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Overview of the issues involved in the CD production and manufacturing process

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  1. 1. CD Production Basics
  2. 2. Replication vs. Duplication: There are two ways to manufacture CDs for distribution. • Replication OR Duplication Replication • Higher quality product • Replication--the process used by professional record labels • Discs are made from scratch • Stamped in an injection molding machine • More labor intensive • Larger runs required: 500 minimum
  3. 3. Replication vs. Duplication: There are two ways to manufacture CDs for distribution. Duplication • Lower quality • Duplication--for home use and inexpensive promotional copies • Existing discs are burned with lasers • Faster and easier process • No minimums required
  4. 4. Before You Begin: Budget and Schedule • BUDGET: Typical expenses to consider • Mastering • Graphic Design • Replication costs– per unit • Price breaks- usually at 500, 1000+ units • Color printing more expensive than B&W • Printing on CD? • Packaging– jewel case? Spine & Bar Code printing? Polywrap? Tray card?
  5. 5. Before You Begin: Budget and Schedule •SCHEDULE: Typical timing issues to consider • Mastering- 2 days to several weeks • Graphic Design- 1 week+ • Replication- at least 15 business days • Project Planning tool- Gantt Chart
  6. 6. LEGAL ISSUES: Securing Permissions • Remember to secure all permissions and licenses • Mechanical License- for reproducing songs in a “mechanical” format- CDs, ringtones, DPD, etc. • Master Use License- for previously recorded songs • Talent Release • Work for Hire
  7. 7. LEGAL ISSUES: The Original Copyright Holder •Locate copyright holders for song that you don’t own: • Search database • Search “Songfile” database on • Search “ACE” database on • Use “Search the Repertoire” feature on • Search database • Search record label websites • Search iTunes, Amazon, Google and MySpace • Look at actual liner notes on existing CDs
  8. 8. Developing Marketing and Creative Plans • Develop your vision for the final work • The sonic concept/story-producing • The sound- mixing • The look and feel- design • The quality- mastering, manufacturing • Research and hire the production companies/talent you need to complete your project • Develop your promotion and distribution plans • Where and how do you plan to sell/distribute your work?
  9. 9. PRODUCTION: Professional Mastering Purpose of Professional Mastering: To optimize and standardize CD playback on any playback device •Ensures consistent sound quality and volume control •Cleans up any noise still in the original mix •Burns in TOC information- Metadata about the music- Album name, Artwork, Song Titles, etc. •Creates track sequence and spacing
  10. 10. Production: Professional Mastering Standard delivery specs: • Final 2-track mixes • “Unmastered“--no EQ and no compression on final 2 tracks • Stereo Interleaved, 24bit WAV files in the same sample rate they were recorded • No limiters on the master fader of the mixes.
  11. 11. Production: Packaging • Options for your consideration (based on budget): • Quantity • Jewel case? In bulk? • 4-color printing? 1 color printing? • Printing or label on CD? • 2 or 4 page insert? Booklet? • UPC code- needed for professional distribution • Spine labels • Polywrap?
  12. 12. Distribution: About the UPC code: Universal Product Code Required for all products in retail Two approaches to UPC: 1)Your own company that will launch 10,000 products 2)Independent small company that will launch a small amount of products over time
  13. 13. Distribution: The UPC Code Company that will launch many products: • UPC information can be obtained from the Uniform Code Council- GS1 • Barcode contains a country identifier • Barcode contains a unique company prefix that identifies your company as the manufacturer or distributor of the product • Barcode contains a unique item number for each product you sell
  14. 14. Distribution: The UPC Code Company that will “borrow”/sublet a barcode: • CD Baby, Disc Makers or other replicator will issue you a bar code for your CD for low price • They will be the “Parent Label” and you will be the “Sub Label” • When scanned Bar code will read: • United States • Hit Media Inc. (the “parent company”) • Your Label
  15. 15. Distribution: Tracking Performance • Implement an accounting system for tracking revenue and expenses (for taxes purposes) • Implement a database system for tracking CD sales • # of units produced • # of units sold • Where sold • Price per unit; cost per unit • Collect, report and pay sales tax for CD sales at retail
  16. 16. Distribution: Tracking Performance • Register your CD • with BDS (to track radio spins) • With Soundscan (to track unit sales) • Gracenote (to have CD metadata automatically load in digital retail databases) • Register your Sound Recording with SoundExchange to received performance royalties • Protect your sound recording copyright by registering a “SR” form at