Archive for March, 2010


Mastering for CD Duplication

Tuesday, March 30th, 2010

With all the advances in high quality home studio plug ins, additional mastering for CD duplication is becoming less of a requirement. Most of our customers supply masters that are acceptable for the CD duplication or replication manufacturing process. Most modern CD burning software applications now automatically write CDs to the Philips red book specification making them suitable for use as a production master.

There are simple procedures that can help to ensure you produce a “good” master for CD duplication. Firstly try to use a bona-fide professional version of your chosen software application, often many free, trial or lite versions omit essential coding from the burning process. Also always use a high quality CD-R specifically for CD audio, cheap data CD-Rs from your local supermarket are usually low quality and not good more mastering purposes. Discs such as Sony CD-R for audio or other quality brands such as Verbatim are more suitable for masters.

When you burn your master do not burn at highest speed settings, if you are using a good CD burning application there should be an option to choose the speed at which the disc is burnt. A good setting for masters is usually around 4x speed. Also check for settings such as CD text, DAO and ISRC to make sure all the correct coding is embedded to the master.

Once you have burnt your master handle it with great care. Do not allow the underside of the disc to get scratched or damaged and keep the CD away from strong sunlight which has harmful UV light that can damage the chemical layers within the CD-R. Check the master on a few different players to make sure it performs exactly as intended. Once you are happy with master make sure you place it in some good packaging to avoid the disc getting damaged on its way to the manufacturer.

Speedy turnaround times for CD duplication

Monday, March 29th, 2010

One of the most common enquiries we receive is the request on turnaround times for CD duplication. Duplication can actually be achieved very quickly, around 1 hour for 100 discs. The discs also have to be printed and timescale depends on type of print required. For simple black text print 100 discs can be printed in around 20 mins whereas full colour CD printing can take around 2 hours.

The overall leadtime for CD duplication is critical on how customers submit their orders and artwork. If we receive a package that contains all the relevant information together with print ready disc artwork and suitable production master then we can usually process the order within a few hours. As soon as we have processed the order we will email PDF proofs and a pro forma invoice. If the customer then approves artwork and makes prompt payment it is usual that production can actually proceed the same day that the order is received.

For speedy processing and fastest turnaround of CD and DVD duplication orders always supply the following:

Suitable CD artwork
Suitable production ready PMCD master
Order form or purchase order.
CD duplication order title.
Delivery address.
Telephone number.
Email address.
Catalogue number.

The main issue that delays us processing orders is unsuitable artwork. For over 50% of received orders we will have to reject CD and paper parts artwork and ask customer to re-supply. Another factor that slows down processing of orders is lack of order and specification information. Many customers supply discs with no title or catalogue number and no delivery details. This results in us having to chase the customer for sufficient information before we can even enter the order on our system.

Disc colour modes for CD duplication

Sunday, March 28th, 2010

When designing artwork there are various colour modes for CD duplication disc print. It is essential to supply artwork in the correct colour mode depending on the type of print used.

For short run orders of less than 500 discs CD duplication is available with a choice of black text, grayscale or full colour thermal print.

For CD black text print artwork should be in grayscale mode with all text as 100% solid black. For best results use of bold fonts is recommended.

If you require shades of black including hi resolution graphics and photos then thermal grayscale print is suitable. CD artwork should be supplied in grayscale mode.

Full colour thermal print for duplication can handle all graphics and photos. Designs must be supplied in CMYK mode. Please ensure designs do not include any RGB images.

Moving on to CD replication for larger orders the two main print options are spot pantone colour and CMYK full colour.

For spot colour screenprint it is essential that all colours are defined correctly within the file as spot pantone separations. CMYK designs are not suitable for spot colour screenprint. To check if your colours are defined correctly use the output preview tool in acrobat to view the colour separations. All colours should be pantone solid coated and there should be no CMYK content in the output preview window.

For CD replication with full colour print we usually use white base + CMYK offset litho print. Offset litho can reproduce all high resolution graphics and photographs containing full colour. Again all content of the design must be CMYK. Acrobat output preview can be used to check that the artwork is entirely CMYK and that no content is in RGB.

Artwork Bleed For CD Duplication Booklets

Friday, March 26th, 2010

One of the main reasons we have to reject artwork for CD duplication is due to designs not having suitable bleed. All designs for commercial print require bleed, whether it be CD duplication booklets, flyers or packaging. Bleed ensures that no visible white markings end up around the edges of the final print by compensating for any cut tolerance during print finishing.

All print finishing equipment such as guillotines, folders and perforators have what is referred to as a tolerance. This tolerance is a very small amount of play or movement that can occur under operating. It is very hard to make a cut in stacks of CD duplication booklets or other paper at the exact same place on each sheet. Due to machine tolerance and the fact that stacks of print can be uneven it is widely accepted that the cut could be up to a millimetre in difference between each sheet.

This tolerance is why bleed is so important. Artwork bleed is usually an extra 2-3mm of the artwork so that a millimetre tolerance of the print finishing will not be visible on the final print.

All Testa-Rossa CD duplication artwork templates incorporate an area of 3mm bleed. On most of our templates the bleed needs to extent up the red dotted lines. This means that all graphics and background images need to extend by an extra 3mm up to this bleed marking.

Any artwork that we receive that does not have 3mm bleed will be rejected by our reprographics department. So to save time and potential artwork re-supply charges always ensure that you include 3mm bleed in your artwork and designs.

CD Duplication Artwork Copyright

Wednesday, March 17th, 2010

Here is the third article relating to CD duplication copyright issues. In the first two articles we covered the intellectual property and sound recording copyright issues. For most CD duplication UK orders there is usually a third copyright factor you will need to consider. This is the artwork copyright.

If you are having your album duplicated or replicated and you have designed all parts of artwork yourself then you have the right to copy this artwork onto your CD album booklets and inlays. In this instance you are the artwork copyright owner.

If parts of your artwork are not original and you have used artwork libraries such as istockphoto you are not the sole copyright owner of the artwork and you must seek copyright permissions from all copyright owners. With libraries such as istockphoto there are usually various purchase options dependent on what you are using the library artwork for. For commercial use you will need to make sure you select the correct option and payment which in effect provides you with a “license” or permission to make copies or print the artwork for commercial purposes such as CD sales.

If your CD duplication order involves the licensing of sound recordings from 3rd party record labels you should also check whether you have the rights to use the record labels logo and the corresponding artwork for the track. Many licensing arrangements with record labels will include the necessary permission to “copy” or print the artwork but you should always check your licensing agreement or contract.

So we have now covered the 3 main copyrights required to manufacture your album by means of duplication or replication. Always be certain that you have the required IPR, sound recording and artwork copyright permissions in place before proceeding with CD manufacture.

CD Duplication Sound Recording Copyright

Tuesday, March 16th, 2010

In Our previous CD duplication article we looked at copyright issues involving IPR. Today we are looking at the Sound recording copyright.

The sound recording copyright is usually controlled by the owner of the sound recording. If you are an artist who has recorded a track in your own studio or you have hired a studio then this would usually make you the owner of the sound recording. In this scenario you have the right to manufacture or “copy” the recording by means of CD replication or duplication.

If you are an artist who has signed a recording deal usually all sound recording copyrights are then owned by the record company for a fixed term. The record company has all rights to manufacture, duplicate or replicate CD copies of the sound recordings.

If you are looking to place an order for CD duplication you need to either own the sound recordings or seek permission from the sound recording copyright owners. Collection agencies such as PPL can often help trace the sound recording copyright owners but any necessary copyright permissions will usually need to be granted directly from the copyright owner.

There is also the scenario where a sound recording is “out of copyright”. In these circumstances it may not be necessary to seek any copyright permissions, again agencies such as PPL should be able to advise on such issues.

So far we have covered the 2 main copyright issues, Intellectual property rights and sound recording rights. We will also look at copyrights relating to artwork and logos in our next article.

Copyright Advice For CD Duplication

Tuesday, March 16th, 2010

Before proceeding with a CD duplication order it is wise to consider whether you have all the necessary copyright permissions in place to manufacture or duplicate the discs. We can offer some basic copyright advice for CD duplication orders.

Firstly, if you are the owner of the entire contents of the disc and artwork then you are in theory the copyright owner and you can proceed to copy, duplicate or replicate the contents and artwork. However if any part of the disc content or artwork is owned or controlled by a third party you will need to obtain relevant copyright permissions.

The 3 main elements of copyright involved in CD duplication or replication are:

1, Intellectual rights
2, Sound recording rights
3, Artwork rights

Intellectual rights involves the writers of the song and music content of the disc. Writers will usually assign their intellectual rights to a publisher and/or a collection society such as MCPS. If you are the sole writer of the disc contents and you have not assigned your intellectual rights then you do not need to obtain any copyright permissions in relation to the IPR (Intellectual Property Rights). Most writers/publishers will register their works with an agency such as MCPS and in this case you will need to apply for an MCPS license to manufacture known as an AFL. If you are performing a “cover version” for manufacture again the MCPS can usually grant a manufacturing license.

We will look at the copyright element “Sound Recording” in the next article.

Approving Artwork For CD Duplication.

Friday, March 12th, 2010

An important part of the CD duplication process is approving artwork for the disc and packaging print. When we have received suitable artwork to correct dimensions and specification our reprographics department process the artwork ready for final print. Once artwork has been processed we will email copies of the print ready PDFs for approval.

Customers should check the PDF content proofs very carefully to ensure all content is correct before proceeding with the CD duplication and print. Specific issues to check for include:

Is all text being displayed in the correct fonts?
Is all text copy correct?
Are page numbers and pagination correct?
Are all punctuation marks displayed correctly?
Are colour modes and spot pantone colours defined correctly?
Is white or silver base correctly specified for the disc print?
Are all CD or DVD logos displayed correctly?
Is artwork aligned correctly with crop marks?
Are all text areas at least 3mm away from trim?
Are any gloss or matt finishing options specified?

The PDF proofs are intended as a final check for all of the above. PDF proofs are not accurate for colour, brightness or contrast. A computer monitor displays colour using RGB mode whereas physical print is either CMYK or pantone colour. Therefore the colours displayed on a computer monitor can never be 100% accurate to the final printed matter. Also the fact that every individual will have their monitor calibrated slightly differently means that a PDF viewed on one computer monitor may look completely different in colour to the same PDF viewed on another computer monitor.

When approving artwork by PDF the customer must do so on the understanding that there will be colour variance between PDFs viewed on a RGB monitor and the final CMYK printed parts. If you have artwork that is colour critical we would always recommend a 100% colour accurate hard copy proof such as Sherpa or Agfa proofing. Colour accurate proofs are available from our print suppliers at a cost of £30 per A3 sheet.

Save Valuable Time With CD Duplication

Thursday, March 11th, 2010

OK, so you have a couple of hundred clients or company staff that you need to get large data documents to fast. Solution, burn the data to CD and send out in the post, sounds a great idea. However burning the discs on the office PC could potentially take a couple of days. Save valuable time with CD Duplication services from a professional duplicator.

Most CD duplication companies can duplicate a couple of hundred discs in just a few hours together with fantastic quality on body disc print. The prices charged by most duplication companies are often far less than the cost of burning and printing your own discs at home or in the office. So make the sensible choice and have a company such as Testa-Rossa produce the discs for you, thus saving time and money.

On certain products Testa-Rossa offer 24 hour turnaround so the discs can be with you or your customer by the next working day. Simply post out your master disc and artwork, preferably Special Delivery and for orders received before 9AM it is often possible to produced the duplicated discs and despatch on the same day.

For fastest turnaround times we recommend CD duplication in a plastic wallet or clear clam shell. This means that your disc artwork and information are visible through the clear packaging which eliminates the need for any printed paper or card inlays. Again saving money and reducing leadtimes.

Making Right Decision For CD Duplication

Tuesday, March 2nd, 2010

When considering CD Duplication services there are several different options to consider to ensure you make the right decision. First of all what quantity do you require? If you require less than 500 discs then CD duplication is usually the preferable option although once you require 450 or above CD replication is usually going to be a better option. Duplicated discs are discs that have the data burnt onto the CD-R in a similar way to how you burn or write a CD in your computers DVD writer. Replicated discs are discs that are manufactured with the data already embedded or pressed into the disc itself.

The next factor to consider is how quickly do you need the discs. If you are working to extremely tight deadlines then CD duplication will normally be the only option. 500 duplicate CD’s can be burnt in a 24 hour period depending on the companies capacity. You could theoretically use this fast turnaround duplication to produce a run of 1000 or more discs however costs would be a lot higher than using replication. For orders of 450+ discs replication does work out cheaper per unit however leadtime is going to be around 7 days or 10 days if the order includes packaging and printed paper parts.

Another factor is what the CD’s are being used for. If the CD is an album release to full retail standard then replication will always give a more professional product. We are often asked if audio on a duplicated disc sounds any different in quality to audio on a replicated disc and the answer is no. However if you were to store each album for a long period, let’s say 20 years. After this time period a replicated disc would still play exactly the same but there is a chance a duplicated disc may not play at all after such a long time. This is due to the fact that duplication relies on a photo sensitive dye within the plastic that holds the information. These dyes can deteriorate with time, especially if exposed to UV light or sunlight. So if you need a long “shelf life” for your discs always go for replication. If however the data you need to distribute is for short term use then duplicated discs are always going to be a more cost effective solution for smaller order quantities.

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