Posted by Oze Parrot on October 28th, 2005
CD Duplication in its purest definition means to copy CDs.
A CD Duplicator is a device that burns (writes) CD-R discs. Simple units contain two drives and require manual loading. Professional units can continually burn 50 or more discs automatically.
CD duplication involves the pressing of music, audio or image files on professionally manufactured discs. CDs can contain either music, spoken word or images, and tracks can be inserted to segment the content and easily skip through to the desired selection.
The most common speed for CD writers is 52X, where 1X is equal to 150KB per second. Therefore a fully loaded CD-ROM with 650MB, will take about 85 seconds for a 52X writer to complete the burning. The formula is: 650 x 1024 / 150 x 52 = 85.
All duplicators available on the market today can do direct reader to writer duplication, however you must consider that the reader will gradually wear out and the data transfer will become unreliable.
Let’s say that you had to burn 500 CDs from a 1-to-7 duplicator, the reader will have to read the disc to be duplicated, 72 times. The more the reader reads, the faster the optical head ages. As the laser head ages, it will be more difficult for the reader to read data from the CD master. When the same CD can be read on one computer but not on another generally the cause is an aging laser head that fails to read certain segments of data.
The solution to this is to store the CD masters on an internal hard drive. This way the reader will only need to read once and the data transfer from a hard drive to the writer is much more reliable.
There are certain things to consider before burning your CD-R Master disc.
If you intend to use any previously published material, make sure that you have the publishers permission to use their copyrighted material, even if it is only a snippet in the background.
The market place is full of cheap, inferior quality CD-R discs and it is wise to choose a high-quality “Mastering” CD-R that is specifically manufactured for professional applications.
While some CD-R discs can accommodate 700 MB or around 80 minutes of music, professionally replicated CD-R discs can only hold a maximum of 650 MB or about 74 minutes of audio. Make sure that you don’t choose an 80-minute CD-R for your master. When you submit your master CD to be professionally duplicated, if it runs for more than 74 minutes then certain data will probably be omitted.
When creating your CD-R master, it is extremely important that your burn speed be set as slow as possible. While most recording studios adopt this technique, many individuals are surprised to learn that in order to get the most consistent CD master, you must burn at 2x or slower. Burning at 1x is highly recommended for the best results.
Carefully listen to or inspect the data contained on your master before presenting it for duplication as each and every duplicate will be identical to your CD master. The volume and spacing of data and songs will be exactly as it is on your master. Make sure that there is no digital distortion, audio glitches or any other abnormality that could end up on your finished discs.
To insure that your CD master is perfect, it is prudent to run it on another computer and listen to it on two different stereo’s through speakers and headphones.
When you are satisfied that your CD master is perfect, you are ready to send it to a studio for duplication, but before you do that, make a copy of your master piece on your hard drive.
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