Minimize the Sounds of Silence with Custom-Loaded Blank Tapes

Blank cassettes from Duplication.ca

Our blank cassette page offers over 78 different shell colors, and your choice of cassette length! But what if you want to get very specific with how long your cassette should be per side? A little known secret is that you can request a specific custom-length in the ‘notes’ section of your order, that way your cassette isn’t swimming in empty space. In this email we’ll tell you how, along with important information you should keep in mind before ordering.

The Customer Notes section can be found in the checkout stage of your order. In the case of the image above, I want the cassette to be 23:30 per side. The length selector on the blank tapes product page can be changed by increments of minutes, so in this scenario I would be requesting a 48 minute tape (24 minutes per side.) With this customer note, the empty space on the cassette will be minimized. The time length per side should be based on the length of your longest master (i.e. if Side A is longer than Side B, base your length on Side A.)

Now, the following is important:

1) You should add 7 seconds of silence at both the beginning and end of each side.
This will eliminate the risk of audio being cut off by the leader or a cassette that’s simply not long enough. So when you’re calculating the length you need, add minimum 14 seconds.

Speed calibration test tape from Duplication.ca

2) Each cassette deck has a different playback or recording speed, and some are slower than others.
A variance of 1% won’t make a huge difference for a 5 minute tape, that’s about 3 seconds total, but it will make a big difference for a 60 minute tape (36 whole seconds!) That said, the longer the tape, the more extra time you should add. For those who want to venture inside your cassette deck and do some fine tuning, we sell speed calibration tapes in the online store, along with other maintenance tools to optimize your setup.

3) Don’t expect exact precision, don’t expect perfection.
Your calculations can be within the ballpark but there are too many variants to consider for a to-the-second result. Even our tape loader equipment, as well maintained and finely tuned as they are, are subject to slight variance. You should always estimate for more time rather than less. With exception of errors in manufacturing, our blank cassettes are final sale.

So if your cassette is just a bit over the minute increment and you don’t want 50+ seconds of silence at the end of each side, these are some steps you can take to minimize the empty space. From there, it’s up to you on how you’d like to fill up your tape!

What Are Multisession CDs?

If you’ve ever wanted to expand medium of compact discs to video, photo, or executable programs, then multisession CDs are the way to go. It’s an excellent way of releasing two formats simultaneously on one disc, and we can take care of the authoring!

Ohbliv - Spirit Medicine

What are Multisession CDs?

Multisession CDs, also known as Enhanced CD, contain two different sections. The first is CD-audio, which is the music that plays when you pop the CD into a CD player. This contains the same Red Book audio standards as your typical CD— stereo 16-bit / 44.1kHz audio files.

The second section is a digital folder which can be accessed by reading the CD on a computer. You will see a disc folder that has digital files, such as video, images, or PDFs.

Enhanced CD multisession

Above is an image of how a multisession CD appears in File Explorer. Enhanced CDs will have a + symbol in the icon. Media players such as VLC or iTunes may open automatically when the disc is inserted based on your computer autoplay settings. To view the data in the folder, right click the icon and click Open.

What can you add to a Multisession CD?

That’s up to you! You can add music videos to your enhanced disc, or an all-access backstage pass video showing the band on the road. Many bands choose to add images or PDFs depicting high-resolution artwork and liner notes. The more computer-savvy artist may even consider programming an interactive executable file.

Are there limitations to Multisession CDs?

A CD holds 700MB of data, and there’s a good chance that a chunk of the disc will be taken up by the audio. If there’s not enough space for every file you’d like to include, you may want to consider compressing larger files like videos or image-heavy PDFs.

Another thing to keep in mind is that you want the experience to be friendly to both Windows and Mac users. For example, Windows users won’t be able to open a DMG, and Mac users won’t be able to open an EXE.

Where can I go to get a Multisession master created for me?

That’s where Duplication.ca comes in! For a small authoring fee we can provide multisession mastering with no additional cost per disc. Not only will we create your master disc, but we also do CD pressing, printing, and packaging. You can get your enhanced CD album pressed and shipped to your door in one simple order.

Our CD pressing page gives you an instant quote so you can mix and match options until you’ve built the perfect album package at the right price. Multisession discs are a custom order, so be sure to mention it in the ‘notes’ section so we can send you an updated quote.

Country of Origin labels for cassettes, CDs, vinyl, and print

Duplication.ca Canadian cassette manufacturing

If you are an American artist or label ordering media from Duplication.ca, you need to know about Country of Origin regulations! It can save you a lot of time, stress, and even money.

In short, manufactured media and print exported to the United States need to have the Country of Origin clearly marked on the packaging. This covers cassettes, CDs, vinyl, books, and more. Duplication.ca is a Canadian manufacturer, thus we highly recommend that “Manufactured in Canada” or “Made in Canada” appear on the artwork.

Noise Drone Repeat - Made in Canada

Typically this is placed on the back of the package, but it can be anywhere on the case as long as it’s visible from the outside. Please note that the Country of Origin has to appear on each individual unit, not the shipping container or box.

The country of origin is required not only when we ship to you, it is also required when you ship to distributors, and especially if you try to cross a border with the product in your vehicle. If you don’t put the country of origin, your product could be stopped at the border and you would be responsible for all transport and labelling expenses to apply labels to the product.

One could make the argument with American customs that an order of 25 cassettes is not for resale. However, if you’re ordering hundreds of CDs or vinyl, we strongly urge you to add “Made in Canada” to the artwork. These are not shipping fees you will want to pay for twice.

We also offer “Manufactured in Canada” stickers to place on the cases.

Girls Like Gum - Made in Canada

The United Kingdom does not require a Country of Origin, but some countries other than the United States may. We recommend you do your research if you are ordering from overseas, and see what your country of residence requires when importing media and printed goods.

That’s all you need to do to make sure there are no surprises from the border. As always, shipping to the United States is FREE when you order cassette duplication. Click here for more info and an instant quote!

 

How to create a DDP master for CD pressing

 

CD replication pressing at Duplication.ca

When sending Duplication.ca or any pressing plant a master for CD replication, the standard format is called a DDP. The DDP is an exact image of an audio disc, meaning that all the information found on that disc (audio, CD-text, ISRC codes, gap lengths, etc.) will appear in the DDP folder.

How do I acquire a DDP folder?

When you send your album to be mastered professionally, the engineer will supply you with a DDP folder for you to use for pressing. It’s important that you or the engineer include a checksum file with the DDP. The checksum is used to verify that all the individual files in the DDP are present and not corrupted in any way. If you plan on adding CD-Text and ISRC codes, they must be embedded before exporting the DDP. It is required that the DDP be created with 16-bit / 44.1kHz lossless audio files.

If you’re mastering the album yourself, some pro audio software can export DDP folders, such as Sonoris DDP Creator and WaveLab.

DDP Player by Steinberg

How do I listen to a DDP folder?

Steinberg has a freeware DDP Player you can download for Mac and Windows.  WaveLab Pro version allows you to burn a CD using the DDP folder, giving you a taste of what the CD will sound like when you receive it from our pressing plant.

How to send us a DDP:

A DDP can be easily uploaded using our FTP server. Make sure to compress the folder beforehand so there’s no need to upload/download loose files. We recommend compressing the DDP as a RAR archive or zip file, as it will verify if any corruption has occurred during the transfer.

Kerry Jane - Romance of Many Dimensions CD pressed by Duplication.ca

That’s it! Now you can focus on how you want to present your album. Perhaps a 4-panel cardboard sleeve, or maybe a classic jewel case with a booklet of liner notes? We have tons of options over at our CD replication calculator. Take a look and receive an instant quote!