View Full Version : making cd's
05-11-2011, 09:22 AM
me and my band have recently finished an album at our home studio, and are now looing to have it printed for sale. We don' want a lot of copies at the moment, say one hundred, as initially we are releasing an EP. In about three to six months we will release the full finished version, and will need around a thousand copies.
What would you guys recommend as the best route for making these cd's? I've been looking into oasis, but is there a better option? I
Whatabout buying the equipment to make them yourselves. Is that cost effective in the long run. I amwilling send a lot of time putting these cd's together, piece by piece if I have to.
Thanks for any and all help! and if there are other threads dedicated to this sort of things feel free to shot me a link. I wasn't sure what to type into the search... :huh
05-11-2011, 09:32 AM
If you're only looking for a 100 or so run, Discmakers does a CDR run with full booklets, printed discs, packaging, shrink wrapping and everything like a normal glass master CD run for like $2 a disc.
05-11-2011, 10:31 AM
I notice your location is Portland Oregon... with that being the case your best bet is CD Forge who are literally in your backyard.
Discmakers is great, Oasis is great, CD Forge is great... I've used all three and continue to use all three. Pricing is competitive as are turn around times and overall quality. No real differences or advantages there IMO.
Basically comes to location and shipping costs. If you've never picked up 1000 discs well... they weigh a lot and take up a lot of space!!! The majority of my Northeast clients use Discmakers & Oasis and if they're in NY metro/PA they'll drive and pick 'em up at the loading dock, save a few hundred on shipping.
There are some differences in specialties among the companies... CD Forge can press vinyl, Dismakers doesn't... but they can do posters & stickers and are more of an overall "merchandising solution" company. So that could be a factor as well.
Yet another thing to consider is tagging and registration... not just a UPC barcode but actually registering your disc in "the matrix" so it can be found. Discmakers & Oasis offer a package that logs your release with Gracenote, Allmusic, CDDB, iTunes, Amazon etc. which you could do yourself for about the same cost the time savings is substantial!
Keep in mind that you'll need to send any of these cats a proper and verified "PMCD" before they can do your run... potentially a whole other topic.
As for short-run and buying a duplicator... well... that's one option and if you foresee doing a bunch of short runs (100-200) every few months over the next few years then its worth considering. Otherwise not so much. You really have to buy materials in bulk to see any savings. To be honest most any of these cats do short runs at a final cost that's almost equal to MY raw materials cost.
And then the thing to ponder is do you want "real" stamped and replicated discs or is the laser cut (burned) duplication good enough? Keeping in mind that duplicated discs don't always work...
No shit, I saw a great band in a local club a few weeks ago... they were handing out free discs (laser cut w/label in paper sleeve) and the thing won't play in ANY player. That's no way to go!!!
05-11-2011, 10:44 AM
Hey thank you for the response! This leaves me with a few questions...
What exactly is tagging and registration? And you emplied you could do this yourself if you went with CD Forge (CD forge does not offer this service correct?). How do you go about doing this, and what is the purpose? And you mentioned something called a PMCD... I'm not sure what that is either.
jmoose, what do you do for a living?Do you make cd's?
I am serious about my work, and want to do a thorough job of marketing it. I am really pleased with how it sounds, and appreciate any advice you may have for getting it out there.
05-11-2011, 06:30 PM
Working backwards... yeah, I've been recording & producing music for well over a decade. I've been playing guitar and other instruments even longer...
What exactly is tagging and registration?
You know how if you take a disc from the store, say a U2 record or whatever and stick it into a player like iTunes or Media Monkey... maybe even your car (if its a fancy new one) all the data comes up automatically? Name of the artist, record, song titles, year, genre etc? That's registration. Its more or less a "watermark" for your release.
There are a few companies who log that information. The big ones are Gracenote and Omniphone, who work together... sort of. Another one is FreeDB. More or less falls under "CDDB" information.
you mentioned something called a PMCD... I'm not sure what that is either.The PMCD is 'pre-master-compact-disc' and is more or less a red book standard CDR. Truthfully you could just about burn a disc with anything, like Roxio or even iTunes, send that off and get discs back but the plants really like to have certain technical criteria met.
A big factor is the PQ encoding... basically a disc index of data that runs next to the audio. When the PMCD or DDP is sent in there should be a log sheet with that information included. Any discrepancy will result in a phone call to the client and/or mastering engineer who cut the disc.
Other information in the subcode are IRSC codes, the UPC, (registration stuff) and CD text which SHOULD NOT be confused with CDDB registration! That's just some of the subcode data...
There are also technical steps which should be noted and followed which will allow the disc to be replicated... otherwise its possible to have the disc rejected by the plant OR get a bunch of wonky platters back. Could be a loud POP at the end of each track, or usually people cut off the heads and tails... drop the the first second of each song etc.
One of the biggest rules is to burn "disc-at-once" rather then "track-at-once" for the master. Going TAC will certainly be rejected 110% of the time. Even DAC can be rejected if the error rate is high enough or other things haven't been addressed.
Often the plant reps can walk you through this stuff... or enlist the services of a good mastering engineer to cut the final disc if you aren't feeling confident.
05-12-2011, 05:53 AM
Thanks Mr Moose. I just learned a lot reading this thread. I've never had c/ds made but am about to emark on a church project this fall and this info will come in really handy. In addition, I can now tell my wife that my time spent goofing around on boards isn't always wasted.
05-12-2011, 02:23 PM
okay so new questions... so with registration, do I have to do that through all three companies, or just one? And about how much does that cost?
As far as the PCMD... can I do that with LOGIC PRO 8? that is the software that I have been using to record the entire CD. My brother actually is the recording guy, but he is mastering the cd himself (we are new to this stuff, but so far it sounds great in my opinion).
"big factor is the PQ encoding... basically a disc index of data that runs next to the audio. When the PMCD or DDP is sent in there should be a log sheet with that information included. Any discrepancy will result in a phone call to the client and/or mastering engineer who cut the disc.
Other information in the subcode are IRSC codes, the UPC, (registration stuff) and CD text which SHOULD NOT be confused with CDDB registration! That's just some of the subcode data..."
I am lost with that stuff... Could you maybe explain the acronyms?
"There are also technical steps which should be noted and followed which will allow the disc to be replicated... otherwise its possible to have the disc rejected by the plant OR get a bunch of wonky platters back. Could be a loud POP at the end of each track, or usually people cut off the heads and tails... drop the the first second of each song etc.
One of the biggest rules is to burn "disc-at-once" rather then "track-at-once" for the master. Going TAC will certainly be rejected 110% of the time. Even DAC can be rejected if the error rate is high enough or other things haven't been addressed."
you mentioned that the plant reps could walk you through this, are you talking about the cd manufacturers that I'd buy from? And do they charge extra for this service?
I like what I'm hearing once I've finished mastering it and put it onto my personal ITUNES account... will it not be the same when I send it in to be made into mass cd's? And how could I better insure the sound quality so I don't lose volume, high end, low end, or get those POPS that you mentioned?
Is this going to be a lot of extra work? :huh
Lot's of questions... I'm sorry, but I really appreciate it
05-12-2011, 06:48 PM
Mr. Moose is simply talking about what a mastering engineer does, which is far more than making it louder. ;-) I haven't used Logic for that purpose, but if it can burn a CD to redbook standard it will be able to handle the coding Moose is referring to.
Submitting to the databases doesn't cost anything.
Itunes and master shouldn't be in the same sentence.
It's not a lot of work, you just either need to know how to do it, pay someone to do it, or take your chances. FWIW, most aren't aware of the pitfalls until something goes wrong, which may be before they have 1000 copies....or after.
Most of this is covered in Bob Katz "Mastering: The Art and the Science" and I'd recommend it for that reason alone. Some of the other text is opinion-based, and it shouldn't be considered "The Bible", so to speak.
05-12-2011, 11:54 PM
Itunes and master shouldn't be in the same sentence.
It's not a lot of work, you just either need to know how to do it, pay someone to do it, or take your chances. FWIW, most aren't aware of the pitfalls until something goes wrong
The only (ONLY!) reason I mentioned iTunes at all was to point out that its almost that easy, but its really NOT that easy at all. If one submitted a master disc that was burned with iTunes it'll almost certainly be rejected by any plant that cares... one that doesn't will send you a bunch of coasters. And then if you complain they'll tell you to take a hike.
Not trying to be short, but the acronyms you're asking about are very standard and can be found in many reputable places, including Wikipedia. You don't necessarily have to buy a book to translate any of it.
If you (or your recording cat) don't understand them then you aren't actually "mastering" at all.
And if that's the case you probably shouldn't risk sending the plant a disc...
Again, I'm not trying to be a jerk but its coming from a place of saving anyone who reads this a lot of trouble and unnecessary headaches and expenses... its not an unfamiliar conversation.
Some of the plants, like Discmakers do offer mastering services... either full-blown or they'll simply take your audio files and create a master that's suitable for replication. I believe they charge $200 for that, to create a master with no audio adjustments and another $50 to add things to subcode like CD Text which is a COMPLETE rip-off!!! Takes maybe 5-10 minutes to enter that data with the right program.
When it comes to the registration stuff, it is possible to save the money but I always recommend paying the $40 or $50 to have it done... sometimes its rolled in with the UPC & ISRC codes. At the very most you shouldn't be charged more then $25 for a bar code... some plants try to get $200 for one. CD Forge has a great FAQ on their site about that stuff. Replication is the last stop for a record and IMO, after all the other expenses and energy suck that goes into the important aspects of a record I'd much rather let them do it.
Think of it this way, when you buy a car it has to be registered with the DMV right? Plate fees and all that jazz? Either you can pay the dealer or you can DIY and save the equivalent of a case of beer... how much is your time worth? Especially since you just bought a car, does that last $20 really matter? Hell no!
05-13-2011, 07:50 AM
Yeh i agree with jmoose...i do a little bit of psuedo-mastering myself from time to time, but its generally when i'm making CDs to just give out for free. I have Logic Pro 9, but when it comes to "mastering" itself, its capable of some of the work, but IMO you need Wavelabs, Soundforge or even Adobe Audition where you can adjust DC Offset, burn to redbook, zoom in quite a bit to make sure there's no over's etc etc... to start to get close to a proper mastering job. Essentially the way i look at it, if you wanna make money from it, send the mix out to be mastered and sent along from there. If you just wanna send demo's out for free, then maybe try mastering yourself, but its a bit of a hit and a miss unless you really know what you're doing...
05-13-2011, 12:59 PM
but IMO you need Wavelabs, Soundforge or even Adobe Audition where you can adjust DC Offset, burn to redbook,
Not sure about those other programs, but unless they made significant changes to the latest version of Soundforge it can't burn a redbook CD. I do a lot of editing with SF and have been using it since version 4, way back in like 1997 or so and love it but its NOT for burning a master.
You can burn discs with Soundforge but there's no provisions at all for entering subcode information. Can't even adjust crossfades and track spacing unless you starting hacking away and guessing at what's going to come out on the other end... not the right program for that.
05-14-2011, 09:30 AM
Cd Architect by Sony is a great program for making masters.
corn husk bag
05-14-2011, 09:46 AM
Best, cheapest, fastest.
05-14-2011, 11:08 AM
Presonus Studio One Pro DAW can burn a Redbook CD as well. I also have Sound Forge Pro 10 which came with CD Architect.
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