I am delighted to announce the creation of the ARTONE Studio, recording studio, by Record Industry, so-called in honour of my father and my uncle, Casper and Willem Slinger, who co-founded the vinyl factory ARTONE in 1957.
ARTONE was historically one of the first vinyl factories in the Netherlands, located in Haarlem not far from Amsterdam. It was then bought out several times (first by CBS then SONY) and renamed Record Industry at the end of the 90s by Ton Vermeulen, its current owner.
The opening of this recording studio is a strategic move:
Worldwide production of vinyl has experienced a very significant upsurge since 2010, a year which saw only 40 million units produced, at that time the market for vinyl was at its lowest.
In 2018, worldwide production reached a record 150 million units, but a decline to 120 million units is expected for 2019.
The reasons for this decrease in production are numerous:
- Collectors started by buying their old favourites, and after skimming the market for new and second-hand products, they are now holding back while they wait for new products, which are sadly still very few in number.
- The quantity of vinyl produced by contemporary artists remains low because these artists have to choose between several types of media supports on which to release their works.
- The second-hand vinyl market is flourishing, and a large quantity of vinyl is sold over the Internet by specialist websites. The example of the discogs website is indicative of this: it passed the 37-million mark for vinyl being offered by the beginning of 2019, whereas in mid-2018, this number was only 20 million vinyls.
- Many people have brought their old vinyls out of the basement, or inherited them and are registered on online platforms to sell them to the highest bidder. The 80-90 year-old generation is the one that saw the beginnings of vinyl, so for the next ten years the second-hand vinyl market will remain in the spotlight.
- The quality of vinyls manufactured recently sometimes leaves something to be desired because modern recording studios are not of a sufficiently high standard, so the depth and purity of sound are lacking on the media support provided to manufacturers who then find themselves in the unenviable position of producing a “bad” vinyl. Gradually consumers prepared to invest more than 20 euros in a new vinyl are often becoming disappointed with their purchase because the much-anticipated fulfilling experience is lacking.
Ton Vermeulen himself has been obliged to turn down several production requests for this reason: he did not want to supply a final product that was of low quality. So from his observation, good recording studios suited to the production of vinyls are rare.
This has given Ton and his team the motivation to invest in the acquisition and modernisation of top-quality vintage recording equipment so that they can record and reproduce the very specific sound necessary for vinyl.
Record Industry has therefore set up ARTONE Studio in order to be able to oversee the whole vinyl production process, from the recording to the pressing, without any compromise on quality.
I am grateful to Ton and his team for this wonderful tribute and I am delighted to invite you to visit the website of ARTONE Studio (www.artone-studio.com).
We wish them the very best of luck in this new field of activity, and hope that many major artists will program their recordings directly at the ARTONE Studio in order to produce top-quality vinyls!