Hidden-track CD's

Discussion in 'Mastering' started by stickjam, Jan 17, 2005.

  1. stickjam

    stickjam Guest

    Anyone know of any burners that permit writing of discs with a hidden track at the beginning of the disc? (ie. permits Track 1 Index 1 to begin somewhere after 2 seconds?)

    I know a lot of folks on the board use Toast/Jam on the Mac. I use CD Architect 5 on WindowsXP. :oops: (please be kind :) )

    According to the CDA5 manual, the application supports projects like this as long as the drive does. They list no drives it works on--the manual only says "unfortunately very few". Sony tech support is no help--they cite a policy against recommending specific pieces of hardware. I suppose this is because they want people to buy their rebranded stuff made by who-knows-who. It's ironic because to actually say the software supports it, somebody at Sony's gotta know what drives work--otherwise they couldn't test it. :roll:


  2. Michael Fossenkemper

    Michael Fossenkemper Distinguished past mastering moderator Well-Known Member

    Sorry can't help. But do let us know if you find out though.
  3. mixandmaster

    mixandmaster Active Member

    I've done hidden tracks at the end, but never at the beginning. It's pretty straightforward to do it anywhere in the middle, too. As far as I know, Jam will not allow a "gap time" of anything OTHER than 2 seconds for the first track.

    I would ask why you would want to do such a thing, but I don't want to know.
  4. stickjam

    stickjam Guest

    "Hidden tracks" at the end don't really end up being hidden--just an overlong last track with a big gap of silence (unless there's a CDA5 trick that hasn't been obvious to me to do so otherwise)

    (some releases' "Hidden Tracks" are really another separate track that just isn't listed on the booklet or tray card)

    The hidden track at the beginning is *really* hidden. As I understand, inserting the CD and hitting play, the player will look for Track 1, Index 1 and begin there. To hear the hidden track, one would need to start Track 1, then hold the fast reverse to rewind into the audio recorded before it.

    To do this requires a burner that permits Track 1 Index 1 to be somewhere else than the standard 2-seconds from the start of the disc. I believe this type of hidden track is part of the "CD Enhanced" specification, sometimes used for mixed CD's with music and data.

    You ask why??? One reason is for a CD that has an alternate demo version of another track that the artist wishes to include, but not in the normal tracksequence. An "easter egg" of sorts. I'd also like to do it for personal reasons as well. I'm looking to burn a copy of a family member's CD for rotation in the family car changer. There's one tune containing---umm--language malfunctions :wink: that I'd like to substitute the FCC-approved version and hide the original for the times I'm feeling less--umm--parental. :)
  5. Massive Mastering

    Massive Mastering Well-Known Member

    Plextor PlexWriter Premium drives allow it.

    I get that here and there (requests for hidden "pre" tracks).

    Just a little warning - Some players really, really don't like it. Most are okay with it, but know that some WILL fail to read the disc properly.
  6. mixandmaster

    mixandmaster Active Member

    John to the rescue!!! we need a cavalry smilie.
  7. stickjam

    stickjam Guest

    Thanks John.

    Internal or External? I've heard non-specific anecdotal comments from some CDArchitect users that the IDE drives tend to be stricter.

    I've been considering the Plextor Premium--I asked their tech support the question. The person I talked to didn't seem to know a lot about that, nor the application.

  8. mixandmaster

    mixandmaster Active Member

    I've got one in a firewire enclosure. It's incredibly reliable. I think it could write a good CD on a paper plate.
  9. Michael Fossenkemper

    Michael Fossenkemper Distinguished past mastering moderator Well-Known Member

    Plextors are just great drives. Even if you don't need it for this particular application, it's good just to have one.
  10. Massive Mastering

    Massive Mastering Well-Known Member

    That's awesome... :lol:

    Mine are internal.

    CD Architect *might* not allow the process... Not sure about 5x, but I remember that 4x was a real stickler for the rules... Even if you wanted to get around some of them, it wouldn't allow it.

    BTW - Before you find out the hard way, make sure you have a good lead-in to that hidden track - I'd suggest 1 minute or more of blank before the track starts. Keep in mind that when you play the track, you're going to have to start playback of track one, THEN scan in reverse through the hidden track. If you get to the disc's "head" it will likely just go to either the first or last track.

    That minute or more buffer gives you a chance to take your finger off the button.

    And you could always get creative - Use 69 seconds for a song about sex, 187 seconds for a song about death or murder, 4:20 for a song about weed, etc.

    If you're going to "break the rules" you might as well give it some "meaning," right? :)
  11. stickjam

    stickjam Guest

    mixandmaster wrote:
    That's great to know, although these days blank CD-R media can be cheaper than paper plates--especially if a client specifically asks for Chinet. :D

    john wrote:
    Great tip, John. :cool: Yes CDA4 did not support it and it was a sticker. CDA5 actually says it supports it. According to the manual you create a single wav file that contains the hidden track followed by the regular track 1--and per your tip all that would be preceded by the subject-appropriate amount of silence. Place that file at the 0:00:02 mark in the playlist and drag the start of track 1 in the PQlist ruler to the start of the audio of the "official track 1". A screenshot of my project (sans the silent buffer at the start) follows:

    Thanks all. I'll be heading out for a Plextor drive very soon. I'l let you (and folks on the CDA forum know when I have success!)

  12. Michael Fossenkemper

    Michael Fossenkemper Distinguished past mastering moderator Well-Known Member

    I think I see a little light peeking through on track 2, you might want to squash that a little more. just kidding.
  13. TrilliumSound

    TrilliumSound Active Member

  14. TrilliumSound

    TrilliumSound Active Member

    Hoping that the last song on the project is not a very dynamic sweet & smooth sounding ballad :roll:
  15. stickjam

    stickjam Guest

    Yes, I'm exceedingly proud to say that "freight train" isn't my mastering job! :shock: :? :roll: :!:

    I'm sure the copy I have is just an early quick'n'dirty slam-the-mix-through-L2 version and that more attention was given to it before it was sent off to the duplicators. Besides the obvious lack of dynamics, there's more pumpin' goin' on in there than an Amway convention! :lol:

  16. TrilliumSound

    TrilliumSound Active Member

    Stickjam, I was just kidding, no offense. :)
  17. stickjam

    stickjam Guest

    No offense ever taken. :cool:

    After all, when sombody shells out their hard-earned $15.99 for a CD, they wanna get the most bits for the buck! :D Dynamics? Heck no--look at all those unused bits gone to waste!!! :lol: Probably causes global warming too. :shock: Besides you can get all those dynamics back if you put weights on your speaker cables and coat your sofa with C-37 lacquer.! :roll: :lol: :lol:

  18. goosman

    goosman Guest

    I've been able to do this with SADiE 2.x and 3.x burning with a Yamaha CDR-102. I'll give it a shot with SADiE 5 and report the results.

  19. Michael Fossenkemper

    Michael Fossenkemper Distinguished past mastering moderator Well-Known Member

    Any info anyone has about burners and software to do this, by all means let us know.
  20. splurge

    splurge Guest


    Try this, http://www.fueiro.de
    You can download a full working version of it for free, you just keep getting nag screens until you pay them £25 (English Pounds )
    I came across the instructions for setting up the hidden track thing in the help pages whilst looking for something else.

    It's a great piece of software for the price.



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