CD release party & duplication check list

More often than not artists come to us with a CD release party date in mind.  This of course is not a bad thing at all (congrats you finished your CD!), however there are some things that you should keep in mind.  First and foremost, give yourself lots of time and leeway, before booking a CD release party, especially if you want to have CD’s to sell during the party.  The reason for this blog is to save you money!

Normally a plant run is 4 to 6 weeks.  The real reason for that is delays, whether its the trucking company, icy roads, or graphic design issues.

Having everything in order and allowing yourself that extra time will make sure that those CD’s are off the truck and in your van when you pull up to the CD release party.

First thing to consider: Cost.  Any manufacturer can turn around product in a rush, but its going to be expensive.  First the cost of overnight-ing the shipment, second the cost of overnight-ing it back for the day of the party.

Graphics: (If you have a graphic designer) Make sure you have all the correct templates for the plant run, send in full quality 300 DPI files, and when I say files I mean PSD files (Photoshop, or Quark).  The files also need to be outputted to CMYK.  Some awesome free graphic editing programs will only output RGB.  That’s a problem.  Also remember to provide any extraordinary fonts that you used in the process of creating the files.  (TTF files).  All of these should be put on a DVD or CD and brought to your manufacturer.  If possible having some printed proofs to go along with the DVD/CD media is helpful as well.

*Pro Tip – Hiring a professional graphic designer that has done major CD projects before can make this process go far smoother.

Mastering: Make sure your CD is professionally mastered, have a definite CD lineup finished, prior to having the graphics completed.  NOthing is more difficult that having to go back and change graphics because the master changed, or vice versa for that matter.  And by mastered, I mean CD quality audio atleast 16 bit/44.1 Khz in wav or aiff format.  Do not re-convert mp3 files to wavs/aiffs the damage has already been done.  Burn 2 copies of the CD master, (one as a backup) and send both to the plant.  Before you send them, check em!

*Pro Tip – Hire a professional mastering engineer that has had experience with CD projects.

Mechanical Licensing:  Does your album have cover tunes? Then you need to apply for Mechanical Licensing prior to running your CD’s.  Normally the charge is $0.083 per song per CD.  Mechanical Licensing can take some time, and this will also cut into the “getting the CD on time for the party”.  For more information about Mechanical Licensing check out

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