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General Replication Questions

What’s the difference between replication and duplication?
What kinds of discs can you manufacture?
How long will it take to manufacture my order?
What is a catalogue number?
What is a glass master?
Who are the PRS for Music?
Do I have to register my pressings with the PRS for Music?
What are ISRC codes and do I need them?

 

Questions about CD

How do I make a finished CD master?
Can I make my CD master in iTunes?
What is the maximum duration of a CD?
What is the maximum amount of data I can put on a CD?
Will my song titles appear when I put my CD into a computer?

 

Questions about DVD

What is the difference between DVD5, DVD9 and DVD10?
What are NTSC and PAL?
What is DVD authoring?
How do I make a finished DVD master?
What is the maximum amount of data I can get on a DVD?

 

Questions about Vinyl

What is rpm?
What are lacquers?
What is metal work?
What is DMM (Direct Metal Mastering) and how would it improve my vinyl pressing?
What is the maximum duration of a 7” record?
What is the maximum duration of a 10” record?
What is the maximum duration of a 12” record?
Is there any audio quality loss if I go for 33 1/3rpm rather than 45rpm?

 

Questions about Artwork & Packaging

What software should I use to layout my artwork?
What resolution does my artwork have to be?
What are CTP templates?
What is the pasteboard?
What is bleed?
Do I need a barcode?
What does 4/0, 4/1, 4/4 mean?
Can I use spot colours?
What are overs and unders?

 

Question About Payment

What payment methods do you accept?
Can I open a credit account?
What is your company VAT number?
What is your company registration number?

 

GENERAL REPLICATION QUESTIONS

What’s the difference between replication and duplication?

Disc Replication (or pressed discs) is a process of production where your data is pressed into the surface of the disc. A standard replicated disc has a silver coloured underside.

Duplicated discs (or burned discs) encode your data onto the disc by burning microscopic holes into the dye layer of a recordable CD or DVD. They usually have a tinted coloured underside, often green, blue or purple.
Replication is much more cost effective for orders of over 500 discs; duplication is the better option for smaller orders requiring a faster turnaround. To help you decide which option would work best for you, call our Sales Department on: 020 8691 2121

 

What kinds of discs can you manufacture?

CD Audio, CD-ROM (PC, Mac, or hybrid), Enhanced CD, DVD-Audio, Single layer DVD (DVD5),
Dual-layer DVD (DVD9), Double sided DVD (DVD10), CD-R, DVD-R, 7” Vinyl, 10” Vinyl, 12” Vinyl, Heavyweight Vinyl, Coloured Vinyl, Lasered Vinyl and many more. We manufacture every commercially released format of disc every day; if you would like to know more contact our Sales Department on 020 8691 2121.

 

How long will it take to manufacture my order?

The standard turnaround for CD and DVD pressings is approximately 10-12 working days, vinyl, including test pressings is approximately 20 working days; however these turnaround times do increase during busy periods. We suggest you contact us in advance of placing your order to make sure your order will arrive for when you need it.

 

What is a catalogue number?

A catalogue number is the identification number a record label assigns to a release. It is used for tracking purposes by both the label and the distributor. Catalogue numbers are typically printed on the spine and back of the packaging and on the disc itself.

There are not any rules as to how a label decides to set its catalogue numbers, but once you develop a system, it makes sense to stick with it. Catalogue numbers typically include both numbers and letters - often some portion of the record label name combined with numbers that signify the number of the release for that label.

 

What is a glass master?

Creating a glass master is the first stage of CD and DVD production. The reason why it is called a glass master is because the information is copied onto a special chemical coating on a circular block of glass. The block of glass is actually much larger than a CD and DVD (they are typically 240mm in diameter and 6mm deep) to facilitate handling and to avoid the sensitive data area from being touched or damaged.

The glass master is polished until it is ultra smooth as even microscopic scratches can affect the quality of the discs being produced.

 

Who are the PRS for Music?

The PRS for Music (formerly the Performing Right Society) is a royalty collection society that was founded in 1914. The organisation was formed in 1997 as the MCPS-PRS Alliance to bring together two collection societies: the Mechanical-Copyright Protection Society (MCPS) and Performing Right Society (PRS). The PRS for Music brand was adopted in 2009.

When a piece of music is registered with PRS for Music it will allow a songwriter, composer or publisher to begin earning money when it is used. The organisation currently looks after about 10 million pieces of music. By joining PRS for Music a member will ensure they will be paid whenever their music is used. This could be when music is used on a radio station, a TV program or advert or any business using music they’ve created such as shops and offices.

Mechanical rights royalties are different, and are paid to the songwriter, composer or publisher when music is reproduced as a physical product, for broadcast or online.

 

Do I have to register my pressings with the PRS for Music?

If the music contained on your records contains copyrighted music (including covers) then you will need to apply for a pressings license with the PRS for Music before we manufacture your discs, for more details visit the PRS for Music website at: http://www.prsformusic.com

 

What are ISRC codes and do I need them?

The ISRC (International Standard Recording Code) is the international identification system for sound recordings and music video recordings. Each ISRC is a unique and permanent identifier for a specific recording that can be permanently encoded into a product as its digital fingerprint. Encoded ISRC provide the means to automatically identify recordings for royalty payments.

The International Federation of the Phonographic Industry (IFPI) recommends that all music producers use ISRC. We can add ISRC codes to your CDs in our in-house CD mastering studio, contact our Sales Department for more details.

 

QUESTIONS ABOUT CD

 

How do I make a finished CD master?

We recommend your CD masters are either created in professional CD mastering software or are prepared by a professional CD mastering studio. If you would like to know more about our mastering services, contact our Sales Department.

 

Can I make my CD master in iTunes?

Although it is possible to make your CD master in iTunes it is not recommended. There can be a potential reduction in audio quality, iTunes also doesn’t allow the addition of other important hidden data like ISRC codes and CD-Text.

 

What is the maximum duration of a CD?

The recommended maximum duration of a CD is 74 minutes, however this can be exceeded to 79 minutes 54 seconds but some CDs made with higher durations may not play on all CD players. If you wish to manufacture discs over 74 minutes a disclaimer will need to be signed.

 

What is the maximum amount of data I can put on a CD?

The recommended maximum amount of data that can be put onto a CD is 650Mb, however this can be exceeded to 700Mb but some discs that contain more that 650Mb may not read in all CD drives. If you wish to manufacture discs over 650Mb a disclaimer will need to be signed.

 

Will my song titles appear when I put my CD into a computer?

When album information is displayed on a computer, it's a result of your CD being registered in an online database (also known as Gracenote). A similar but different technology is that of CD-TEXT, which shows album information that is actually encoded on your supplied master disc. CD-TEXT will only display on players that support it. The most common CD-TEXT capable players available today are modern car stereos. We can add CD-TEXT for you at an additional cost.

If you would like to know more about Gracenote visit their website at: http://www.gracenote.com

 

QUESTIONS ABOUT DVD

 

What is the difference between DVD5, DVD9 and DVD10?

DVD5, also called Single Sided Single Layered will hold around 4.38GB of data or 133 minutes of high quality MPEG-2 encoded video, together with three surround-sound audio channels and four subtitle channels. Other combinations of video and audio can be used using different compression rates.

DVD9, also called dual layer or double layer DVDs have a capacity of around 8.5GB. In dual layer DVD9 discs, two layers of standard DVD5 are joined together with a transparent spacer and a thin reflector between the two. The bottom layer is read and written to in exactly the same manner as DVD5. The laser then focuses a fraction of a millimeter beyond the first recorded layer to read and write the second layer.

DVD10 is a two-sided disc that can hold 8.75 gigabytes of data with 4.38 gigabytes on each side. Effectively this means that DVD10 is a dual-sided DVD5. Two-sided discs need to be flipped over in order to access the other data side. This is popular with some customers as it enables them to include both NTSC and PAL versions of a release on the same disc.

 

What are NTSC and PAL?

NTSC is a standard used in North America and Japan. It has the ability to display up to 525 lines of resolution. PAL a standard used almost everywhere else in the world, has the ability to display 625 lines of resolution.

Almost every area of the world has a mixture of video standards. Unfortunately, none of these standards are compatible with each other. However there are now many DVD players that have the ability to play both NTSC and PAL DVDs.

 

What is DVD authoring?

DVD authoring is the process of adding graphics and interactive content to an audiovisual DVD. This might include an opening logo, main menu page, index, or scene selection. It can also incorporate audio options such as two-channel stereo or 5-channel surround sound, multiple video formats, and other features. DVD authoring is usually only used on audiovisual DVDs and not on music discs.

Many DVD authoring software packages are available for you to do this process yourself. However if you would like to use a professional authoring house contact our Sales Department who are happy to recommend one to you.

 

How do I make a finished DVD master?

We can only accept DVD-R or DLT DVD masters. If you want to supply DVD-Rs for either DVD9 or DVD10 then we will require a separate DVD for each layer of the disc.

To ensure your masters are supplied without errors you need to use professional authoring software. Alternatively a professional authoring studio can create a master for you. Contact our Sales Department and we will recommend one to you.

 

What is the maximum amount of data I can get on a DVD?

DVD5 – approximately 4.38GB of data.
DVD9 – approximately 8.5GB of data.
DVD10 – approximately 8.75 gigabytes of data with 4.38 gigabytes on each side.

 

QUESTIONS ABOUT VINYL

 

What is rpm?

RPM is an abbreviation of revolutions per minute and is the rotational speed at which a record is played. The two current standards are 33 1/3rpm and 45rpm, 33 1/3rpm allows for a longer duration of music on a record because the grooves in the record are closer together, however 45rpm allows for better audio quality.

 

What are lacquers?

From the supplied master we make a lacquer cut. This is an aluminum disc with a nitrocellulose layer that the audio is cut into with a lathe.

Each lacquer is single sided so two must be cut for a regular two sided record.

 

What is metal work?

Creating the metal work, also known as plating or galvanics is the next step of the process; from this the stampers that are used to press the records are produced.

The lacquer with the groove is sprayed with silver, which forms a layer. The silver coated lacquer is then put into an electro-forming bath which bonds a nickel layer to the silver. The nickel layer is then separated from the lacquer and a first master is ready. This master is called the negative.

From the negative a positive is made, the negative is put in the electro-forming bath and a nickel layer forms on its surface. After this the two layers are separated, leaving not only the original negative but also a positive. The negative is a back-up copy that is archived.

From the positive, the stampers are produced, again in the same electro-forming bath. The stamper is a negative, each record needs two stampers, one for the A side and one for the B side. In this way we are able to develop more than one set of stampers from the same lacquer. The stampers are used on the presses to physically press the grooves in the vinyl. We can press approximately 1000 to 1500 records with one set of stampers.

 

What is DMM (Direct Metal Mastering) and how will it improve my vinyl pressing?

Direct Metal Mastering is a vinyl record manufacturing technology. Records manufactured with this technology are often marked by a "DMM" logo on the outer record sleeve.

The cutting lathe for DMM engraves the audio signal directly onto a copper-plated master disc, instead of engraving the groove into a lacquer-coated aluminum disc.

By eliminating the pre and post echo that sometimes occurs in the standard mastering process and also improving the noise reduction, DMM allows for a much better sound quality from your finished records.

 

What is the maximum duration of a 7” record?

For a 7” record pressed at 45prm the recommended maximum duration is 4 minutes per side. This can be increased to a maximum of 5 minutes per side but then a loss of quality may occur, particularly in the low frequencies and stereo width.

At 33 1/3rpm the maximum recommended duration is 5 minutes per side. This can be pushed to a maximum of 6 minutes per side, but the sound quality will again deteriorate.

 

What is the maximum duration of a 10” record?

For a 10” record pressed at 45prm the recommended maximum duration is 6 minutes per side. This can be increased to a maximum of 8 minutes per side but then a loss of quality may occur, particularly in the low frequencies and stereo width.

At 33 1/3rpm the maximum recommended duration is 7 minutes per side. This can be pushed to a maximum of 9 minutes per side, but the sound quality will again deteriorate.

 

What is the maximum duration of a 12” record?

For a 12” single pressed at 45prm the recommended maximum duration is 8 minutes per side. This can be increased to a maximum of 10 minutes per side but then a loss of quality may occur, particularly in the low frequencies and stereo width.

At 33 1/3rpm the maximum recommended duration is 10 minutes per side. This can be pushed to a maximum of 12 minutes per side, but the sound quality will again deteriorate.

A 12” LP at 33 1/3rpm maximum recommended duration is 22 minutes per side, this can be pushed to 30 minutes, but the sound quality will again deteriorate.

 

Is there any audio quality loss if I go for 33 1/3rpm rather than 45rpm?

The 45rpm speed is inherently superior to 33 1/3 in its capability for extended frequency response. However, 33 1/3 records proved adequate for the most demanding recordings.

According to some, the 45rpm format sounds better, where as other listeners say they can’t tell the difference.

 

QUESTIONS ABOUT ARTWORK & PACKAGING

 

What software should I use to layout my artwork?

Although it is possible to layout your artwork in other programs, we recommend using either Adobe InDesign or QuarkXpress. These are the industry standard professional layout software programs and are the easiest programs to use to create error free print ready PDF files.

 

What resolution does my artwork have to be?

For an image to print properly, the image must be at least 300 dots per inch (dpi) at the final output size to guarantee acceptable printing results. If your file is not 300 dpi, you can not simply increase the dpi from a low resolution to a higher one by increasing the DPI in your imaging program as this will blur your images.

 

What are CTP templates?

Computer to plate is imaging technology used in modern printing processes. In this technology, a file created in a Desktop Publishing application (ie QuarkXpress or InDesign) is output as a PDF to be used directly for a printing plate.

This compares with the older technology, where the computer file was output onto a photographic film. This film was then used to make a printing plate.

 

What is the pasteboard?

The pasteboard is the size of the whole template including the white areas around the outside. The pasteboard needs to be a specific size for the printers to accept it as all sizes are created specifically to help batch artwork when printing. To find the correct pasteboard size for the template you are using, open the pdf version of the template in Acrobat Reader and hover your cursor in the bottom left corner of the window. A size should appear.

If you are using a QuarkXpress or InDesign template, the pasteboard should automatically be correct when exporting as a PDF as long as you do not select any form of registration or printer marks. If you are setting up artwork in Illustrator or Photoshop you will need to create a new file to the exact size first, then drop the PDF template in as an image before laying your artwork over the top.

 

What is bleed?

Bleed is a printing term that refers to printing that goes beyond the edge of the sheet after trimming. The bleed is the part on the side of your document that gives the printer that small amount of tolerance when folding and trimming your paper parts. It prevents the appearance of a white line around your product.

The required bleed for your artwork is 3mm from where the cut is to be made.

 

Do I need a barcode?

To sell your product in retail stores, you will need a barcode. We can give you information on how to obtain a unique barcode that can be tracked by any distributor or retailer inventory system. For more details contact our Sales Department.

 

What does 4/0, 4/1 and 4/4 mean?

These numbers represent the numbers of colours on each side of your print piece. Full colour printing is made from 4 inks: Cyan (C), Magenta (M), Yellow (Y), and Black (K) and is represented by 4. The number 1 represents one colour which could be black only (grayscale) or a special PMS (pantone) colour. A blank side or no printing is represented by 0. Thus 4/0 would signify full colour printing on the front side with the backside being blank. 4/1 means full colour front and black (or a PMS) on the back. 4/4 means full colour on both sides.

 

What are, and can I use spot (PMS/Pantone) colours?

In offset printing, a spot colour is any other special colour, other than cyan, magenta, yellow and black.

Offset technicians around the world use the term spot color to mean any colour generated by a non-standard offset ink; such as metallic, fluorescent, spot varnish, or pantone colours.

We are happy to print your artwork with spot colours but all files will need to be supplied print ready. If you require help setting up your artwork with pantone colours then our Design Department can help, contact our Sales Department for details.

 

What are overs and unders?

Depending on the number of units lost to quality control, your final total can vary slightly. Throughout the industry, it is customary for the customer to be aware of the potential of there being up to 5% more or less discs and 10% more print produced.

If you order 1,000 units – to allow for damages we will automatically produce and charge for an order of 1,100 units of print. If after the discs are packed we happen to be slightly under your ordered quantity, which is rare, we are happy to refund you the difference once your order is shipped.

 

QUESTION ABOUT PAYMENT

 

What payment methods do you accept?

We accept the following payment methods:
Bank Transfer
Cheque made payable to Sound Performance Ltd.
Debit/Credit Cards incl AMEX - a 5% processing fee is applied to all credit card transactions
Cash Payment
We do not accept PayPal

We require cleared payment on all orders before we can start your job so if paying by cheque please allow time for it to clear.

 

Can I open a credit account?

If you are a regular customer we are happy to discuss the possibility of you opening a credit account with us. For more details contact our Sales Department.

 

What is your company VAT number?

Our VAT number is: 945658577

 

What is your company registration number?

Our company registration number is: 2892752