CD / DVD FAQ

Short answer: Duplication is for smaller quantities and it’s faster. Replication is for when you want more and it’s still pretty fast.

 

More words: Duplication is the copying of data onto recordable media (CD-R, DVD-R etc). This term is generally used to mean small-run projects where data is “burned” onto a pre-made recordable disc. Like in every department, Furnace only uses Grade A materials. Master quality disc media = industrial quality drives and equipment- nothing but the best for you. Duplication pros: speedy (same-day-delivery-speedy), small runs (25-copies-small).

 

Replication is the manufacturing process of an optical disc (CD, DVD, Blu-Ray). This term is generally used to mean larger-scale press runs where your content in transferred to glass-master, plates are made and then used to press/mold polycarbonate into discs. Complicated stuff. Replication Pros: lower per piece cost (cheaper by the dozen and all that) ,, fancy offset or silk-screen disc face printing, and a larger variety of print and packaging options.

We can do multiple color or one color for duplicated or replicated discs- the process is a little different for the two. If you want to learn about the differences, keep reading.

 

For duplicated discs, we offer direct-to-disc thermal and thermal transfer printing. Single color images print directly from a ribbon to the disc. For full color images, the colors are printed to a transfer ribbon and then applied to the disc using heat and pressure.

 

For replicated discs we offer silk-screen printing for 1, 2 or 3 (more choices!) color designs using spot colors (great for text, monochrome logos and images). For full-color designs, we offer high resolution offset printing.

You can send us a physical master (old school style) or you can upload the master.

 

If you mail it, pack it well (bubbles/padded envelopes/love) and label it (band name/company name/catalog number/hopes and dreams) and send it to:

 

Mail it to:
Furnace Record Pressing
Attn: New Orders
6315 Bren Mar Dr.
Alexandria, VA 22312

 

If you want to upload your master, there’s a couple of options:

 

1. upload a DDP image of the master (all spacing and meta data included)
2. upload the AIFF files for the master numbered in the order you would like them, upload any metadata you need included on the master, as well as the spacing needed between tracks.

 

If you send a physical CD, DDP image- you’re done! If you send AIFF files and need us to put it all together for you (without meta-data/ISRC codes etc) we can do that. Talk to us about what you need us to do and we’ll do it and send you a proof to approve.

CDs you receive from Furnace will sound, function and play exactly like the CD master you send us.

 

Things to think about:

 

– Ask your mastering house to create at least 2 CDs so you have a backup.
– Ask your mastering house to add the P & Q codes, CD Text (if you are interested in that feature) and frame accurate SMPTE time sheet. Include a copy of the time sheet when you send your master to Furnace.
– Make sure the CD you send us is extremely clean and free of scratches (this is one of those FAQ points where you probably wonder what someone did to make this neccesary to say- don’t even ask)

 

We guarantee exact, bit for bit copies from your master because that’s how this works and we make great CDs! This perfectly identical copy will capture all of the hard work and hard earned cash you spent on the process buttttt (always a but) it will also capture any imperfections in your master. So make sure you listen to your master (probably listen a few times) for any audio glitches (pops, hiss, skips, static) and make sure the volume and file names are setup correctly, as everything will transfer to your copies..

That is so 1997 but sure. Furnace accepts mastered DAT (Digital Audio Tape) tapes as source masters. However, Furnace will need to create and have you approve a copy of the digital conversion on CD-R before we begin the replication of your CD. This process will add 2-3 days to the turnaround time of your project and will be subject to a DAT transfer fee. When the information on the DAT is converted, Furnace adds the SMPTE time and P&Q programming codes to your disc. Check this reference master carefully because your replicated CDs will sound, function and play exactly like your reference master.

Glass mastering is the first step toward the replication of your CDs or DVDs. In this stage, pre-mastered audio is transferred via a Laser Beam Recorder (LBR) to a glass substrate over an extremely thin layer of photoresist (i.e. film) on the surface. Laser beams and photoresists- all very space age. The LBR copies your information onto the glass by exposing small portions of the film. These exposed surfaces on the film represent data bits, which are easily read by CD players. When the glass master is completed, it is run through an electroforming process where a more durable representation of your data is created onto metal (the stamper.). Stampers go on to press or mold your audio disc into polycarbonate (plastic).

Yep. It should be just exactly like you want it to sound and play before you send it. Furnace will replicate your discs directly from your master.

 

But if you want us to do anything to it, we know how. Furnace has an in-house mastering team and they love to make you happy.

Creating an audio master at home can be spotty success-wise because of varying quality levels of CD-burners, blank media and file formats available out there in the world. If you do it at home anyway, here are some tips:

 

– Make sure to use good quality media. Bargain-bin media is almost always B or C grade media and not recommended for master creation. Spend some money on the nice stuff.
– Set your burner speed to 16X or less. The ultra fast burners (52x+) are great for burning data but terrible for burning audio. The maximum safe speed for audio burning on any home burner is 16X. Discs burned at higher speeds may play on your stereo, but that’s not good enough for masters- they’ll contain too many digital errors.
– Burn high resolution (44.1 KHz, 16-bit stereo) WAV or AIFF files. These formats are industry standard for creating Red-Book audio masters.
– Make sure to close/finish the session when you burn your master and burn your disc with the option “disc at once” selected instead of track at once. Most home software gives you the option of closing/finishing the session or leaving the session open (allowing for more data to be added later). Discs with open/unfinished sessions cannot be used as audio masters since they may create playability issues in the finished product and will prohibit Furnace from using it with our equipment.
– Make sure your burner/software conforms to Red-Book standards for audio (set forth by the IEC). Burners/software that conform to data standards don’t necessarily conform to audio standards.
– Most stand-alone stereo component burners (the kind normally hooked up directly to a stereo) do not conform to those standards. While they may produce a disc that can be played back on some machines, they will not produce a disc good enough to be used as a master. Whether you use a computer burner and software or a stand-alone burner, make sure it can produce master quality disks including the appropriate formatting.

In these modern times we live in, the Compact Disc Data Base (CDDB) from Gracenote is integrated into most software such as iTunes and lots of home and car stereos with a web connection. What a time to be alive. These players search the online CDDB database for the musical “fingerprint” of the album or song they are playing. This information is then downloaded to your device and displayed in your music player’s browser window. The CDDB doesn’t require the presence of embedded CD Text on the disc. It only requires that the content owner submits the disc with all of the song and album information directly through the CDDB website or through some advanced media player menu option. This can easily be done in iTunes.

 

An older technology that is in less demand is CD Text. CD Text displays album and track info on “dumb” devices. There are software applications that encode “CD Text” onto your audio PMCD (Pre-mastered CD) master. Ask your studio if they can provide this service while they burn your final master. If they are unable to offer this service, Furnace can add CD Text to your master for a one-time fee of $50.00 and will extend your lead-time by 3-4 days. This CD Text (which can include song, album and artist information) will appear on all CD Text equipped CD Players.

 

Which one is right for you? Probably the former since that’s the future.

If you choose to send in your ROM master, please note that there are dozens, if not hundreds of disc burning utilities/software on the market. No pressure. Here are tips on how to create a workable master:

 

– Always write your master using only one session by using the “write a disc” or “disc at once” method. This will create a single volume that is most compatible with our equipment and will be the most compatible for the recipients of your discs.
– Only use high quality recordable media with a good quality disc burner. Most bargain priced media is not Grade A quality. This media may be fine for making backups or one off discs but is not a good choice for creating your master. Spend a little extra for good quality media (Taiyo Yuden and Moser Baer both make great master quality media). You’ll thank us later.

You have choices!

 

1. Send a hard copy of the new master ready to go (we will make exact copies)
2. Upload a ISO Disc image of the new master (all functionality needs to be programed in).

 

If you send a physical master or an ISO image, you’re done. You’ll have DVDs soon- awesome. If you need help, we can help with DVD authoring- talk to us about what you need and we’ll figure out how to make it happen.

A top spine is that thing that goes along the top spine (get it? TOPSPINE) on a CD/DVD package so you can see what it is when it’s in a CD bin. You can usually read the band, artist or product name, the title of the release, the catalog/selection number, and the UPC number and scan-able barcode along the top. Furnace provides them on replicated discs only. If you want them, we got you.

Custom Quote

Do you have a special project that doesn’t fit into one of our packages? Head on over to our custom quote tool and give us the lowdown on your next masterpiece.

CLICK HERE

Frequently Asked Questions

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