As a band just starting out in the world of music, deciding how to release your material can be difficult and there are lots of things to consider.
You’ll have to make a decision on the album artwork, the songs you want to release, the price and even the length of the album itself. However, the most important decision you’ll have to make, and the most basic one, is the format in which you release your material.
There are plenty of options out there for formats, such as the ever-growing digital world of streaming, the traditional route of CDs, or a nod to the nostalgic with vinyl, and each one has their individual merits.
But, if you opt for CDs, there are lots of things you may not know, including the differences between CD duplication and replication. Here, we’ve given you the low-down.
How are they made?
One of the main differences between CD duplication and replication is the way in which they’re made.
CD duplication is the process of burning data onto pre-manufactured discs using lasers, in a similar way to burning CDs onto blank discs from your own personal computer, albeit on a much bigger scale. In this process, your material’s data is essentially overlain onto a pre-existing disc.
CD replication, on the other hand, is the physical process during which CDs are manufactured from scratch. Rather than just overlaying your data onto an existing CD, your material is built into the CD itself. This is done by pressing the discs from a glass master which contains all of your data provided to the CD producer.
For more information on these processes, check out the VDC Group page on duplication and replication.
When should I use CD duplication?
Because of these differences in manufacturing, each process is more suited to different purposes.
CD duplication is a great choice for those wanting a small number of units, especially if you’re wanting 500 CDs or less. This is because the process is much less task-heavy than replication, only requiring burning data rather than manual labour, so is much more cost-effective for smaller units.
Similarly, duplication has a much shorter turnaround time and so it’s perfect for those needing their products as soon as possible. Because there are fewer stages in duplication, you can often get your CDs in just a few days.
Finally, duplication is the best option if you think the data may change at the last minute. Due to the data being overlain onto a disc, it can be re-recorded relatively easily, meaning you can change it without as much hassle.
This post by The Balance has some more helpful tips.
When should I use CD Replication?
Replication, on the other hand, is much more useful in certain situations.
For those wanting large quantities of units, such as 500 or more, replication often works out as the better investment. Although it will cost more in manpower and creating a glass master, the more you order, the more in proportion these extra fees will be.
Plus, this is often worth the extra cost due to replication producing a superior disc. Because the data is built into the disc rather than just recorded over the top, the process maintains the integrity of the data much better and produces a higher quality sound.