Frequently asked Questions
For the thorough and the curious


We’ve prepared this section to help answer any questions you have about our services. If you can’t find the answer to your question, contact us.

Replication

1. What is your turnaround time?

2. What master formats do you accept?

3. Do I have to pay sales tax on my project?

4. Will my finished discs sound like my master?

5. What if I have my own artwork designer?

6. Do you have any alternatives to jewel-box packaging for CDs?

7. What's the difference between replicated discs and CD-Rs?
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Design

1. Can I give you my completed artwork on disk?

2. What kind of files do you accept?

3. What do I need to include in my files?

4. How should my files be constructed?

5. What else should I know when submitting files for output?

6. What about the disc label?
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Pre-Press and Print

1. How can I make sure my artwork looks right before it’s printed?

2. What printing options do you offer?

3. Where do I get a Barcode Number?



DVD Authoring

1. Which video tape formats do you accept?

2. What if I just need a straight transfer to DVD?




Replication
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1.What is your turnaround time?
Once you approve your artwork, our standard turnaround time for compact disc and DVD replication, printing, and packaging is 12 to 15 working days. If you have a release party or any other pressing release date, please make us aware of it when you are ready to place your order. Although we are committed to making your deadline, some delays such as master rejections, equipment failures, and shipping delays due to bad weather may be out of our control. If your project requires special packaging or printing on non-standard paper, please allow an extra week. If you are planning a Christmas release, please call to verify turnaround. Manufacturing time may increase to 20 working days or more during the fall and holiday season.

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_2. What master formats do you accept?

We accept CD-R, PMCD, 1630, 8mm (exabyte) and PCM9000 for CD replication. For DVD replication we accept DVD-R and DLT for DVD-5 and DLT only for DVD-9. For CD-R duplication we prefer a CD-R and for DVD-R duplication we prefer a DVD-R.

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3. Do I have to pay sales tax on my project?

IIf you reside in California, you are required to pay state sales tax on all items unless you have provided us with a valid resale card. You can apply for a resale number from the California State Board of Equalization. They can be reached at 800-400-7115 or on the web at http://www.boe.ca.gov. If we are doing your printing for you, we are required to charge sales tax for design, scans and film output regardless of residency or resale status.

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4. Will my finished discs sound like my master?

CDS has always had sonic quality as a primary concern - especially in recent years when the trend in disc manufacturing has seen an emphasis on faster rather than better. Our discs are always transferred to the glass master directly at single speed (1X) by JVC. And we’ve licensed JVC’s K2 technology and are offering it to our clients at no extra cost. This means that your discs manufactured with us will sound more like your master than discs from any other source we know of.

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5. What if I have my own artwork designer?

No problem. And for a nominal fee we’ll be happy to pre-flight your files. CDS will generate your film and proofs from your designer’s files or accept your color-separated film. Templates and instructions for setting up files are available on this website (see CDS Templates). If you have any questions, we encourage you or your designer to give us a call. Our design department will be happy to help!

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6. Do you have any alternatives to jewel-box packaging for CDs?

We offer alternatives such as full color jackets, vinyl sleeves, paper window sleeves, and Digipaks. The jewel-box is still the leading choice for fast, economical packaging, but we are always on the lookout for new ideas. Call us for a custom quote.

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7. What's the difference between replicated discs and CD-Rs?

A CD-R starts as a blank disc and is burned (recorded). A replicated disc is custom molded (like an LP). CD-Rs are normally not sold at retail.

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Design
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1. Can I give you my completed artwork on disk?

Yes. If you prefer to send us your completed design as digital files, we request you follow a few guidelines to ensure proper film output. Files that are not properly set up may either incur an hourly rate for corrections made by CDS, or be returned to the designer.


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2. What kind of files do you accept?

Files created in QuarkXPress are preferred with Adobe Pagemaker a distant second choice. These are both professional page layout programs and are really the best choice for booklets, inlay cards, digipaks, case wraps or anything where you’re laying out text and graphics. Illustrator and Freehand are acceptable but are harder to output from. We are definitely Mac people but accept PC files if that’s all you’ve got. Please, please use type 1 fonts and include them with your files. Also any placed images must include 1/8” bleed and be in CMYK format at 300 dpi at 100%. (Except disc labels which are normally Pantone colors.) Call us if you don’t know what any of this means.


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3. What do I need to include in my files?


FONTS:
Files must include all fonts used, including any that are embedded in placed EPS files. Please be sure to include both parts of post-script fonts (screen and printer). Try to avoid TrueType fonts as they may cause unexpected errors during film output. Please notify us if you are using any Multiple Master fonts. Avoid using the "bold" and "italic" styles included as options in the layout programs. Instead be sure to use the bold and italic versions of the actual font. For instance, use "Formata Bold" as opposed to "Formata Regular" with a style of bold.

IMAGES/COLORS:
Placed images that are to print as color on your printed material MUST be converted to CMYK and should be in either EPS or TIFF format (IMPORTANT: the artwork silk-screened on the compact disc itself is different, please see Design question #6 below). Do not use picts, jpeg encoding, or LZW compression, as this will cause your images to print as black and white or not at all. Unless colors selected in your page layout program are to print as a 5th plate (at an additional cost), such as metallic or fluorescent spot colors, they should be set for process separation.

Other guidelines for images/colors:
When creating four color files, you may prefer to use a rich black if large areas of black are used. This is commonly a CMYK black made up of 100% black and 30% cyan.

Please make sure that all scanned images are at least 300 dpi and are not enlarged more than 115% when placed in a final document. If these guidelines are not followed, there is good chance that pixelization will occur.

Also, include all documents and photos used in the creation of your final artwork. Any and all placed PhotoShop, Illustrator and Freehand files are necessary for proper output.


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4. How should my files be constructed?


The document size should be the final trim size. Allow 1/8 inch bleed if appropriate (when artwork prints to the edge extend it 1/8 inch beyond to allow for shift in cutting).

All type, logos, UPC barcodes, etc. should have a safety margin of at least 1/8 inch from the trim line.

Templates for CD booklets and inlay cards in QuarkXPress and Adobe Pagemaker, as well as CD label templates in Illustrator and Freehand, are available for downloading. See CDS Templates.


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5. What else should I know when submitting files for output?

Please include folding dummies (mock-ups) of your printed piece.

Keep in mind that color prints from home printers such as inkjet and bubblejet printers may not show accurate color and therefore may be misleading. The same holds true for viewing the artwork on screen, as every monitor’s color varies. Only proofs made from the actual printer’s film are totally accurate. To help to avoid costly mistakes in your film output, we will print a Rainbow proof for you to review prior to sending your files to film. Since it is calibrated to our output system, you will have a more accurate idea of what your final printed piece will look like. If what you see is not what you expected, corrections can be made at this stage.


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6. What about the disc label?

Since the printing on the compact disc is done using a silk screen process, it should be created using spot colors from the Pantone color library rather than four-color process used in standard offset printing. For an additional cost, you can of course create four-color CMYK artwork. Three colors are included with your CD pricing, but more may be used at additional cost.

Screened images such as photos should have a tonal range of 20% for the highlights and 80% for the shadows. Less than 20% may cause the highlights to blow out and more than 80% may cause the shadows to plug up.

You may choose to print up to the mirror band only, to the knockout ring, or full coverage. It is important to keep in mind that printing into the mirror band may cause a color shift due to the disc's change from a reflective to clear material. A full flood undercoat of spot white can help alleviate this change. (Note: A white undercoat counts as one color.)

Type on discs should not be smaller than 6 points or it may drop out. If the typeface is reversed, a serif font, or a delicate font, it should not be smaller than 8 points.


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Pre-Press and Print


1. How can I make sure my artwork looks right before it’s printed?

CDS has two color proofing systems to verify your artwork. First, we output a Rainbow proof from your file to check the color of your artwork. The reason we do this is because computer monitors display colors in combinations of red, blue, and green (RGB), but your inserts and tray cards will be printed using combinations of cyan, magenta, yellow, and black (CMYK). A Rainbow proof is necessary because of this difference. No monitor is completely reliable for checking the color accuracy of your design. A Rainbow proof is your first chance to see the colors of your artwork, as they will look in print (but before we output film). A Rainbow proof is a 12" x 18" dye-sublimation print that has been carefully calibrated to match your finished color separations. After your Rainbow proof is approved, film is output and your final proofs (Matchprint) are created directly from the film. This shows you what your artwork will look like when it’s printed. It also shows the printer what it’s supposed to look like. Only after you personally approve your final proofs will your film be sent to print your project.


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2. What printing options do you offer?

All of our printing is done using offset printing presses with the exception of inserts for CD-Rs. Our offset print standard is 4/1 (four-color on one side with one color on the other) on 100 lb. gloss paper - the paper most commonly used for CD inserts. We can print simple 2-panel inserts to multi-page folders, stapled booklets or poster-type foldouts. Other printing options include 4/4 printing (four-color on both sides of the paper) and printing with Pantone colors. Pantone colors are very specific, numbered colors using the Pantone Color Matching System. For CD-Rs, we print 2-panel and 4-panel inserts only, in 4/1 or 4/4 color options. Tray cards are also available for CD-Rs with 4/1 and 4/4 options. We can also custom print your artwork on special paper or unique packaging designs. Printing on your CD is done using a silk-screen process and is included in manufacturing. For special printing needs, please call us for a quote.


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3. Where do I get a Barcode Number?

CDS can provide you with a barcode number. We can loan you our company prefix with a suffix assigned only to you. We will not give your number to any other client and you can use it to register with companies such as Sound Scan. We do not own your project in any way or possess any royalty claims whatsoever as a result of loaning our barcode number prefix to you. If you are starting a label or company of your own, or if you plan on releasing more than one CD, we recommend you obtain your own barcode number prefix from the Uniform Code Council. The Uniform Code Council is the agency that issues all barcode numbers in the U.S. They can be reached by phone at (937) 435-3870 or on the web at http://www.uc-council.org. When you receive your barcode number, CDS can generate your barcode. We recommend that you obtain a barcode because most distributors and retailers require one if they are going to sell your CD. Check with your distributor or retail representative.


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DVD Authoring


1. Which video tape formats do you accept?

We accept almost all professional and consumer tape formats including: Betacam, Betacam SP, Betacam SX and IMX, Digital Betacam, DVC PRO, DV CAM, Mini-DV, Hi-8, Digital-8, VHS, and S-VHS.

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2. What if I just need a straight transfer to DVD?

CDS offers authoring to suit any budget, including straight transfer with a simple or no menu. All of our authoring and transferring is done with the highest quality equipment and hardware encoding.

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