CD and DVD Offset Printing Process

Thousands, if not millions, of CD’s and DVD’s are purchased and used everyday. Whether to be popped into the DVD player for a relaxing movie, played on a game system, or listened to in a vehicle, their importance can rank pretty high in people’s lives. Of course, things would get very confusing if there were no way to distinguish a disc that had lost its case. That’s why the offset printing process is so important in the professional world of CD and DVD replication.

One may not be familiar with what offset printing is, but we encounter it on almost a daily basis. Every time you see a smooth photograph, design or text on a disc that has been replicated on a large-quantity basis, it’s most likely the work of the offset printing process. If this process can be used for Hollywood manufactured discs, then it can certainly be used for any company that has any kind of optical disc printing needs.

CD and DVD replication are only the beginning when you have many of them to distribute. Having an on-disc surface design using offset printing is a pretty simple, and interesting process. Similar to an actual printing press, the offset process takes good care of each disc so that no distortion of replicated data within occurs. First, the internal computer system separates the color values of the image to a degree within the four-color plate values, CMYK. This represents Cyan, Magenta, Yellow and Black; the same colors of the cartridges that would be inserted into your regular printer at home. Replicated discs then get a layer of silk-screened white first, to create a smooth finished product. The disc is then run over the other color discs and the correct amount of color is transferred in the resolution area. The term “offset” comes from the idea of transference.

The offset printing process is able to offer 175 lines per inch resolution. This is resolution is very fine, and the finished product will look as if a smooth photograph was just glued onto the surface individually. Wouldn’t that be time consuming?

CD and DVD’s often have very complex and original graphics that are on the surface. These stand out to users and leave a lasting mark in their mind. The more creative and original the graphic, the longer the mark will be. Offset works very well with such complex ideas because of that high-resolution ability, and prevents any flaws from rising to the surface, while still being scratch resistant. Of course, the visual doesn’t have to be complex to turn out well. A variety of image types can be printed using offset, such as, photographs, standard patterns, Raster images (bitmap images, i.e., .jpg, .bmp, .gif), higher resolution DPI (Dots Per Inch), and vector text.

With such available variety and popular use, CD and DVD replication shouldn’t become even more costly just to create a look of professionalism that they deserve, which is why offset printing is actually very cost-effective for corporations of every size. The world of disc printing is an immense, competitive one, where every manufacturer is looking out for themselves. Offset printing is just another way to stay ahead of the game.

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Stochastic printing vs. Conventional offset Printing

Stochastic printing vs. Conventional offset Printing

Computer-To-Plate technology utilizing a different technique for printing halftones known as Frequency Modulation (FM) screening, or stochastic printing. Conventional offset screening, or Amplitude Modulation is certainly better, especially when higher line screens of 175 to 200 are used in halftone and four color CMYK process printing.

The best way to define stochastic printing is to compare it to conventional offset printing.

In conventional offset printing, images are printed using grid-like screens that separate the image into evenly space dots that are larger in size in the darker areas and smaller in size in the light areas. In four color process printing, separate screens are used to reproduce each of the four colors, black, cyan, magenta and yellow.

In stochastic printing, images are printed by dots spread randomly throughout the image area. The dots are not equally spaced and aligned in a row or grid and they vary according to the tonal value to be reproduced. The lighter areas have few dots, the darker areas have more dots.

Printing with stochastic screening offers the advantages of less ink on the sheet, can reproduce too much detail; grain of image’s photographic film can become visible, imperfection in flesh tones are more visible, holding a small dot is a great challenge on press, very unforgiving on press, tighter controls have to be implemented, 20% more dot gain than conventional, proofing is difficult.

Conventional offset screens have the advantages of greater latitude of changing color density on press, more forgiving halftone reproduction, better printing of large amounts of ink on paper and better production of one and two color printing. Metallic or opaque ink halftones have larger impact and works better for skin tones.

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CD Track Names

How can I get my CD track names to show on my computer?

We recommend Apple’s iTunes since it’s on all Macs and on a lot of PCs, download it for free!

If you’re releasing a new CD it’s very important to get that info. into CDDB database, the database that iTunes uses, so that anybody who plays it will see the track and the artist info.

When you insert a CD into iTunes that’s had its data uploaded to CDDB, it’s identified and the track and artist info. is automatically downloaded in to iTunes.

How to upload your CD info to the database

1- Insert your CD into a computer and open iTunes.
2- Right click on the first track in the iTunes window and select “Get Info” or (command-I), and enter in the album name, artist, year, genre, copyright info, etc.
3- Go to Advanced>Submit CD Track Names. Your info will be uploaded to CDDB. Once it’s processed in their system, when anybody puts your CD into iTunes, all of your information will show up.

NOTE: Before uploading, be sure that you have everything is entered correctly. If you submit the wrong info, it can be a hassle to change it. To do so, you have to contact Gracenote, it can take a while.

Useful Design Tips

This tutorial assumes you have some experience with industry standard layout and graphics programs

How to set up a Donut for Silver on-disc printing
When creating on-disc artwork with silver text or background, you must include a donut template file along with the regular CMYK or Grayscale file. The donut template file is used to show where the silver of the disc will be showing. Use 100% K to indicate white base on-disc. White will indicate silver.


How to set up bleed
Bleed must extend to Bleed line, further than the Cut line. Using our templates can help visualize this. Please keep all text and anything you do not want cut inside the Safety line.


When sending an .eps or .pdf, make sure you include crop marks so we can cut the job correctly.

Crop Marks

More Design Tips

Frequently Asked Questions

1. When mastering do you work with a stereo master file, or do you work with all of the separate tracks of the song?
We accept the following file formats: Stereo: 16-bit, 24-bit and 32-bit preferably in 44.1KHz. Multi-tracks: if you are bouncing your tracks in to sub groups we prefer 24-bit 441.KHz.

2. Can you work with wav. files for mastering?
We accept both wav. and aiff files.

3. Can the design files be sent to you via Internet?
Yes, you can upload your files online ( upload ).

4. If I have a rough idea of how the cd cover should look, do you also make suggestions and help with the design?
Yes, our designers will work with all the elements you provide, and we have a design idea form you can complete to help the designers better grasp what you are envisioning.

5. If I need to print more cd’s in the future, can I send you the master copy and you print more cd’s?
We save your master copy and artwork for future reorders, all you have to do is simply place an order and we are ready to start.

More Frequently Asked Questions

Abet Disc Client Testimonials

Taking care of you is our #1 priority, thank you for the opportunity to serve you. –Abet Disc

testimonial "It was a pleasure to work with Abet Disc for our DVD duplication needs. We had a small run, but were treated like a "big" customer. The Abet Disc website was extremely easy to use and with little effort our supply of live concert DVDs were on my desk in short order. I feel like I’ve found a new partner for my promotional activities. — Nancy Meyer – Personal Manager for Ernie Watts Bates Meyer, Inc."

testimonial “We have been a customer of Abet Disc for many years and they have never disappointed us. Their service and timeliness are both impeccable. They are very flexible and always work within our deadlines. I would recommend abet disc to anyone” – GTCbio

testimonial "Hey Aeron, CDs look great!! Big Thanks for all your help." -Eileen Carey


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Flex-DVD Replication Specials (eco-friendly DVDs)

What is mini DVD Card Disc mini Disc?
The eco-friendly design of the disc as well as its flexible attributes make the Flex DVD the perfect choice for direct mail and publishing scenarios (especially for cover mounting on magazine, books, and newspapers) its resilience to breakage, shattering, and cracking.

CarDisc Flex-DVD mini Disc Replication

Card Disc mini DVD Replication

Mini DVD is the latest technology in the DVD replication industry.
This single layer format has the same capacity of a DVD-5 (4.7GB for standard size and 1.1GB for 3” Mini). This new disc format is literally “flexible”. This new format is ideal for any disc based direct mail application due to its resilience to breakage, shattering, and cracking. Only 0.6mm disc thick! (Full size Disc & 80mm Mini Disc) 50% less polycarbonate environmentally eco friendly Flex-DVD Disc can be bent and “flexed” without any damage. Perfect for “cover mount” and direct mail

Plays just like a regular DVD disc, available in DVD-5 4.7 GB, Mini 1.1 GB DVD, and 3.7 GB HD-DVD capacity & 800MB 63MM Rectangle and DVD Business card Hockey Rink

Bulk mini DVD Replication

Why use Flex DVD?

The flexible nature of the disc allows the Flex DVD to move through sorting machinery at U.S. Postal Service sort facilities. The fact that the disc will “flex” allows a direct mail piece using this disc to be classified as “Standard Mail” by US postal service will cost you between $0.065 and $0.216 depends on paper stock and ink coverage, you will save between $0.30 to $0.40 compared to non-machineable letter rate.

In recent years, many disc-based direct mail campaigns experienced a relatively high percentage of “breakage in transit” as digital marketing professionals relied on various carriers to deliver their marketing vehicle to the doors of businesses and consumers. Packaging systems were created to minimize the amount of discs damaged in transit, however, in all mail or express delivery applications – results were still unacceptable. Flex DVD eliminates breakage in transit by providing a flexible, resilient disc product that will almost NEVER crack, break, or become damaged.

As corporations and organizations in the U.S.A. become more and more conscious of their impact on the environment, the Flex DVD is clearly a more “green” disc replication solution for these same companies to consider. Abet Disc’s molding technology uses one half the polycarbonate and chemicals that a standard DVD-5 replication process normally uses. Over time, the benefits to the environment from a pollution and recycling standpoint are truly significant factors.

Flax Disc plays and performs exactly like its DVD-5 counterpart. The disc functions and plays at optimal levels in all players on the market today. From set-top DVD players to DVD drives in computers and lap tops, maximum playability levels were reached during a vigorous research and development process and these levels are almost identical to standard DVD-5 discs in the market today.

CD Design

CD cover design for musician and record labels.

Audio Mastering Way It’s Imperative

You are done recording and mixing, so now what?

You just recorded and mixed your tracks, now you are ready to duplicate it. You want to send out your CDs to radio stations, record labels, and music producers or you are ready to publish your work online, but you have few unanswered questions.

How good is the overall sound quality of my tracks compared to the competition?

Can my tracks sound any better? My tracks sound pretty good, is it good enough in the competitive world of the music industry? How do I measure the sound quality of my tracks?

Answer: Your first step should be to choose a mastering company who can professionally master your tracks.

Audio Mastering Sample

For best results, please listen to these sample videos in HD, in your studio environment, or with high quality headphones.

What is audio mastering?

Audio Mastering is the final critical creative step in the process of making a master audio recording ready for Radio, TV, Movie and Multimedia. At this point all the final sound adjustments, stereo imaging improvements and sonic enhancements are applied to shape the final sound in to a coherent and sophisticated work of art.

Why do I need professional mastering?

In the competitive music business today there is continuous demand for higher quality sound. The ongoing evolution of digital technology makes mastering an indispensable step in any music, movie or multimedia projects. Our years of experience and unique techniques are counted on by our clients to gain the necessary competitive edge for the successes of their CD, DVD, Multimedia, TV and Radio releases.

Do demos need mastering?

Demo mastering is a standard practice in today’s highly competitive music market. A&R departments at indie and major record labels are flooded everyday with new demos from aspiring artists. In most cases, your music production and sound quality is closely scrutinized to weed out the amateurs. Mastering of demos is an indispensable step to give an artist an extra edge over the competition.

Do commercials and jingles need mastering?

Commercials are mastered to increase audibility of speech and narration with extended frequency response, maximized loudness and balanced dynamics. Clients that master their commercials are experiencing increasing effectiveness of their efforts. Properly mastered radio and TV commercials stand out from the rest of the program and immediately grab a hold of consumer’s attentions by facilitating audibility, loudness and powerful emotional impact even if the consumer have turned his/her attention away. Those who choose not to master are at risk of losing their impact on the market place and handing over the market share to their competitors.

What music genres require mastering?

All music genres benefit from mastering!

How do you choose a professional CD mastering house that I can trust and not spend a fortune on?

Professional mastering company will offer true 24-bit, 32-bit and 64bit support, all up to 192KHz sample rates. Final projects should be delivered as Red Book Pre-master CD’s (PMCD’s), ready for replication or duplication. Master disc should be burned with CD-Text, UPC and ISRC.


Audio Mastering customer Review“Hey guys, just wanted to thank you, Hawaiian Treasure sounds beautifully warm and full. The edges blend perfectly, Amazing job!!! I’m extremely pleased with the quality of your work. I received samples from 3 different mastering engineers, and yours is simply the best, and your prices are unbelievable! I love your customer service skills and quick responses thanks again, it’s a blessing to have a dedicated professionals to work with. -CM”

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More info: Audio Mastering

O Card, Slipcase, CD Duplication Packaging

O-Cards / Slipcase: Add to the experience of unique CD packaging by using an O-Card / Slipcase to cover your Jewel Cases and cases. O-Cards / Slipcases are left open at both ends to allow the CD case to be easily removed. O-Cards / Slipcase can be printed in full color. O-Cards / Slipcase can house just one CD jewel-case or digipack case.

more CD Duplication info.

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