How long does it take to produce CDs?

CD Production

One of the most common questions we are asked when schools consider booking a recording with us is how long it takes to get the CDs.  Specifically schools want to know the time between recording the music and then the CDs being delivered.

With a lot of Christmas recordings being undertaken towards the end of term it is a perfectly valid question as the CDs are often designated as presents.   Albeit things might be a bit different this year, schools also tend to sell CDs at Christmas Fairs and other similar events.   Potentially in 2020 the delivery times might be even more crucial as schools will want to either post out CDs or have them in school ready for collection by parents before the end of term.

We are only too aware of the importance of ensuring an accurate and reliable delivery schedule – after all the whole point of recording a Christmas CD is for it to be ready by Christmas!

The short answer if you don’t want to read the rest of this post is it will take around 3-5 working days on average to deliver the CDs to the school after the recording session.   However, to understand why this is the case and how the delivery times can vary it is perhaps worth looking in more detail at the process.

In very simple terms, once we have recorded an album at your school there are 3 things which need to happen in order to get the CDs to your school.

  1. Prepare the Audio
  2. Produce the Artwork
  3. Manufacture the CDs and despatch by express courier

Audio

The majority of our recordings in Primary Schools do not require much audio editing.   Indeed in audio production this is often where most time goes.  Sometimes there might be a couple of very small tweaks to make the audio sound as good as possible and we will always select the best take of each song. However, we generally do not spend hours and hours editing note by note – if we did then there is firstly no way we would ever meet such a fast turn around and secondly the recordings would be significantly more expensive.

That’s not to say the audio isn’t produced to the highest standards.   We take a lot of pride in the quality of our schools recordings and they are all mastered in our production studio which has the latest state of the art equipment – a lot of which is manufactured and supplied by Universal Audio.   This is not a case of just tweaking a bit of EQ and pressing output.   We spend around 5-6 hours mastering every school album to ensure it sounds as good as it possibly can.

Artwork

Where possible we encourage schools to prepare artwork so it is ready at the time of the recording. On our website are various templates to help schools produce the artwork.  The most popular solution is for pupils to design the front cover and there are templates on our Downloads page for this purpose.

We can include a number of designs in the CD booklet which means more pupils can be involved.  If the winning designs are available to us on the day of the recording then generally we can put together the design during a lunch break. This can then be signed off before the recording is even finished and this speeds up the process significantly.  It also saves us time later going to and fro with emails to confirm the final design.

CD Manufacture

All our CDs are manufactured to the highest standards.  For quantities up to 499 we manufacture this at our own plant in the UK.  Once the artwork and audio has been sent to our production plant then CDs will usually be ready for despatch within 2-3 days.  Once made we then despatch the CDs to your school by next day express courier.

If you are ordering a quantity of 500 and over this involves a different production process.  Schools can save a lot of money by bulk ordering in larger quantities but it does mean the production time is slightly longer.  For such jobs we use a plant in Germany which means that the delivery time goes up to around 10-14 days.    That said, the vast majority of schools we work with will only order around 200-300 CDs at the most.


If you would like to find out more about our Recording Process or to book a recording at your school please call us on 01225 302143 or click here to access our online contact form

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