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Frequently Asked Questions

CD Production (also applies to DVD):

What is CD-R duplication versus CD replication? While CD duplication and replication provide a very similar end result — an exact copy of your master disc — the result is accomplished in different ways. In the duplication process, data from your master disc is burned onto a prefabricated recordable disc. This is done on a desktop computer that transfers the data to a burner (either on the computer or a stand-alone burner/printer). CD replication involves the actual creation of a disc from raw materials using a glass-mastered, injection molding process that stamps (presses) the data into the disc as it is created.

Should I use CD-R duplication or CD Replication? Quality and compatibility between a CD-R and a CD are normally very slight due to using the highest quality media for CD-R duplication. The duplication process is ideal for producing quantities under 500. Quantities above 500 are better suited to the replication method, which becomes more cost-effective as the quantity increases. Also, consider CD face art — replication offers either thermal or inkjet art or paper, adhesive printed labels applied to the CD-R. CD replication utilizes silk-screen or offset printed face art, which is often at a much higher resolution (quality).

What are the various stages of the CD replication process?

  • Upon receiving your master CD, it is transferred onto our computer system and then a bit-by-bit comparison using specialized software between the master and computer hard drive files to ensure an exact match is done.
  • Then a glass master (specially treated piece of glass that is used to transfer the data from the computer) is created.
  • Once the glass master containing your data is created, it it metallized and used to create metal stampers for the CD injection molding machines.
  • Next the CDs are “pressed” using the stampers.
  • The new CDs are then sent to the print room where the face art is silk-screened (or offset printed) per the order/artwork supplied.
  • Samples are then pulled for quality control ­ the face art is compared to supplied color proofs; the CD is read back on a computer and again compared bit-by-bit to the data resident on the hard drive (already compared to the supplied master).
  • Will someone preview my supplied master to check the audio levels, check noise, etc., or check whether the CD-ROM/DVD is working properly? No CD/DVD manufacturing facility has either the manpower nor the time to provide such a service. Such a “checking” service imply that the “quality control technician” would have complete knowledge of the particular CD master sent in whether it was audio or data and would be able to intuitively know the music on the disc and able to change levels, volume, check for noise, etc. The implication would apply to a ROM or DVD and the data/software application it contained.

    Think (in very simple terms) of the manufacturing process as if you were sending a letter to a quick copy service to make 1,000 copies. The copy service check to make sure the correct paper stock is in the copier, the letter to be copied is oriented correctly in the copier and the correct quantity is designed. The operator depresses the start button and waits for the last copy to be made. You don’t expect the copier operator to proofread, check for syntax or make “design improvements” before copying the letter. Replication is similar in that CD/DVD manufacturers are expected to “exactly“ reproduce whatever is on the master we are given. We use Ecllipse Software to verify the bit-by-bit comparison of the master entering our system to the final quality control comparison of a finished disc to the master.

    What are the different types/capacities of CDs and DVDs that C Squared manufactures? CDs (either audio, data or hybrid) optimally hold 650 MB (74.5 minutes). Additional space is available but distortion can occur to projects that go beyond the optimal spec. DVD-5: 4.38 GB capacity (single side, single layer) DVD-9: 7.95 GB capacity (double side, single layer) DVD-10: 8.76 GB capacity (double side, double layer).

    How long does it take to manufacture a CD?A standard turnaround time for CD replication is 7-10 days. C Squared also offers a range of production schedules that best suits our customers’ needs. We can offer a 0 day to 5 day turn if required, but that higher level of service does carry a higher charge. NOTE : The day that all components are at the replication facility is considered as day zero (0). C Squared offers 0-day (same day) to 14-day turnarounds. Day zero is the day the facility received the CD/DVD master, prepress information, electronic art files, all intellectual property rights related forms, and valid purchase order by 10:30am (of day zero). Monday through Friday counts as production days (holidays, weekends are not counted). All customer-supplied packaging materials (sleeves, inserts, booklets, tray cards, etc.) must be at the plant 4 days prior to the scheduled ship date.

    How long does it take to manufacture a DVD? Standard turnaround is 10 days. Shorter time frames are available, again at higher charges. Also, refer to the previous question concerning the term “Day Zero.”

    What is the difference between spot (PMS) colors and 4-color process? Spot color (PMS ­ Pantone Matching System) uses inks that are mixed to the specific color that is part of the PMS color swatch book. Four-color process uses cyan, magenta, yellow and black in a layered format that allows for creating millions of colors (same as magazine print). Spot color usually gives you the best quality with large solid areas or matching specific colors (orange or some greens, blues or purples). Four-color process give you more print options and flexibility. For best results printing on the face of a CD or DVD with 4-color process, we recommend printing a white floodcoat as a base before adding the 4-color inks.

    Where can I get disc artwork templates? We have them available on our website as either Acrobat (PDF), Quark (qxd) or Indesign (indd) formatted files. Simply go to the template area and follow the directions. Other art templates are available as well - check it out.



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