VHS is Back and Better Than Ever!

VHS is Back and Better Than Ever!

Who can forget the feeling of walking through the video store, strolling from aisle to aisle, trying to find the perfect VHS tape to watch that night? Sure, streaming services offer us thousands of options, but gone is the ritual of popping in a physically tactile VHS, an object which gives a film respect and purpose not unlike what an audio cassette or vinyl does for music. At Duplication.ca you can get your film or video project duplicated on VHS with full packaging, thus giving your work the attention it deserves!

Modern VHS releases are a wonderful medium because they aren’t just limited to feature-length releases, but a whole gamut of audio/visual projects. Music video compilations, short films, vaporwave visuals, live gigs, just to name a few. As a filmmaker or a musician you can sell your work online or at the merch table at a screening or performance, rather than navigate the film festival or streaming distribution circuit.

Not only do our dubbed VHS tapes look excellent, our print and packaging are of superb quality. Printed cardboard sleeves are in full colour CMYK with your choice of digital or offset press. The sleeves snuggly fit the video cassette without being too tight or loose. You can even add glossy AQ coating for an additional fee if you want it to feel silky smooth and shine against the light.

Order VHS duplication with printed cardboard sleeves

 

Another packaging option are our clear plastic library cases, which contain an overlay film so you can add a printed wraparound sheet for artwork. Since the cases are clear, you can even request double-sided printing for extra artwork or notes! Sticker face labels and spine labels can be added to both the library cases and printed cardboard sleeves.

Order VHS duplication in clear library cases

Printed VHS sticker labels

Do you have the equipment to duplicate your own VHS tapes? Then we have everything you need to DIY analog style! We received a restock of blank VHS tapes, with a wide variety of lengths and brands to fit your needs, including some superb quality S-VHS tapes and economy one-pass tapes. You can also find blank labelslibrary cases, and custom-printed products in the online store.

View all our VHS products and services in the online store

Get audio duplication on our pre-loaded blank tapes!

Get audio duplication on our pre-loaded blank tapes!

We have great news for those who want high-quality cassette duplication while maintaining a cheap bottom line. You can now order cassette duplication with our selection of surplus pre-loaded tapes!

Pre-loaded tapes are blank cassettes which already have a certain length of audio tape loaded. These are often the result of human error on our part— every now and then when we duplicate cassettes we’ll load a batch of cassettes to the wrong length. However, our mistake becomes your bounty, since that means we can throw these tapes in the shop at a discounted price!

This is also your chance to grab some of our discontinued shell colours, like Forest Green. We have a vast selection of type-I pre-loaded cassettes, and even some long lost type-II high bias pre-loaded cassettes!

Now you no longer have to duplicate these cassettes from home, we can take care of the recording process for you. We use our real-time duplication process which allows for a frequency range of 20Hz to 20kHz. Simply add the duplication product during checkout, along with your desired pre-loaded cassettes. You’ll receive a link to upload your audio after checkout. If you ordered pre-loaded tapes marked “c20”, that would mean they’re 10 minutes in length per side.

Click here to add audio duplication to your pre-loaded cassette order

Please keep in mind that pre-loaded cassettes consist of old unused clearance stock, and thus some cassettes may have scratches or scuffs. This is considered clearance stock which is sold as-is and are final sale.

If you want custom-length duplicated cassettes, then our classic order page is the way to go. You can add full printing and packaging to your order, or simply request bulk tapes! This page will give you a ton of options so you can choose your audio tape type, duplication speed, shell colour, and much more.

Order cassette duplication and receive FREE SHIPPING to the United States and Canada

Design cassette J-cards and sticker labels online

Design cassette J-Cards and sticker labels online

Once upon a time we had the ability to design J-cards and sticker labels through the browser on the online store. Due to a software update we had to temporarily disable the feature, but thanks to some elbow grease and coding we’re happy to announce that the online designer has returned. No need to use expensive graphic design software, you can now create your J-cards and sticker labels online and absolutely free!

Creating and ordering J-cards and sticker labels couldn’t be easier. First off, head to the product of your choice. For the sake of an example, let’s say you wanted to order double-sided J-cards.

You’ll notice that above the product description there’s a button that reads ‘Add Your Design’. Click on that to start designing!

Right off the bat you’ll see that our JP0 template has already loaded. From here you can use the icons on the top and the bottom to do simple design functions, like add a background colour, upload images, and add text. You can even import images from your Instagram account!

Here’s what I whipped together in a matter of minutes. I simply made the background black, and then I added two images for the left and right panels, making sure the art bleeds past the red template lines. I threw on some text, stylized the angle and added a black stroke for the sake of legibility. Just like that, I have the front cover of my cassette ready to go. To work on the reverse side you need to click on the icon below the template.

Once you’re done, click ‘Download’ on the top right corner and save the file as a PDF. This way you have a copy of your own for safety and posterity. After that you can smash that big red ‘Submit’ button.

Now you’ll see that your artwork has been added to the order page! Don’t forget to give your order a ‘Project Title’, that’ll help with organizing files in the event you’re ordering more than one batch of printed goods. Click ‘Add to cart’ and you’re good to go!

All this applies to sticker labels as well, our online designer is ready to go with the proper template set for your masterpiece. No cloud subscription services, and no sketchy cracked software needed. Start designing today!

Click here to order J-Cards with up to 4 extra panels with your online design

Click here to design and order cassette sticker labels

What is a Prison Tape?

A Completely Transparent Look at Prison Tapes

While audio cassettes were replaced by new formats and technologies only to return to the underground music scene, there is one institution where they never went out of style: prisons. In fact, in many penitentiaries the only way to listen to music is through a cassette tape.

CDs have been deemed dangerous as they can easily break and become weaponized, and while some prisons allow MP3 players they’re not of much use without an internet connection to load files. Thus the cassette tape is the reigning audio format for inmates, but with certain regulations. They need to adhere to the ‘Prison Tape’ model, which is to say completely transparent and sonic welded, as to avoid smuggling contraband. The packaging also needs to be completely transparent to minimize the time spent for inspection before the product enters prisons.

Clients have been ordering prison tapes from Duplication.ca for decades, sending cassettes to friends, loved ones, or customers. They’re the ideal format if you’d like to pass around mixtapes, song demos, sermons, or other voice recordings. We’ve created a shop page to make the process even simpler— just choose your audio length and we’ll load it to a Prison Tape which meets the standard requirements.

Click here to order blank Prison Tapes

If you’d like us to duplicate audio, we can do that as well! Simply choose ‘Transparent w/ Black Hubs’ from the shell colour menu of our cassette duplication page. Cassette case packaging regulations may differ depending on the penitentiary, so please be sure to do research before ordering.

Order duplicated Prison Tapes and receive FREE SHIPPING to the United States and Canada!

 

Guide to CD Silkscreen Design

For the highest quality printed CDs, DVDs, or Blu-Rays, you will undoubtedly want to choose silkscreen printing. We can print up to four solid colours, or full colour CMYK if you wish to print a photograph or gradients. Designing silkscreen print artwork is a little different from designing album artwork, as colours will have to be separated for us to use the proper ink. Here are some tips for designing silkscreen disc artwork!

2 color silkscreen disc printingAn example of 2-colour silkscreen printing

Don’t Use Photoshop

While many of us who have dabbled in graphic design are most comfortable using Photoshop, we do not recommend it in the case of silkscreen disc design. You should be using Adobe InDesign, Adobe Illustrator, or CorelDraw. The main reason is that instead of using layers or colour fills like you would in Photoshop, you’ll want to instead use Pantone swatches. Which brings us to our next point…

Start Using Pantone Colours

Pantone is an organization system for a wide range of colours. Each pigment or tint is assigned an alpha-numerical identifier, so for example Electric Blue would be Pantone 2727c. Ideally, as a graphic designer you would refer to a Pantone swatch booklet which would have every colour number, that way you’re not reliant on a computer monitor whose colour calibration may be a little bit off.

By using Pantone swatches in Adobe InDesign, Illustrator, or CorelDraw, we know exactly which ink colour to use. Your desired hue of blue won’t be too bright or dull, for we know to use the 2727c ink. If you don’t use Pantone swatches, you will need to tell us which pantone number to use for each colour.

How to find Pantone swatches in Adobe Illustrator

Separate the Colours

Let’s say you chose 2-colour silkscreen as your disc print option, and you’d like a red design against a black background. You can’t simply send us a rasterized or flattened jpeg with your artwork, these two colours need to be separated from one another. Simply having each desired colour on a separate layer will not suffice, we must be able to remove colour channels for the whole file like in the video below. Please note that white counts as a colour, empty space in artwork will reveal the silver disc.

High Resolution Text

We recommend adding the text through InDesign, which will give it the sharpest quality and highest resolution possible. If your text is stylized (stretched, bent in a circle, etc.), we recommend Adobe Illustrator as that is the ideal program for vector graphics.

CMYK Printing is a Different Story

If you have a photograph you’d like to use for the disc artwork, maybe a picture of the band or a broken down Chevy, you’ll want to use full-colour CMYK. The approach to CMYK printing is much simpler, it doesn’t require any colour separation or Pantone matching. Simply place the high resolution image in the template and that should suffice.

CMYK + White silkscreen disc printing
An example of full CMYK printing

Use Our Templates and Hire a Designer

If this is your first rodeo to graphic design, you may want to look for outside help. A professional designer will have all the tools and knowledge to complete the job. We also offer graphic design services, and since we’ll be the ones printing the discs we’re going to get it right on our first try. Don’t forget to supply your artwork using the Duplication.ca templates!

You may find this guide to be a bit overwhelming, but it’s the road you need to take for brilliant and beautiful silkscreen disc printing. All of the above are industry standard guidelines, which allows us to provide you with the highest quality printed silkscreen so your album artwork is as loud as your music.

CLICK HERE TO ORDER PROFESSIONAL CD PRESSING WITH BEAUTIFUL SILKSCREEN PRINT

Cassette slipcase loading variations explained

Our printed slipcases are an excellent packaging method for box sets and multi-cassette releases. Cassettes fit snuggly inside, safe from accidentally slipping out when pulling the slipcase off the shelf. We have developed template variations for each slipcase, one in which the cassette is removed from the left of the slipcase and one from the right. Here’s a breakdown:

Left Loading

Portugal the Man cassette by Duplication.ca

This design is the one most often seen with multi-book slipcases. When looking at the slipcase over, the cassettes are removed from the left side. This way the front of the J-Card is seen immediately.

Right Loading

Christtt cassettes by Duplication.ca

With ‘right loading’ slipcases, everything is basically the opposite. When looking at the front slipcase cover the cassettes will be removed from the right-hand spine area. When you remove the closest cassette you will see the back of the top cassette. This design works best when paired with striking pad print or laser engraving designs on the tapes!

Need some more clarification? Check out this video for a visual explanation!

Our templates include left-loading and right-loading variations. They can be downloaded here.

Printed slipcases are available for purchase on our online store. You can also order cassette duplication and request to add slipcases in the ‘Notes’ section, we’ll adjust the order quote for you! Cassette duplication includes FREE SHIPPING to the United States and Canada.

The Guide to Pad Print Colours

Vampire Step-Dad pad print

We’ve been pad printing cassette shells since the 1990s, so we know the ins and outs of providing a quality print job just like you intended in your design. We use opaque ink for pad print, unlike offset pad printers which use a type of paste that is thinner and appears more transparent. Our pad print jobs are done individually by hand, allowing us to see the result of every print. This gives us a huge advantage in maintaining great quality assurance. Check out our pad print machine in action on YouTube.

Pad print colors

Our selection of pad print colours

That said, certain ink colours look better on certain shells. Black or dark ink will appear striking and vibrant on white or lighter colour shells, while the inverse not so much. The ink is opaque, but the plastic shell will still absorb some of the colouring. Take a look at this colour mixing diagram:

Pad print ink color mixing

Notice the color changes on the overlapped sections. Blue ink on a red shell may appear more purple, and will thus be a bit more difficult to read. Similarly, yellow is a lighter colour than red, so it may be absorbed by the red shell and appear more orange. It’ll look cool, but not exactly what you had in mind when designing.

If you insist on continuing with unconventional colour schemes like blue on red, there are a few solutions—

  1. Request double-hit with your pad print. This will give your colour a little extra oomph and emphasis against a darker shell colour. It may not solve the problem of a particularly light ink colour against a dark shell, but it will certainly look better than single-hit pad print.
  2. Upgrade to 2-colour pad print and use the bottom layer as a white base. Locking the shell into place for two separate ink stamps is extremely difficult and won’t always work, so you will want to make the white base larger than your design (like a stroke or outline filter), or slightly smaller than your design, that way it’s not off-register.
  3. Request a custom colour ink. We can add white ink to an ink colour for an extra fee to make it a bit more vibrant when placed against a darker colour shell.

If you’re not sure if a colour combination will be as vibrant as your design, ask your sales rep for their thoughts, we’ve seen it all over the years! You can add pad print to your cassette package through our cassette duplication calculator and receive free shipping to the United States and Canada.

Duplication.ca Gift Certificates

Artists with particular tastes can be difficult to shop for. Who can tell tell what they want, what they already have, and what they don’t have? This year you can play it safe with our Duplication.ca gift cards. These digital gift certificates allow your recipient to use the freedom of their imagination and choose what they need for their next album release or artistic endeavour!

Click here to order gift certificates!

Maybe they’ll take the opportunity to print heavy duty 12″ jackets for their next single drop? Or perhaps it’s their chance to splurge on professional quality CD replication? If they’re the DIY-type they can stock up on our brand new cassette shells!

Your gift certificate can be used at checkout in the online store. If you’d like to use it with our duplication services you will need to contact us before payment so we can manually deduct the gift certificate amount.

Guide to Designing 2-Color Pad Print

GUIDE TO DESIGNING 2-COLOR PAD PRINT

2-color pad print is the perfect solution if you want your cassette face design to pop right off the shell. This service is available by special request, you can mention it in the ‘Notes’ section of your cassette duplication order and we’ll send you an updated quote. But before you jump into designing your 2-color pad print artwork, there’s some restrictions to keep in mind. Here’s the breakdown:

Templates

We will require that you provide your artwork in our templates, without exception. Since your two-color artwork may need increased accuracy in its placement we cannot manually move your artwork into our templates and risk losing its proper alignment. Our pad print templates can be found here.

We now ask that our clients send us vector artwork as opposed to bitmap. This allows us to print higher quality images with finer lines and sharper text. Adobe Illustrator is your best bet for vector image design.

Files

Each color and side should be its own individual file. So if you are designing a two-sided cassette with green and black on each side, your files names should be similar to the following:

Side A – Green.PDF
Side A – Black.PDF
Side B – Green.PDF
Side B – Black.PDF

Color Order

When choosing your two pad print colors, you need to be clear as to which color is the foreground (top layer) and which is the background (bottom layer). For the best results, the lighter color should be the background. Light ink will not print well on top of dark ink, such as yellow on top of black. However, black on top of yellow will be easily visible.

Trapping

We strongly discourage very accurate layer placement, such as a second color being used as an outline or drop shadow for text and images. Tight registration or perfect placement for two color pad print takes considerably longer to set up, and the printing pad tends to shift over time, meaning that we will eventually reach a point where the two ink placements are slightly offset.

As such, we require a trapping of 2 points between color layers. Trapping is a printing term for overlap, so if you wish the two colors to touch the foreground ink must overlap the background ink by 2 points. If you don’t add an appropriate amount of trapping you will risk there being empty space between the two colors.

Points is a unit of measurement that you can find in your design application. To change the unit of measurement in Adobe Illustrator, simply right click on the ruler and switch to Points.

If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to email us or send us a message on our live chat service.

Don’t forget that cassette duplication orders come with free standard shipping to the United States and Canada!

A Step-By-Step Guide to Cassette Duplication

The cassette duplication calculator is an incredibly handy order form that allows you to customize your cassette packages while updating you on the price in real-time. However, as our option list grows, we understand newcomers may feel the calculator is a bit overwhelming. We’re always here to help, but this step-by-step guide should answer any questions you may have!

A Step-By-Step Guide to the Cassette Duplication Order Form

Duplication Speed

The duplication speed determines the recording quality of your cassette. Real-time is recorded at, well, real-time speed with your master. This is the higher quality option, with a frequency range of 20Hz to 20kHz. Even so, high-speed duplication sounds wonderful, capable of audio from 20Hz to 17kHz.

Length Per Side

Length per side is for you to let us know the length of the longest side of your master. So that is to say that if your sequence of tracks has a total length of 14:28 for side A, and 15:30 for side B, you’d round up to 16 minutes for the length per side.

But don’t fret, we won’t be adding 30 seconds of silence to Side B, we’ll actually be loading the cassette exactly to the length of your master (with a few additional seconds of lead-in time to avoid cutoffs.)

Copy

Let us know if there’s different audio on each side of the tape, audio on side A only, or if both sides have identical audio.

Tape Type

Like ‘Duplication Speed’, the tape type determines the quality of your audio. Our standard is super-ferro normal bias, which has excellent volume and fidelity. However, if you want even crisper bass and louder volume, our high-bias Maxell XLII-S is the choice for audiophiles. BASF 120 is needed for cassettes that are 120 minutes or longer in total length. Maxell XLII-S and BASF 120 are only available with real-time duplication.

Cassette Colour

Now we’re getting to the fun parts. We have dozens of shell colours for you to choose from, so you’re faced with the decision on which colour suits your music and artwork best. This list is divided into five sections: opaque, metallic foil, tinted and transparent, glitter shells, and chrome cassettes to pair with Maxell XLII-S tape.

If you want to quickly run through all our cassette shell options, pull up the cassette selection guide to see what we currently have in stock!

Packaging

Here you can choose the type and colour of your cassette case. We have tons of Norelco cassette case colours in stock, so you can match them with your cassette shell colour if you so desire. We can also add special packaging to your Norelco cases, such as laser engraving designs to the case, or an outer O-Card which wraps around the cassette case, giving you an extra layer of artwork.

If you’re searching for deluxe packages, check out our cassette vinyl albums. They open like an audio book with enough additional space for a booklet, pins, or patches.

Cover Type

Here is where you’ll choose the format for your printed artwork. JP0 J-cards are standard three panels (front, spine, back), and you can add additional panels for liner notes, lyrics, or artwork. You may also choose between single or double-sided printing.

You can also choose your printed trapsheet artwork for cassette vinyl albums. 4/0 refers to single-sided printing, and 4/4 would be double-sided printing, though you’d want to combine the 4/4 trapsheets with our transparent cassette vinyl albums for the sake of visibility. You can add panel foldovers as inserts for your trapsheets as well.

Label Type

Now we’re at the customization stage! The label type is how you’d like to decorate the cassette itself. Paper labels are printed stickers that we place on the cassette, whereas pad print is an ink design that we stamp directly to the cassette and cannot be peeled off. Finally, laser etching is a laser-created engraving to the face of the cassette, permanently carving in your design. You can choose to have these label types on either one side or both sides of the cassette.

When you choose your label type you will receive a new set of options. Printed labels will ask you which label shape you’d like. We wrote a blog post that will give you visual examples of each label, so take a look before deciding!

Pad print will ask you which colour you’d like. Pad print is one colour only, though by special request we can print up to two colours on the cassette. ‘Pad print type’ depends on the size of your artwork. For simple text and a small logo choose ‘standard design’, but for halftone artwork, large solid areas, or extended print areas, choose ‘floods or halftones’. Finally, ‘single or double hit’ depends on how vibrant you’d like your pad print. If you’re printing a black image on a white shell, single hit will do. However, if you’re printing a light colour on a dark shell (such as yellow ink on a black cassette), we highly recommend double hit.

Download Codes

Download codes are absolutely essential for when you want the benefits and tangibility of physical media and not lose the convenience of digital files. We can host the album for you (max 250MB) and print digital download codes. Alternatively, you can supply us with codes to print if you have your own hosting, or even a list of Bandcamp download codes!

Obi-Strips

Obi-strips follow the Japanese aesthetic of album packaging, adding a printed strip of artwork and text to your case. Traditionally these included album descriptions and prices, but it’s your design, you do whatever you want with it! Choose between vertical or horizontal obi-strip orientations.

Test Tape

We sent you a newsletter about test tapes just last week, but to summarize, if you want to approve the audio quality of your cassette before mass production then you can add a test tape to your order. Keep in mind that it does not include printing and packaging, and it adds another 1 to 2 weeks to your order turntime.

Overwrap

If you want your cassette to arrive in mint condition, or if you’re planning on selling them in-store, we suggest adding overwrap to your order. An alternative option is our resealable clear bags which have an adhesive strip for multi-use and keeping your cassette immaculate.

Rush

We recently reinstated rush options! Our turntime is currently 5 to 8 weeks, but if you need your album with the quickness you can turn your quote into a rush order. Please note rush orders are measured in business days.

Quantity

This one’s easy. How many copies do you want?

UPS Shipping Option

UPS Standard Shipping is FREE for orders shipping to the United States and Canada! If you need your album immediately, we’d recommend the 2-day or overnight shipping options.

UPS Signature Delivery

We highly recommend choosing this option. This will ensure that your package arrives not just to your door, but to your hands. That way no mail carrier will leave it on your front porch for it to be stolen, or hand it over to negligent neighbours who immediately leave for vacation.

And that’s it!

Oh my God, did you read all of that? Well if you did, by now you surely know your way around our cassette duplication order form. All you have to do is ready your audio and artwork for upload (artwork templates here!), and visualize which packaging combination will look best on your merch table and checkout page.

Order cassette duplication today and receive FREE SHIPPING to the United States and Canada!