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CD Mastering and Duplication techniques

CD Duplication: Packaging Your Duped CDs

Posted by Oze Parrot on 16th February 2006

Since the introduction of the user-recordable CD-ROM (read-only memory) it is now possible to disseminate massive amounts of information to a vast audience. A CD can store up to 700 megabytes of data or 80 minutes of music. Collectively, there are over 30 billion CD discs sold annually throughout the world.

The CD is capable of storing any kind of digital material such as pictures, power point presentations, web pages, music, movies and text files.

Compact Disc  
Compact Disc

If this is not enough, from a single CD Master, bulk copies can be made quickly by the Duping process. Duplication systems must verify each disc, bit-for-bit, as being identical to the master CD. State-of-the-art equipment can create copies of different kinds of CD either for the PC or the Macintosh.

CD Duplication is a fast and cost effective process that enables creative and professional presentations of any product, to be reproduced without any infringement of copyright law.

For the market however, Packaging of your Duped CDs is almost as important as the content. Bulk shipments of duplicated CDs really need creative Packaging to make ready sales in the market place. There are various methods of Packaging your CD products, either in clear flapped PVC wallets, mailers, paper sleeves and in Jewel Cases of standard black, slim line or clam shell styles.

Packaging depends upon the target market, what may appeal to one consumer may not appeal to another. Size of the product Packaging should be maintained according to the tastes and preferences of the targeted consumers. It is true, that for security reasons, Packaging is sometimes difficult to open, therefore you must keep the consumer in mind, as well as the product, when Packaging your stock of CDs.

Simple Packaging is always better in order to avoid confusion, but it should be sturdy enough to survive shipping and handling techniques. Generally, consumers select bulk CD packages that carry a printed label with an excellent graphic design. Such packaging captures the imagination of the prospective buyer and goes a long way towards effecting a sale.

A Compact Disc is a cost effective method of storing a large amount of data, this, combined with it’s small size, make it a great medium for the distribution of presentations, portfolios, documents, software, pictures and music. Based on this, a variety of contemporary and alternative Packaging options are available to suit the particular type of information that is being offered.

A consultation with a Packaging professional would be advisable for anyone who is marketing a batch of CDs for the first time. Professional Packaging featuring a well designed label will ensure that you have a great chance of capturing a slice of the lucrative CD market.

Packaging companies are consistently developing new, trendy and more durable Packaging techniques. Make sure that you avail yourself of the latest developments before you market your product.
Professional Packaging will greatly assist your marketing efforts.

Further information can be found on our websites: CD Hunter

 

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CD Duplication: The Bare Essentials

Posted by Oze Parrot on 1st December 2005

The main advantages of CD duplication are clearly that CDs have digital sound reproduction, compact dimensions and the ready availability of CD players.
While the CD duping process is not really new, more and more business houses are adopting the process to reach their customers, in a cost effective manner that produces a positive response.

The sound quality of CDs has always been under discussion but it definitely is a level above the cassette tape that it generally has replaced and duplicating CDs is also a much easier and quicker process.

In duplicating a CD correctly the process has to begin at the most basic level. In other words, the recording has to be correct from the start. The VU level during the recording has to be monitored or limited automatically by software so that the digital signal stays below the red line at all times with the exception of a few bumps above it. The reason is that a digital overload has no nice sound qualities like a tube overdrive can have.

After the recording is mixed and finalized it gets down to the duplicating process. If you are duplicating music the best thing you can do to insure professional sound quality is to run the final mix through mastering software.

Mastering can be handled on your own recording equipment by using software that is built in or is done using an external mixer and outboard software. The result that you are attempting to accomplish here is to limit and compress the signal in one pass.

Mastering is generally accomplished after making one or two passes across the mixed recording to find where the highest peak audio occurs and to set a level for the master not to exceed. For example if there is several places that the audio peaks at -10dB the mastering software will set a level that will cause the recording to be re-recorded or mastered at about 0dB. That is called limiting.

The other thing that the software can be asked to do is to set the overall compression of the recording that will allow the master recording to play back at the most consistent highest level possible for the recording. That allows the recording to sound steady and undistorted from start to finish. This could be over the entire recording which might be 1 to 14 songs on a recorded disc.

While this is standard practice for a music CD that is mastered, the same process should be applied to a simple vocal recording. The product that you want should be a constant level recording that is capable of being played back at the highest constant level without distortion.

Making the First Generation After Mastering.

If the first generation is done on a hard drive inside a Digital Audio Workstation or on a dedicated hard drive inside your laptop or externally connected to a laptop the next process is to duplicate the mastered recording.

If you have not done that before sending your final mix recording out for mastering then you should go directly to any CD burner of your choice and make a master dupe of the mastered CD. This may seem like an unnecessary step, but in deference to the CD duplicating process you need to have a separate master disc, just in case.

It should be noted or emphasized that any CD is digital information and once it is finalized it remains that way. Consequently, very little sonic information is lost in the duping process, so now you can go into the high speed duplication process.

I use a single unit Microboards QD-52 that has one ROM deck and one CD-R. These can be purchased at a reasonable price at a good recording equipment store or music store. The two that I recommend are The Guitar Center or Musician’s Friend.

They carry a single CD-R deck like I have or multi-deck versions. My personal deck is a 56X speed deck. That deck, at that speed will reproduce 45 to 60 minutes of music in about 7 minutes. Depending on how many CDs you plan to duplicate, you may need a multi-bay deck.

The speed of the deck is important in this way. The higher the number, like 56X, the faster it will duplicate. That is obvious but what may not be so obvious is that in order to take advantage of that speed you must use a blank CD rated at the same speed, ie. 56X to take advantage of the highest speed of the deck.

It is okay to use a lower speed blank disk, but your duplication deck will be governed by the speed of the blank disc you are using.

Further information can be found on our websites:
CD Hunter

 

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CD Duplication: Choosing a Duping Service

Posted by Oze Parrot on 28th November 2005

After many tedious hours of repetitive tasks your master CD has been completed and you are now ready to have copies made. It’s time to look for a CD duplication service.

Here are some thoughts to keep in mind when selecting your duping service.

You don’t want to pay for more copies than you need, so you will have to check if there is a minimum order size and if you have the option to have additional copies made later, at a corporate rate.

What are the options for putting artwork on your CDs? Will they print the batch of recordable media using silkscreen or offset, or will they apply paper labels on the discs? If you don’t have any of your own artwork, can they provide some for you? Will there be an additional charge and if so, how much?

What packaging options are available? Will you choose paper sleeves or the more expensive jewel cases? Some services offer special pricing which includes upgraded packaging. This can potentially save you a lot of money.

Can you obtain a bar code if you need one? A bar code or UPC code is essential if you’re planning to sell your CDs in stores. Some services will provide this for free or at a discounted price.

Establish their turnaround time and verify that your order will reach you in time for any promotional activities that you have planned.

Do they offer multiple delivery options? Do you have the option of paying for expedited delivery?

Check for any hidden costs. Is there an assembly charge? Will they charge extra if they use colored ink on the labels?

What are their payment policies? Some duplication services choose to price per megabyte while others price according to quantity. Are you required to pay everything up front or can you pay part down and the rest when you are satisfied with their work?

What type of satisfaction guarantee do they offer? Do they have demos and testimonials available for your review? Are they members of any professional business organizations such as the Better Business Bureau, the local Chamber of Commerce or the American Independent Media Manufacturers Association?

In addition to using common sense when choosing a duplication service, it is always great to work with one that provides quality customer service. Be sure that you can reach them by phone if necessary. Keep all these things in mind and your CD duplication experience can be a more pleasant one.

Further information can be found on our website:
CD Hunter

 

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CD Duplication – Available Services

Posted by Oze Parrot on 20th November 2005

Many of us these days consider ourselves universal, intellectual technophiles, we think that we know everything about anything technical, however this is not always the case.

Utilizing CDs, or compact discs, to store data, sound, and video files has become an important factor in fueling the growth of technology for personal and professional use.

CD DuplicatingIt would be a rarity, these days, to discover anybody that does not know how to burn a CD using the home PC. But what do you do when you want to make multiple copies, efficiently?
Sure, you can burn another and another, however this method not ideal if you need a large number of copies.

The answer is to use a CD Duplication services.

First of all, duplication is the process of copying data from one CD to another through the process of burning, particularly in large quantities for commercial or personal distribution.
Duplication is the familiar process of burning that is done by a CD Burner on your home PC, only on a grander scale.

Your first need for Duplication services will most likely arise when you create your first CD product (music, video, data, ebook, etc) that you want to sell and distribute, hopefully in large quantities with a reasonable profit margin. When planning for your development, duplication is a cost that should be considered as integral to the whole process. Basic questions to answer are how many do I expect to sell, and how many will I need to produce initially, and at what cost?

Applying for quotes from the various CD Duplication services is a necessary chore that will enable you to get the best deal.

For runs of at least 1,000, try discmakers.com. Their prices which include a UPC code for retail sales, range from about $1.40 – $1.80 per CD and includes jewel case.
Be sure to try out their “QUOTE-O-MATIC.”

For smaller runs, try snjCD.com, coptech.com and esp-CD.com.

You should also do you own search for “CD duplication services” through the search engines. Just don’t get too caught up in the duplication process and end up confused or frustrated, there is plenty of help available, provided that you are prepared to take your time and shop around for the best deal.

Further information can be found on our websites:
CD Hunter

 

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The Art Of Designing And Printing CD Or DVD Labels

Posted by Oze Parrot on 16th November 2005

CD CasesIn todays market you have the ability to customize just about everything that you can imagine. Custom products are in every household and include furnishing, clothing, artwork, sound systems, video systems, cookware, and of course, CD’s and DVD’s. Anything that can be put into digital format can now be “burned” onto a disc.

Now you can choose what songs you want, what video you want, and you can even customize the look of the disc itself, including the cover and presentation of the product. If for example, you were to produce an incredible information product you could start with an audio file, have it burned to CD, create a design for your product, have that printed on the disc and have the same design printed for your CD cover. A total design package that is attractive and becomes your Brand. You can even use the same design on your printed materials inside your information product… Read Story Here

CD Hunter

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Cd Copying And What You Can Do With CD Dupes

Posted by Oze Parrot on 13th November 2005

What can you do with CD duplication? Well, the answer to that question is that the applications are almost infinite. With the rapid acceptance of this technology, CD duplication has developed from simple CD copying to an art, with the ability to reproduce perfectly, sound and data messages to an innumerable number of high quality, compact discs. This technology has led to the demise of tape-to-tape recording and more recently audiotape reproduction. Read Story Here

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CD Duplication – Understanding Barcodes

Posted by Oze Parrot on 9th November 2005

Basically a barcode is simply a way to track products based upon a number assigned to each product.

BarcodeThe lines of the barcode, which are machine readable, correspond to the human readable numbers below the actual bars.
The first six digits are to identify the manufacturer and the next five are the item number.

Before applying barcodes to your stock of duplicated CDs, you will need to consider if you really need a barcode.
How does a barcode work and what are the basics you need to know before creating one?
Who supplies barcodes and how much do they cost?

In contrast to what most of us think, there is no fixed price information included in this code. When the code is read by an infrared scanner, the information is sent to a computer that sends back the price that the retail store has assigned to that particular product.

Now, because an infrared scanner is used to scan the barcode, it is best the code be black and white for optimum contrast. If you do not do this and play with the colors (or allow your designer to do so), you run the risk of the scanner being unable to read the code. This forces the store’s checkout operator to manually enter a sixteen-digit code, in order to complete the sale.

The minimum size you should include in your CD artwork for your barcode is about 80% of the UPC A or about 1.175″ wide by 0.816″ high.
As with messing with the basic black on white color scheme, making the barcode any smaller also runs the risk of the scanner being unable to scan the code.

Do you absolutely have to have a barcode?
If you never plan to sell your CDs in a retail outlet, or to have a distributor handle your product, the simple answer is no.

On the other hand, are you really going to be hawking your product yourself forever? Probably not.
Most retailers and distributors require the products they sell to have a unique barcode. Best idea is to get a barcode in the first place, your CDs can then be sold through a retail outlet at any time.

You now need to know where to get your barcode.
In searching for a CD duplicating service, you may find a company that tries to sell you an UPC (Universal Product Code) barcode. Don’t accept their offer as, The United Code Council (UCC), or the GS1 US, as it is called now, does not allow this.

There are only three companies, that joined the UCC before August 28 2002, that are allowed to sell barcodes.
They are Simply Barcodes ($89 one time fee each), buyabarcode.com ($35 each code plus a set-up fee of $75 with breaks for multiple buys), and upcexpress.com ($99 each, no set-up fee shown).

You could purchase a barcode directly from GS1 US but it is very expensive. It starts at $750 plus a fee based on your projected annual gross revenues. Then you must renew this every year starting at $150 plus more based on that year’s projected revenues.

However there are a few CD duplicating/replicating services which will give you a barcode if you use their service to produce your CDs. Just understand that your barcode will include their manufacturer’s code as the first six digits for the life of your product.

The GS1 US doesn’t approve of this but at this point, according to Megalodon, a replicating service, “it won’t try to stop the practice either.”

Further information can be found on our websites: CD Hunter

 

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CD Duplication – About CD Masters

Posted by Oze Parrot on 7th November 2005

A single or album master is produced from the final stereo mixes created at a recording studio. This CD master will then be used at the pressing plant for a number of duplications. Specialist skills and equipment are required for the production of a CD Master. One needs to be aware of the various aspects of the production process of a CD master.

There are many opinions on how CDs should be mastered, some people prefer that the volume of the CD master should be loud while others feel that it is more important to preserve the natural dynamics of the music. Each method has a different effect on the outcome of how the CDs will sound.

Dynamic CDs have wide dynamics but less volume while loud CDs have more volume resulting in a narrow dynamic range. It is a good idea to instruct the mastering engineer as to whether you want your CD loud, dynamic, or set at a customized level… Read article Here

CD Hunter

 

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CD – DVD Manufacturing, The Steps Involved

Posted by Oze Parrot on 4th November 2005

With the advent of faster computers using modern software, burning a CD or DVD at home will take less than five minutes. However, for commercial duplication, the process is much longer and more complex, involving the use of professional equipment, operated by highly trained technicians.

The duping process involves three stages, each of which contain a number of sub stages.

  • Replication
  • Printing
  • Packaging
  • In the replication process the fist stage is Glass Mastering. This is the most crucial and complicated part of CD and DVD duplication. Skilled technicians use high tech machinery to transfer the client master copy, which is usually a CD-R or a DVD-R one off, to a metallized glass master.

    Glass Mastering is carried out by the replication company in a “Class 1000″ clean room and comprises of a number of processes that produce a metallized glass master from which the stampers are produced.

    1st Stage

    A Glass Master of 200 cm (8 inch) diameter 6mm thick is prepared by stripping the old photo-resist from its surface (the glass blanks are recycled). It is then cleaned and washed using de-ionized water. The blank master is then carefully dried.

    2nd Stage

    The surface of the clean glass master is coated with a 150 microns thick photo-resist layer using a technique called spin coating. The process is then checked for uniformity with an infra red laser.
    The photo-resist layer of the glass master is then hardened by baking it at about 80 degrees Celsius for 30 minutes to make it ready for exposure to laser light.

    3rd stage

    This stage is called laser Beam Recording, the photo resist layer is exposed to a blue gas laser light directly from the source CD. This process exposes the photo-resist where pits will be pressed in the final CD. The glass master-”father”- is then developed to remove the photo-resist creating pits that are metallized by sputtering. The glass master is then played on a Disc Master Player (DMP) to check for error.

    4th Stage

    The final stage a reverse image stamper- “Mother”- is made. High speed hydraulic presses are used to form-press the mother onto the “children” membrane. The membrane contains all the binary data required to play the disc.
    The finished product that the consumer will get is a combination of the child membrane layer, an aluminum layer (which reflects light back into the player) and the polycarbonate outer shell.

    The whole process must be flawless and manufactured under ISO9002 standard procedure.

    Printing

    While the stamper is being created the art department is working on the graphics and design which is also a time consuming factor of CD creation.
    A professional layout program such as: Adobe Illustrator, Quark Express or Adobe InDesign, is used to produce disc face and paper print art work. The art work is made ready to press using either a film image setter or direct to plate process.

    The printing process takes about 24 to 48 hours after final approval of the art work.

    Two methods are used to create film for CD art work, the film positive which is used for silk-screening that will print the disc label and film negative which is used for the paper.
    Another popular method is Direct to plate and is only used for paper art work.

    If a serial number or barcode has to be printed on the CD then an ink jet is used to print the barcode or alphanumeric fonts on the disc.

    Paper Printing

    The paper that slides into the front of the jewel case is known as the “insert”. It is usually a folder or sometimes a booklet. The paper on the back of the jewel case is the tray card. All these papers or cards will be run through an off set press.

    If the CD or DVD is for commercial distribution, UPC bar codes and top spine labels will be needed, top spine labels are the white sticky labels that you see on the top of jewel cases.

    Proofing Options

    There are three stages of proofing that should be performed to minimize the possibility of errors or omissions during the final output stage of the project.

    Stage 1: Composite Printing

    This is simply using the FILE, PRINT command of your layout program to a regular printer. The goal is to look for typos, image alignments and to cut out the panels and insert them into a jewel box to see how the project will look when it has been assembled.

    Stage 2: separations

    Here each color channel of information is printed on a separate sheet of paper. These color separations will provide a reference for the CMYK press.

    Stage 3: Factory final PDFs and or Match proofs

    This is the final proofing stage that the factory will perform before committing to press.

    Assembly / Packaging

    Once very thing is ready packaging is the last step. Here the CD or DVD will be put in their individual jewel cases, top spined, labelled, poly wrapped, bundled, shrink wrapped and boxed.
    This is both a manual and automated process that puts the finishing touches on the product and prepares the order for shipping.

    The complete process takes about two weeks, depending on the size of the order.

    For more details visit our websites at: CD Hunter

     

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    CD Copyrights for your CD and DVD Master

    Posted by Oze Parrot on 30th October 2005

    Copy protection, also known as copy prevention, is any technical measure designed to prevent duplication of information.

    From a technical standpoint, it would seem theoretically impossible to completely prevent users from making copies of the media they purchase, as long as a “writer” is available that can write to blank media.

    The basic technical fact is that all types of media require a “player” such as a CD player, DVD player, or video game console, to give some examples.

    The player has to be able to read the media in order to display it to a human. In turn, then, logically, a player could be built that first reads the media, and then writes out an exact copy of what was read, to the same type of media.

    Even though complete protection from piracy of content is difficult, a person can get copyrights to register a legal claim to the said content. The owner of the product or information is able to enforce a legal proceeding upon breach of copyright law of their CD or DVD compilation.

    Typically, a work must meet minimal standards of originality in order to qualify for a copyright, and the copyright expires after a set period of time if not extended.

    Different countries impose different tests, although generally the requirements are low; in the United Kingdom there has to be some ‘skill, originality and work’ which has gone into it. However, even fairly trivial amounts of these qualities are sufficient for determining whether a particular act of copying constitutes an infringement of the author’s original expression.

    In the United States, copyright has relatively recently been made automatic, which has had the effect of making it more like a property right. Thus, as with property, a copyright need not be granted or obtained through official registration with the government.

    Once such an expression is secured in a fixed medium (such as a music CD, or DVD movie), the copyright holder is prepared to enforce his or her exclusive rights.

    However, while a copyright need not be officially registered for the author to begin exercising their exclusive rights, registration of works does have its benefits: serving as evidence of a valid copyright and enabling the copyright holder to seek statutory damages and attorney’s fees (whereas registering after an infringement only enables one to receive actual damages and profits).

    To get copyrighted for your CD or DVD you will follow these directions:

    1.Register all original work songs, films, scripts, artwork, software, etc. with a Copyright Office. You automatically own the rights to your creation, but registering it with the Copyright Office is the best way to prove and protect your ownership.

    2.Submit a completed an Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) form.

    Include copies of the following licenses:

    - Master Use License (if your audio project contains samples or whole songs of previously released recordings)

    - User Distribution License (if you are using someone else’s software on your disc)

    Note: Owners of all rights to music you use should be credited on your artwork (for music CDs) or in the on-screen credits (for films on DVD).

    For more details visit our websites at: CD Hunter

     

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