Frequently Asked Questions
How do I place an order?
During checkout you will select your payment preference: Debit/Credit Card, PayPal or Pay Later. (See question below: What does "Start Now - Pay Later" mean?)
As soon as your checkout process is complete you will receive an order confirmation email with your order number and the link to the upload page.
Now you can upload your files and fill out the appropriate form(s) to complete your order.
Once we have your graphic files we will prep those and send you PDF proofs via email for you to approve before we start production.
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. For vinyl order we require a 50% deposit before we create your lacquer.
How and when do I find out how much shipping will cost?
We have a shipping calculator in the cart. You can add a product to your cart, risk free! Just select the style of packaging you are interested in, choose the quantity, style and finish (if applicable) and hit the "Add to Cart" button. This will take you to the cart section of the website. At the bottom of the cart you'll find the shipping calculator. This will show you all the shipping options that will be available for your postal code later on in the check out process.
This way you can determine the shipping options that best fit your budget and timeline before moving forward with ordering. And you can easily remove an item from your cart, change the quantity and calculate a shipping quote again for the new quantity or style of packaging!
How and when do I upload my files?
What are overs and how much do they cost?
When manufacturing CDs, DVDs, vinyl, 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.
If we end up with an under-run, meaning due to quality control too many units have to be discarded and you end up with less that you ordered, we will refund you the per unit cost.
Why don't you charge sales tax?
How long will my job take?
Once you have placed an order and we have received all of your elements (audio, graphics...etc) pre-production starts. You will receive PDF proofs via email within 1-3 business days.
Once you approve the proofs day zero of production time starts, which depends on what you have ordered
|1-2 Business Days
|2-6 Business Days
|4-9 Business Days
|12-15 Business Days
|10-12 Business Days
|10-15 Business Days
|3-5 Business Days
These production times are estimates and subject to change. If you are ordering vinyl, turn times often fluctuate. Call us at (503) 610-2929 for current estimated vinyl production times.
Shipping times depends on shipping method and destination.
How do I place a re-order of an old project?
In order to place a re-order, simply place a new order on our website for the same type of packaging as you ordered before. When specifying the options for your project you will be asked "Is this a re-order?" Select "Yes", or "Yes, with changes" if you need to make any modifications. If you remember your old order number, put that in as well in the field below.
You will receive an order confirmation, just as if it was a new order. Don't panic; You don't have to upload your files again, we keep everything archived. However, if you wish to make small changes to certain aspects of your project, then you can upload the files that are changed and send us an email to firstname.lastname@example.org to specify any details about the change.
Do you ship internationally?
Can you ship my orders to different locations?
Will you return my artwork files?
Does Atomic Disc offer a guarantee?
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?
Color mode: CMYK or RGB?
There are two main color modes. CMYK and RGB. The basic rule of thumb; CMYK is used for printing, RGB is for looking at things on a screen.
CMYK stands for cyan, magenta, yellow and k (which is black). CMYK is also what is often referred to as four-color or process color.
It is important that you work in the CMYK color mode. What generally happens if you work in RGB, is that your printed graphics come out looking a little duller and less saturated than what you see on the screen.
What does bleed and safety mean?
Safety is the printing term for ensuring that all text and important elements will not be cut off. The safety lines are 1/8" inside of the cut lines. All of our templates have clear indications of where the safety lines are.
How do I use the templates in Photoshop?
Detailed and illustrated instructions can be found on our "How to create CD graphics in Photoshop" page.
How do I use the templates in Illustrator?
Detailed and illustrated instructions can be found on our "How to create CD graphics in Illustrator" page.
Can my discs have a silver knock out?
For duplication we use the highest rated CD-Rs with a white flood, to get the best possible print quality. With duplication orders we cannot let the silver base show through.
For replication (500+ qty) we normally flood the discs with white for optimal image quality, but if you prefer a silver knock out, please let us know when you place your order.
Do I need a barcode?
Will the color of the printed discs and packaging match the PDF proofs?
The PDF proofs emailed to you are to ensure that each panel lines up as intended, that the barcode is placed right where applicable, to ensure that the correct version of the graphics are being used if multiple versions have been sent us, that all important elements are within the text safety lines, and gives you a final opportunity to make sure that everything is spelled correctly.
How much content can I fit on a CD?
What is the difference between replication and duplication?
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. We use the highest quality CD-Rs on the market to ensure maximum quality and compatibility. This is more cost effective for small runs and takes much less time to produce. There is not really any audible difference between replication and duplication. There might be a small percentage of older CD players or car stereos that is unable to play duplicated CDs. This is rare, but it does occasionally happen.
What format can I send you my audio master in?
You can upload your files to us digitally after you place your order. Your files should be .wav, .aif, .aiff or DDP at 44.1kHz and 16 bit.
Any other file types, sample rates or bit depths will be converted without notification.
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.
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.
Will you normalize my audio?
No, we will not do anything to your audio to alter the volume or compression levels, unless you order mastering from us.
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
What is CD-Text?
CD-Text refers to the information that can be embedded (burned) onto your CD master such as song titles and artist name. CD-Text can ONLY be displayed on stand alone CD players or car CD players that are capable of displaying CD-Text. It WILL NOT show up on computers. Many older car and home players can’t decode and display CD-Text... so, it’s not guaranteed that your CD-Text information will be seen. It’s a good idea to have us add your CD-Text information anyway, just in case. Make sure to always fill out a CD Track List Form when ordering CDs and we’ll do the rest.
How do I get my CD's information to show up on iTunes?
What you see when you put a CD in your computer and open up iTunes is not actually embedded in the CD itself. iTunes reads from on online database called Gracenote. You can submit your CD's information to the Gracenote database straight from your own iTunes program. It differs slightly for the various versions of iTunes.
Here is the procedure for iTunes 12 laid out in a few simple steps:
- Open up iTunes on your computer and insert your CD.
- A message will pop up asking if you want to import the CD - click NO.
- Now click the button in the top right corner that says "CD Info". Fill out all the relevant information and click "OK".
- Select the first track on your CD, right click / control click and select "Song Info". A form will pop up where you can enter all the information relevant to that first track. When you're done, click the right arrow in the bottom left corner to go to the next track. When you're all done, click "OK" in the bottom right hand corner.
- When you're all done and have double and triple checked all your spelling... click on the gear icon in the top right hand corner of your iTunes. Select "Submit CD Track Names..." and click "OK". That's it. It will take a few days for Gracenote to process your submission.
What is the maximum playtime?
- 12” VINYL MAXIMUM TIME: 23 minutes per side 33 1/3 rpm
- Best quality - up to 18 minutes per side
- OK quality - 18-21 minutes per side
- Less quality - 21-23 minutes per side
If your album is under 15 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) 7-11 weeks approximately for the Atomic Groove Package. 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?
We work closely with several vinyl pressing plants in order to ensure quality and the fastest turn times possible. The majority of our vinyl is made in Europe.
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
- 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
How do I send you the files for my DVD?
When placing an order you will receive an email with a link to the upload page where you can upload your video and graphics files.
Please keep in mind that video files can be quite large and depending on your internet speed it might take quite a while to upload. If you experience interruptions in your connection, the file upload might fail.
You can also send us a physical DVD master to:
1288 Liberty St. NE
Salem, OR 97301
What video file formats do you accept?
Preferred video file types: Audio_TS/Video_TS directories (from an authored Video DVD), ISO, or DVD Data files.
We don't recommend .avi, Quicktime (.MOV), .MPEG or .mp4. These file types will play on a computer, but will not play in a DVD player.
What happens if my video is not in the preferred file format?
If you send us a video file that is not authored properly for DVD we can convert the video file and create an auto-play DVD for you at an additional charge. If you want us to author your DVDs with menus, chapters, sub-titles, etc, this is an additional charge. Please email us at email@example.com for a custom quote.
How much content can I fit on a DVD?
DVD-5 (single layer): 4.7Gb
DVD-9 (dual layer): 8.5Gb
Video content can be compressed in a number of ways so how many minutes of video you can fit varies. A general rule of thumb is that it takes about two gigabytes to store one hour of video.
Will my DVD have a menu and chapters?
Yes, if you have created that and properly authored your content into Audio_TS/Video_TS directories. We will duplicate or replicate your content as you provide it to us, unless you need us to do the authoring for you.
What is authoring of a DVD?
Authoring is necessary to ensure that your DVD will play on DVD players. Authoring can result in a simple auto-play video or be more complex with menus, chapters, sub-titles, etc. If you would like us to do the authoring for you, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org for a custom quote.