HOW TO PREPARE FILES FOR CASSETTE TAPE
Please read the following instructions carefully. Before sending audio material, make sure it meets all the technical requirements. The audio we receive goes into the production queue and is checked by our technical department only when its turn comes. Therefore, you might be notified about any incompatibility with the required criteria even several days after placing an order.
TECHNICAL REQUIREMENTS OF AUDIO CASSETTE TAPES
We accept .wav files with a sampling frequency of 44.1 KHz and 16-bit depth.
All masters should be supplied as single files for each side (two files per single double-sided cassette) along with the MD5 checksum file. If the delivered master is divided into individual tracks, the engineering studio will need to prepare new single-side files by merging the individual files for an additional fee. In this case, please send us a tracklist document. All tracks should be named and sequenced correctly (alphabetically per side, e.g., A_01, A_02, B_01, B_02) and separated by suitable pauses, so that all tracks can be seamlessly assembled with appropriate pauses between them.
The maximum length of one side is 45 minutes and must not be exceeded. It is required that the duration of side A should be slightly longer than the duration of side B; otherwise, we won’t be able to duplicate the material. If side A is shorter, you will need to add the necessary amount of silence to match side B. If you are unable to do so, the engineering studio can do it for you for an additional fee.
Before supplying the master for cassette tape duplication, the customer is obliged to check its sound quality, potential errors, track sequence, and integrity of the audio material.
Audio masters can be supplied:
The mastered files should be sent to monotypepressing.wetransfer.com, or the link to the files should be pasted in the “Additional Comments” section in the order form.
When sending audio material this way, please note it must be compressed (e.g., as a ZIP file). Files should have an MD5 checksum attached. Failure to provide an MD5 checksum may result in the inability to file a complaint in case of any problems with the end product.
MD5 checksum is one of the most effective ways to verify the integrity of digital data. It allows you to ensure that the file has been correctly transferred from one computer to another. There are many programs available for both Mac and PC that can generate an MD5 checksum file, some of which are free, while others require a license, such as MD5summer, Sophos, PowerShell, Hash Generator, MD5 & SHA Checksum Utility, and others.
If the customer notices errors that may have been introduced during the transfer of digital files but did not attach an MD5 checksum to them, any claims in this regard will not be considered.
The tape cassette production has a tolerance of -/+ 5%, which means you may receive slightly more or slightly fewer cassettes, but not more than 5% of the overall quantity.
Please prepare the artwork for the cassette labels, covers (J-card, O-card) or slipcase using only the templates provided by MonotypePressing.
After receiving the files, they will be checked by our graphic design team, and you will receive PDF previews for approval or be asked for corrections.
Please note that we will check the artwork twice, and if it’s found to be faulty for the third time, we will proceed to charge an additional fee for every subsequent check.
Please find the comprehensive list of aspects checked by our graphic designers and those that are not within our scope of review in the ARTWORK CHECKING DETAILS section below.
Cassette labels printing:
After choosing the right type of label for the order, please ensure the use of the relevant cassette label template. Cassette shells can be customized using three different methods:
Pad Printing (Tampography) in a chosen colour (please note that obtaining tonal transitions in pad printing is impossible, so the project should be prepared in 100% K)
UV LED Digital Printing (CMYK) with a white undercoat (or white only)
CMYK Printed Paper Stickers
Please refer to our cassette catalogue for examples of these types of label printing.
Please consider the following points while preparing files for printing:
- Use PDF 1.3 or TIFF format; JPG, PNG, or GIF formats are not accepted
- Keep the total ink amount (CMYK) up to 300% on coated paper and 260% on reverse board
- Ensure a minimum ink amount of 6%; anything below won’t be visible in print
- Consider ink contrast for dark elements; what is visible on the screen may not be visible in print Remember that the image on the screen appears brighter than in print
- Use letters larger than 6 points; below that size, sharpness may be compromised, especially for Thin or Light fonts
- Use CMYK colour mode; if using Pantone colours, specify the numbers used
- Do not embed ICC profiles
- Make sure the artwork fits the template; use our provided templates or contact us for custom templates
- Add 3mm bleeds around the artwork
- Flatten transparency
- Rasterize gradients
- For hot stamping/embossing/debossing/spot UV, use vectors on a separate PDF page, marked as an additional colour or 100% K
- Ensure a minimum thickness of 0.3mm for hot stamping lines
- Delete the template layer, leaving only artwork and crop marks
- Bitmaps should be at 300 DPI
- Keep in mind that finishing processes may slightly alter colours: matte foil reduces contrast, while gloss foil intensifies dark colours
- Use the correct template
- Ensure correct page orientation (not upside down)
- Double-check cover text for typos (file changes after digital previews confirmation might incur an additional fee for new exposure)
- Ensure letters and objects (especially dots and thin lines) are large and thick enough for accurate printing
- If you require precise colour representation, consider sending a print proof created using a professional, calibrated printer or including proof printing with your order (the proof will be shipped to you for colour assessment and confirmation prior to the main printing). CMYK proofs we offer are based on composite files, made according to the FOGRA 39 standard.
- PANTONE colours are referenced to the PANTONE® pattern; values being compared to the proof.
What We Check:
- File type (TIFF, PDF)
- Colour mode (CMYK)
- Design compatibility with our template (proper placement of spines, presence of bleeds) Total ink amount (300%)
Resolution of print file (minimum 300 dpi)
- Rasterization of gradients
- Suitability of hot stamping/embossing/debossing/UV printing
What We Don’t Check:
- Content correctness (e.g., typos, language usage)
- Page orientation on templates
- Correct page order
- Flattening of transparency
- Hidden layers
- Size of letters/fonts/graphic elements (in terms of ink flooding) Clearness/brightness of the artwork
- Presence of overprint in the artwork
- Bitmap resolution embedded in the file (must be 300 dpi) These checks can be done for an additional fee.
With an additional fee, we can:
- Add bleeds to the artwork
- Adjust the artwork to fit the template
- Reduce the total ink amount
- Set the page order
- Convert the file to CMYK colour mode
- Convert Pantone colours to CMYK if Pantone was not ordered
Please note that our file verification focuses solely on technical aspects and does not account for content-related errors. We are not responsible for content accuracy.
Covers are printed using offset or digital print techniques, and our printers apply their own ICC profiles (Fogra37 or Fogra39).