This process is when the music (data) from your CD master (usually a CDR) is copied exactly to a glass substrate best known as a “glass master”. After several steps the result is a nickel plated stamper that will be used in an injection molding machine that will “Stamp” the data image (in the form of pits and lands) in melted polycarbonate plastic. It is formed into the shape of a CD, cooled and then it receives a layer of mirror like aluminum and a coating of protective lacquer. The making and preparing of a glass master and stamper can be time consuming, but the CD manufacturing time goes rather quickly with an average CD manufacturing cycle time of 3 to 6 seconds per CD.
Myth: “My band owns the glass master and stamper” No. Once a glass master is made and the stamper is created from it, the glass is polished to a blank and used for another job. The stamper will stay on file at the manufacturing facility and be used for re-orders. The stamper is made proprietary to the equipment in the same facility and can’t be used at other manufacturers.