Best methods of supplying masters for duplication

Here is some useful advice on the best method of supplying masters for duplication or replication orders. The two main formats of optical disc are CD and DVD and there are various methods of supplying masters for manufacture.

In this article lets consider CD, the most common use of this format is for audio, usually in the form of an album release. Traditionally the most common method of master supply is a CD-R master or PMCD. This master should be prepared very carefully so that errors are not present within the master. The most common errors are usually the result of cheap media being used or burning the audio too fast. A simple rule is to purchase the best quality audio specific media available and to then burn at a low speed, most burning applications allow the record speed to be adjusted. This pyhsical master is certainly still a suitable method of supplying content for manufacture.

An alternative way to supply a master for replication is a DDP fieleset, this method is becoming more popular due to the ability to transfer the files electronically via the internet. A DDP fileset can be output from professional mastering applications directly to your hard drive. This direct output will bypass the need to burn a PMCD so also negates some of the potential errors that can be introduced. Most manufacturers and pressing plants will accept a DDP fileset via the internet as long as it contains a checksum. This checksum is essential to validate the successful transfer of data and that no loss or corruption has occurred. This electronic method of supplying a master is a also a suitable option and if carried out correctly there is less chance of errors.

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