Safe Distancing
M a n u f a c t u r i n g
Music
Pure

28

YEARS

ESTABLISHED

1992

Free CD Master & Artwork Checks

Free CD Master /
DDP Creation

We understand some of us are self isolating but still want to complete album projects. If you are unable to get to a studio to finalise a master or get to a post office to send out a physical disc we are offering clients the option to create your CD master for free. Normally we charge £ 20.00 + VAT / £ 24.00 Inc VAT to create a DDP CD master send send a reference file for checking, but during the Coronavirus pandemic we are offering this service free of charge. 

We can accept WAV, AIFF or FLAC files preferably at 44.1 KhZ / 16 bit. You can supply files with a higher sample rate and bit depth but they will be converted to 44.1/16. If you need us to add any silences / pauses between tracks please make a note of this when supplying the files.

We include adding track tiles and ISRC codes, please supply a text or spreadsheet document with all of the details.

Files can be uploaded via our WeTransfer channel or you can send us a link to download your files.

Once we have made the CD master we will send you a “DDP” file to check via WeTransfer. The file can be played on a Windows or Mac desktop or laptop PC in a custom media player, you also have the option to burn a CD-R to check if you have an optical drive in your computer. 

Please note we do not make any changes to the sound such as EQ or Dynamcis, this is what we refer to a “flat transfer”.

Free Artwork Checking

If you are working on artwork for an upcoming release and are looking for advice on a technical aspect or a check over the files you can send them to us for a full check. We will check for common issues such as…

  1. Too little or no bleed. We need 3mm bleed on all sides of booklets and packaging.
  2. Images too low resolution. We need images at a minimum of 300 DPI.
  3. Text too close to the trim area. We advise a 3mm safety margin to the trim.
  4. Colours in the wrong colour space. Colours should be CMYK.
  5. Text correctly placed on spines of Digi products and inlays. We would normally expect the artist and title info on the spines.
  6. Barcodes are not full colour bitmaps. The barcode should be added as a black only vector image. We advise a minimum size of 12.5 x 25mm. If you are unsure of how to add the barcode image correctly we can do this free of cost.
  7. Blacks are even and not over 330% ink density.

If the files are final and you want us to make these print ready for when you are ready to place an order we can send you a full set of proofs to approve. Then all you have to do is place an order and your job will be able to go straight into production without any delays.

No Obligation

If at some point your situation changes and you do not wish to proceed with a project you are under no obligation to pay for the master or artwork checks. We understand sometimes life does not work out as we would wish, at this difficult time we want to helps artists and record labels out as best we can. It is our clients who have kept us in business for 28 years and we should all be working together to keep the music flowing.

All questions lead to enlightenment

If you have any questions drop us a message in the contact form and we will get back to you normally the same working day. During this period our phone lines are diverted to mobile but we can’t always answer calls, but  you can leave a message, but the contact form may get a quicker response.

You will find answers to most our commonly asked questions below

Contact Us

Templates and Supplying Artwork Files

Under the CD package rates prices you will find a link to download the specifications. The ZIP folder contain PDF and InDesign templates. The PDF templates can be imported into most design software including Adobe Illustrator and Photoshop.

We prefer to receive high-resolution PDF artwork files, but can accept artwork in other formats. We advise that you check with us before sending in non-PDF file types to make sure we can accept your files.

If we need to make minor adjustments to artwork for bleed, positioning or adding barcodes, we will normally make these changes free of cost.

If we edit your artwork we will provide a full set of PDF proofs for approval. We need an approval of these proofs before we can start CD manufacturing.

If we need to make minor adjustments to artwork for bleed, positioning or adding barcodes, we will normally make these changes free of cost. If a large amount of editing is required to make the artwork fit the specification this may incur additional artwork charges. We will advise you of the cost of any artwork charges before we proceed with CD production.

If we edit your artwork we will provide a full set of PDF proofs for approval. We need an approval of these proofs before we can start CD manufacturing.

Adding A Barcode

We can add an EAN 13 barcode to your artwork free of charge. Our minimum size for a barcode is 25 x 12.5mm and it can be printed anywhere on the back panel of the packaging. We advise leaving a 2 -3mm gutter from the edge of the panel.

If you need a precise placement of the barcode you can add a white box of a minimum size of 25 x 12.5mm and we will drop the barcode image in that box. We strongly advise barcodes are printed as black only on a white background.

Once the barcode has been added we will send you a proof to check that you are happy with the placement.

Colour Proofs

If you require colour accurate / contract proofs we can provide these at additional cost. We can do A4 and A3 proofs, please contact us for prices. 

You will need to allow additional time for us to create the proofs, send them to you, and for you to return them to us. We would normally recommend adding 4 working days to the CD Manufacturing turnaround if you require contract proofs.

As all of our CD printing is produced on large printing presses, it is not economical to set the machines up to produce a one-off copy of the printed parts.

Without a contract proofs our printers will print to weight.

CD manufacturing

Supplying A DDP Master

The DDP image has quickly become the preferred format for supplying CD masters by professional mastering engineers.

We can accept DDP master delivery over the internet as an upload or on disc / USB memory stick. We will require an MD5 checksum file for all DDP Masters. Until we have the MD5 we won’t be able to glass master your project.

Please make sure you have received a reference CD-R or have been supplied appropriate software so you can check your DDP Image prior to supplying to us for glass mastering.

If you are unsure if the CD-Text and ISRC codes been embedded, we can check these are correctly encoded on request.

Supplying A CD-R Master Disc

If you are supplying the master on a CD-R,please use a good brand of disc, write the master “disc at once” at a low-speed, recently we have noticed some brands of disc are performing best at 8 x or 16 x speed. Make sure the disc is free of scratches, dust or fingerprints. Once the master has been written, please listen to the disc all the way through to make sure it is correct. Once the disc has been checked we recommend packing it into either a CD album case or DVD box to protect the disc.

Your CD master will go through an inspection and testing process prior to glass mastering. This process will check that the disc is free from errors due to a writing fault, physical damage or if a disc is not Red Book Standard. If you have added CD Text or ISRC codes to the disc, let us know, and we will check that the information is present on the master.

This inspection will not detect any glitches, skips or distortions that are on the original audio files used to write the master. This is why it is important to check the master all the way through before submitting for CD manufacturing

Creating A CD Master From WAV / AIFF Files

If you do not have the equipment and software or do not feel confident creating your CD master, we can create a master from your data files, we normally charge £ 20.00 + VAT / £ 24.00 Inc VAT but this is now free of cost for the period of lockdown.


We prefer to receive WAV or AIFF files at 44.1Khz / 16 Bit, although we can accept higher sample rates and bit depths if required. If you have any special instructions about adding gaps / pauses between tracks or segways please leave a note in the folder. We can add the CD Text and ISRC codes when creating the master. 


Once we have created your CD master we will send you a DDP file with a custom media player for you to download so you can check that you are happy with the master. If we are creating your CD master please add 2 – 4 days to the standard turnaround time.


Please note that we do not adjust the EQ or dynamics when creating your master. If you need “creative mastering” with audio enhancements we can recommend various professional mastering studios that we work closely with.that we work closely with.

Placing An Order

Once you are ready to place an order you can go to our ordering page and select the product you want from the selection. The order form has some questions that are quite technical, if you are unsure of how to answer those, leave the section blank and we will get in touch if we need calcification. You can upload artwork, DDP and WAV files to us via our WeTransfer channel.

We do not invoice or take payment until your master and artwork have been checked and approved for production.

We advise submitting an order from before sending artwork or masters for checking as this gives the details we need to know check the artwork is to the correct specification and we can get you on our system.

Turaround Time

Once we receive your master and artwork to our specifications, CD production time is approximately 14 – 16 days for delivery of your CD pressing in album cases and card wallets, for Digi products  allow 16 – 18 days. These are real calendar days and not working days. If you plan on placing an order around bank holidays, Christmas, or the during the summer period lead times may increase depending on demand.

It is important to note that day 1 of production does not start until we have approved all artwork and masters, we are unable to place jobs into production until all parts have been received and checked.

If we have to do any editing to your artwork, such as adding bleeds or barcodes, we will need to send you PDF proofs for approval. Until these proofs have been approved we can not commence with the CD manufacturing.

The same principle applies to CD masters, if you require any editing or the addition of CD Text or CD ISRC codes, we will supply you with a reference disc or download to check. We will require approval before we can commence with CD manufacturing.

  • Disc-Only Card-Wallet

    12-14 Calendar Days

  • Jewel-Case

    14-16 Calendar Days

  • DigiPak DigiSleeve DigiFile

    16-18 Calendar Days

Delivery

All of our products are delivered by courier, this can be any time between 9:00 AM – 4:30 PM, unfortunately we are unable to give an exact time of delivery as this will depend on what other deliveries the couriers have in your area that day. If you delivery is coming on a pallet, the couriers will contact you by phone 24 hours prior to delivery to make sure someone will be available to receive the goods.

If no one is available to accept the items on the day of delivery, the courier may charge for re-deliveries. If you need to change the delivery address of your order, we will require the new address 4 days prior to delivery. Once the goods are in transit it may be possible to change the delivery address, however, this may be subject to an additional charge. In some situations we can not change the delivery address for items after despatch.

Invoicing & Payment

  • Debit Card

    Payment taken over the phone

  • Credit Card

    Payment taken over the phone

  • Bank Transfer

    Our bank details are sent with the invoice

Once we have checked that your artwork and master are to our specifications we will place the job into production and send you an invoice, we do not invoice or take payment until all pats are approved.  We can accept payment by bank transfer and our bank details will be included in the invoice email, we can also accept debit card or credit card payments taken over the phone.

Please note that we can not despatch your order until we have received full payment.

For orders from Councils, universities, schools and other public organisations, all we need is a purchase order to get your order into production.