is a crucial step in testing your album as if there are pops and skips on the test presses, they will show up on all of your vinyl pressings. 

Make sure you are 100% happy with your test pressings!


Now that I had approved the test presses, it was time to have Bill Smith Custom records press the albums. He has several lovely colors to choose from and I decided to go with white.

Bill Smith also offers plating and mastering but after extensive research I choose to go a longer route.


Unfortunately Bill Smith does not do packaging so I hired yet another company to create the jackets for me. Dorado Packaging down in S. California did a great job on printing the jackets for me.

Bill Smith records was able to have someone print the stickers that go on the vinyl as well as assemble the albums into the jackets and shrink wrap them.

So after passing through six shops, being shipped from NY to NJ to California and eventually to me here in Oregon, I finally had the perfect product.

There really is a significant difference in the sound of the vinyl to CD and when I first opened my first copy of the vinyl and listened I was astonished to hear beautiful subtleties I did not hear on a CD.

You can view some videos of how vinyl albums are made here: 

And last but not least, to order your copy of Echoes on vinyl please follow the link...

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Bloggity blog blog blog...

Hello friends and blog readers...

This is most likely a long overdue moment but here it is... I have decided to start a new blog.

Several friends have asked me to blog and I truly enjoy great blogs so here's my attempt to go for it and give it my all to the big blog world...

So here it is. Bloggity blog blog blog...

I can't promise I will stay up on this but I will try my hardest and the best way I know how is to engage with the audience and reader.

Soooo, I would love to hear what you all would like me to blog about. Feel free to ask away and I will do my best to try to blog on the subject.

On the food tip, here's my food blog I have ignored for some years but it might have some fun Thanksgiving dinner ideas.

With love,


Friday, March 29, 2013

New Album “Echoes” Available Now!

“Echoes” is the fifth full-length album from seasoned producer Rena Jones…

Unlike Rena’s previous releases, Rena has chosen a new path to make a truly collaborative and live studio album while still holding true to her unique take on down-tempo music.

Pulling from her years of experience as a session musician and audio engineer, Rena decided to work with many long time collaborators as well as world renowned artists Sophie Barker on vocals (Zero 7 and Groove Armada), Matt Robertson on modular synth (Bjork, Lamb, Bat for Lashes), Earl Harvin on drums (Seal, Air) Laura Scarborough on grand piano (Quixotic Fusion), a live woodwind section and solo violinist Ilya Goldberg (Emancipator) to name a few.

Rena Jones has taken the electronic world and put a warm soothing coat on it. With her epic compositions in which she uses a variety of electronics, synths, beat machines, sound design, analog gear and traditional instruments, she has earned a coveted place among those who seek to meld the electronic and human elements of music.

Her previous albums have been chosen in the top 25 essential albums of the year on NPR Echoes Radio and has gained her a devoted international following.

Staying true to her roots as a producer, “Echoes” is another concept album exploring the ideas of duality and inspired by the great poetry of Rumi ~

Like Rena’s previous albums “Echoes” is bound to stay on heavy rotation and become a long time favorite in your play list.
Purchase the CD with download:
Buy today via Bandcamp!
Or via:

Friday, November 13, 2009

My YouTube Channel

New videos added all the time! Check it out by clicking the picture below.

Sound Design for the K Bow and Stringport

I am happy to announce that I am now working for Keith McMillen instruments helping him develop the technology and sound design for the K Bow and String Port.

The K Bow is a "Bluetooth-enabled sensor bow that detects and translates bow technique and movement into control signals capable of producing an unprecedented level of expression from synthesizers, audio processors, or any other computer-based art form."

The String Port "is a hardware device that processes, converts and conveys to the computer the polyphonic audio from industry-standard hexaphonic pickups"

Read More about the K Bow and the String Port at Keith McMillen Instruments.