Audio CD Duplication

From the High Street to the merch stall, CDs remain the one of the best ways to get your music out there

Taking our lead from those stalwarts of tween-friendly power-pop, McFly, our mantra when dealing with a CD duplication project is ‘It’s All About You’. We work with you so that your CD plays, looks and is packaged exactly how you want it.
CD duplication image

Let’s get started…

It doesn’t take a lot to get things underway.  Firstly we’ll need the master disc and the artwork. We’ll also ask a few simple questions: How many CDs do you need? What packaging would you like? Do you need any help with the mastering?

If you’re not sure about anything, don’t be shy, we’ll happily talk you through the process. We’re here to help!

To discuss your project or get a quote, call us on 0800 731 7042 or use our contact form.


How do I get my master to you?

Masters can be received as physical discs, via a download link or by FTP.  Visit our page on supplying your master for further details.

If you don’t yet have a master, it’s no problem. We can create the master from files of the tracks. If you’d like us to put your CD together for you, send us the audio files and we’ll build the master. We can also send you a physical copy of your disc to check before we start any CD duplication. We’d also recommend that you check out our Bolt-On Pack to make sure you get the most from your CD release.


What types of packaging are available for my CD?

As it is often the packaging of a CD that makes the most impression visually, it’s important to get it right. With Alpha Duplication you have an absolutely huge range of options at your fingertips, from jewel cases to the many styles of discpacks and card wallets that we manufacture here. We can even create customised designs so your packaging is a real one-off.

CD Card Wallet – mailer style

CD Card Wallet 4 panel

CD wallet – vinyl style with thumbcut

Browse round our CD packaging on this site or our dedicated disc packaging site, Nearly all of our CD packaging styles are available to you whether you need fifty or fifty thousand units!


How do I get my artwork ready for you to print?

We can take artwork in most design packages, though a print-ready PDF is our preferred method. The template for an audio CD can be downloaded here.
Once your artwork is ready, send it over to us. Like the master, it is essential that the artwork is correct before we start making lots of copies. To make sure, we will send you a PDF of your artwork to approve prior to printing.
If you’re not a design expert, don’t worry. Our artwork team will work with your files or brief to make sure your finished discs look as good as you imagined them.


How soon can I have my finished CDs?

Our standard turnaround for CD duplication is an impressive (though we do say so ourselves) 2 to 3 days. There are of course factors which can affect this, such as quantity (replication is a longer process) and we will advise you of this when you place your order. If you need a super-quick turnaround or you need to have your discs by a particular day, let us know. We’re generally flexible enough to fast-track a job where necessary and we always relish a challenge!

For more info and a quote, call us on 0800 731 7042 or use our contact form to get in touch.


Useful Links

Frequently asked questions

How many tracks can I fit on to a CD?

An audio CD can contain up to 99 tracks, though obviously they would need to be very short ones. The total length of audio that will fit on a CD is 74 minutes (designed to match the length of Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony, fact-fans). Modern CDs can be extended to up to 80 minutes, though this has the potential to cause readability issues on some older players.

What are ISRC codes, Gracenote & CD text and do I need them?

These are three types of meta data that contain information about your CD. They all run independently of each other and do not affect how your CD plays. All of them are optional but it is necessary to include them if you would like the features below.

    • Gracenote is a database of information about recorded music. When your disc is inserted into a computer with suitable software, it will recognise the CD and download the artist, album and track names. Gracenote is most notably used by iTunes and also by other audio systems such as BlackBerry MediaManager and Philips® Wireless Music System.
    • International Standard Recording Codes, or ISRCs, are codes that are used to uniquely identify sound and video recordings. ISRC codes are 12 characters long and include identifiers for the country of recording, the registrant’s label, year, and a unique song or video code. This information is used by PRS, the body that is responsible for distributing royalty payments back to the artist.
    • CD Text is a way for players to obtain track and artist details from a CD. Rather than accessing an external database, the information is stored on a tiny portion of the disc. CD Text is often used by car stereos.

Why can't I just copy my files to a CD to make a master?

Although it is possible to copy audio files such as .wav, .mp3 or .aiff files to a disc, they will not play in a standard CD player. The tracks on a CD are not files per se and the master needs to comply with the ‘Red Book Standard’. There are many free programs that can be used to create a CD master, such as iTunes, although may not give you all the options you need to include CD Text, ISRC and Gracenote information.

Is it possible to include data or video files on an audio disc?

Yes, an Enhanced CD (aka CD plus or CD Extra) is divided into two parts, one to hold audio (like a normal CD) and the other containing data (like a CD-Rom). On the extra part you can include band photos, links to secret parts of your website, video clips or Bonus songs, in fact anything you would put on a normal CD-Rom. It’s worth noting that video files need to be fairly low-resolution in order to play without buffering or stuttering.

Does Alpha Duplication produce vinyl?

Although we do not manufacture vinyl ourselves, we work in partnership with companies that do. Through them we are able to get you better prices and faster turnarounds than many of our competitors.