As a music artist just starting out on your journey into the industry, it can be difficult to decide how to release your material and there are many things to consider.
From the album artwork to the title and the price to the number of tracks, you’ll need to make a decision on every nitty-gritty part of releasing music. However, one of the most important decisions you’ll need to make, and the most basic one, is the format in which to release your material.
There are plenty of formats available nowadays to aspiring artists, including the growing digital world of streaming, the traditional method of CDs, or the nostalgic choice of vinyl, and each of these methods have their own individual benefits.
If you decide to opt for CDs, there are lots of things you need to know, including the different manufacturing processes. With that in mind, we’ve found out everything you need to know about the differences between CD duplication and replication.
What is the manufacturing process of each technique?
The main difference between CD replication and duplication is the way in which they’re made.
CD duplication is very similar to burning music onto blank discs from your own personal computer, but on a much bigger scale. Using large towers, the data from your music is burned onto a pre-manufactured disc using lasers, overlaying your material onto a blank pre-existing disc.
CD replication, on the other hand, involves manufacturing the disc from scratch. Rather than overlaying your data onto an existing disc, your material is built into the CD itself as it’s physically formed. This is done by pressing the discs from a glass master which contains all of your music data, which you will provide to the producer.
For more information on the different manufacturing techniques, check out this page on the VDC Group website, a specialist in CD replication and duplication.
When should I use CD duplication?
Because of the differences in manufacturing, each format is more suited to different purposes.
CD duplication is the best choice for those artists who only want to order a small quantity of discs, especially if you’re wanting 500 units or less, as this method works out more cost-effective for smaller orders.
This is down to the fact the process is much less task-heavy, requiring only the burning of data, making it cheaper.
Similarly, duplication has a much shorter turnaround time, so it’s a great choice for those who need their products ASAP, especially if you’re going on tour soon! In fact, you can even get your CDs in just a few days.
This post by The Balance has some more advice on choosing the right method.
When should I use CD replication?
CD replication is the best choice for those artists wanting a large quantity of units, usually 500 or more, as this works out as a better investment.
Although it costs more in manpower by creating a glass master, the more your order, the more in proportion the cost becomes.
Plus, it’s often worth the extra pennies if you can afford it, as replication produces a superior sounding disc by maintaining the integrity of the data much better.