CD Duplication for Musicians – Four Tips to Get it Right Over the years, we have dealt with hundreds of musicians and bands who have spent months pouring their heart into their music and wanting to take the next step and release a CD. Unfortunately the fantasy frequently overshadows the reality and most are not realistic about what they can expect from the production process and how much it really costs. Determine how many you really are going to sell. This is probably the most important step. There is little point in getting thousands of CDs produced if your audience is relatively small. We have supplied quotes for bands asking for 5000 units when they have only played a couple of live gigs. You don't want to run out of discs but you also don't want to have garage full of discs collecting dust. The most realistic quantity for most musicians today is 1000 units. At this price, you won't likely run out but you will also be able to make a greater profit because of the lower production costs. Be realistic about your budget and even more realistic about what you can get for your money. For most musicians, money is limited. Don't expect that you will pay pennies to get a CD produced. At the quantities that you will require, CD duplication is not cheap. Also, don't get carried away with the packaging options that are available. Yes, Thom Yorke's solo album looks fantastic with his eight page fold out card packaging but this would have been handled by his record label which will have considerably more financial resources than you. Remember to keep it simple. Most musicians still choose the plastic jewel case with booklet and tray card. There is no need for a 16 page booklet full of your lyrics; a simple four pager would do. A CD in a printed card wallet can also work very well. If you have a little bit more money in the coffers, you can opt for a simple 4 page CD digipak. Leave the cut outs and embossing to the signed artists with mega funds. Have a great design produced by someone who knows about design. We have seen many designs from the fantastic to the cringeworthy. With CD design, the best ones are often the simplest ones. If you can spend a little money, find a design student who is desperate to add projects to their portfolio. They should know the basics of producing artwork for print and have a good idea of which colours will work. One Pantone colour on a CD label can look very effective. If you're stuck, ask your replication company for some advice. It is very important that your artwork is supplied to their specifications from the start or your job will be delayed. Have your CDs before you plan a release party. CD production will typically take two weeks. Add another week for any artwork alterations that you may need if you did not adhere to the specifications. If you're planning to have a release party or to distribute your CDs at a gig, give yourself at least three weeks from the date of your order to the date of the event. However, I always CD Duplication Tips for Musicians by Tracey Roper for www.mediaheaven.co.uk
advise to have your CDs in your hands before you plan any events that cannot be rescheduled. This also applies to any custom band merchandise that you have ordered such as button badges or tshirts. It will save you a lot of stress if you remember this.
CD Duplication Tips for Musicians by Tracey Roper for www.mediaheaven.co.uk