Frequently Asked Questions

Audio Mastering

What is digital distortion

When recording digitally it is important not to record higher than 0dB since this is the maximum headroom of digital audio. By trying to record beyond 0dB the resulting sound will become clipped and sound unpleasant to the ear. You can see the effects of digital distortion if you view the recorded sound within a sound editor such as Sony Sound Forge.

Burn in Disc At Once Mode

When using a CD-R or DVD-R recorder to produce a master that will itself be used for commercial CD or DVD production, ensure that the disc is written in 'Disc-at-Once' mode rather than 'Track at Once' mode. Pressed discs can only use master cd's and dvd's burnt in DAO mode.

Keep cd and dvd masters clean

Be very careful when handling blank CD-r's and DVD-r's. Fingerprints on the burn surface can actually be embedded with the digital data when writing a master disc.

CD Audio Standards

When preparing to burn your cd audio master, each track must be burnt at 44.1 kHz, in stereo and at 16 bit resolution. WAV or AIF formats are prefered over MP3 as there is no loss in quality.

My cd player jumps straight into the 1st track

Some cd players are slow in reading the contents of an audio cd, as a result the start of the 1st track may be chopped off by a few milliseconds. It is wise therefore to insert 2 seconds of silence before the start of the actual audio on the 1st track to allow for this.

What is Super Audio CD

Super Audio CD (SACD) is a read-only optical audio disc format aimed at providing much higher fidelity digital audio reproduction than the Red Book. Introduced in 1999, it was developed by Sony and Philips, the same companies that created the Red Book. SACD was in a format war with DVD-Audio, but neither has yet managed to replace audio CD. In contrast to DVD-Audio, the SACD format has the feature of being able to produce hybrid discs: in addition to the SACD audio, these discs contain a standard audio CD layer which is playable in standard CD players, thus making them backward compatible.

What is CD-Text

CD-Text is an extension of the Red Book specification for audio CD that allows for storage of additional text information (e.g., album name, song name, artist) on a standards-compliant audio CD. The information is stored either in the lead-in area of the CD, where there is roughly five kilobytes of space available, or in the subcode channels R to W on the disc, which can store about 31 megabytes. Be aware that this info is not automatically submitted to online database archives such as Gracenote or FreeDB. An audio cd must be submitted to these databases manually using a program linked to the audio archival system in question

CD for Karaoke

Compact Disc + Graphics (CD+G) is a special audio compact disc that contains graphics data in addition to the audio data on the disc. The disc can be played on a regular audio CD player, but when played on a special CD+G player, can output a graphics signal (typically, the CD+G player is hooked up to a television set or a computer monitor); these graphics are almost exclusively used to display lyrics on a television set for karaoke performers to sing along with.

What is an Enhanced CD

Enhanced CD, also known as CD Extra and CD Plus, combines audio and computer data for use in both compact disc and CD-ROM players. You will need to consult your cd authoring software help manual for info on how to creating an enhanced cd. The primary data formats for Enhanced Compact Disc's are mixed mode (Yellow Book/Red Book), CD-i, hidden track, and multisession (Blue Book).


Red Book standard

Red Book is the standard for audio CDs (Compact Disc Digital Audio system, or CDDA). It is named after one of a set of color-bound books that contain the technical specifications for all CD and CD-ROM formats.

Burning a CD or DVD

Burning a cd or dvd disc is slang for writing data to a CD-ROM or DVD-ROM. A CD or DVD burner is another name for a recordable disc drive, they are used for duplication were the laser actually burns tiny holes into the disc surface layer.

Replicated or pressed discs

These 2 terms are identical. Pressed discs refers to the manufacture of CDs or DVDs by making a glass master/ stamper from a cd-r / dvd-r master and using that to PRESS data onto the manufactured disc. Pressed discs are suitable for runs greater than 500.

What is DVD5

A single-sided, single layer DVD that can hold up to 4.7GB (120 minutes) of high quality audio and video data. All DVDs are made from two substrates that are bonded together, and the second substrate on a DVD5 is a data-less layer that does not contain any pits.

What is DVD9

DVD-9 is a single sided dual layer DVD which can fit up to 8.5 GB or 7.95 computer GB. A DVD-9 disc is basicly two pressed plastic DVD-5s pressed together, they are not burned.

What is DVD10

A DVD10 is essentially a DVD5 on both sides of the disc. A DVD10 therefore needs to be turned over in order to access the information on the other side. A DVD10 can hold about 9.4Gb of data or 4.5 hours of high quality audio and video.

What is a Dual Disc

DualDisc is an optical disc format for storing digital data promoted by the RIAA. A Dual disc has a DVD on one side and a CD on the other. The audio-only side is not a true CD; it does not conform to CD specifications and may not play on all DVD or CD players. There is a small print area around the hub.

What are Blu-Ray Discs

Blu-ray, also known as Blu-ray Disc (BD) is the name of a next-generation optical disc format jointly developed by the Blu-ray Disc Association. A single-layer Blu-ray Disc can hold 25GB, which can be used to record over 2 hours of High Definition TV or more than 13 hours of standard-definition TV. There are also dual-layer versions of the discs that can hold 50GB.<br><br>While current optical disc technologies such as DVD, DVD±R, DVD±RW, and DVD-RAM use a red laser to read and write data, the new format uses a blue-violet laser instead, hence the name Blu-ray. <br /><br />Blu-ray is expected to replace VCRs and DVD recorders over the coming years, with the transition to HDTV. The format is also likely to become a standard for PC data storage and HD movies in the future.

What is Red Book Standard

Red Book is the standard for audio CDs (Compact Disc Digital Audio system, or CDDA). It is named after one of a set of color-bound books that contain the technical specifications for all CD and CD-ROM formats.


CMYK Colour mode

CD's, DVD's and paper parts should be printed in CMYK (Cyan, Magenta, Yellow & Black) colour mode. RGB (Red, Green & Blue) colour mode is used to display images on screen. Please supply all your artwork to us in CMYK. If in doubt, contact us for advise.

Direct Onbody Inkjet Disk Print

For quantities below 500, inkjet printing directly onto cd or dvd is the most cost effective method. It is better than applying stick on labels and is photo realistic. You can also opt for a laquered film to make the disk more durable and water resistant.

What is Spot Printing

Spot printing involves printing uniform colours onto the disc. The colours used do not mix. Colours are usually chosen from the Pantone Matching System of colours PMS. If you wish to have your disc spot printed then make sure you do not use gradients, drop shadows, etc in you design. You also need to supply us with the PMS colour codes and how many colours are to printed onto your cd / dvd.