FAQ about disc duplication, replication and packaging

By | 29th September 2013

Are you looking to make your first promo disc? Whether you’re a solo artist, a band or an indie film producer with a story to tell shiny silver discs are a tangible item you can use to show the offline world exactly what you do. Retail discs (CDs, DVDs or Blu-ray discs) are made in bulk on a production line. Every single aspect of the finished disc, the case, printing, inserts, packaging and shrink wrap is automated.

It would be great to make your short run of 50 promo discs look just like retail discs. We can get fairly close but it comes at a significant cost. Experience tells us that this is generally not economically viable for most short runs but with a bit of DIY spirit on your part you can have very presentable near-retail quality discs.

We’ve put together a short-list of Q&As as follows:

Q. What’s the difference between replication and duplication?

A. Duplication uses recordable discs such as CD-R, DVD-R and BD-R. Duplication is suited to short runs of up to 500 units. We do duplication in-house and therefore turnaround can be very quick. Replication is a mass-production factory process. The discs are pressed from a glass master. In general disc replication becomes cost effective with 500 units or more. When you have discs replicated you are essentially booking a slot in a production line which makes millions of discs per year. Turnaround can be up to 14 working days from approval of all artwork and masters.

Q. What kind of packaging options can I have for my discs?

A. There are lots of packaging options for replicated discs however these are generally not cost effective for most short runs. Unfortunately there’s no way for us to automate the process for low volume orders. It’s very labour intensive to print, trim and assemble/pack artwork into cases. This in turn makes it expensive. If price is not a factor then you can have duplicated discs with any kind of packaging you like. For most people it makes more sense to have the discs themselves duplicated and printed then adopt a DIY approach to the packaging. ¬†For this reason we don’t generally offer printed inserts & packaging for short-run duplicated discs.

Q. Can you duplicate to discs from tape or audio/video files?

A. Yes – we can make master discs from audio tapes, video tapes or computer files and duplicate copies from these. The cost varies depending on how complicated or simple the preparation work is.

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