Mastering Tips

  1. Examine your CD-R blank prior to burning! If you choose to use a pre-silkscreened blank CD for a master, make sure there are no blemishes or debris prior to burning. Any dust, or manufacturing waste can cause a shadow in the burn and produce poor results when read and duplicated at high speed. This debris causes missing bits of information which may be brought out as audible errors in Audio CD/CD-R Copies. If your blank is scratched, use another disc. When in doubt, try another blank.
  2. Use compressed air (canned) to blow off the surface to be burned to remove dust or lint prior to burning.
  3. Do not use a CD-RW.
  4. Burn the CD-R no faster than 8x speed for best results.
  5. Do not write on the silver area of the disk. Label the clear inside hub with a Permanent Marker. This avoids damage to the reflective surface with the felt tip of the labeling instrument. The felt tip is sharp enough to scratch through the thin layer of reflective material on the surface.
  6. Burn your CD Master in "Disc at Once" mode rather than "Track at Once" for audio. The exception to the rule is an Enhanced CD.
  7. For Nero users, do not use the "Vari-Record" function. This function enables the laser intensity to be strengthened or weakened. The default setting is just fine.
  8. Windows XP burning software does not support Disc at Once burning. Select another program when creating your master.
  9. For I-Tunes users, it is important to slow down the burning speed. The program automatically defaults to Maximum. To accomplish this, go to I-Tunes Menu, preferences, click the advanced tab and find the burning thumbnail. Adjust the pull down window to reduce the burning speed to at least 8x or less.
  10. Inspect your burn: look at the underside of the disc! Check to see if there are any visual imperfections in the burned area. The burned area begins at the center hub and continues toward the outside edge. Look closely to see that the laser reacted well with all the dye within the burned area (this is more difficult to see in "gold dye" discs). Any contrast within the burned area could be suspect.
  11. Recommended lengths for CD Replication (glass master process) should be no longer than 74 minutes 20 seconds. Masters over 74:20 can be replicated but cannot be fully tested at the glass master production stage and will require a signed waiver to be produced.
  12. Recommended lengths for CD-R Duplication should be no longer than 79 minutes and 30 seconds.
  13. Avoid scratches with careful storage and handling. Put in a jewel case or sleeve and do not touch the burned side of the disc, handle from the edges. Use padded envelopes when sending to Superdups.