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.

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!

Get Higher-Resolution Pad Print Using Vector Artwork!

 

In the past couple of months we began experimenting with creating pad print plates using vector artwork. The results were astounding! Sharper text and images with an even quicker workflow. It’s time we got the word out— send us vector artwork for pad print!

How can you do that? When you’re designing pad print artwork in Photoshop or Illustrator and you’re entering a line of text, don’t rasterize said text, and don’t flatten the file. Turn the text and objects into work paths when using Photoshop, or turn them into outlines in Adobe Illustrator. This way when we print we won’t be using a bitmapped layer with resolution loss. Instead we’ll have sharp lines without the fuzziness you’d find in bitmap text. It will also help us print thinner lines that wouldn’t be possible otherwise, as our new laser engraver has 10x finer resolution, equal in quality to lithograph film.

If you don’t have the graphic design savvy to turn into work paths or outlines, another thing you could do is to keep the text layer as a text layer. That is to say do not rasterize the text, and do not flatten the file. We’ll do our best to turn the text into outlines on our end. Once you see the final results, you’ll be happy we did!

Black Dresses cassette

You can still submit the pad print files the old fashioned way, with rasterized text or bitmapped images. We have always prided ourselves in our excellent pad print quality, but that doesn’t mean we can’t strive for even greater resolution. Just make sure to supply using the proper template based on your cassette shell. Vector artwork should be submitted using PDF, whereas bitmapped resolution can be supplied in PSD, PDF, TIFF, or PNG.

Pad print is available using our cassette duplication quote calculator. This is where you get your fully packaged album on cassette in one simple order. You’ll receive an instant quote on the page, so you can play around with the print and packaging options until you find the perfect package at a great price. FREE SHIPPING is included on orders to the United States and Canada!

Guide to understanding our blank cassette SKUs

With over 50 different cassette shell colours and variants, you’ll probably be spending a little bit of time trying to find the cassette colour that perfectly matches your album. Our cassette duplication page has succinct descriptions of each tape, so you can easily find your fav design. Our blank tapes page is admittedly a bit trickier, as we use the product SKUs (stock keeping unit) to itemize each shell. Each SKU is paired with an up-to-date picture of the cassette, but if you want to quickly find the shell you’re looking for it’ll help to better understand our SKU system

The Blank Cassette SKU Glossary

So at a glance this may look like some garbled nonsense, but I promise there’s important signifiers that’ll help you understand which cassette this is. Obviously the word ‘white’ jumps out at you indicating it’s a white coloured shell, but what’s this TI / TO business?

TI means tab-in, and TO means tab-out. These are the tabs found at the very top of your cassette. Tabs out means that you can’t record over the cassette unless you cover the tab holes, as a way of preventing accidental erasure. Tabs can be covered with tab plugs or by simply placing scotch tape over the holes.

Tabs-in means your cassette is ready to record with no extra steps needed. If you order cassette duplication with tabs-in tapes we’ll pop the tabs off for you so you don’t need to worry about your fans accidentally recording over your music.

Most of the cassettes you’ll see on our shop will be marked as NR, which means normal bias. These will have excellent playback across the board using our music grade tape.

For the audiophiles you may want to take a look at our CR tapes, which is the signifier for high-biasWe currently have stock of Maxell XLII-S High Bias Cobalt tape for louder and clearer playback.

TINT and TRANS (sometimes written as TRANSPARENT) are similar but with one major difference. Both have shell colours that are see-through but TINT will have a grey or black foil in the center of the cassette that will give a partially opaque effect. In contrast, TRANS is a completely transparent tape shell with a colour hue.

c0-tonrredTINTsonic

c0-tonrredTRANS

FLO is the shorthand for our Fluorescent colour shells. These radioactive beauties glow under blacklight, and are simply stunning under regular daylight.

Finally, SONIC and SW are two suffixes that mean the same thing: sonic welded shells. Sonic welded shells are glued shut, so they cannot be dismantled. If you don’t see SONIC or SW in the SKU that doesn’t necessarily mean that the shells have screws. Please inspect the photo carefully, or send us an email if you want to be extra sure.

Now that you’re an expert, all’s that’s left is to find the right cassette for your album! With over 50 colours we’re sure you won’t leave Duplication.ca empty handed.

Upgrade your J-cards to linen cardstock!

 

Looking to add some texture and style to your full-colour printed J-cards? We’ve added a new option to your cassette duplication orders that are sure to dazzle your fans: 100lb linen cover J-cards!

The difference in texture between these linen J-cards and our regular J-cards is immediately recognizable. Linen J-cards look and feel like an aged piece of art, appearing like dried paint on a canvas, while their uncoated finishing leaves them textured to the touch. Our linen J-cards are printed on “Solar White” cardstock. These have a brightness of 97% (read: blindingly bright) which makes all CMYK colours pop right off the page. They’re thicker than regular J-card stock, a whopping 11pt thickness as opposed to 7.5pt. We can print JP0s and JP1s using the linen stock.


“Humanity is a Sinking Ship” by Bricks (Flag Day Recordings)

You can add linen J-cards to your order by special request, just mention it in the ‘notes’ section of your cassette duplication order and we’ll hit you back with a modified quote.

We have other specialty J-card stock available by request. Mention them in the ‘notes’ section and we’ll revise your quote. If you’d like to order only printed J-cards using special paper, send us an email.

• 100lb smooth uncoated text
• 80lb White Enviro uncoated cover
• 12pt white C2S (coated both sides)
• 14pt white C2S (coated both sides )
• 100lb cover stock, smooth finish
• 20lb pink (photocopy paper)
• 20lb blue (photocopy paper)

We’re always looking to help and innovate, so if you have a particular paper stock in mind, or a wild packaging idea, just give us a shout and we’ll figure out the logistics with you!

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

New color vinyl albums to package your cassettes!

Vinyl Albums for 1 Cassette Colors
Looking to add some flash to your cassette packaging? Maybe even give your next tape release the deluxe package treatment? You’re in luck– We’ve expanded our selection of Vinyl Albums for Cassette with four new funky colours!

These vinyl albums for cassette hold one tape, resembling classic audiobook packaging. They have an outerlayer film that allows for large trapsheet cover artwork. The size of these albums really makes your cassette stand out in comparison to the classic Norelco case packaging. Dimensions are 7 1/8″ x 4 5/8″ x 9/16″, so in height they’re somewhere in between a DVD and Blu-Ray case, but much shorter in width. They look awesome stacked in a bookshelf!

Inside you have a tray to securely place your audio cassette. There’s also space in the inside cover with enough room to house a booklet, liner notes, or other goodies like pins, patches, or stickers. You can go all out with this packaging! The album snaps closed like a DVD case, keeping all contents safe and secure.

Click here to order Vinyl Albums for Cassette from the online store

In addition to these new colours we still have stock of the classic black or transparent Vinyl Albums for Cassette. Transparent albums allow for double-sided printing on your trapsheet, so you can maximize the artwork and design. These are available for purchase on our cassette duplication calculator for easy ordering. If you wish to combine cassette duplication with any of the colour vinyl albums, just mention it in the ‘notes’ section of your order, and we’ll modify the quote!

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

Maltese Cross Packaging for Cassettes

Maltese Cross Packaging for Cassettes

Maltese Cross packaging for cassettes

As always, Duplication.ca wants to make ordering cassettes a simple and painless process. We’re constantly looking for ways to improve our services, and just this week we added a new option to our duplication package: now you can order our awesome Maltese Cross packaging with cassette duplication in one swoop!

Grab Maltese Cross boxes with single or double-sided printing from our Cassingles instant quote page. Let us know the length of your album and choose from dozen of cassette shell colours. You can personalize your tape with pad print, sticker labels, or even our laser engraving services.

Maltese Cross packaging for cassette

Printed on 14pt cardstock, the Maltese Crosses unfurl like a gift box. Closing the packaging back up is a cinch, there’s even a die-cut slit for you to clasp shut the box. Your cassette is safely stored inside the package.

You don’t need to worry about the transport costs, our Cassingles packages come with FREE SHIPPING to the United States and Canada!

Order cassette duplication with Maltese Cross packaging today

 

 

Country of Origin labels for cassettes, CDs, vinyl, and print

Duplication.ca Canadian cassette manufacturing

If you are an American artist or label ordering media from Duplication.ca, you need to know about Country of Origin regulations! It can save you a lot of time, stress, and even money.

In short, manufactured media and print exported to the United States need to have the Country of Origin clearly marked on the packaging. This covers cassettes, CDs, vinyl, books, and more. Duplication.ca is a Canadian manufacturer, thus we highly recommend that “Manufactured in Canada” or “Made in Canada” appear on the artwork.

Noise Drone Repeat - Made in Canada

Typically this is placed on the back of the package, but it can be anywhere on the case as long as it’s visible from the outside. Please note that the Country of Origin has to appear on each individual unit, not the shipping container or box.

The country of origin is required not only when we ship to you, it is also required when you ship to distributors, and especially if you try to cross a border with the product in your vehicle. If you don’t put the country of origin, your product could be stopped at the border and you would be responsible for all transport and labelling expenses to apply labels to the product.

One could make the argument with American customs that an order of 25 cassettes is not for resale. However, if you’re ordering hundreds of CDs or vinyl, we strongly urge you to add “Made in Canada” to the artwork. These are not shipping fees you will want to pay for twice.

We also offer “Manufactured in Canada” stickers to place on the cases.

Girls Like Gum - Made in Canada

The United Kingdom does not require a Country of Origin, but some countries other than the United States may. We recommend you do your research if you are ordering from overseas, and see what your country of residence requires when importing media and printed goods.

That’s all you need to do to make sure there are no surprises from the border. As always, shipping to the United States is FREE when you order cassette duplication. Click here for more info and an instant quote!

 

Audio cassette sticker label guide

Sticker labels are an excellent choice for audio cassettes if you want to show off a killer design in vivid colours. Something to keep in mind when graphic designing is that our stickers aren’t one size fits all, we actually have a few models to choose from. Some mesh better with certain cassette shells than others. Here’s an overview of our different cassette label templates to make your next cassette duplication order even easier!

STANDARD WHITE

These smooth labels have diagonal corners on the top with rounded corners on the bottom. In addition to the regular matte stock is a high gloss version which gives your colours an extra shine. Our 12-up sheets (which is to say 12 labels per page) allow for full bleed, so you can make your images extra large to ensure no artwork will be cut off at the printers.

SQUARE BOTTOM CORNERS

These are similar to the Standard White labels, but instead of rounded corners they have square corners at the bottom. These do not allow for full bleed, so if you’re not careful with your home printing you may find that some of the artwork at the bottom of the label may appear at the top due to a shaky printer. For this reason we suggest using solid colour backgrounds, like the Mothra Stewart tape above (great band name.)

We have a variety of Square Bottom Corner labels! All of them are available on the cassette duplication calculator:
Glossy White Square Bottom
Brown Kraft
Clear Labels
Solid Colour labels

Ezekiel Tha Prophet

FOUR ROUNDED CORNERS (CL4RC)

Pretty self-explanatory, all four of the corners are rounded! They’re printed on matte paper, giving a visceral texture to your cassette. The labels are full bleed, so you need not worry when designing your artwork!

Visit our website to download sticker label templates and get designing!


Which label is right for your cassette?

Chum Out

All you have to do is look at the cassette shell! For example, the Chum Out cassette above is using our ‘Old Computer’ shell, which has beveled style frame. The frame cuts diagonally on the top corners, meaning that you will want to use either our Standard White or Square Bottom Corner style labels.

CL4RC02 Concrete Coloured Paint

Meanwhile, our black cassette shells have rounded corners across the edges, so you’re safe to use the Four Rounded Corners sticker labels without worrying about overlap! Of course, you could use the Standard White labels with this style of shell as well, it’s just a matter of personal preference.


If you have questions about particular shells, don’t hesitate to send us an email, we want to make cassette duplication as smooth of an experience as possible for you. Make sure to check out the cassette selection guide for high-res pictures of our cassette shells.

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

Want to print them yourself? Buy blank sticker labels through the online store