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Give CDMaker a call at (512) 388-1998 or toll free (800) 678-1998

Innovation and Creativity - Music, Film, and Publications

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  • Complete Disc Manufacturing Service
  • Innovation and Creativity - Music, Film, and Publications
  • We Make Happy People every day
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(512) 388-1998

Music CD Duplication Services vs Data Duplication

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

image of blank suitable for 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.

Music CD Duplication Service

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?

posted by Carolyn Holzman in CD Duplication,CD Duplication Service,Red Book Audio and have No Comments