On his Continuing Adventures in Software, Rich Tozzoli looks into cloning.
Ah, wouldn’t it be great to live like George Jetson and have a robot working for you? Well, while it may not be named Rosie, the Bravo SE disc publisher and DVD duplicator from Primera Technology is pretty close. This little gal is an “all in one” system that will burn your disc, add full color printing and stack them for you—up to 20 at a time.
Come on, I know we’ve all been there. The client wants a dozen discs of their latest mixes. So you grab handful of CDs, burn each one, make labels and then hope you get them on straight. Yeah, it sucks.
But that was then, this is now. Enter my new friend “Rosie,” the automated optical disc-duplication and printing system. Install the software (Mac and PC) then hook it up via USB cable. Launch the PTpublisher program and select Copy Project. Drop the disc of final mixes into the appropriate drive bay on the unit. It then copies your data, making a temporary .gi (global image) master file on your computer. Next, the software asks you to create a new label, which is a quick and easy process with their templates and art. Then tell it how many discs you want and hit “Go.” Done. Go get yourself a cup of coffee.
Our little friend’s robotic arm picks up the blank CD from bin on the right of the unit and loads it into the burner caddy. The bay closes, and your disc burns. When finished, it opens, and the robot arm picks it up and drops it into the printer caddy. It then closes and loads the disc into the printer. When finished, the robot arm picks up the disc, the print tray retracts, and it drops into the “finished” bin on the left. Meanwhile, the software will tell you how many discs are done and what their status is.
The whole process (for an average- length CD) takes just a few minutes per disc. In fact, it will multitask for you, burning and printing multiple discs at once. By the time you stir the milk into your coffee and get back to your computer, there’s a stack of printed CDs waiting for you. Seriously, it’s that easy.
Not only is this thing a monumental timesaver, but also the end result looks really good. It’s something you're quite proud to hand out to your clients and customers. It prints a 4,800-dpi direct-to-disc (the kind you can print on, of course), and you can burn individual discs or make a stack at a time. Also, there are other options for disc-burning speed and print quality, etc., but the default settings are optimized for best efficiency and quality.
It’s super-easy to set up. From unpacking to first printing was literally about 20 minutes. All you do is load the software, load the single print cartridge, select the printer driver on your computer, figure out how the PTpublisher software works (there are videos online), and follow the steps to make a disc. There are several options as well; Copy Project, Data Project, Audio Project, Video Project or Image Project.
I first started with Copy Project, as mentioned above. It duplicates your disc (CD, DVD, DVD-DL and even Blu-ray), as a one-time process only. I also used Image Project, where the SE stored an image of a finished CD master on a selected local network drive. PTPublisher then uses this image to make a copy (with art) at any time—perfect for multiple duplication runs of band discs.
With a street price of around $1,300, it’s not cheap. But this type of investment can pay for itself many times over, aside of delivering a highquality product.
We all know the cost and hassle of duplicating CDs, and how many bands have 900 extra discs in their closet with that 1,000-run minimum? With a product like the Bravo, studios can offer this as a service to their clients, and bands can burn small runs of discs and sell them at shows. Self-contained producers such as myself can use this to create professional one-offs for TV clients, or make a run of 25 for a singer/songwriter. And when the robot is making your discs, you can yell, “Jane, stop this crazy thing!”