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Q: What is the turnaround time on a CD order?

A: CD pressing is an involved process and production is done in large facilities. Most people assume that the number of CDs they order is the most important factor in turnaround time. Actually, the plant can manufacture 500 CDs in essentially the same amount of time as 10,000. The biggest factor that will effect your turn time is the production schedule. If the plant is running at full capacity when your job comes in, it will take more time to complete, than if the plant is running at half capacity. This may vary on a day to day, or week to week basis. Typical production time for a bulk CD order is 7 working days. Typical turn time on a "full package" order is 10-15 working days. From September 1st through December 15th, turn times may increase in anticipation of the holiday buying season.

Q: When does my turn time begin?

The turn time begins when we have a working master and approved artwork. The first day that we have both of these (before noon CST) is considered "day zero". Most CD orders that we receive involve critical time schedules. The most common problem in the failure to meet those time schedules is when artwork does not meet the specifications. We have devoted ample space on this web site to detail these specifications and guide you through the process. Please take the time to read this information before you submit your artwork.

Q: Do I need to have my Audio CD mastered?

A: If you already have a CDR with all of your songs placed in the correct order, with the correct spacing between songs, and any necessary fades, level adjustments, etc., your finished, replicated CDs will sound exactly like the master you provide us with. Although we always suggest that you have your project professionally mastered, unlike vinyl or cassettes, CDs don't inherently require mastering so that your music will be reproduced accurately on the medium. We will need a track sheet from you listing all of the tracks and times which a mastering engineer will often provide.

Q: Do I need to keep a copy of my master?

A: Yes, it is always a good idea to keep a back-up copy of your master just in case.

Q: Is there a "glass master" charge or set-up fee?

A: At ACME Manufacturing Co., there is no "glass mastering" fee, or a set-up fee.

Q: Do I have to own the copyrights for all of the material I submit to ACME Manufacturing?

A: By law, you are required to own the copyrights for the recorded material, photos, and other intellectual property that you submit to us for replication. You will be required to complete an Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) form, which is included with our order forms.

Q: If I'm preparing my own artwork, or I'm working with a graphic designer, what do I need to know?

A: Because each plant may be a little different and because even small errors in your artwork can create more costs and slow down your turnaround time, you should definitely check our Art Specifications, or call us with your questions about artwork requirements. You should also download the templates we have provided on the web site.

Q: What graphic design formats do you accept?

A: Like many graphic design houses, we are Macintosh-based. We primarily use QuarkXPress, Adobe Photoshop, and Adobe Illustrator, but we can accept files from most popular formats and operating systems (including PCs). These days it is also easy to export your layout to a high-resolution PDF for your final print.

Q: What does four-color process mean?

A: Four-color process refers to the way that CD booklets, traycards, and posters are printed. The four colors (Cyan, Magenta, Yellow, and Black) in specific combinations can make up thousands of colors. All of our CD packages (that include printing) include four color booklets and traycards. See our Artwork Tutorial for more information.

Q: What is screen printing?

A: Screen printing refers to the way that art is printed onto CDs. This is a different process from four-color process (mentioned above). Screen printing uses "spot colors" rather than the CMYK process. With screen printing you are limited to the number of specific colors in your design. ACME, unlike many other companies, offers the option of printing up to four spot colors on your disc for no extra charge. See our Artwork Tutorial for more information.

Q: Will I automatically get a UPC on my music CD?

A: Although a UPC is free, you will have to request it to get one. We will be happy to email the UPC to you once we receive an order form and deposit. We can also place the UPC in your layout for you at no charge. The UPC we issue to you will have our "manufacturer's" number, but you will be assigned a unique number for your title.

Q: Will I get my master, booklets, and film back once my job is complete?

A: No, not unless you specifically request that they be returned (there will be additional shipping/handling charges). Most of our customers, for safety and convenience, leave their materials at the plant. It is quicker to turn around a reorder and many people feel that their items are more secure.

Q: Why can't I get exactly the number of CDs I want? Why is there a 10% over/under difference?

A: We can't guarantee that you will receive exactly the amount of product that you order, because of some factors inherent to the manufacturing process. After your CDs are replicated, they undergo a quality control test to make sure that all of the CDs which were made are actually good, playable discs. Inevitably, some discs don't pass this test with a 100% rating and these discs are discarded. We will actually manufacture more discs than your order calls for so that you will usually end up with at least the number of CDs you want after all of the discs complete this test. Because the specifications for booklets and traycards are so specific, those that do not conform to the measurements required by the automated machinery that loads them, are often discarded as well. Even when booklets and traycards are within specified tolerances, a few will usually get destroyed by the automated machinery. This is why we always print up to 10% more booklets and traycards than you need, so your order won't get hung up in the assembly process.

Q: Does ACME offer a guarantee on its services?

A: We stand behind our products and will replace them if we are in error. We want you to be satisfied with your order and we will do everything possible to make you happy.
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