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#483773 - 03/17/07 06:15 PM Format CD-R vs. "Pressed CD" question  
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Bill Robinson Offline
Bill Robinson  Offline

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Hi folks.
I have a question about this. It arises because of my recent addition of my CD to CD Baby.
Can someone enlighten me on the big difference between the two.
Quality, durability, etc.

After my CD was launched on CD Baby I went to check it out.
To my surprise, right under the title it says;
Format CD-R

I have looked at a lot of CD's on CD BABY and never seen that before. So I called them. I also called a friend who has two CD's at CD Baby. He sent CD-R's as well. But, it was a couple years ago. His does NOT say that under the title.
Who here has sent CD-R's to CD Baby recently?

I called CD Baby about it.The person I talked to said they were doing that now because they were getting complaints(mostly from the retail outlet stores) about this. It seems they want "Pressed" CD's.(is that the right term?)

I am wondering, now, how many people are going to be affected by this and will it impact sales. To me, it seems being tagged with Format CD-R implies it is an inferior product.

How do you all feel about this?


Bill
http://www.soundclick.com/billrobinson
http://www.dreamqueststudio.com
Skype; bill.robinson12

"The democracy will cease to exist when you take away from those who are willing to work and give to those who would not." --Thomas Jefferson didn't say it

http://voidnow.org/
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#483776 - 03/17/07 06:22 PM Re: Format CD-R vs. "Pressed CD" question [Re: Bill Robinson]  
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Jeff Van Devender Offline
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Many players do not play cd-r's as well, if even at all - espe. older players. I think it is a good thing for CDBaby to note that. Helps prevent a customer from making a bigger complaint down the road if that waiver is posted. Meanwhile, with the price of a run of cd's where it is, it is worth the cost in the long run to go ahead & send them in. And yes, imho, a cd-r is inferior in the long run. It indicates an unfinished product.

Jeff

#483777 - 03/17/07 06:25 PM Re: Format CD-R vs. "Pressed CD" question [Re: Bill Robinson]  
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Brian Lesniak Offline
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I'm just talking from my own experience here, so take that into consideration.

In the past I have had problems playing CD-Rs in normal CD players, even ones I have burned myself. Other people I've talked to have had similar problems. But then the same CD-R worked fine in a different player.

So I don't think the Format CD-R label necessarily implies an inferior product, but just that some people may have trouble playing them. I don't think having the CD labeled as a CD-R would discourage me from buying it, at least not if it was an independent artist.

#483780 - 03/17/07 06:33 PM Re: Format CD-R vs. "Pressed CD" question [Re: Brian Lesniak]  
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Bill Robinson Offline
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Thanks Jeff
Thanks Brian

I know several years ago I did run into the problem of CD-R's not playing in some players. But not recently.
I never had a problem with .WAV files but did with some MP3's.
Now adays I think all players will play both without a problem.
I have a total of six CD and Two DVD players at my house and they all play everything I have burned. The oldest is about 6 years old.
I use them to test the quality of the burn after a mix. Different sound from each so if it sounds ok in all of them I know I'm close.


Bill
http://www.soundclick.com/billrobinson
http://www.dreamqueststudio.com
Skype; bill.robinson12

"The democracy will cease to exist when you take away from those who are willing to work and give to those who would not." --Thomas Jefferson didn't say it

http://voidnow.org/
http://www.americansworking.com/
#483787 - 03/17/07 06:54 PM Re: Format CD-R vs. "Pressed CD" question [Re: Bill Robinson]  
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I have a 12-year-old CD player boombox and it plays CD-Rs with no problem.

CD-Rs are silvered these days; hard to tell them apart from "real" CDs.

#483789 - 03/17/07 06:58 PM Re: Format CD-R vs. "Pressed CD" question [Re: Bill Robinson]  
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Jody Whitesides Offline
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Actually, this is something they should have done from the get-go. The reason being is, if you're implying that a home burned CD-R is going to last like a replicated CD, then you're mistaken. CD-R's do not have the same lifespan and here's why: A replicated CD is made from a glass master that imprints the audio 1's & 0's into a metal aluminum layer that is fronted with plastic (the side the laser reads), then very often is coated with ink for the artwork.

A CD-R is a CD with a dye in it. That dye is capable of being changed with a laser writer. However, that dye is subject to deteriorate at a much faster rate than aluminum. Thus, in terms of lifespan, it's definitely inferior.

Add to that this concept: there are inconsistencies in CD players, not all of them react well to the dye based reading of information. So you might likely be subject to a higher return of purchase or dissatisfaction rate because of that. Now, while you might not feel the brunt of it, guess who does? CD Baby. When a customer has a bad experience with a retailer, who do they hold it to? The person/place that sold them the good, then in turn likely the person that created that good.

If enough people are unhappy with CD Baby, that doesn't just hurt you and your CD-R's you're selling. It hurts every artist at CD Baby. Testing the quality of your burn still does not garantee that it will play in all players. But a replicated CD will unless it's a defective master or has irreperable damage. Just because you have your testing grounds of so many CD players and DVD players, does not make it so for everyone.

If you are truly serious about selling your music, there is no way you should ignore getting it replicated. Prices are cheap enough, and there are reputable companies (such as JPF sponsor DiscMakers) that do it in timely fashion. And although the upfront cost might seem more, you will actually make a profit on your pressing in the long run as the per disc cost will be cheaper, higher quality, and more professional to the end user - your customer. It really is part of doing the business of music.

Jody


Jody Whitesides
A Funky Audio Lap Dance For Your Ears!
www.jodywhitesides.com
#483795 - 03/17/07 07:20 PM Re: Format CD-R vs. "Pressed CD" question [Re: Jody Whitesides]  
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Joe Wrabek (D) Offline
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The place where I have run into deterioration problems with CD-Rs is in CD players that load from the side--like what you have in your car. With top-loaders, there does not seem to be any problem, and the CD-Rs last for a long, long time.

That said, I am aware of the technical difference between a CD-R and a "replicated" CD, and that's one reason I've been selling my CDs for $10 plus shipping. (Shipping runs about a buck, by the way, in case you were thinking about it.<g>) I would like to hnave "replicated" CDs, but I can't afford the charge for an order large enough to ensure the product would be "replicated"--and if I get a small order, they're burned CD-Rs, just like I'd turn out myself.

Since I do use paper labels that I design myself, there is nothing on the CD that plainly indicates it is a CD-R, and the customer probably does not notice (unless they're folks like you, who have an instinctive feel for these things).

The Artist Formerly Known as Moonless Joe

Last edited by Joe Wrabek (roxh; 03/17/07 07:22 PM.
#483802 - 03/17/07 07:48 PM Re: Format CD-R vs. "Pressed CD" question [Re: Joe Wrabek (D)]  
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Chris.Roberts Offline
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Also keep in mind there are other replicating houses to goto. www.kunaki.com has short order runs available. The cost is $1.60 per CD. The price is less than discmakers and oasis. They also offer drop shipping. You can order your CDs from kunaki and have them sent to cd baby. you can order your CD from kunaki and have it sent to your customer.. Not a bad deal. 50 CDs will cost something about $85 and then there is a S&H charge. I have not worked with them yet but i will be once i record my first EP this year.

Anyone know of this company and their track record?

peace,
chris

#483809 - 03/17/07 08:10 PM Re: Format CD-R vs. "Pressed CD" question [Re: Chris.Roberts]  
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ben willis Offline
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I didn't mention them because Discmakers is a sponser, but I have used them and have no complaints. They will make as few or as many cd's as you need. Everything is done over the internet including designing the cover and uploading your music(that may take from an hour to all day to complete). You have to download the software which is free. You must reorder within 180 days or you will be deleted and have to start over. That may mean ordering 1 cd every now and than if your sales aren't what you expected. Ben

http://www.soundclick.com/bands/pagemusic.cfm?bandid=400209

http://cdbaby.com/cd/benwillis

#483811 - 03/17/07 08:25 PM Re: Format CD-R vs. "Pressed CD" question [Re: ben willis]  
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Andrew Aversa Offline
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Quote
If you are truly serious about selling your music, there is no way you should ignore getting it replicated. Prices are cheap enough, and there are reputable companies (such as JPF sponsor DiscMakers) that do it in timely fashion. And although the upfront cost might seem more, you will actually make a profit on your pressing in the long run as the per disc cost will be cheaper, higher quality, and more professional to the end user - your customer. It really is part of doing the business of music.


It cost me ~$250 to print 50 copies of Impulse Prime from discmakers - their duplication service, I believe, works off CD-Rs. To get replication done it would have easily cost $1,000. I would have never been able to release my CD otherwise. Not to mention only after two YEARS would I have sold enough to make up the investment - 0 profit. Now, for my upcoming album, I plan on getting a normal replication.. but to recommend that to everyone, when the average indie artist doesn't sell near enough to make their money back, is silly.

Here's my question, on the same topic; how do you deliver the master to the company doing the replication? Do you simply burn it yourself, upload? Wouldn't the former method run into problems?


http://www.zirconmusic.com/ - Award-winning music/albums for video games, film and TV!

Impact Soundworks - Cutting-edge sample libraries for Kontakt
#483820 - 03/17/07 08:55 PM Re: Format CD-R vs. "Pressed CD" question [Re: Andrew Aversa]  
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Joe Wrabek (D) Offline
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The last few posts underscore the CD/CD-R problem. I don't think short runs *are* replicated. I had mine done by Diskfactory in Irvine, California--minimum order of 50, at about $1.50 per CD including shipping (the price has gone up a little, I notice, since then). They're affiliated in some way with Musician's Friend. But the CDs *are* CD-Rs. They just don't tell you that when you order.

As far as what to send 'em. I got two masters from the studio when I had the songs recorded. I sent one, and saved one. I can get more masters if I need.

The Artist Formerly Known as Moonless Joe

#483821 - 03/17/07 09:01 PM Re: Format CD-R vs. "Pressed CD" question [Re: Andrew Aversa]  
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Bill Robinson Offline
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Last I checked anyone you order less than about 1000 CD's from it will be CD-R's. And usually runs well over $1000
Disc makers short runs are CD-R so are Guitar center's.
No way am I in a position to order $1000 worth of CD's.If anyone knows of a place to order 50 CD's REPLICATED For $3.00 a copy I'd sure like to know about it. If you can even order that few.

I would love to have Replicated CD's. I just can't afford it or justify it at this time




Bill
http://www.soundclick.com/billrobinson
http://www.dreamqueststudio.com
Skype; bill.robinson12

"The democracy will cease to exist when you take away from those who are willing to work and give to those who would not." --Thomas Jefferson didn't say it

http://voidnow.org/
http://www.americansworking.com/
#483865 - 03/17/07 11:31 PM Re: Format CD-R vs. "Pressed CD" question [Re: Bill Robinson]  
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Jeff Van Devender Offline
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Originally Posted by Bill Robinson
...
No way am I in a position to order $1000 worth of CD's....
I would love to have Replicated CD's. I just can't afford it or justify it at this time


Bill,
You're telling me that you couldn't sell 100 cd's at 10 bucks a pop? C'mon now. Your music is better than that. I think you could do it in a week, if you put your mind to it.
It's an investment in the best thing you have to offer & pays back in spades.

Both my cd's were run in 1000 pressings and paid for themselves quickly. You hold that first cd release party or concert & you'll be amazed!

People who believe in you will often buy more than one copy. Give them the bang for the buck. You'll be glad you did. So will your customers.

Jeff

#483890 - 03/18/07 12:48 AM Re: Format CD-R vs. "Pressed CD" question [Re: Jeff Van Devender]  
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Iggy Offline
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Hey Bill,

To Aunt Jenny, there is no difference between replicated and burned CD’s. Uncle Fred can’t tell if it’s a paper label or silk-screened. Music is music. After all aren’t all CD’s the same?

The question is what is your intent with the CD? If you’re going to pass it out to friends, family and loved ones, make them yourself. For a few hundred bucks and a lot of hard work you can look like a star to the people that love you. Short runs will work if you’re going to sell them at gigs, etc.

BUT, (other shoe drops) CDR’s to the industry say amateur. They tell the world that hey I don’t think I can sell 1,000 copies of this CD. I have seen pros get a CD and flip it over just to see if it’s been burned. I have also seen many songwriters bring their CDR’s to a seminar only to be disappointed because it won’t play.

You can get 1,000 CD’s for about a grand. The real cost is all the set up. That’s why it’ll cost you almost the same for 500 or 1,000. A lot of money yes, but price per unit is significantly lower than the short run places and that raises your profit margin. You just have to sell them! If you’re married and order 1,000, trust me you’re gonna sell them just to keep things happy!

Like I said, it all depends on your intent. Anyway, let me know when I buy one. Good luck!

#483902 - 03/18/07 01:57 AM Re: Format CD-R vs. "Pressed CD" question [Re: Iggy]  
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Bill Robinson Offline
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Well Guys. You all have given me something to think about.
Duplication vs, Replication.

Jody, Thank you for that explanation on the CD's

Jeff, Thanks for the vote of confidence. It is something I lack.

I am in the process of putting together a CD release concert in May. There will be other local performers there as well. Might not be a bad idea to have a better product.

Chris, I went to the Kunaki site. It looks pretty good. But this is what I found;
Kunaki duplicates discs. Duplication has made major strides over the last few years. Today mediocre duplication is superior to bad replication. And superior duplication is better than mediocre replication. Lastly, superior duplication is every bit as good as the best replication.

I am not sure what that means but it sounds like CD-R's to me. But, I will hold judgment on that until Monday when I can call them and ask someone in person what that means.

I will not order a short run unless it is replicated. I see no point in that.

I just came from a B'day party for a friends father. I did not know anyone there except my friend and his father. The father asked me if I had my CD with me because he really liked the song "One Hell Of A Good Storm". Of course I had one in my truck, LOL. so I brought it in. It got passed around and when I told the people I did it all myself they were very surprised. They played the CD and I got a lot of compliments on it and was asked where they could buy it.

Another note. I did a little research on CD durability. This is an excerpt from a tech site I read

According to the technical pages of several CD manufacturers and trade associations, estimates vary widely as to the expected longevity of the media:

* CD-ROMs are estimated to last anywhere from 30 to 200 years.
* CD-Rs, before they are recorded, have an estimated shelf life of five to ten years.
* CD-Rs, after recording, are estimated to last between 70 and 200 years.
* CD-RWs are expected to last at least 30 years.

It is interesting to note.
CD-ROM are the CD's you get when you buy a commercially produced(replicated) CD. NOT burned.
CD-R are Burned Like what you do at home.

So, now what?
Edit
I'm not sure what this all means to me. From what I am reading it seems the CD-R is every bit as good as the CD-ROM. actually better. 70 to 200 years vs 30 to 200 years.
Perhaps it is more myth than reality that the CD-R is in fact inferior.
It may depend on the CD-R quality. The ones I bought from Disk Makers are supposed to be of very high quality.
Also, the site I went to talked about CD players. It stated that the problem with some CD players was not with .WAV files but MP3's. And yes I have run into that problem.
But I do not burn MP3's.

Last edited by Bill Robinson; 03/18/07 02:13 AM.

Bill
http://www.soundclick.com/billrobinson
http://www.dreamqueststudio.com
Skype; bill.robinson12

"The democracy will cease to exist when you take away from those who are willing to work and give to those who would not." --Thomas Jefferson didn't say it

http://voidnow.org/
http://www.americansworking.com/
#483904 - 03/18/07 02:17 AM Re: Format CD-R vs. "Pressed CD" question [Re: Iggy]  
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Jody Whitesides Offline
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As Iggy just said it...

CD-R = amateur. Or to me it = demo. You can sell a demo, but do you really think most people are going to buy a demo? No matter how you print it up with your nice paper, ect... It's still obvious that it's not a professional CD. Some people don't care. But obviously enough people/customers at CD Baby seem to care at this point. There must have been enough of a problem that CD Baby needed to take action.

As to why older artists aren't being labeled that way: It would be a massive undertaking (probably a waste of expense) to go through that warehouse to open every CD they already have in stock to find out that answer. Whereas if they do it now as they come in, it's so much easier. I'll bet ya if you're asked to restock an item once it's sold and you send CD-R's, they'd likely change your "status" for that CD.

Makes one wonder. If you don't forsee being able to sell 500 or 1000 CD's via shows and all that you do, is it really worth it for you to put it up at CD Baby at all as a CD-R? Just a thought.

Jody

p.s. - I'm off to have some St. Patty's Day fun.


Jody Whitesides
A Funky Audio Lap Dance For Your Ears!
www.jodywhitesides.com
#483910 - 03/18/07 02:41 AM Re: Format CD-R vs. "Pressed CD" question [Re: Jody Whitesides]  
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Bill Robinson Offline
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Hi Jody
I do agree with you on a lot of what you say.
I think it may be a matter of perception. Burned=demo.
But I'll tell you, I have listened to some commercially produced CD's that were terrible and some Burned CD's that were wonderful.

I agree that a CD with a paper label may appear amateurish but that does not mean the music isn't any good.
What does "Demo" actually mean.
If you are an artist and you do your own music and vocals, have a well produced CD, is it a demo just because you did it yourself?
If you are songwriter and have a CD done by a "proffesional" studio using "demo" singers and session musicians is that then not a demo?

I have my own little studio. It may not have $50,000 worth of recording equipment in it and I can't sing like Alan Jackson but does that mean my songs are all "demos"?
The music on my CD's is me. If they don't sell because I suck, and the music and production is bad, that's one thing. But if they don't sell simply because I did it myself that's another matter.
Have fun doing your St. Paddy's day thing. Watch out for the amature drinkers.

PS. I have had people inspect my CD. They cannot tell it was done by me except when you turn it over and look to see where it is burned. I print directly on the CD. The printing does not smudge even with wet fingers.

Edit I just finished looking through the new arrivals at CD Baby. A very large percentage of the CD's are tagged with format CD-R

Last edited by Bill Robinson; 03/18/07 03:21 AM.

Bill
http://www.soundclick.com/billrobinson
http://www.dreamqueststudio.com
Skype; bill.robinson12

"The democracy will cease to exist when you take away from those who are willing to work and give to those who would not." --Thomas Jefferson didn't say it

http://voidnow.org/
http://www.americansworking.com/
#483931 - 03/18/07 04:51 AM Re: Format CD-R vs. "Pressed CD" question [Re: Andrew Aversa]  
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Larry Read Offline
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I Agree with Jody Whitesides there is a big difference in quality especially from the Glass Master Standpoint.

Not only is my new Album "Legacy" made from a glass master
I also used a single 1X speed master.

It's been proven that the quality from a 1X speed Glass Master and the original is totally undistinguishable from the original.
And the burn being at 1X speed is flawless.

Final cost around $1.72 per cd complete and ready for distribution and thats packaged in a four sided Full Color Digi Pak and 3 color disk if you order 1,000 or more.

One method I used to save on costs is that I purchased Adobe CS2 Illustrator and did the artwork myself useing templates supplied by the CD replicater that saved me around $800.00

You get massive price breaks at 1,000 or more.. Myself I did 2,000 next really big break came in at 5,000 it would have dropped to $1.24 per unit

I belive you only get ONE chance to make an impression.. so in my case I wanted something that was equal to something that would have been made by Sony /or Atlantic. So far and it's only been 3 days and my disks are selling and it's been far easier to get them into the local stores looking and sounding as they do.

So far the cost to me has been worth the extra investment.



your only a stranger once after that a new found friend
http://cdbaby.com/cd/larryread
http://www.LarryReadsMusic.com
Singer/Songwriter/Guitarist/Audio Engineer BMI &
Audio Engineering Society Member
#483934 - 03/18/07 05:22 AM Re: Format CD-R vs. "Pressed CD" question [Re: Larry Read]  
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Bill Robinson Offline
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Larry, I understand what a glass Master is and how it is made.
I am not familiar with the term "single 1x speedmaster" that you use.
Can you explain that?
Is that burning at 1x speed. do you need a special burner for that, and a special CD-R?


Bill
http://www.soundclick.com/billrobinson
http://www.dreamqueststudio.com
Skype; bill.robinson12

"The democracy will cease to exist when you take away from those who are willing to work and give to those who would not." --Thomas Jefferson didn't say it

http://voidnow.org/
http://www.americansworking.com/
#483937 - 03/18/07 05:31 AM Re: Format CD-R vs. "Pressed CD" question [Re: Larry Read]  
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Larry Read Offline
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Ok I am going let loose.....THIS IS IMPORTANT!!

I just want to ADD if you belive in yourself...Invest in yourself! Take a chance!

A chance never taken is a dream that will never be realized.
I belive in myself enough that I wanted a totally professional product. Why is it that people will spend $25,000 to $45,000 on a car but not more than a few hundred on your chosen career?

In my 30 years plus in the music biz I have always found that your only as good as your gear. I use the best Mics the best PA gear..The best lighting, The best guitars and because of this it's allowed to procure the great paying gigs.

I arrive with a great Bio in hand with top notch photos as well as video. Making a first rate impression every time.. the point I am trying to drive home is that the agents and managers and anyone else in this business recognize someone who is serious about the business.

And make no mistake about it.. THIS IS A BUSINESS..
Even though I have never made it big time. I have been able to make a living now for over 30 years doing what I love MUSIC.
So in that respect I have been a sucess.

So if all you beive is that your worth is a home burnt CD with
ink jet printing go for it. But if you choose to compete with the big boys make the investment. Beg, Borrow or put yourself in debt and compete!! Don't wait for the major labels to find you you'll grow old without the satisfaction knowing you gave it your best shot!!
make your own path..


your only a stranger once after that a new found friend
http://cdbaby.com/cd/larryread
http://www.LarryReadsMusic.com
Singer/Songwriter/Guitarist/Audio Engineer BMI &
Audio Engineering Society Member
#483940 - 03/18/07 05:51 AM Re: Format CD-R vs. "Pressed CD" question [Re: Larry Read]  
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Larry Read Offline
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Glass Mastering at Single Speed reduces jitter and errors

What does this mean? Well, the first step in professional disc manufacturing is cutting a glass master, which is then used to create the stamper that will press your discs. The standard way to cut your glass master is at high speed (up to eight times the normal playback speed.) This is standard industry practice and there is actually nothing wrong with it. Many top hits, in fact, were done this way.

However, many recording engineers, audiophiles, and mastering professionals advocate the use of true single-speed glass cutting, which they feel provides the greatest fidelity and the least jitter (timing errors). With true single speed cutting, your glass master literally cannot be differentiated, even with an oscilloscope, from the source you've provided. It's a much higher grade of product. This is usually done at the Plant and it's different than a copy it's replicated


your only a stranger once after that a new found friend
http://cdbaby.com/cd/larryread
http://www.LarryReadsMusic.com
Singer/Songwriter/Guitarist/Audio Engineer BMI &
Audio Engineering Society Member
#483942 - 03/18/07 06:25 AM Re: Format CD-R vs. "Pressed CD" question [Re: Bill Robinson]  
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Jeff Van Devender Offline
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Seems to me if you go with DiscMakers, they will keep a master on file forever. This is a good thing when you run out in 10 years! smile

Jeff

#483945 - 03/18/07 06:54 AM Re: Format CD-R vs. "Pressed CD" question [Re: Jeff Van Devender]  
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Larry Read Offline
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Larry Read  Offline
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I have already sold 134 disks in my first 3 days ...at
$14.99ea ..me thinks this order won't last all that long.


just a heads up

belive in yourself



your only a stranger once after that a new found friend
http://cdbaby.com/cd/larryread
http://www.LarryReadsMusic.com
Singer/Songwriter/Guitarist/Audio Engineer BMI &
Audio Engineering Society Member
#483967 - 03/18/07 11:28 AM Re: Format CD-R vs. "Pressed CD" question [Re: Larry Read]  
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Everett Adams Offline
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Everett Adams  Offline
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Even replicated CDs can have "bad" ones cropping up every now and then,I've struck them.

Everett

#483972 - 03/18/07 11:58 AM Re: Format CD-R vs. "Pressed CD" question [Re: Everett Adams]  
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BIG JIM MERRILEES Offline
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Edinburgh, Scotland. UK
Hi Larry I follow your comments and generally am in total agreement. You must act professionally and invest in the best gear etc I agree. I must take slight issue on this cd one however. I am glad that you have made it Big Time but not everybody can make it in this business. Some just do not have the talent or do not get the breaks, meet the right people etc or are just plain unlucky. You are asking people to jump from step two to step ten in one fell swoop. Even the best have to start somewhere. My advice to someone wanting to make their own cd is to dip your toe in the water. Spend some decent bucks in a recording studio so you have a quality master by all means. But before spending thousands that you might not have on professional pressing printing marketing etc burn a few copies yourself. Test the market, distribute amongst friends family etc and sell at gigs. Even multi national companies do a bit of market research before launching a new product. One final point the average tone deaf ear (about 95% of the population) cannot I repeat cannot distinguish music played or recorded on quality gear the way we good musicians can so in most cases all that effort and money spent is somewhat wasted. Larry I respect all opinions especially yours but once in a while it is good to debate and put alternatives forward.

#484015 - 03/18/07 01:57 PM Re: Format CD-R vs. "Pressed CD" question [Re: BIG JIM MERRILEES]  
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Bill Robinson Offline
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I think this is getting out of hand and coming dangerously close to turning into a flame war.

My intent in starting this thread was to offer up a way for beginners to be able to produce a few cd's at a reasonable cost.
We are not all professionals, making a living doing this.
Larry I aplaud your success in this business and yes, I agree it is a business.
Let me ask you this. 30 years ago were you doing glass masters? Did you own the best mics? Did you own the best guitar. How long did it take you to get to that point.

I wrote my first song 4 years ago. I had a 35 year old Harmony archtop that I could play three chords on. C,F,&G. I had no idea what a key was, and knew one strum. I played in public my first time three years ago, at Pineyfest. I still rarely play to an audience.
You talk about investment. Well, I have spent about $16,000 in the last 3 years learning this business. I take a guitar lesson once a week for an hour. I have built a studio in my barn.
I use good mics, maybe not your choice, but I think they are good. I use good guitars, not Martins or Taylors, but good. Epiphones and fenders and Samicks. My Samick acoutic cost $400.00

Now my guitar player, well he's a pro. He play a $4000.00 Gretch.
but you know what, he decide to use my $400 Samick acoustic on two of my songs because he likes it.

When I did this CD it was my first. I have no idea whether anyone will pay me money for it or not. I do not want a couple cases of CD's sitting in the corner for the rest of my life. I had hoped to test the waters, so to speak, with this CD. If someone actually buys all 4 of the CD's I have at CD Baby I will then consider doing a 1000 CD run through disc makers.
We are having a CD release concert in may. The place where I take guitar lessons is going to host it. I would like to have replicated CD's at that time. What happens between now and then will determine whether I do or not.
And I did all this while taking 6 months off last year to deal with a little bout of cancer.

I do appreciate all the information you have given us, Jody and all of you. Every little tidbit of knowledge you guys share with us helps us move one step further in our quest.

But for those of us on this forum that are just starting out we need to take it a step at a time. Learn and grow from the information we glean from your post's. For this you have my humble thanks.


Bill
http://www.soundclick.com/billrobinson
http://www.dreamqueststudio.com
Skype; bill.robinson12

"The democracy will cease to exist when you take away from those who are willing to work and give to those who would not." --Thomas Jefferson didn't say it

http://voidnow.org/
http://www.americansworking.com/
#484039 - 03/18/07 02:35 PM Re: Format CD-R vs. "Pressed CD" question [Re: BIG JIM MERRILEES]  
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Larry Read Offline
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Larry Read  Offline
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To My Friend Jim,

For the record Jim I gotta state I have not made it big. I do not know the right people.

All I have done is make a decision to not let my fears hold me back. I decided to forge a path myself rather than waiting any longer for a Major lable to find me.

I'm far too old for American Idol.

My point which I guess somehow I did not clearify enough is that in order to compete in this crazy business we call Music a performer must have the correct tools to Market and Promote themselves. Along with persistance and belief in ones self.

I totally agree one must test the water first! Make a few cd's on your home computer distribute them to your friends and family, Test the water so to speak and if you find your material and response is good enough then take a chance and go for it.

I did the above first..plus paid my dues singing in every club
I could find for the last 30 years and after each gig people kept coming up to me asking where could they buy it.

So next step... A chance never taken is a dream unrealized.

Sure, there will ALWAYS be those who will tell you... it's risky... you can lose too much but hey life's a gamble anyway.

Even if my CD never goes Platinum or for that matter Gold
I don't care... to me it's all about a dream realized.
I can hold it.. it's a reality..and even better yet it's selling.

I know in my heart I have put my best foot forward and gave it my best shot and that makes all the difference to me.

I guess what I am trying to say is ... If you don't belive in your self no one else will.

As far as luck we have all heard the stories of being discovered and swept up by the Majors. But after Years and Years in the biz reality sinks in.

I personally have spent more than half of my life chasing that Rainbow and from what I have learned it's more about making the right impression.

Heres what 30 plus years has driven home again and again.

IF YOU WANT TO CATCH A MOUSE YOU HAVE TO LOOK AND SMELL LIKE CHEESE!

To complete on a level playing field up against major artists and major talent you absolutely must play the game on the same level anything less and you don't stand a chance.

It's like trying to race NASCAR in a VW bettle..
However if you invest in a real NASCAR race car at least then
you stand a chance.

I realize the above example is a tad extreme but there is truth behind it.

Remember the pet rock? It's not that the rock had any more talent than the next rock. It's the Packaging and Marketing
that gave that stupid product the abilty to make money.

And Money it made..millions!! SO If you can sell one song for 99 cents to just one out of every two people in just the state where you live it's basic math YOU WILL MAKE a boat load back.

I took a Gamble.. I made an investment in me. The entire project has cost...well er... yes, quite a bit. In just 3 days since it's release when I go into a Music store or a retail outlets even without hearing the CD the product looks like SONY or ATLANTIC or Epic made it.

Hence I Look like cheese!! If they play it..
I taste and smell like Cheese... and so what if I am an unknown... they buy it so is that not the bottom line?

Is that not what we are trying so hard to achive in here?

Invest in yourself.. make your own path.. belive in your dream

you just might be surprised at the results.






your only a stranger once after that a new found friend
http://cdbaby.com/cd/larryread
http://www.LarryReadsMusic.com
Singer/Songwriter/Guitarist/Audio Engineer BMI &
Audio Engineering Society Member
#484048 - 03/18/07 03:19 PM Re: Format CD-R vs. "Pressed CD" question [Re: Bill Robinson]  
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Iggy Offline
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Iggy  Offline
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Hey again Bill,

Wow, wrote your first song only four years ago and now you’re talking a full CD? Sounds like you’ve come a long way my friend.

Your original post simply asked “Can someone enlighten me on the big difference between the two.
Quality, durability, etc”. The majority of responses you received agreed that “pressed CD’s” was the preferred method if you are a professional and serious about your music. No flames, nothing got out of hand, just stating opinions from experience.

It is this last post you clarify your statement by saying “My intent in starting this thread was to offer up a way for beginners to be able to produce a few cd's at a reasonable cost.” Quite a difference in the two questions that I think would have generated a different response.

Certainly you do not want to spend a lot of money if you are unsure where all of this is going. You should want to test the waters and see if your music and eventually your CD is good enough for people to want to buy. That requires a fan base, gigs, a marketing strategy and a business plan. All these steps should be in place prior to setting up a CD Baby store IF you want to sell to the world and compete with all those others on CD Baby who are doing just that. If your intent is to simply create a record of all your music, something you can point to and say, “Yeah, that’s me” then by all means go the short run CDR way. If Aunt Edna’s friends fall in love with you and you run out of CD’s, then the next step would be the pressed, professional approach.

Making your first CD is a great experience. All your hard work is there. The artwork, the songs, the liner notes. Wow what a rush and a fantastic accomplishment. Again, congratulations.

#484049 - 03/18/07 03:21 PM Re: Format CD-R vs. "Pressed CD" question [Re: Larry Read]  
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Larry Read Offline
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Larry Read  Offline
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Bill,
From what I have read above YOU ARE making the investment in time and money and upgradeing when ever possible.

In answer to your question 30 years ago YES, I was using the best I could afford at the time. I was playing and have pictures to prove it a Martin.

I also re-invested over and over agian into my trade.

I played bars and lounges 6 and 7 nights a week and CD's had not been invented yet so Glass Masters were not even invented yet.

No computers and no internet.
But we did use reel to reel and records.

The era we live in now provides us all with enormous opportunity to do so much more so than in the past
we have so many tools avaliable to us now. Back then home recording at home was a Joke.. nobody did it.. quality lacked ALOT!!

I was also very naive and was waiting for that man from the Major
labels to discover me and or my band.

As time went on I opened for Major acts moved to Vegas and still waited for that big shot.. somewhere in the late 70's I had learned enough to realize that in order for me to procure the best paying gigs I had to invest in myself and my career so I opened a credit account and began investing further in equipment.

I did go and buy the best at it's time. I was one of the very first acts to go wireless using NADY FM gear a fossil now but state of the art for it's day. I invested in my band and spent thousands on Costume changes, Lighting, Promo and pictures.

What I got back was now I was able to book the best paying gigs.. but alas still no record deal.....darn!!

That elusive Record exec never materialized. Vegas I found out is where you go after you have made it not to make it.

I had more invested in my equipment then in my home at the time.
I took a big jump and invested in a Recording Studio that became my business for several years after. Still no Major label offering that record deal. So what did this accomplish?

Well... I made a living doing what I do best Music!

But the lesson it drove home ( to me ) was your only as good as what you have to offer and the tools you use.

Bill, Relax I am not trying to upset anyone or in anyway in flames I was just trying to pass on whats worked for me all these years and still does.

I am always open for questions and sincerly want to help in any way I can and as our great leader here says.. we are all in this together.


your only a stranger once after that a new found friend
http://cdbaby.com/cd/larryread
http://www.LarryReadsMusic.com
Singer/Songwriter/Guitarist/Audio Engineer BMI &
Audio Engineering Society Member
#484057 - 03/18/07 04:00 PM Re: Format CD-R vs. "Pressed CD" question [Re: Larry Read]  
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Bill Robinson Offline
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Oh! My goodness.
Now I feel really stoopid, LOL

I have two interconnected threads going on here at the same time and thought I was in the other one.

Oh Well..I never was the sharpest tack in the box, LOL
What can I say.


Bill
http://www.soundclick.com/billrobinson
http://www.dreamqueststudio.com
Skype; bill.robinson12

"The democracy will cease to exist when you take away from those who are willing to work and give to those who would not." --Thomas Jefferson didn't say it

http://voidnow.org/
http://www.americansworking.com/
#484075 - 03/18/07 05:54 PM Re: Format CD-R vs. "Pressed CD" question [Re: Bill Robinson]  
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scottandrew Offline
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Cool thread, although I find it strange that I disagree with almost everything smile

Bill, consider this: if you've already invested several thousand dollars making your record, you might as well spend the $1K-2K to get a run of 1000 professionally replicated CDs. I agree with Jody and Larry that the quality will be superior, and they'll look like you're taking yourself seriously...

...if you care about that stuff. I know many talented musicians who've sprung for top-of-the-line equipment, impressive promo materials, full-color digipak triple-gatefold whatever, because they wanted to be "taken seriously."

And guess what? I've sold more basement-recorded CD-Rs that most of them have sold CDs. And on top of that, they're broke. Why? Because they didn't have the numbers to actually justify spending all that money, and not much of a sales/marketing plan to earn it back.

Obviously you want your CDs to sound great and look great. Don't skimp and end up with something you'll regret.

#484091 - 03/18/07 06:36 PM Re: Format CD-R vs. "Pressed CD" question [Re: scottandrew]  
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Joe Wrabek (D) Offline
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Garibaldi, OR USA
Scott, I understand. I think I mostly still agree with Bill, however. (I should preface this with the standard N.A.P.A.T. disclaimer--Not A Professional At This.)

On the last CD (the only one I've tried to sell), I did invest my money where it counted most--in the recording and mastering. It still came in fairly cheap, but it was good because the guys and gals who did it were very good at what they do. And that (for me) was what counted, not whether their names were household words. As far as the graphic design goes, I'm good at what I do, and I wasn't going to pay somebody to do a job I could do better.

It's on the manufacture of the CDs that I ran into the same problem Bill did. I suppose I could have invested the $1-2,000 in a bunch of replicated CDs--but then I would have had 1,000 CDs I *know* I couldn't sell. That's simply not a productive use of my money.

The trade-off is that I will sell my CD-Rs for ten bucks (which I have figured out is about what the market will bear)--and also realize that very few of my customers notice or care that it's a CD-R rather than a replicated CD. If somebody's CD fails, I just replace it for free and apologize.

Next time around (maybe), I may invest in the 1,000 replicated CDs--but only if I think my market's gotten big enough to absorb them. I may know that after Pineyfest and this year's Concert Season, and I may not. I agree one should be prepared to invest one's money, but I also think one should be preapred to invest it wisely.

The Artist Formerly Known as Moonless Joe

Last edited by Joe Wrabek (roxh; 03/18/07 06:36 PM.
#484115 - 03/18/07 07:25 PM Re: Format CD-R vs. "Pressed CD" question [Re: Joe Wrabek (D)]  
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BIG JIM MERRILEES Offline
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Edinburgh, Scotland. UK
Hi all. Just like my pal Larry I have over thirty years in the business. lets get this whole thing in perspective and finally put it to bed. My point is simple you gotta walk before you can run. It is only common sense to follow your dream and give 100% to something you really love. As Larry says and I agree, be professional invest in the best you can afford, give it your best shot, treat it like a business, but for god's sake keep at least one foot on the ground. You dont want your business to go bust before it has even taken off. MY THOUGHT FOR THE DAY well worth remembering in everything you do "Start little think big."

#484138 - 03/18/07 08:17 PM Re: Format CD-R vs. "Pressed CD" question [Re: Bill Robinson]  
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Jody Whitesides Offline
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Park City, UT, USA
Originally Posted by Bill Robinson
Hi Jody
I do agree with you on a lot of what you say.
I think it may be a matter of perception. Burned=demo.
But I'll tell you, I have listened to some commercially produced CD's that were terrible and some Burned CD's that were wonderful.

I agree that a CD with a paper label may appear amateurish but that does not mean the music isn't any good.
What does "Demo" actually mean.
If you are an artist and you do your own music and vocals, have a well produced CD, is it a demo just because you did it yourself?
If you are songwriter and have a CD done by a "proffesional" studio using "demo" singers and session musicians is that then not a demo?

I have my own little studio. It may not have $50,000 worth of recording equipment in it and I can't sing like Alan Jackson but does that mean my songs are all "demos"?
The music on my CD's is me. If they don't sell because I suck, and the music and production is bad, that's one thing. But if they don't sell simply because I did it myself that's another matter.
Have fun doing your St. Paddy's day thing. Watch out for the amature drinkers.

PS. I have had people inspect my CD. They cannot tell it was done by me except when you turn it over and look to see where it is burned. I print directly on the CD. The printing does not smudge even with wet fingers.

Edit I just finished looking through the new arrivals at CD Baby. A very large percentage of the CD's are tagged with format CD-R


Bill, there are always going to be exceptions to the rules. We wouldn't have these exceptions if there weren't general rules. Generally speaking, a replicated CD looks and sounds professional - especially if they're being sold in stores. Generally speaking, a CD-R is equated with being a demo or test run, or something non-professional. Those are generalities. Just because you've experienced otherwise on occasion, does not mean it's the general rule.

I agree, there are professionally replicated CD's that suck balls. I've certainly made CD-R's myself and I know that they're every bit as good sounding as a replicated CD.

To me a demo is when you're testing the waters but aren't sure that the recording is right, or that the mix is final, or that something in the process isn't ready to be called finished. Maybe you don't like the arrangement, or the way something was recorded. That is a demo to me.

I think that as soon as you want to call it finished it's no longer a demo. At that point it's time to take the next step. In the grand scheme of things, it is hard for lots of artists to sell CD's. Most musicians aren't salesmen. Unfortunately it doesn't matter how good the music is - if you can't sell it, no one will know.

The reason I mentioned replicating the CD is because I feel it makes selling the music easier. It lowers your cost in the long run. It gives you the look, the perception of professional. One of the hardest things to learn is that perception = reality in music. Also, as a business - your product, which is your CD, is just a widget. In business, the actual cost of the widget is negligible compared to the creation of the idea, the marketing of it, and promotion of it (R&D and Advertising). So to actually worry about the cost of replication is not where your worry should be going. The biggest portion of your business dollars is going to be advertising. If it isn't, you're spending it in the wrong places. However getting into the nuts and bolts of how you spend your money on your product is an entirely different thread.

I'm providing reason's for replicating. No one has to follow it, not even you, but you asked what is the difference. You're free to sell your music any way you wish. As Scott has said, he's sold more CD-R's than lots of his friends have sold CD's. I also have had friends who have gone the route of replicating CD's who spent good money only to waste it because the music wasn't all that good and no one had the heart to tell them before they spent the money. If they would have asked me before they replicated, I probably would have been the one dissenting voice. Most likely they still wouldn't have listened to me, but at least they would have gotten a perspective.

Jody

p.s. - I have a replicated CD by a semi-famous artist that was recorded in a barn with a single microphone. It's some of the best music I've ever heard. One guy, one guitar, and his foot. They didn't spend very much money on the recording, but it's friggin brilliant because the engineer got the mic placed so that you get a perfect balance of each song as he performed it. It's not multitracked either. His name is Chris Whitley, the album is called Dirt Floor.


Jody Whitesides
A Funky Audio Lap Dance For Your Ears!
www.jodywhitesides.com
#484153 - 03/18/07 09:33 PM Re: Format CD-R vs. "Pressed CD" question [Re: Jody Whitesides]  
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BIG JIM MERRILEES Offline
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Edinburgh, Scotland. UK
Like I said "Horses for courses." How is this for a piece of comparism? When I install a piece of complicated software. I do not go straight to the advanced users manual. I usually read a step by step introduction maybe view a tutorial and maybe try out some of the practice modes first. The same applies to recording and producing a demo. The word "demo" is short for the word demonstration ie "a short working example of material, quality, ability and technical attributes available".

#484161 - 03/18/07 10:35 PM Re: Format CD-R vs. "Pressed CD" question [Re: BIG JIM MERRILEES]  
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Larry Read Offline
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Larry Read  Offline
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North County,San Diego,Ca
Jody makes a great point he said: Quote

The reason I mentioned replicating the CD is because I feel it makes selling the music easier. ( YES!!) It lowers your cost in the long run.( Yes Again ) It gives you the look, the perception of professional. ( YES YES YES Oh boy Jody Knows His stuff! )
end Quote...

Jody has got it Right! Case in point I only need to sell 350 CDS to break even with my production cost on 2,000 CD's. After that it's gravy time and I am almost half way there in 3 days.

Jody also said:

One of the hardest things to learn is that perception = reality in music. Also, as a business - your product, which is your CD, is just a widget. In business, the actual cost of the widget is negligible compared to the creation of the idea, the marketing of it, and promotion of it (R&D and Advertising)end quote!

perception = reality < Extremely well put Jody!

RIGHT ON JODY!....marketing and also creating a buzz are the key words here. Once you have a great product the money then needs to be re directed and invested in letting the world know.

Lets say you by some miracle could bring Elvis back.

You would need to promote the fact that King is back.

Because If no one knows no one knows no one will buy the product.

It keeps coming back to what I keep saying....

TO CATCH A MOUSE YOU MUST LOOK AND SMELL LIKE CHEESE!

Good Grief...I just can't make it any clearer than that.


your only a stranger once after that a new found friend
http://cdbaby.com/cd/larryread
http://www.LarryReadsMusic.com
Singer/Songwriter/Guitarist/Audio Engineer BMI &
Audio Engineering Society Member
#484185 - 03/19/07 12:16 AM Re: Format CD-R vs. "Pressed CD" question [Re: Larry Read]  
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BIG JIM MERRILEES Offline
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Edinburgh, Scotland. UK
Larry and Jody I agree with what you both are saying factually but in reality a lot of people taking this advice will be left with a pile of expensive cds they cannot sell. Your advice is only good if you know you can sell your stuff and have sussed out the market. My advice still stands. Start small then think big only after you are successful with a trial run. Dont waste thousands on a hope and a prayer. Learn to walk before you run you might trip over and get hurt. When I was in sales I set targets that I and my team could achieve then gradually raised the bar. We were top team and kept there. Even EMI do not press a large run of cds until they know there is a demand.

#484189 - 03/19/07 12:23 AM Re: Format CD-R vs. "Pressed CD" question [Re: Larry Read]  
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Mike Dunbar Offline
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Mike Dunbar  Offline
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Nashville Tennessee
Yes, replicated cds are definitely higher quality and duplicated cds can cause folks to think of your product as inferior.

I understand the problem. A grand is a lot of money. That's why I recommend test-marketing with a hundred duplicates then using that money to upgrade. Anyone with good product will be surprised how little time it takes to sell a hundred cds. Without advertising it, insert a self-addressed stamped postcard in each of the duplicates which is a certificate good for a free upgrade if (make sure you say "if") the new version of the cd is released. Invest the gross back into having 1,000 replicated and the cost of mailing cds from the pro quality batch to anyone who sent back a postcard and you're in business.

If you find you can't sell a hundred, send a thank you note back to anyone who sent you the postcard telling them a new version will not be released and you're not out a grand.

All the Best,
Mike


You've got to know your limitations. I don't know what your limitations are. I found out what mine were when I was twelve. I found out that there weren't too many limitations, if I did it my way. -Johnny Cash

It's only music.
-niteshift

Mike Dunbar Music

#484190 - 03/19/07 12:25 AM Re: Format CD-R vs. "Pressed CD" question [Re: Larry Read]  
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Bill Robinson Offline
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I guess what it comes down to now is deciding whether my CD is marketable. I have been doing this long enough to know that if mom likes it that don't mean squat to the rest of the world.

I reckon that's where I'm at with it. Once I determine it is good enough to market I will look at get it replicated.
I have had people listen to it, third party, so I am not in the picture. Feedback has been positive.
I realize my music may not appeal to the younger audience although I was a little surprised at the reaction I got from some of the younger folks at the party I was at. They didn't like all the songs but they did like some.

Even if I have it replicated I will not change the artwork. It's what I want. Cd Baby has already said the status would be changed if I send them replicated CD's.


Bill
http://www.soundclick.com/billrobinson
http://www.dreamqueststudio.com
Skype; bill.robinson12

"The democracy will cease to exist when you take away from those who are willing to work and give to those who would not." --Thomas Jefferson didn't say it

http://voidnow.org/
http://www.americansworking.com/
#484232 - 03/19/07 02:46 AM Re: Format CD-R vs. "Pressed CD" question [Re: BIG JIM MERRILEES]  
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Jody Whitesides Offline
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Originally Posted by BIG JIM MERRILEES
Larry and Jody I agree with what you both are saying factually but in reality a lot of people taking this advice will be left with a pile of expensive cds they cannot sell. Your advice is only good if you know you can sell your stuff and have sussed out the market. My advice still stands. Start small then think big only after you are successful with a trial run. Dont waste thousands on a hope and a prayer. Learn to walk before you run you might trip over and get hurt. When I was in sales I set targets that I and my team could achieve then gradually raised the bar. We were top team and kept there. Even EMI do not press a large run of cds until they know there is a demand.


Jim, you seem to miss that I said no one needs to follow my advice. But even you admit that it has to do with thinking you can sell a CD. I never said otherwise.

This is going to take the thread off topic as originally it was What's the difference between CD-R and CD's? There are many ways to make those differences known - they have been discussed here already.

As far as making comparisons to EMI, or any label for that matter... There's a whole lot of stuff that gets done in shady ways. Sometimes they'll press 10,000. Sometimes they'll press a 1,000,000. It really depends on the story they plan on spinning to the press, radio and other media outlets. There is no one way to release a CD.

However, even if they're following your advice or a derivative of it, one shouldn't be marketing a CD-R through CD Baby anyway. The concept of test marketing is something far different, at least to me. For my current CD Practical Insanity, I gathered info by sending it to about 200 people, prior to getting it printed - using CD-R's. I numbered each one and had people sign a waiver. I also sent it with a questionaire. I got really good quality feedback and everyone felt special to be getting a sneak listen at a CD. I found which songs resonated with people and why. Which was helpful in letting me know which songs I should push. Funny thing was, most of them matched my inclinations. But there was two surprise hits that I didn't expect. I sampled lots of ages, races, and both genders. I was getting a good range much farther than most marketing would expect. Based on that feedback, I went full bore.

I did the same thing for my music video that happened to win for the JPF awards 2006. I took the initial rough cut around to people and let them watch. I then asked what they did and didn't like about the video. I coupled that with the stuff I did and didn't like and went back to the director/editor and asked if he would make some changes. It took about 5 redits to get it to the point where it is now and it paid off. It was entered in several festivals and awards and placed in all of them, even won the JPF one. That's test marketing that worked wonders.

For me, that's how I will now do all of my CD's because it works and makes sense - to me. Who knows, in a few years, it may not be worth it to release CD's except for CD singles anyway. It's also how I'll do my videos as well. Right now, I'm working on the next video for the CD. The concept is great. But we'll see what happens once it's shot and edited.

I understand that you're being a realist Jim. I'm actually hoping that people reading the thread will understand what they're up against when competing for a sale against someone like me or a Major Label. Presentation counts to get ears to listen to the music, and at that point the music along with the package will cause them to pull money out of their pocket and put it in yours.

Jody


Jody Whitesides
A Funky Audio Lap Dance For Your Ears!
www.jodywhitesides.com
#484234 - 03/19/07 02:56 AM Re: Format CD-R vs. "Pressed CD" question [Re: Jody Whitesides]  
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Joe Wrabek (D) Offline
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Joe Wrabek (D)  Offline
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Garibaldi, OR USA
Jody, I really like the idea of a questionnaire? Is it possible to see what questions you asked, so I could maybe plagiarize them?

Joe

#484244 - 03/19/07 04:13 AM Re: Format CD-R vs. "Pressed CD" question [Re: Joe Wrabek (D)]  
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Jody Whitesides Offline
Jody Whitesides  Offline

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Park City, UT, USA
Originally Posted by Joe Wrabek (roxh
Jody, I really like the idea of a questionnaire? Is it possible to see what questions you asked, so I could maybe plagiarize them?

Joe


Sure... (are you questioning the questionaire? ;-) ) One thing to note, I gave 2 minute clips of the music - not the full songs. I did that in order to prevent copying. Noone seemed to have a problem with it, in fact it made many of the people want to hear even more.

I wrote up a little paragraph that said something like this: "I've sent this package to request feedback from you about the music and proposal that I've put together. I'd like to find out several things."

Then I listed each song by Title. I created a scale of 1 to 10 where one was dislike, 10 was love. For several things on each song, including: Lyrics, Song structure, memorability, the mix, the order, etc... I also asked them to write a brief statement about each song and why they did or did not like something - Most people wrote stuff in for that and I enjoyed reading what they had to say.

Example:
On a scale of 1 to 10, how well do you understand and relate to the lyric of this song: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10. Please explain:...

Very few of the people that I had doing this were "in the biz". The main reason is that I wanted a consumer's feedback. I'm not selling my music to industry folk, I'm selling it to record buying public. Their feedback means more. You'd be surprised at how a consumer reacts to a lyric or melody compared to a "Pro".

Mind you, I also had a business plan that I was looking to get feedback on as well. So I sent that with each CD and had questions about that too. I got good feedback on that was well.

Overall, it takes a lot longer to do something like that, this test marketing. It's certainly slowed down my pace. But I think I will be putting out better material because of it. At this point, I've got some things in the works and have met some powerful industry people who believe in my vision. So, as soon as one thing comes through on what I've set up, everything is going to change in a big way. When it happens, I'm sure that I'll be happy to show others what I did.

Jody

p.s. - I'm not a businessman, I just play one when I'm away from the music.


Jody Whitesides
A Funky Audio Lap Dance For Your Ears!
www.jodywhitesides.com
#484253 - 03/19/07 05:28 AM Re: Format CD-R vs. "Pressed CD" question [Re: Jody Whitesides]  
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Doug/Liszt Laughing Offline
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Doug/Liszt Laughing  Offline
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Indiana
This thread has been fascinating...I think there should also a bit of distinction made between a homemade CD-R for sale and a professionally made CD-R. I can see where CD-R can scream unprofessional due to some sloppy work on some homemade ones.

But, nowdays, the professionally made CD-R packages, like from DISKFAKTORY, the ones with full color artwork on the CD face, color inserts, jewel case, bar code, shrink wrap, etc. are hard (except to someone really looking) to distinguish from a replicated CD (in my opinion). In fact, in my opinion, I will guarantee you the normal fan is not going to notice. Some CD-R's I've seen and I think Scott was referring to you can't even see the burn line on them because of the silver backface.

While I understand the PERCEPTION of replicated -vs- duplicated is important (like in JAPAN, it's a very big deal), nowdays I think the reality is (in my opinion), if you spend time on the artwork and get it professionally duped with the right company, in practical terms replicated = duplicated. Here are the reasons why (in my opinion):

1)Most CD players nowdays are made to handle CD-R.
2)A professionally duped package looks like a replicated package.
3)While this can be argued until we are blue in the face, I think in practical terms (the life of how long a fan is actually gonna play the CD), the lifespan and error rates are equal. Especially if you go by the data presented by a poster above.

The music is what is important. I personally would try to make the best music I can by spending the money on that aspect, and then if I'm a little short on cash, I wouldn't apologize for selling a well done CD-R package. Some of the other's expressed this also, but Mike's idea of starting out with CD-R and then moving up is a really good one. The only thing I would differ in is, I wouldn't offer to "upgrade" if I eventually replicated. Why? There is nothing wrong with how the music was delivered to your fans in the first place (via CD-R). And most of them wouldn't care anyway. If someone complained later on, I'd give them a replicated CD, but otherwise, I don't see the need to apologize for delivering the music on a well done CD-R.

I've never had anybody return a CD (not that I have sold that many), I now download most of my music and burn to CD-R for the car and I never have problems with this...I've bought CD's that were CD-R and never had a problem...

Now, that's just my opinion. I am not a full time professional musican as Jody and some of the other's are, so what I say should probably be taken with a grain of salt, but there it is...

And my name is Doug...and I did stay at a Holiday In Express last night...

See ya! smile

Last edited by Liszt Laughing; 03/19/07 05:43 AM.

Boo...my name is Doug
#484277 - 03/19/07 10:05 AM Re: Format CD-R vs. "Pressed CD" question [Re: Doug/Liszt Laughing]  
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Steve Ross Offline
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East Coast
This is an outstanding thread . I think the best thing JPF could do is start a new board simply titled "Replicate or Duplicate" where you submit your work and members vote it up or down. There has to be a ton of people riding the fence on this issue. Jody, Larry and Bill-great stuff.

#484286 - 03/19/07 11:39 AM Re: Format CD-R vs. "Pressed CD" question [Re: Steve Ross]  
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Jerry Jakala Offline
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Jerry Jakala  Offline
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Pinellas Park.FL USA
It all boils down to what you can afford to do in my opinion.
The other thing is that some of us(especially myself)have limited marketing skills.
It's hard to run with the big dogs when you are a puppy.
In a perfect world we would all be doing glass masters.
Like everything else we just have to do the best that we can with what we have to work with.
Very interesting informative thread!
Thanks every one!
Jerry


http://www.jerryjakala.com
http://cdbaby.com/cd/jakalajerry2

The difference between genius and stupidity is that there is a limit on genius.-Albert Einstein
#484287 - 03/19/07 11:44 AM Re: Format CD-R vs. "Pressed CD" question [Re: Steve Ross]  
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Bill Robinson Offline
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Curmudgeonville, Tn
Jody
That is a great plan you have. I can't think of a better way to guage how the customer will perceive your CD. Very professional.

I am still not convinced replicated cd's are truly that much better that duplicated cd's. A little better, probably.
The life span(shelf) of each seems to be about the same. But I am not sure about durability. I have some CD-R's that have taken a beating and still play fine. I have some CD-ROM's that went bad with just a little abuse.
The only way you can tell a well done CD-R from a replicated CD is by turning it over and looking for the burn mark. The people I showed my CD to at the party had no idea I did it myself until I told them.
As far as the art work goes, I think saying the only way it can look professional is to have someone else do it is like saying the only way your music can sound professional is have someone else perform it. Some people are very talented artist's and graphic designer's.
The printing on my CD and on my liners looks very good. The only thing I don't have is the very thin paper you find in store bought CD's.
I have not had a single complaint about the physical quality of the CD or the package. As a matter of fact I have been told it looks better than a lot of the CD's they have purchased at the store.
A professional might know the difference but I'm not sure John Q public will.

When I get to the point where I believe my CD is "Truly" ready and I feel it is truly marketable I will do a replication run.
The upfront cost will be more but the price per CD will be less. I like that idea.

I perused the CD BABY site to see how many new submissions were being tagged CD-R. It looks like about 25 to 30 percent are done CD-R. So it's not just me, LOL
I think CD Baby needs to look at this and do their own research and determine the difference. It would be interesting to see what they come up with. And if they find it to be closer than we think they should have a disclaimer.
It seems we are split on how we feel about this, We have some that belive CD-ROM is far superior, some who don't.
It would be interesting to see what some industry "experts" have to say about it.

BTW the confusion I experienced was because I have another thread "My CD How I did It" which details how I produced my CD. That was an effort to tell folks how they can produce a CD at home if they only want to do a few dozen. And have a decent lookin product.
And unless you have actually held my CD in your hands you have no idea how it turned out. So if ya wanna know you have to buy one. grin



Bill
http://www.soundclick.com/billrobinson
http://www.dreamqueststudio.com
Skype; bill.robinson12

"The democracy will cease to exist when you take away from those who are willing to work and give to those who would not." --Thomas Jefferson didn't say it

http://voidnow.org/
http://www.americansworking.com/
#484288 - 03/19/07 11:51 AM Re: Format CD-R vs. "Pressed CD" question [Re: Bill Robinson]  
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Bill Robinson Offline
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One other thought
I sent my CD into CD Baby because I wanted to get started on the digital distribution.
Had I known they were going to tag my CD with CD-R I would have only sent them one. Just to get the digital distribution started.
Digital downloads don't care how it was done as long as it sounds good on MP3


Bill
http://www.soundclick.com/billrobinson
http://www.dreamqueststudio.com
Skype; bill.robinson12

"The democracy will cease to exist when you take away from those who are willing to work and give to those who would not." --Thomas Jefferson didn't say it

http://voidnow.org/
http://www.americansworking.com/
#484322 - 03/19/07 02:58 PM Re: Format CD-R vs. "Pressed CD" question [Re: Bill Robinson]  
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Ray E. Strode Offline
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Ray E. Strode  Offline
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Brunswick, Ga. USA
Well,
When I went into the Navy the first place I was stationed had signs posted in the hanger saying, IT ALWAYS PAYS TO GO FIRST CLASS. At the time being only 17 I didn't know what it meant as there were First Class Petty Officers.

Now that I am much older I understand perfectly. If you do a third class act people will always see you as a third class act.

If you want to be a sucessful artist for instance you have to go thru the proccedure. You have to prcctice being profecient in what you do. If you are not especially serious perhaps a few home burned CD'S will suffice. But if you walk in a record store you can bet that all of those CD'S in the racks are made with a glass master and totally professional products. Sure you may get a bad one now and then but it will be rare.

Any thing you decide to do in life requires a lot of work to be sucessful. You can't phone in success. You have to go thru school get out and try your luck. There are no shortcuts. It gets easier as you go along. But you have to do proper planning.

If you walk in a store that looks like a junk yard how long are you going to shop there.



Ray E. Strode
#484326 - 03/19/07 03:48 PM Re: Format CD-R vs. "Pressed CD" question [Re: Ray E. Strode]  
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scottandrew Offline
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Liszt nails it: CD-R technology has improved to the point where CD-Rs are almost indistinguishable from CDs. CD-R packages from Mixonic, DiskFactory and others can look just as good as replicated product.

The days of CD-Rs with gold backing and sticky labels are long gone.

Also, Liszt wrote:

Quote
The only thing I would differ in is, I wouldn't offer to "upgrade" if I eventually replicated.


Funny story along these lines: ny first CD ever was a hand-burned CD-Rs and I sold about 80 before I got a replicated run of 1000. When I offered "upgrades" to the people who bought CD-Rs, I had a number of people write back and say, no way! They loved the DIY charm of the handmade CD! I think only 2 people took me up on the upgrade offer.

#484335 - 03/19/07 04:18 PM Re: Format CD-R vs. "Pressed CD" question [Re: Bill Robinson]  
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Jody Whitesides Offline
Jody Whitesides  Offline

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Park City, UT, USA
Originally Posted by Bill Robinson
Jody
That is a great plan you have. I can't think of a better way to guage how the customer will perceive your CD. Very professional.


Thank you. I actually got the idea for doing that after I appeared on a Los Angeles radio station. LA's #1 rated afternoon show Frosty, Heidi and Frank. They're a talk show, but on Friday's they play a local artist. They interview you, then give their thoughts, and have the audience vote as to whether you got what it takes. I've got the audio on my website in my clubhouse.

Here's the overall vibe that occurred. The hosts Frosty, Heidi and Frank - loved both songs that were played. Their screener who hates everything, had one of the funniest remarks I've ever heard "I find that kind of music absolutely nauseating, but he's so damn good he has to stay." Their producer loved it, and one other person in the studio did too. The listener response was overwhelming. One guy that called in said he was having a crappy day until he heard the first song and it turned his day around. Other responses were great too. In fact at the time I aired with it, I had the fastest set of calls to get the required 6 votes to stay (seven calls). I gained lots of new fans out of it.

With that type of response on a major station in a major network, I felt I finally had the juice to tackle the direction it needed to go. Talk about an ego boost when you're a non-signed artist.

It's been a lengthy process, and as I've mentioned before things are still being put in place. But I believe the payoff will be worthwhile. Hell it's kinda nice when you get a text message from Derek Sivers saying he just saw your CD in a record store. :-)

Jody


Jody Whitesides
A Funky Audio Lap Dance For Your Ears!
www.jodywhitesides.com
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