Discussion in 'Mastering' started by doubleJ, Nov 8, 2005.

  1. doubleJ

    doubleJ Active Member

    Jan 30, 2005
    Branson, MO
    Home Page:
    I wasn't quite sure where this should go, but I assume that some of you guys do duplication in your studios. I've been looking at cd/dvd duplicators, printers, and automated publishers for a few weeks. I'm considering building my own tower, as I don't care to spend $1500-$2000 for something that I can build for $500.
    My question is this...
    Do any of you know how to get a cd/dvd tower networked? I've seen some different companies that have that as an option for their towers and I haven't been able to figure out how it works. I've seen some that have a computer built in with xp and all that, so that's obvious. Basically, I'm looking for a way to either transfer data from a computer's hard drive to the hard drive of the tower, or command a batch of burns from a computer's hard drive to the tower.
    I've seen a couple instances of usb-ide adapters where you can either control 1 burner or the hard drive as an external device. That kind of does what I'm thinking, but not completely.
  2. audiowkstation

    audiowkstation Active Member

    Jun 29, 2001
    Having studied this situation and at present, I find 3 ways to go.

    1, Towers with a controller, hard drive and slots for ide burners are a really good option for the duplication of less than a few hundred pieces..but then you have printing to do. Paper labels suck and are not universally acceptable IMO. I priced a nice tower with CD rom, one CD burner and 7 cdr slots (buy your own burners) for only 199.00 You would need to purchase a hard drive for it, although it can burn them from the rom drive included.

    2. The ones you have been looking at. I think they are feasable if you are doing "a few thousand" but remember the prices of having them glass mastered is pretty low these days for quantities of 2K and up. Shiiping on the other hand gets expensive.

    3. Glass mastering.

    So...to round this out, the printing portion is the part I have been looking over. Ink jets, no one has explained to me how many CD's you get from the 30 dollar ink cartridges (could get expensive) I have a "light scribe" unit but it does not do color. Pretty generic and takes 20 mins a disc (way too long)

    I will be looking forward to responses on this as well. I have a project for a few thousand coming up and so far every option I have seen is not profitable from this POV. The time it takes to package, print and the expense of this time and materials is not adding up for me. I am hoping someone will have the soultion in some posts but so far, if I get the printing part nailed down as per cost, the tower with the 7 burners looks pretty good.

    It will do them in 2 mins, then unload, load and I figure 7 discs each 3 mins X 60 mins is 140 pieces an hour, this is good.


    Damn, how much does it cost for ink per CD and what is the best way. 20 mins a CD for black and white light scribe is a bum deal.
  3. Reggie

    Reggie Distinguished Member

    Dec 20, 2004
    I believe replication/screen printing is really the best way to go for runs in the thousands. Just send your stuff into the plant and relax. Mark up your cost to the customer (are you dealing with customers or just yourself?) as a middleman, and enjoy. CD tower burners are pretty fast, but decent media is a bit pricey. Less than decent media can give you many headaches depending on the temperment of your burners.
    Then you have to print them............
    Thermal printing will get you the closest to professional results, but the printers themselves are expensive; especially the photo-quality type. Inkjet printers are cheaper, but the ink is more expensive (usage depends on the colors in your print, so no definitive answer) than a thermal ribbon and the print can be ruined if it comes into contact with water down the road. And stick-on labels........no.

    But if you are planning on doing a thousand or less at a time and want to make some kind of business out of it, there is of course a market for short-run duplication companies. If this is only for your band's biannual CD or something, I would just have someone else do it.
  4. gilligan204

    gilligan204 Guest

    I work at a short run company, to date this year are machine has done 30, 000.

    We bought a machine from INSC, www.insc.com there not bad. The Rimage machines are the top of the line ones, but they are expensive.

    If i were you I would get an 8 banger , hand bomber like you were talking about, keep it in the studio with you , there pretty quiet, as your working you can burn CDs .

    The printer we have is a rimage printer, which prints directly on the disc. You can burn and print at the same time if you set up the computer with the printer as well. The hand machine we have works great. as far as the printer goes, the ink roll is $500 for black, but you get 3000 + CDs a roll. And it looks a lot better than the bubble jet ink, and doesn't affect the CD from not playing because of thickness

    also the machine is handy in the studio when you need to make copys for all the musicians to take home !

    just my too cents.

    check out


    both are decent companies, with good stuff, high / low end
  5. doubleJ

    doubleJ Active Member

    Jan 30, 2005
    Branson, MO
    Home Page:
    Currently, what I'm doing is burning on the pc. I just got a second burner and I'm burning 2 copies at a time. I'm going to get a 3rd and possibly 4th one, too. If I want to do more than that then I'll look at a stand-alone duplation tower or something.
    I just saw some stuff, today, about external 8-bay firewire towers. It would connect to the pc via firewire and the burning program would just see them as multiple external burners. That might be my next step after 4 in the case. At that point, I could also look into an autoloader and control everything with DiscJuggler.

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