making CD's... | The Canadian Guitar Forum

making CD's...

Discussion in 'Recording and PA Lounge' started by Lord-Humongous, May 21, 2020.

  1. Lord-Humongous

    Lord-Humongous Gold Member

    Joined:
    Jun 5, 2014
    Location:
    Ottawa, ON
    I'm working on a single and will be releasing it online through streaming services, but I am also looking into burning some CDs for physical media sales. This is my first time producing physical media, I have a stockpile of supplies here including labels and jewel cases which have been donated to my project. I can burn them as needed on my mac.. Also I am planning to include an exclusive acoustic track and copy of the lyrics and music as written with the CD. I have some questions that I'm hoping y'all might chime in on:

    What's a good price for a CD single? Are there any labeling standards that I should include to make my CD look really pro? Do I show the track ISRC from the digital release on the CD jacket? Anything else I am missing?

    I have art ready, branding, my CD release will have an exclusive acoustic version of my single. Also I have scanned the handwritten lyrics to include in the liner.
     
  2. Granny Gremlin

    Granny Gremlin Gold Member

    Joined:
    Jun 3, 2016
    Location:
    Toronto - Riverside
    A burned CD can't be charged much for. They don't last more than 10 years and some fail after 5. They're givaways really, and most of them will become coasters. Like I will never actually buy one; don't care whose it is.

    I been there, and this was when CDs were still popular. Save yourself the cost and effort. If you do do a CD, and I don't necessarily recomend that you do, proper manufacturing is the only way , IMHO, if you expect people to pay. To save on costs have them do the CD only and do the art/packaging yourself. The problem is the minimums. I've had this done (plant in Scarborough called Cinram; still operating but I last used it a decade ago and the min was 1000, but in light of recent trends this may have changed). I would also be wary of this considering how dead the medium is; prob not worth it

    Maybe you're lucky and you have a supportive following that doesn't care. But even then you can't charge as much as proper glass-mastered CD. Your best bet (if burning) is maybe keep the run limited and free and give them to people who really want them vs pushing them on everyone.

    A new major label properly manufactured release is $20-25. Indie releases are $10-20 (that's still a proper CD, but the packaging may not be - which is , or can be, cool). Burned CD is $5, $10 max and then you risk people getting pissed off because they feel ripped off when they look inside. I buy proper tapes (yes cassettes are still a thing; there's a coupla places that actually will do a run for you; rather cheap especially if you don't splurge on the packaging) and 7"vinyl from indie bands for that much as a comparison. And for $5 it may as well be free.

    Consider also low qty vinyl. There's a place in Toronto that does limited qty lathe cuts (manually making each record vs making a master > positive > stampers and then pressing them; higher cost per disc but none of the mastering/manufacturing process overhead). I have used them in the past, but even major plants (stamped) will do low qty (just that the math on a run of 100 does not look good; 500 makes more sense - you spread the overhead over more discs). People will buy vinyl over a CD even if they do not have a turntable - to support you, have a physical souvenir etc - just include a download link or code. Same for cassettes though that's quite a bit more niche and would probably only work if you're an experimental ambient noise group.
     
    Last edited: May 21, 2020
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  3. bw66

    bw66

    Joined:
    Dec 16, 2009
    Location:
    Uxbridge, ON
    Granny makes a good point about the shelf life of burned CDs.

    If it's for the merch table at gigs, I would be inclined to give away the CDs and have a tip jar. At a lot of the gigs I attend, the artists who have CDs (almost always commercially produced) sell them as pay-what-you-can. Unless your audience are baby-boomers and older, CDs are a loss-leader at best. T-shirts and hats are a better bet if you're trying to generate revenue.
     
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  4. Doug Gifford

    Doug Gifford

    Joined:
    Jun 8, 2019
    Location:
    Gananoque
    I used Kunaki LLC Kunaki -- CD/DVD manufacturing and publishing service. About $2.50 per CD any quantity including jewel case, inserts and CD artwork. Completely pleased with their service and didn't have to order some crazy number of them. This was in 2013 and they're all still working as far as I know. I recorded, mastered and did the artwork for the CD, so it wasn't especially expensive except in time. I think I ultimately ordered 200 and have sold or comped all but a couple of them. No embarrassing cache of discs in the hall closet…
     
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  5. Lord-Humongous

    Lord-Humongous Gold Member

    Joined:
    Jun 5, 2014
    Location:
    Ottawa, ON
    I should have put scale to it. I am expecting to sell 10-20 CDs, which I will burn on my computer and sell to my family, friends, colleagues, and as merch when I play with my duo. I am doing mostly everything myself (except mixing and mastering) and this is craft table level grassroots.

    I’m considering selling the CDs at $5 and donating the proceeds to a non-profit that I like.

    thank-you for your comments so far. All great points to think about!
     
    Last edited: May 21, 2020
  6. Lord-Humongous

    Lord-Humongous Gold Member

    Joined:
    Jun 5, 2014
    Location:
    Ottawa, ON
    I’ll add that I’ve chosen Cd’s over Bandcamp as the highest potential revenue earning opportunity based on super low volume. Vis a vis craft table reference / it’s more like you are paying $5 (or whatever price I land upon) towards my art and getting a CD, lyrics, maybe a download code?
     
  7. Granny Gremlin

    Granny Gremlin Gold Member

    Joined:
    Jun 3, 2016
    Location:
    Toronto - Riverside
    Yeah, fair, considering the volume.

    The PWYC/tip jar suggestion above is also a good idea - some people will give more than $5, which is kind of an unofficial minimum.
     
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  8. Budda

    Budda Gold Member

    Joined:
    May 29, 2007
    Location:
    London, Ontario
    Why not do both?
     
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  9. Lord-Humongous

    Lord-Humongous Gold Member

    Joined:
    Jun 5, 2014
    Location:
    Ottawa, ON
    It will be on online for streaming and the CD's will be face to face sales. I am thinking of offering a digital download code along with the CD too through BandCamp, so I'll have the option to sell there too.
     
  10. Doug Gifford

    Doug Gifford

    Joined:
    Jun 8, 2019
    Location:
    Gananoque
    If you're going tiny, burning the CD and printing a stick-on label will work. How great it looks depends on your skills, tools and patience. I did tiny-run with another CD I recorded. Just tried to have 3 or 4 on-hand all the time. It got to be a pain in the ass because our colour printer was erratic and you just couldn't count on the colours being good, which would waste two labels each time. Even when it went perfectly it would eat a suprising hunk out of my day.
     
  11. Hammerhands

    Hammerhands

    Joined:
    Dec 19, 2016
    Location:
    Winnipeg
    How crafty or handy are you?
     
  12. ezcomes

    ezcomes

    Joined:
    Jul 28, 2008
    Location:
    Third Rock orbitting the local G2V star
    +1 here...done a couple cd's with Kunaki..and always pleased!
     
  13. Lord-Humongous

    Lord-Humongous Gold Member

    Joined:
    Jun 5, 2014
    Location:
    Ottawa, ON
    I’m sorta crafty... here’s a sample disc and a mock-up of the jacket insert. I’ll have the print edges fixed on the final version of the disc so it’s all yellow with now white.
    90B6A4C9-A292-4835-9E56-4C19CD36005E.jpeg FB862BA9-06FA-4B35-9C05-2209EEB0B7E1.jpeg
     
  14. Hammerhands

    Hammerhands

    Joined:
    Dec 19, 2016
    Location:
    Winnipeg
    This lady makes book binding look easy, I think she's just really good.
    There are other techniques, and other binding methods. [I saw one type in particular...]
    Do you think you could do this?


     
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  15. Lord-Humongous

    Lord-Humongous Gold Member

    Joined:
    Jun 5, 2014
    Location:
    Ottawa, ON
    Cool idea. Idk if I am that crafty; I best stick to something I can print or play. ;)
     

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