If you’re wondering what vinyl record size is the best choice for custom mixtape, read on!
If there are mixtapes for cassette tapes and CDs, then mixtapes on vinyl records should also be a thing, right?
With one-off cheap vinyl pressing, you certainly can wow anyone with a vinyl mixtape.
Before you could even think of the tracks you want to put in your custom vinyl record, you gotta know which vinyl size is best for a vinyl mixtape.
And the short answer is this:
THERE’S NO BETTER SIZE, IT DEPENDS ON WHY YOU’RE MAKING THE MIXTAPE.
You read it right. There’s really no vinyl record size that is generally better than others for a custom mixtape.
It all depends on how many songs you want on them, how much money you can spend for it, and what you want for your custom vinyl record mixtape.
So let’s compare the vinyl record sizes instead.
Table of Contents
VINYL RECORD SIZES
To help you weigh things, we’ll tackle each record sizes’ pros and cons. Hopefully, you’ll be able to decide on a record size to have your mixtape pressed on. Let’s start!
Pros & Cons
You will surely have a cheap vinyl pressing if you’ll have your mixtape pressed on them. This is because the size is the smallest, thus, the cheapest among the three. However, due to it being small, it has the shortest playback time.
There are two available speeds for all the sizes, we have 33 revolutions per minute (rpm) and 45 rpm. For the 7-inch size, it offers 4-6 minutes of playback on each side for those that run at 45 rpm and 7 minutes for 33 rpm.
This means that only around 5 songs at most can be pressed on 7-inch 33 rpm vinyl records and around 3 songs for the 45 rpm. This all still depends on the length of each track.
When to Best Choose the Size
If you’re on a tight budget you can choose to have this size. The only problem would be you will have to choose what to get rid off from your tracklist.
If you have an extensive list, then I suggest you start crossing out some of the least favorites among your favorites. But if you have a short list, then good for you. I also suggest choosing your top 5 or top 4 all-time favorite songs and have it on this record size. This way, you will have a record solely for the best of the best songs for you.
Pros & Cons
A great thing about this size is that it’s much like the “goldilock zone” of the vinyl record sizes. It’s not too big with a too long playback time and also not too small with a too short playback time. It’s just right.
The runtime for 10-inch vinyl records running at 33 rpm can give you a 12-15 minute playback time per side while the ones running at 45 rpm give 9-12 minutes. For this record size, you can have an estimate of 10 songs at most for 33 rpm records and 7 songs at most for 45 rpm records.
Even though it’s obviously more expensive than 7-inch ones, it is still not as expensive as 12-inch vinyl records. If your budget isn’t too small but also not too big, then a 10-inch vinyl record pressing is very possible.
When to Best Choose the Size
This record size is much more suitable for a longer list of songs, though not that long still. It’s also a much more budget friendly size.
If you can’t afford the 12-inch vinyl records due to a tight budget, but still want to have a longer playback time, then this can be for you. It’s much more practical than the 7-inch vinyl, if you ask me.
I say this because the main purpose of a mixtape is to listen to an extensive list of songs from different albums and artists. If that was your purpose as well then you can choose this.
Pros & Cons
This is the most ideal size for those whose main goal of ordering a custom vinyl record is to listen to a long list of their favorite songs. This size offers 12-15 minutes of playback on each side for 45 rpm records and 15-22 minutes for those running at 33 rpm.
A downside of this format is the price you will have to pay for its production. I guarantee you it won’t be a cheap vinyl pressing. However, it’s all up to you.
A suggestion I could give you, if you can’t afford to spend much on them, would be to go with the standard black vinyl record and ditch that record design in your mind.
When to Best Choose the Size
The vinyl record size has the longest playback time among the three, so you can choose to have this if you have a long list of songs for your mixtape. But if you have just a couple of songs on your list and you can afford to spend money on 12-inch vinyl records, then you can still choose this.
It’s actually great if you don’t have a lot of songs, maybe you can try having around the same number of songs you would have for a 10-inch vinyl record. The lesser the number of songs the bigger the space there is for each track. The bigger the space the better the sound produced.
WHAT AUDIOPHILES HAVE TO SAY RE VINYL SIZES
“10″ is still done. There isn’t a whole lot of difference manufacturing-wise with a 10″ compared to a 12″, it’s just a bit cheaper and uses different sized lacquers/etc.”
–Axon to the question about the sound difference of the 10-inch and 12-inch vinyl records
“12 inch 45rpm records sounded better that 7 inch ones because on the 12 inch, the record is spinning faster on the outer end of the record, making the sound higher fidelity slightly. 45s are cut at the worst part of a record, the very middle where it spins the slowest. Plus they can cut the grooves louder on 12 inch singles because the grooves can be spaced apart more, more room for wiggle groove volume. More fidelity from speed, louder grooves,, better play. I like em both myself.”
–Eddie Edirol to the question about sound quality of 7 and 12-inch vinyl records running at 45 rpm
“I honestly don’t see it catching on as a replacement for the 12 inch format. Just look at every single record player out there, all 12 inch platters. The standard is set in the industry and that’s how it will stay.”
–-cTm on the question: “How do you feel about 10 inch records compared to 12 inch
“It’s a strange thought. Some pressing plants today don’t even press 10-inch records for economical reasons, as some people already said here, cost of pressing them don’t always make them worth choosing over traditional 12-inch.”
–creamcolouredDog on the idea of 10-inch vinyl records taking the lead in the vinyl resurgence
“I have no preference. But, 10 Inch records tend to be released for novelty reasons.”
–vinylontubes on the same reddit discussion as the previous two posters
“It’s not really an issue of what’s “best” – in virtually every case, a certain recording will only be available in one format of vinyl record. In general, full albums will be put out on 12 inch LPs, and singles will be put out on 7 inch records.”
–avfc41 on the difference of between LP’s , 10 inch and 12 records
“A lot of people hate 10″ and 7″s records, you’re not alone. However, I fucking love them, though I don’t have a ton of 10s. I think some people mix them in on the same shelf or crate when they first starting and it annoys them. Got to keep ’em separate!”
–checkerdamic on unpopular vinyl opinions of vinyl collectors
“I’m with you, 10″ are the worst.”
–InTwenteeForty on the Reddit thread of unpopular opinion of vinyl collectors on vinyl
“I personally think that most albums even when they are really good tend to have 1-3 filler songs which is something that annoys me. Singles usually don’t include the filler.”
–RhodokScruba47 on albums and singles
“When it comes to 7”s, you get through one song and then you have to get up and get back to the record player to change it again. It’s a considerable amount of extra effort if you’re having a full listening session!
So I never buy 7”s – UNLESS, it’s something I can’t get on an artist’s LP.”
–SeiriusPolaris on collecting 7” vinyl records
“I don’t think I’ll ever start collecting them, I already spend plenty on 12″ records. If I see one I want for a cheap price I’ll probably buy it but I wouldn’t go out of my way to collect them”
–daveyard on collecting 7” vinyl records
It may add to the cost we have to pay, but it still is worth it.
But if you’re on a tight budget, going for the standard black is still awesome. Hey, as long as you have your fave tracks on vinyl records, I’m sure it’s more than enough.
James Hill is a veteran of the music industry. He first worked at Warner Reprise Records then later joined Interscope/ Geffen Records where he managed producers and songwriters and got his first platinum record for Keyshia Cole’s The Way It Is. He is now helping indie artists with branding and manufacturing through his company Unified Manufacturing, a CD/DVD, custom vinyl records and merch company in LA.