Last Thursday we visited Johan Keijers at the www.musicgroup.nl and we learned more about the world of CD’s and DVD’s.
What does your company do and what is your main business?
We’re specialized in producing digital media in the largest sense, mainly CD’s, DVD’s, Printed CD-RW and DVD-RW. Additionally we ship personalized USB-sticks and vinyl.
To comply with the market we are also ready to produce small editions of various items like The Wallet, jewel cases, like you see in shops, but also luxurious packages like digipacks and digifiles. The default packages go from 50 pieces, the extended packages from 100 pieces. This is important for the lesser artists who want to have a physical product. We use full-colour offset, no digital printing. To guarantee the quality we use 220 grams paper.
How do you differentiate yourselves and how do you deal with converting analog to digital?
We are specialized in digital media for 23 years. We can continue doing so by ensuring that the product is actually reaching the client. We do not only deliver a product, we also give support and advice about selling and converting (from analog) to digital, stopping (plugging?) at radio stations and enlisting at Spotify, iTunes and legal downloads. This is also called “Spotify Aggregators”, you’ll get an unique barcode to sign the product up to several websites.
What does the branch look like?
There used to be seven CD-factories in the Netherlands, nowadays there are two left and we’re one of them. We see that the musicians still want CD’s, but in smaller editions. That is the reason that we deliver small editions too, because we want to stay accessible for everybody. We’re convinced that CD’s are still important for a musician.
How do you handle external distribution?
We can print a barcode on the product so it can be sold through the retail channel. Musicians can offer their music to the public through retail and CD-web shop. Musicians don’t have to start up their own web shop to sell their music. For more information contact Johan, [email protected]
How do you make a CD?
It all begins with a correct start in the studio. All songs must individually be at the same volume level. Depending on the type of music the mostly used level is 0 dB. If necessary this can be adjusted. The result of this process is the premaster, which the client has to approve first, after the necessary adjustments are made.
The master tape
The approved premaster becomes the master tape, which is used for the duplication of the CD’s. The master tape is used to make the “glass master”, which is made according to the ISO-specifications by Philips, to make sure that the produced CD’s can be played on all players. The glass master is a CD made of glass in relief as a standard for pressing the edition of the CD. Every CD that you buy is a copy of the glass master. On the plain glass a thin layer of photo genetic lacquer is applied. The zeros and nulls are being engraved on the platter. From the platter a kind of stamp is made, which can be used to make millions of CD’s.
The CD’s are made from polycarbonate granulate, a sort of plastic grains. This material is melted and pressed on the stamp. On top is applied a thin layer of reflective metal so a CD-player can read it. An additional layer of lacquer is applied for protection.
Check-up and packaging
A machine checks every individual CD. Then the good and the bad CD’s are separated. The good CD’s go the printing machine to apply a print on the CD. After that the packing machines insert the CD’s in a jewel case together with the booklet.
What would you like to endow a musician?
Online exposure – marketing - a physical product in combination with legal download and streams. ‘Online media is indelible, the newspaper is used to light the fire or thrown away.’ See to it that you supply a good copy of the source material. The better the source, the better the resulting end product. The best source material is a DDP-file, but WAV can be used too.
Click here for more information about the CD Factory.