FAQs JUMPSTART


Please don't hesitate to contact us by phone (503) 610-2929 or email if you can't find the answer to your questions below.


ORDER PROCESSING:

What does "Start Now - Pay Later" mean?

It means you can place your order on our website, get an order number and upload your files before paying anything. We will then prep your graphics, send you proofs and start production upon your approval. Then we will send you an invoice via email with a simple payment button that you can pay using VISA, MasterCard, American Express, Discover or PayPal. We do require payment in full before we ship anything.

What are overs and how much do they cost?

When manufacturing CDs, DVDs and print work, it is normal for us to make more than the quantity ordered to account for quality control issues. Most companies charge you for the extras. We don’t. We just give them to you for free.

Why don't you charge sales tax?

Atomic Disc is located in Oregon where there is no sales tax.

How long will my job take?

Our standard production time for duplication is 4 business days, and 10 business days for replicated jobs, from when we receive everything we need to start production. Quite often our production time is shorter in which case we will NOT charge you extra. If you are ordering vinyl, turn times often fluctuate. Call us (503)610-2929 for current estimated production times.

Do you ship internationally?

Yes. We have a shipping calculator in the cart that will show you the various shipping options and prices to your destination before placing an order. If you prefer to talk to us just give us a call or email us before placing your order and we’ll be happy to estimate your international shipping charges.

Can you ship my orders to different locations?

We’d be happy to ship your order to different locations. For instance, if you need promo copies sent to one location and sellable product to another location. These options may incur more shipping charges than if shipped to one location.

Will you return my artwork files?

We do not return any artwork files or masters unless we agree otherwise before starting your job. It is advisable that you keep originals or copies of everything you send us.

Does Atomic Disc offer a guarantee?

Most definitely! We make sure our products meet industry standards and will replace / refund if we’ve made a mistake. We do our very best to make sure you are 100% satisfied.


GRAPHICS:

What does 4/0 and 4/4 mean?

4/0 and 4/4 are common printing terminology terms and basically means single or double sided printing. 4/0 refers to printing 4 colors on one side of the paper and 0 colors on the other side of the paper. 4/4 means 4 colors printed on both sides of the paper. The four colors in process color printing are CMYK, (Cyan, Magenta, Yellow and Key - which is black.)

How do I make artwork for my order?

You need to download our templates which can be opened in any graphics program. Make sure all your photos are at least 300dpi. Follow the instructions on templates regarding bleed and color mode, or if you find this to be overwhelming, our in-house graphic designers are more than willing to help you out. You can read more about our graphic requirements on our templates page.

Do I need a barcode?

If you intend to sell your discs in any stores or online at sites like amazon.com, you should have a barcode. Unlike most of our competitors, we will be happy to create you a barcode for free. Just contact us after placing your order and we'll be happy to generate a barcode for you.


AUDIO:

What is the difference between replication and duplication?

Replicated discs (often called pressed discs) are made by first creating a glass master, then stampers that make exact clones using high-tech injection-molding. A coat of reflective aluminum is added and finally it gets sealed with a protective coat of lacquer hardened by ultraviolet light. Because of this extensive set up process, it is common to require a minimum of 500 discs for replication. Duplicated discs (often called burned discs) are made by burning tiny holes in the dye layer of a recordable CDR or DVDR. It is the same process as when you burn a disc on your home computer. This is more cost effective for small runs and takes much less time to produce.

What format can I send you my audio master in?

Option 1: Upload your files You can upload your files to us digitally when you place your order. Your files should be .wav, .aif, .aiff or DDP at 44.1kHz and 16 bit. MP3s are not recommended, but we will accept them. You’ll also need to fill out the CD track form to ensure that your CDs will have the correct track order, codes...etc.

Option 2: Send us an audio CD You can also send us your duplication ready audio CD. We will duplicate exactly what you give us, so make sure you're satisfied with what you send. If you are interested in using our professional mastering services to get the best possible sound quality for your master, we'd be happy to help you.

What is audio mastering?

Mastering is the process of preparing your audio content for duplication or digital download. It is often overlooked and misunderstood... and no, it’s not a secretive process that requires a blessing from the Pope! It’s the last stage, the icing on the cake and the final word on how your project will sound. Proper mastering can give your content a cohesive feel and “gloss” that is a signature of higher quality commercial releases. Mastering includes the following but may not be necessary for all content:

  • Adjusting volumes from track to track for an even sounding master
  • Achieve maximum loudness (if so desired)
  • Change song / track order
  • Apply dynamic range compression and or limiting to control and “glue” the tracks together
  • Apply tonal adjustment and equalization for correction and to get your audio to “shine”
  • Clean up unwanted noise, clicks and pops using noise reduction and fading techniques
  • Adjusting stereo width using phase techniques to make your audio sound wider
  • Basic editing and rearrangement. For example; shorten a song for a radio edit


VINYL:

What is the maximum playtime?

  • 12” VINYL MAXIMUM TIME: 26 minutes per side 33 1/3 rpm
  • Best quality - up to 20 minutes per side
  • OK quality - 20-24 minutes per side
  • Less quality - 24-26 minutes per side

If your album is under 16 min per side we recommend manufacturing at 45 rpm for maximum sound quality.

Is there a difference in sound quality between black and colored vinyl?

Black vinyl sounds slightly better than colored vinyl. They are a little harder and less susceptible to noise.

What audio format should I submit my audio as?

Uncompressed audio formats are preferred (WAV, AIFF, AIF) 16bit or 24bit.

Do I need my audio mastered for vinyl?

Our price already includes prepping your audio, lacquer cutting and stampers. This does not include a proper mastering session specifically for vinyl which many projects may benefit from. Vinyl records differ from CDs greatly with their reduced frequency response and and susceptibility playback issues because of too much bass and high end (treble). Please read our mixing recommendations below.

What are your mixing recommendations?

  • Keep your bass frequencies centered (Kick, bass, vocal sibilance)
  • High frequencies such as Hi Hats, cymbals and vocal sibilance should be controlled and not too bright.
  • Vocal should be properly de-essed.

How long until I get my final product?

After we receive all of your elements (audio files, artwork) 8-12 weeks approx. Vinyl turn around times are always changing. Your due date will be calculated based on current supply and demand. In general our turn times are some of the fastest in the industry. Try to get us all of your elements at once to expedite your order.

Where are your records made?

Right here in the beautiful state of OREGON!

How does the sound quality between vinyl and compact discs compare?

There is much debate over the sound quality between vinyl records and compact discs.

On a technical level, compact discs offer many advantages over vinyl records. Compact discs yield better frequency response and a higher dynamic range resulting in a more accurate representation of what was recorded and mixed in the studio. Vinyl records can have noticeable pops, crackles and a lower signal to noise ratio. Vinyl records also have a more limited frequency response, most notably in the low end (bass), depending on the length of the material which determines the width of the “cut” or groove.

This all being said, people still love the sound and experience of vinyl records. They are tactile in your hands, have “a sound”, and offer the listener with a much better artwork experience with the oversize front and back cover and insert for extra photos, credits and lyrics.

Compact Discs:
  • Digital format
  • Higher dynamic range
  • Better frequency response
  • Consistent playback quality
  • More accurate representation of studio intentions
Vinyl Records:
  • Analog format
  • Lower dynamic range
  • Lower frequency response
  • Crackles, pops and more noise can be apparent
  • Playback quality is reflective of the turntable and stylus quality
  • Has “vibe factor” - a more pleasing sound to many