Distribution and Sales of Your Music - dummies

By Jeff Strong

Formatting your finished and mastered songs for distribution and sales is one of the most exciting parts of the recording process. At last, you have a product, a complete musical statement that you can share with (or sell to) others.

Like a lot of audio recording and production, the act of making distributable and saleable music is more involved than simply clicking the Burn button in your CD recording program (at least if you want to make more than one copy) or uploading your music to a website. For CD copying, you can either duplicate or replicate your CDs to make copies to give or sell to your fans.

Here’s a quick rundown on the differences between these two approaches:

  • Duplication: Duplication consists of burning multiple CD-Rs from an audio file. Duplication requires very little setup, so it doesn’t cost much to make smaller quantities, such as 50–200 CDs.

  • Replication: The replication process starts with producing a glass master from your finished CD-R. This master CD is then used to create CDs using special CD presses, just like the major-label releases. Replication costs a bit more for setup, but the cost to create larger quantities of CDs is lower than that for duplication. This is a good choice for quantities of 500 or more.

For online or other digital distribution, you have many formats and file types to choose from, although most of the time, the format you create for your CD is sufficient for online avenues as well.