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September, 2010

How to supply proper content masters.

There is a common misconception that the process of replication actually increases the quality of the content after manufacturing.

When supplying your masters for replication always provide (2) a production master and a back-up copy, this will ensure that if a physical anomaly does exist on one that there is a quick solution available. This can save a lot of time and overnight courier costs if you have to send a new production master. We’ll say it again

It is imperative that you supply 2 copies of your content master !

Acceptable input media for glass mastering is as follows :
CD-ROM, CD-Audio, CD-R, Exabyte tape, DVD-R, Hard Drives and DLT (Digital Linear Tape), BDR.

Never send your originals. Masters are considered to be received ready to manufacture. We expect clients to test and check the accuracy of their content in all compatible devices to ensure playability. Our suggestion is 2 consumer players, 2 computers, a car player  and a portable device. This will ensure your finished product will be an exact match of the content you supply to us.

2 masters I like ! Is very good !!

2 masters I like ! Is very good !!

The myth of increasing business today

How many times have you heard the statement ” the company needs to increase sales immediately” from a manager or owner? Is this possible? ….
The answer is overwhelmingly no. Not unless the staff wins the lottery or lady luck decides to make an appearance.

If we adopt the attitude of consistent relevant contact with our customers rather than a flip-flop emergency stations desperation profits and success will come

Need proof? How many uses car salesmen with strong arm tactics do you count amongst your close friends ? That era is dead.

Take a deep breath and remember the beauty is you can start this immediately.

Do yourself a favor commit to this. mark a date in 27 weeks and see for yourself.


Ensure that there is a 1/4″ of bleed (images extending past the cut lines of your template) this will allow for a slight variance in the final cutting and keep white lines or inconsistencies in your final print items.

If it was that easy …..

If it was that easy …..

- We’d all ace the test

- There would be no race to be the first on the moon

- Everybody would be doing it

- No one would reach higher

- There was never a 2 minute mile

- Everyone would fall in love

- There would be no reason to get up to beat the rush

- On hold messages would be helpful happy people

- There would be no tickets for illegally parking to make a
meeting on time.

Yet, even with instructions people still fail …..

Make it simple

Can you achieve the results even with instructions

Remember it’s human nature to be emotional not logical

If you are driven to achieve …. You’ll make it don’t worry

Be thankful we’re individuals …. Now go achieve your goals

Design 101-Taking steps to avoid rejection of Your projects artwork.

Pressing-Media Presents:

Design 101: Taking steps  to avoid rejection and delays of Your projects artwork.

Let us ease your confusion with this easy FAQ on Design

Pressing-Media eases your confusion with easy instructions

We know that a lot of fledgling designers (and artists) try their hand at print design, for reasons creative or financial. It is not as easy as it appears, so we have assembled a FAQ and some common guidelines to help you and/or your designer.

Top 5 reasons designs are rejected at the preflight stage:

1. Artwork missing fonts or fonts are not outlined.

Not all Fonts are created equal - OUTLINE them !

Not all Fonts are created equal - OUTLINE them !

Make sure to outline your fonts during the design process, or supply your fonts with the design assets when you upload them.

Avoid rejections due to unsupported Fonts

Not what this artist expected, and completely avoidable

2. Artwork is missing linked images.

As the prepress department has NEVER SEEN your design before

Ensure that you include all linked images with your design assets. Every design program has a different way to check this. QuarkXPress: Collect For Output feature. InDesign: Package command. Illustrator: use the links menus to list all placed images in the document.

3. Image resolution (less than 300 dots per inch).

Resolution of your images is too low (less than 300 D.P.I or was supplied in RGB instead of CMYK color mode. Ensure that you are doing your design in CMYK mode as this is the mode that all commercial printers use. RGB is a color pallet used for web designs and television screens.

4. Insufficient bleeds / Print Margins.

Ensure that there is a 1/4″ of bleed (images extending past the cut lines of your template) this will allow for a slight variance in the final cutting and keep white lines or inconsistencies in your final print items.

5. Using Incorrect or other vendor’s templates for production.

Printing is a very delicate and detailed process. A 1/100″ variance in a template can be all that stands between success of your project and a less than favorable print once completed. We have all the templates you require and will happily supply these to your designer.

Frequently Asked Questions:

1. Why should I use the Pressing-Media templates?

The templates our prepress department uses are formatted to our offset presses. Variance of 1/32 of an inch can cause problems in the printing and packaging process. Any file that is not provided in our templates will be rejected or can be quoted for adjustments.

2. What Design programs do you accept?

Our templates are available in all professional-level desktop publishing software.

File formats we can accept are as follows:

* Adobe Illustrator (CS – CS5)
* Adobe Photoshop (CS – CS5)
* QuarkXPress (versions 5 – 8)
* CorelDraw (versions 8 – X5)
* Adobe InDesign (CS – CS5)

Photo image formats:

* TIFF (.tif)
* Adobe Photoshop (up to version CS5) (.psd)
* Photoshop EPS (.eps) – with 8-bit TIFF preview
* Windows Bitmaps (.bmp)
* Corel Photo-Paint (.cpt)
* Photo CD (.pcd)
* GIF (.gif) accepted, but not recommended for print
* JPEG (.jpg) accepted, but not recommended for print

3. What are acceptable fonts?

We can accept PostScript (our preferred format), Open Type, or TrueType fonts.

For the Mac, PostScript fonts will be a suitcase/screen file with separate printer files for each weight (e.g., bold, italic, plain), while TrueType will be a single suitcase. For PC, each TrueType font will be a single .ttf file, while PostScript fonts consist of two files, a .pfm and pfb.

4. Can I just send you high-res PDFs of my layouts?

If you are experienced designer -YES! However, if you are unsure we prefer to receive the raw design files. Your files must meet our specs exactly or rejections will occur, this is to ensure success with your project. A part of our prepress service is to adjust your files to meet our specs if we find minor errors or oversights. If you supply PDFs, we are extremely limited in what we can fix or modify. If your layouts do not conform to the templates, are not in the correct template, violate any of our printing specs or require text changes, we will be unable to make the adjustments and you will have to supply new files.

5. Do I need to supply layout files for every part of my package?

Please provide art files for every component in your order. Most commonly clients forget their files for on-disc printing, stickers, top-spines and posters.

6. What size do we make our barcode?

Make a white rectangle in an accessible area of your design that face out and measures at least 1.25″ wide by .5″ high.

7. What is a bleed?

Bleed is achieved by extending your design elements past the cut line in the template. When the final press sheet is trimmed anything outside the cut line is cut-off. Bleed allows for a margin of error when trimming, so that if the cut is a little off, the white of the paper won’t show along the edge of your jobs paper assets. We suggest a minimum of 1/8-inch of bleed for your layouts. Our templates have guidelines set up so you can see exactly how much bleed you need to add. Another important detail, any information like a song title or part of a photo right up against the crop(cut line), may get cut off. Our recommendation is that you keep your type and other important elements 1/8″ inside the crop marks also known as cut-lines. Each template has guidelines set up so you can see exactly how much margin to allow inside and out.

8. Minimum Font type?

We recommend that you keep your font larger than size 6. Dot gain can occur ( the dots of ink bleeding into each other ) on fonts smaller than this will make the text look fuzzy or unclear.

9. Is there a difference between CMYK / RGB?

We ask that all design assets be supplied in CMYK. CMYK = Cyan Magenta Yellow and Black. This is the standard color model for screen printing and paper printing. RGB = Red Green Blue and is the standard color model for televisions and computer screens – also the standard design model for web design. We ask you to provide all your images in CMYK. If there are any color shifts, you’ll be able to see them and take steps to correct it. If you supply RGB images, we’ll make the CMYK conversion here, and show you a proof. If you want to make any changes to your images at that point, your job may be delayed and incur additional charges. It’s much better for you to supply us with CMYK files up front.

10. What’s the difference between process (CMYK) and spot colors (Pantone)?

Process color uses translucent CMYK inks laid on top of one another to create a million hues of color. Think in the terms of a photograph. All the colors are made out of these 4 primary colors (C)yan(blue) (M)agenta(red) (Y)ellow and (K) Black. A spot color ink is a specially-mixed formula to make a single ink of a specific color. Think of a paint store – you pick a color and they mix the formula to achieve the resulting color. No matter what paint store you would go to it will end up with the same end result in color. Spot (Pantone) colors can be brighter or more saturated than process colors, or have special properties, such as metallic inks or fluorescents.

11. Will the printing on my disc match the paper assets for my order?

We take every care to match as closely as possible your design assets. However we need to clarify that printing ink onto a paper stock will carry a certain amount of variance compared to printing onto the clear plastic disc. We have achieved amazing results in matching these components, but there are physical limitations that need to be recognized prior to the process. Clients who are exacting, may want to order a match proof or request an on site press check, there are additional fees for these types of services, large orders may be inclusive – please check with your sales rep.

12. How light or how dark can I make gradients in my design?

Disc Print – Spot Gradient lighter than 15% may not be recognized and disappear. Those darker than 85% may fill in or band completely. High-contrast images work best. Subtle changes in tone can be lost in any printing process. If you have a disc with a large variance in gradation we suggest designing it in CMYK and running it on our offset presses. Paper print gradation rules do not apply for CMYK print such as paper printing or offset disc print.

13. Can you match the color if I send in a sample?

The short answer is unfortunately no. Consumer Ink-jet printers may use same CMYK color model, but the actual inks and paper are not identical. You can simply test this theory by sending your file to several different printers and comparing them. These printer’s and our presses are not calibrated to one another, and due to this fact we cannot accept your printout as an accurate color guide for exact color matching. We send you a high-quality PDF proof of your job for you to approve prior to production of each job. If you would like a match proof (paper printed from a Calibrated digital printer to our larger print presses) this can be arranged and are a very good indication of the final project. Please contact your Sales rep for current pricing.

14. How to scan photos?

All color and grayscale scans should be created at 300 pixels per inch (ppi) at actual print size. For example, if you want to use a photo for the cover of your CD or DVD booklet, you’ll need to set your scanning software to 300 ppi and to the size closest to the final dimensions of your project. If your software wants the measurements in pixels, multiply the inches times the ppi (i.e. 300 ppi x 5 inches = 1500 pixels).Do not scan at a resolution higher than 300 ppi; this will not increase the quality of the image on your printed piece.(Note: your scanner software may refer to resolution as DPI, or dots per inch. The same formulas apply.)

15. What if I have special concerns about my design programs?

Please contact our team of design professionals to at Pressing-Media for our opinion on the best software for your specific project. We are happy to walk you through the process to ensure the highest quality and success in your design.

If design is not your forte, we have designers ready to work on your project today. If you have any questions or would like a price quote on your design, please call our artwork department toll-free 1-800-511-8171 ext 103 or email to: design@pressing-media.com

How to Burn a Proper Audio Master for Replication

Burning your audio Master

A common misconception that is held by Audio clients is that the master that they receive from their mix engineer or producer is the ONLY source that should be used. Copies of this master or a previously replicated disc will also suffice. Make at least 5 copies when you are outputting a final production master.

3) For personal use

2) For production ( 1 master and 1 Backup)

This ensures that a raw unblemished copy will be used to create the glass master(stamper) for production on the molding machinery.

It is the policy of Pressing-Media, to replicate source materials supplied by customers exactly as supplied.  Our plants do not alter, equalize, re-author, re-order tunes, compress, add titles or text, convert formats, or anything else to customer supplied source material files without client authorization and a signed PMCD master submitted to the plant once approved by the customer.
Standard “Red book” audio discs are defined as:

Sample rate: 44.1 kHz
Channels: 2 (stereo)
Bits per sample, per channel: 16
Levels per sample: 65,536
Total data rate (Mb/s): 1.411
Maximum Standard  Run time: 78 minutes  ( we have successfully mastered up to 78′ 56″ of run time) but this is called an  Oversized master and the Burn lazer that etches the glass master has to be pitched at a lesser angle towards the center of the Glass Stamper. This has been known to cause incompatibility or track loss on certain players (older weaker lasers or dirty lenses) so it is not a warranted process.

Note: Just a heads up, it IS possible but not guaranteed to be 100% compatible
(hey go for the 2 disc set !) ;-) .

Common audio extensions for audio files

•    wav – standard audio file container format used mainly in Windows PCs. Commonly used for storing uncompressed (PCM), CD-quality sound files, which means that they can be large in size—around 10 MB per minute. Wave files can also contain data encoded with a variety of (lossy) codecs to reduce the file size (for example the GSM or mp3 codecs). Wav files use a RIFF structure.
•    ogg – a free, open source container format supporting a variety of codecs, the most popular of which is the audio codec Vorbis. Vorbis offers compression similar to MP3 but is less popular.
•    mpc – Musepack or MPC (formerly known as MPEGplus, MPEG+ or MP+) is an open source lossy audio codec, specifically optimized for transparent compression of stereo audio at bitrates of 160–180 kbit/s.
•    flac – Free Lossless Audio Codec, a lossless compression codec.
•    aiff – the standard audio file format used by Apple. It is like a wav file for the Mac.
•    raw – a raw file can contain audio in any codec but is usually used with PCM audio data. It is rarely used except for technical tests.
•    au – the standard audio file format used by Sun, Unix and Java. The audio in au files can be PCM or compressed with the μ-law, a-law or G729 codecs
•   .mp3 – What has become the standard file format for the compression of music. Because MP3s significantly compress songs, it is a perfect candidate for distributing on the internet…but it is >>not<< the standard for production masters. Please use uncompressed files (i.e. wav, flac, aiff)

When burning your production masters please always make 2 copies for submission:

1) Original Production Master
2) Back up production master

If for any reason the original master is blemished in transport or insertion/removal from the Glass Mastering Suite a back up will save time and costly overnight courier fees to the plant.

(CD or DVD)
The following is a guide for checking source discs to be certain they are properly formatted for  your project.

Load the disc into your PC’s CD/DVD drive and open Windows Explorer (not Internet Explorer).  A shortcut to open Windows Explorer is Windows key + E.

Audio CD files have “.cda” extensions as shown below.

This is how an Audio CD should appear in your explorer window

This is how an Audio CD should appear in your explorer window

DVDs consist of .vob, ifo, and .bup file extensions which are always in a VIDEO_TS folder as below.

This is how a properly authored DVD should appear in your explorer window

This is how a properly authored DVD should appear in your explorer window

DDP files are sometimes used to send DVD and CD source materials ( waiver is required ).  DDP is an acceptable format for DVD and CD source submission.  An example is below.

CD and DVD ROM files can have ANY kind of file extensions as they are the actual files to be accessed and unlike the streaming nature of audio .

Common problems

Common problems are caused by submitting files with the following extensions for Audio replication.  Doing so results in ROM-Discs that have stored the files on the CD or DVD-ROM replicas that will not play on CD or DVD players.  Some of the following formats will play on your computer but WILL NOT play on DVD or CD players.  This is why you must check the disc’s files with Windows Explorer as shown above.
•    .mp3
•    .wmv
•    .wav
•    .avi
•    .mpg
•    .jpg
•    .pdf
•    .MKV
•    and many, many more!
Please check and test  this carefully before sending source discs to mastering.  If you are not sure, please ask one of our experts at Pressing-Media who is more familiar with what files will work.

Adding CD Text

CD TEXT adds artist and song title information to standard audio CDs. It requires a CD audio player that supports CD text. Usually you will find these players in cars or multi-disc carousel machines. The players usually have a LCD or LED display window which reads the CD text info from the disc. This feature should not to be confused with iTunes or Media Players on a computer (see below). Do not forget to add all your options such as Language (English) choice in your software preferences. Placing n/a in your language causes delays in mastering.  The CD TEXT information, coded as characters for maximum efficiency, is contained in the R to W subcode channels in the lead-in and/or program area of a CD.
• Lead-in area: text information about the whole disc and individual tracks.
• Program area: text information for the current track including track title, composer, performers etc. The CD TEXT data is repeated throughout each track to reduce the delay in retrieving the data.

To write CD text information your burning software will either allow or disallow this feature. Check with the manufacturer of both your software and hardware to enable this feature. Pressing-Media fully supports masters with CD text enabled at no additional cost.
With regards to iTunes or Windows Media player running on a computer; once a disc is replicated at Pressing-Media all the discs will contain an identical ‘fingerprint’ id code which will be unique in the marketplace. If you then load up this disc on your computer and run iTunes you can then name the songs, enter artist info, style of music etc. and then use the menu Submit CD Track Names (see image below). iTunes will connect to the CDDB (data base) and attach the song information to the unique fingerprint of your pressed CDs. Since pressed CDs all have the same fingerprint, anyone loading your CD into iTunes will see the track listing information if they are connected to the internet. There is no need to pay anyone extra or do any prior setup for this feature since you can easily take care of this yourself once you receive your discs. Note: iTunes and Windows Media player may access different data bases so multiple submits using each player should be considered.

I hope this was helpful!

Need more advice – Call us ANYTIME!

Your Pressing Needs


Your Pressing Needs
Kelly Warren
Co-Founder / CEO
Toll-Free 1-800-511-8171 x 101
Cell: 604-787-1908
Fax: 1-800-511-8171
skype: dvdcdmanufacturer

Why you can buy with confidence :

All of your products  are produced in state of the art, controlled environments,
using the highest quality materials and manufacturing equipment.
Security, anti-piracy and data handling is all done under strict regulation in
our licensed production plants and mastering facilities. Our Quality Control
department runs software compliance tests on every spindle of discs and
visually inspects every package as it leaves the assembly line.

LIMIT OF LIABILITY:  Pressing-Media warrants its products to be free of
manufacturing defects and to comply with industry standards and norms.
In the event a product fails due to manufacturing defect, we will replace
the defective product to its original customer at no cost,  or, at our sole
discretion, reimburse the customer for the original purchase price
of the defective goods.  In no case will Pressing-Media be liable for
any other cost or value added to defective product.

What is the difference between Audio Mastering and Glass Mastering ?

One commonly misunderstood process in the replication process is the difference between Audio and Glass Mastering.

Audio Mastering

Mastering your Audio Project with Pressing Media

We use the best mastering solutions for your project

Once an album is mixed by the Producer it is usually sent to Audio Mastering for compilation of the track list and a final “touch up” of overall Equalization, compression and cleaning of the tracks prior to a production master and Back up master being issued to Pressing-Media’s Glass Mastering Lab.

Glass mastering

Glass Mastering at Pressing-Media

Glass Masters are created on site in our Mastering Labs

Glass mastering is performed in a class 100 (ISO 5) or better clean room or a self-enclosed clean environment within the mastering system. Contaminants introduced during critical stages of manufacturing (eg, dust, pollen, hair, or smoke) can cause sufficient errors to make a master unusable. Once successfully completed, a CD master will be less susceptible to the effects of these contaminants.
During glass mastering, glass is used as a substrate to hold the CD master image while it is created and processed; hence the name. Glass substrates, noticeably larger than a CD, are round plates of glass approximately 240 mm in diameter and 6 mm thick. They often also have a small, steel hub on one side to facilitate handling. The substrates are created specially for CD mastering and one side is polished until it is extremely smooth. Even microscopic scratches in the glass will affect the quality of CDs pressed from the master image. The extra area on the substrate allows for easier handling of the glass master and reduces risk of damage to the pit and land structure when the “father” stamper is removed from the glass substrate.
Once the glass substrate is cleaned using detergents and ultrasonic baths, the glass is placed in a spin coater. The spin coater rinses the glass black with a solvent and then applies either photoresist or dye-polymer depending on the mastering process. Rotation spreads photoresist or dye-polymer coating evenly across the surface of the glass. The substrate is removed and baked to dry the coating and the glass substrate is ready for mastering.
Mastering is performed by a Laser Beam Recorder (LBR) machine. These use one of two recording techniques; photo resist and non-photoresist mastering. Photoresist also comes in two variations; positive photoresist and negative photoresist.
While nearly all mastering to glass is done at multiple speeds for sake of plant efficiency (8X or higher is common), single speed glass mastering (also referred to as 1X glass cutting or 1x glass mastering) is offered by a few CD replication plants as a higher quality process. A large number of audiophiles believe this results in truer reproduction[citation needed] although this has remained a matter of controversy for many years.

Supported Formats:

* CD Audio (Red Book) / CD-ROM (Yellow Book)/ CD-XA (Yellow Book Addendum)
* CD-I (Green Book) / CD-Enhanced (Blue Book) / Mixed Mode / Multi-session / CD-I Ready / Video CD (White Book) / Disc At Once (DAO) / DVD-5 / DVD-9 / DVD-10 / Blu-Ray 25Gb / Blu-Ray 50Gb

Services Glass Mastering

Pressing Media enforces the IRMA Anti-Piracy Program. Customers must supply appropriate documentation showing their ownership or license to copyrighted program content on their order. This is referred to as the Intellectual Property Rights form or (IPR). Orders submitted that contain copyrighted material without permission to replicate it from the copyright owner will be declined or reported to appropriate enforcement organizations.

Services Glass Mastering

If you require any further information please do not hesitate contact our mastering department directly toll-free:

1-800-511-8171 or mastering@pressing-media.com.