We’ve had a lot of people call us to ask if we do data cd reproduction in Austin, Texas. The long and short answer is YES!
A data CD as long as you have already confirmed all your data fits onto a single CD which you can do by burning your master, is definitely right up our alley. Its going to stay exactly as you have your master set up so when you receive your copies back, they will match your master file for file.
Music CDs tend to be a little more involved because how fast the data is duplicated will affect the sound quality.
Reproduction can take place in two ways – duplication (which is great for quantities of less than 500) and replication (which is suitable for quantities 500 +). Which one is best? Hard to say, in our 24 years of producing audio/video/data content, there are times where normally we would duplicate but once we know what someone wants to use it for, we recommend replication. Of course, usually this also means upping the quantity desired so that replication is as cost effective as it can be.
Are you needing more information on printing directly on CDs?
If you think that your only option is a paper label – think again.
When a disc is manufactured one of the aspects of that manufacturing is also what is printed onto the disc. Also, adding the print directly onto the disc means that confusing one title for another is diminished. Of course, ISO standards for handling different services is clear about the seriousness of this, it is something that we get asked about. Often the question is can I save money if I don’t print my discs.
There are three ways of getting artwork onto a disc face – using pantone colors and silk-screening, using process CMYK colors and silk-screening and using process CMYK color and offset printing directly onto the disc. These days most projects released on an independent basis are using full color offset on disc printing.
Aren’t Labels How Printing Directly on CDS works?
Now when it comes to duplication, labels are definitely a thing of the past. Professional duplication facilities will use ink jet, monochrome thermal or full color thermal direct to disc printing. Yes, you can still find labels in the stores because there will always be a demand for low-end home production but labels are not recommended because they can cause the disc to spin off balance in a player.
If you are duplicating – then most likely you’re looking at ink jet, one color thermal, or full color thermal. If you’re having your discs manufactured then you’re definitely working with silk-screening either with spot PMS colors or full color CMYK.
Mainly there are different methods to putting artwork on discs depending on what at that particular quantity requires the least amount of handling. If you are ever told that for a regular full size CD that you’re going to get labels – go somewhere else. Typically they don’t look professional and if applied incorrectly they can cause the disc to spin unevenly which will negatively effect playback – which can make YOU look unprofessional.
If you have any questions concerning what would be a good option for your project – use our contact page and let us know what your specific question is and we’ll be happy to review your situation.
When you’re looking for music CD duplication services, what makes music duplication different from a data disk duplication?
The actual duplication process of creating an image of the source disc or the master is exactly the same whether you’re duplicating music or data, there ARE concerns that are specific to the duplication of music that will have an effect on the final result.
Critical Aspects Specific to Music CD Duplication
First, there is the quality of the blank disc itself. There are different professional grades. The kind of discs that can be gotten very cheaply from Office Depot are not even as good as the lowest quality professional grade. One distinction when evaluating the quality of a blank disc is determined by the amount of the dye on the bottom of the disc. More dye is going to be a better disc which in turn will give you a better music cd duplication
The more dye that is there the greater the amount of data can be deeply burned into the dye on the bottom of the disc. The less grades of discs have less and less of this coating. They have enough to be copied but it makes a music cd more likely for there to be a loss of playability as the dye begins to breakdown over time. You have to know who manufactured the CDR because you can’t just tell by the color when you flip the disc over to look at the underneath color – there are other disc characteristics of a CDR that also help determine its quality grade.
Wikipedia has a great write up on what makes a great CD-R. And we have more detailed information on music cd duplication click here.
Then there is duplication speed, how fast is the laser being asked to burn the data can affect how well the data is written to the disc and how deeply the information is set into the dye.
So what good is it to have a great disc if you don’t give it a chance to have a good burn of the data? When it comes to music cd duplication all of it plays a huge part in the resulting sound. Most duplication services are trying to get the most discs out in the fastest amount of time and to keep track of different duplication speeds on all the different equipment is challenging – not impossible.
And this has a huge impact on music CDs when they are duplicated. Unlike a file with some text on it – there is a huge amount of data that even a 3 minute track will contain that a data only file doesn’t have. All that data is information for the CD player. So the more data available on the disc, the better the sound.
We’ve run tests of the same master at 4X, 8X, 16X, 32X and 64X. Then we did a blind test to see what if any difference we could hear from the naked ear. Not on headphones – just ambient playback. Same source master for each, same high quality blank disc, the only difference was the speed.
The results were interesting. No differences were charted on the 4X, 8X, 16X. It wasn’t until we got to the 32X and faster than we could actually hear a difference. We didn’t investigate into what was causing the differences because once we heard a difference it didn’t matter. When it comes to music cd duplication projects in our studio, we don’t charge extra to slow things down.
Most duplication services are duplicating much faster than 16X and many will charge a fee to slow down because they are scheduling machines so the difference between the different speed could move only half as many discs through the machine on an 8 hour shift once it was slowed down to 16X. I hope that is clear – most duplication services do not distinquish between music masters and data masters – they will duplicate them as though they are all the same.
However, we at CDMaker do consider them differently and slow down the duplication speed especially when it comes to the music cd duplication projects.
If you’re interested in working with a service that cares about how well your copies reflect the sound of the work you did in the studio, give us a call (512) 388-1998. CDMaker can be found at 13581 Pond Springs Road, Suite 301, Austin, TX 78729. After all, don’t you think your music and work deserve the best music cd duplication service around?
A CD production service is typically a company that provides copies of either a CD or DVD, printing and packaging. When you have a project you need typically everything you need to have to achieve a complete package should be available. In other words, it is not necessary to work with a separate printer and discservice and then someone else to assemble and wrap. All services can be received by dealing with a single provider. Makes life easier, yes?
The following is a series of areas that you can expect from any cd maker or disc making company. You can expect this from CDMaker because we’ve found over the years that by being consistent we can provide the kind of product that allows us to be here when our clients need us in a year or two.
What to Expect from a The Service before placing your order
If they are a reputable provider, there will be questions on the front end concerning the content on your master. Why?
On any master at the very least would be either an audio file, software, documents, video, etc and someone somewhere is the proud owner of this intellectual property. It should be you and some things have dual ownership. For instance, the song “Rolling in the Deep” By Adele, she wrote it and is the writer but the sound recording that came out of the studio and that is played on the radio and downloaded from iTunes most likely belongs to the record label that paid for the studio time, editing and mastering. It is even possible that a major performer would be performing a song written by someone else (who would own the writer portion) another company that is considered the publisher would have the publishers portion and the record label has the ownership of the sound recording. The artist has no intellectual property ownership. Crazy huh?
Likewise, if you have a video and a song is playing in the background, someone owns that sound recording and if you didn’t record it yourself, it belongs to someone else. You may have the rights to use it, but even then you do not own it. Any legal questions concerning copyright need to be addressed to an attorney – do not expect any professional copying service to provide you with legal advice.
So a reputable disc service is going to ask you about content. Typically there is a form called the IPR (intellectual property rights) or IRMA (International Recorded Media Association). There’s more about this later on.
Expect that You will be asked such questions as-
how many copies from a single master you desire
what type of packaging – paper sleeve, jewel case, digipak, or other cardboard item
the state of the artwork for the disc face and any custom printed piece
when will you need finished product
when will you have all the required components
What is Required?
You should be be prepared to provide:
physical master(s) exactly as you wish the copies to be
native unflattened artwork files
Of course each service may have slightly different submission requirements and in general you need to be prepared to provide for what they ask for because there must be some reason that they ask for it.
In the end you have to ask yourself, you didn’t choose your songs because they were the shortest, you didn’t choose your recording studio because they could get you in within 24 hours, why would you have invested all that money and time into your project to not allow for adequate time to get the best results?
So how much time is reasonable? You want to go with a production company that is busy because that means they are successfully providing the same service you’re buying to others like you. So if they are successful you can expect a couple of days for bulk discs and anywhere from 3 – 7 business days on a printed jewel case insert. Cardboard typically requires something like 10 business days.
Depending on whether you need bulk, unpackaged discs or a 6-panel cardboard wallet, the time to produce your complete package will be different because the time required to produce each piece successfully is different. While a service may promise 24 hour turnaround, more time will get you a better product.
13581 Pond Springs Road, Suite 301, Austin, TX. 78729
Usually the number of discs from the same master is the primary factor in determining which one is best suited for you. To replicate a CD or DVD requires many hours of glass mastering – preparing an exact replica of the physical master to then have stampers made so that polycarbonate pellets can be melted down and injected into the molds to form your disc and then have some nickel oxide spun on the disc and then have the finished discs silk-screened.
And if you only had 100 discs made, even by spreading it out on a per disc charge would make those 100 discs almost as expensive as pressing 1000 discs. The labor and materials for the glass mastering and the step up on the machine and testing is a lot easier to spread out over 1000 or more discs without causing coronary issues!
Duplication, where a pre existing round blank disc is placed in a duplication machine for copying, is much better suited for runs up to 200 – 250. You do pay more per disc for short runs compared to replication but the overall price is less.
How do you choose CD Duplication vs Replication?
Usually this is a question asked by our audio clients who are concerned about the sound quality of duplication.
We do have clients who insist on only doing replication. What makes a CDR or DVDR able to be copied is also what makes them easy to be damaged when compared to a replicated disc. Not that a replicated disc is indestructible by any means, this is all relative.
Also, depending on how fast your discs are duplicated plays a part. CDMaker duplication for audio CDs is set to 16X – no faster. This is typically lower than most duplication facilities who are more interested in scheduling vast numbers of discs rather than a lesser number of better sounding discs.
Also some CD players have a hard time with different media – the brand of the blank disc – and it can be a high end automobile that spits out your duplicated disc. While duplication and replication has standards it must meet in order to be an audio CD, CD players are not held to the same standard – they can use any set of standards for playback which may not be a full range of Red Book Audio.
Best bet is to talk with you representative and tell them what you need, what your concerns and priorities are so they can provide you with a complete range of option so you can make an informed choice.
We get a lot of questions about graphic design for CDs and we came up with a few ideas of questions to discuss with your designer as you evaluate who will be able to do the best job for you.
Whenever you’re interviewing graphic designers for CD projects – its a good idea to clarify a few things before you begin. Sometimes you could find out somethings further down the road that would have helped you save time & money earlier on had you known.
This list is by no means comprehensive – you may have others – these will help get you started.
1. What programs will you be using?
Expect to hear answers like – Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign. Answers like Word or Corel Draw – are indicative of a difference type of publishing than what you need.
2. Do you typically design for websites or printing presses?
If they don’t understand why they would be asked this – typically they design for websites. What makes artwork work technically the best for web is exactly the opposite of printing presses. What you need is high resolution 300 dpi, CMYK artwork, unflattened and in layers. These types of files will not only allow you to print better quality they allow for future changes without you having to go back to the initial designer for simple edits or additions.
3. Will you be able and willing to provide to my CD printing company high resolution, unflattened, native layered files?
This is important to ask. Graphic designers hold differing view on who actually owns the native files. Yes, sometimes they believe you own what comes off the press but that they own the digital files. Its not rude to ask and its not rude if they tell you that they believe they own them. Ask them what it would take to obtain ownership and usually that’s a dollar amount – just consider that when you determine your budget. And get it in writing if you hire them BEFORE you give them a deposit check.
FYI – Any graphic work that CDMaker does for you is considered to be your property so you have full and unfettered access to native files – just ask for a backup when you order so its just the time and materials cost to make one for you.
4. Will you be using templates to set up the artwork?
This is a huge one – if they just make one up or recycle one from another manufacturer – you could be looking at additional time. Tell them that you expect them to use the proper template(s) and if they don’t do so they are responsible to adjust artwork to fit the proper template. Again, its just that you are clarifying your expectations. If you don’t mind being charged by your manufacturer or printing house for the extra costs to adjust artwork files – then you don’t have to have this conversation.
5. Will I be given a complete set of backup files – all support images, all fonts, all native files at the end of the project?
This is again a clarifying question. If they say they will keep it on their harddrive- that’s great but ask for a physical backup of the native unflattened files and all the source images and fonts on a disc so that if anything happens to them, their computer, their harddrive, their work situation, their living situation, you have a back up.
6. If a logo design is part of the project – will the design be formated so that I can use it in black and white or color, or on any colot background or will it require a white box around it?
This is an important question – sometimes its easy to design a logo that work for the color of the immediate layout but when you need to put it on your facebook page or tshirt or business card, it doesn’t work as easily. Again, this is a question that clarifies. If you want it to have maximum flexibility for you – ask this question in the beginning of your relationship.
7. Are there any design concerns if you want to use the artwork or a portion of the artwork for t-shirts or display banners or other promotional materials which I may need the artwork larger?
Sometimes you may have a need for artwork to be larger than what it was originally designed to be. Sometimes because of how the artwork was designed it will look really bad if you just enlarge it. That’s why photoshop can be a limiting choice. Its a vector/non-vector issue. What’s that? Vector is better to go from small to large since it sets up an outline for text or images and then fills in instead of stretching dots (non-vector) from original size to larger which will pull dots further apart which kills the resolution of your artwork. Resolution affects how clear it is to the eye after its been printed.
Again, these are just some questions that will lead to a more complete discussion with your graphic designer. In turn this will helpyou be able to better assess how much it will cost you not just in terms of immediate outlay. This obviously is written more from the angle of having your CDs or DVD published but it lends itself to every situation where you might need the help of a graphic designer.
What questions have helped you? Please feel free to share below or let me know if these questions have helped you talk with your designer.
They are with us in our lives but most of us don’t really know how much as we fit onto a CD? Our ipods are almost inexhaustible but until we start putting music on discs, the question doesn’t even cross our minds.
Officially, red book audio, the technical term for the standards that spell out what makes an audio cd an audio cd, tell us that a disc will hold 74 minutes. The reason its 74 minutes is as the story goes, when Phillips was developing the CD, they decided to find the longest piece of music they could find and make it so. Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony was the longest symphony in terms of time – it takes a full 74 minutes when you follow marked tempos from start to finish with a small break between movements. Well, that’s the story anyway.
The reasoning being – no one is as great as Beethoven, thus no one will write anything longer than 74 minutes, thus a CD is 74 minutes long.
And then came the 80 CDR.
So will officially red book audio ends at 74:30, you can fit up to 80 minutes on a single disc.
Now when it comes to CD players that’s a whole nuther story. While Music CDS have standards and guidelines and what works and what will not, CD players, the machines that playback the audio CDs, have NO standards – they can read whole or partial red book audio tolerances or not. So you could have a CD that is perfectly good and holds 80 minutes of music but you put it in a CD player and that player is set to stop reading with the laser at 74 minutes 30 seconds. So you might think you have a defective CD but in reality the CD is fine and the player is fine, they just aren’t set up to match.
And yes, the 74 minute parameters includes the seconds inbetween the tracks.
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Short run CD duplication is used when the amount of discs needed for a project are so few that manufacturing would be excessive. This is true for CD duplication as well as DVD duplication.
What is Short Run CD Duplication
Typically the cut off is around 500 – 500 and up are manufactured usually. Now, when someone needs 499 – well, I would not like to be in their shoes – just kidding.
Its an arbitrary cut off. There are many factors that contribute.
How Small is a Short Run CD Duplication
Sometimes the question is how few a duplication service will do as a short run. Often times you will find a minimum quantity is required.
Well, there’s a certain amount of labor – imagine there’s the time spent checking the artwork and setting it up to print on the disc. There’s the time printing and then moving over to duplicate. And all that time is the same whether its 1 disc or 100 discs. The quality demands of a professional duplication service will require that the same care be extended to a single disc duplication as well as a 100 or 200 or more.
Here at CDMaker we have a no minimum on short run duplication at least for the time being. We figure that if we can help you this time, either you’ll be back or tell all your friends what a great place CDMaker is to have projects duplicated.
Does a short run CD duplication project require different things?
Surprisingly no. A short run CD duplication project needs the same things as a large replication project in terms of what you the publisher provide. A physical master is optimal and press ready artwork files for the insert or paper printing as well as the graphic files for the disc face. Everything still needs to be the same – the song order should be in the order desired, the artwork files should require nothing more than say adding the barcode and the disc face artwork places in a template.
How long does it take to complete on a short run CD duplication project?
Since each disc is printed and duplicated individually it depends on the amount of capacity. But typically professional duplication services will be able to turn bulk discs in a few days. Heck, in some circumstances we’re done them in less than 24 hours – but that’s another story!!
If you need paper printing for a jewel case, or cardboard printing you’ll need to allow a few days for your artwork to go through the printing and bindery process. The printing process for a short run duplication project will probably mean your job and one other is printed at the same time and then taken over to bindery where the large pages are cut or trimmed down to the desired size where its a 2-panel or a 4-panel insert. The traycards for short run CD projects are perforated since these are hand assembled.
Then once all the pieces are completed – someone gets to put these together by hand typically and then shrinkwrapped.
The entire process could take 5 -7 business days for a complete package – duplication and paper printing, bindery and assembly.
Why would a short run cd duplication ever be more desired than replication?
Quantity is a big factor in the favor of short run cd projects and depending on the choice of packaging, the time factor could be reduced. For instance, a 2-panel in a slimline jewel case where there is no traycard can be produced much more quickly because of the reduction in printing time (there is no traycard) and reduction in bindery and assembly (straight cuts only and no traycard to insert.)
If you have more questions or would like to speak with a real live person during our business hours. . .
You can reach us via the contact page – the Chat Box at the bottom right of this page – by phone at the big number at the top or by mail
CDMaker – CD Duplication & DVD Duplication
15381 Pond Springs Road, Suite 301
Austin, Texas 78729