It’s a typical situation. You’ve been putting a lot of energy in your craft and people are starting to talk about your band. You’ve played a few shows and everyone is asking for a CD. I used to think that in order to release your own CD you would go out and play a bunch of shows and then someone would come out and sign you. They’d take care of everything. They’d set up the recording studio, organize the artwork, and pay for it to get manufactured. That’s not the case these days.
At present, technology is readily available for any budding musician to record, create, and duplicate CDs. CD duplication involves CD-R media. CD-R prices have dropped dramatically since the first CD Recorders were available on the consumer market. This makes it an affordable option for anyone who wants to copy their own CDs and pass them on to friends, family, or fans. This is a great option for the young band that is still getting their feet wet in the music industry. Duplicating a limited amount of CDs can keep a limited budget in place.
If your band is at the point were your ready to start selling your CD your best option is to make a retail-ready CD and having it replicated. What is a retail ready CD? These are the same CDs you find in the music stores by the major label artists. They have great artwork printed on CD inserts, a nice tray card insert, silk screened art on the CD, and they are shrink-wrapped.
The retail-ready CDs are not duplicated, but Replicated. This means that an exact replica of your CD master has been stamped out on all of the CDs. CD Replication is the way to go if you are serious about selling your music for profit. In fact most music stores will not sell duplicated CDs. Think about it this way. It is illegal to sell or profit from duplicating copy written material. If you tried to sell CDs that have been duplicated to a retail store you’ll more than likely get turned down. How are they to know that it is really your band? One of the best anti-piracy practices that CD manufacturing plants have instituted is the verification of copyright and ownership through a International Property Rights Form. Filling out an I.P.R. form ensures the CD Replication plant that they are not infringing on anyone’s copyright.
CD Replication not only shows that you value your art enough to have it made retail-ready, but also cost effective. I’ll break it down in general.
DIY CD Duplication
· 1 Computer with CD Recorder
· 100 Memorex CD-R
· CD Jewel Cases
· Printer Ink
· Man Hours
Typical CD Replication Package
· CD Replication for 1000 CDs
· 1-3 color on-disc silk-screen imprint
· CD Jewel box, assembly, professional quality film-wrap
· 2 Panel Insert and Tray card
· Bar Code
These prices are very approximate and are only used for the purpose of estimating the difference between CD Duplication and CD Replication. Lets dig in a little bit. I’ve already illustrated some of the benefits of CD Duplication and the benefits of CD Replication. You can see above that you are spending approximately $500 more taking on the CD duplication responsibilities yourself and only getting 100 CDs!! Having your CDs Replicated costs less and someone else is doing the work. You can spend the time you’d spend on CD duplication and practice your chops or promote your upcoming CD release party, saving yourself $500 that you can use for items like merchandising, t-shirts, stickers, and posters.
Whether you choose CD Replication or CD Duplication, you’ll need to do some research. There are plenty of resources available for CD Duplication and you probably own everything you need. It is up to you and your band to decide which option is better depending on what level you see your band on. Are you a band that plays parties or small clubs, or is your band seasoned and touring? There are benefits to both. Find a local CD manufacturer in your area and ask for their recommendation. Most CD manufacturers also offer quick turn high quality CD Duplication with printing on the CDs. Keep rockin’!