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Advice on doing a small run of cassettes


Rubin Farr
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Looking for any experience here with members doing a home run of tapes in the US, has anyone on this side of the pond done that? I would dub them myself, but looking into a budget for j-card printing, shells, cassettes, suppliers, printers, etc. Is the turn around time different since the pandemic began? any info at all greatly appreciated. here's what I found so far:

https://www.musicgateway.com/blog/how-to/cassette-tape-duplication-usa

https://www.atozmedia.com/cassettes/

https://www.duplication.ca/quotes/ca/en/cassette-packages.php

I've seen some labels dump on 8merch before on Twitter, not even sure where they are.

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I feel like if you're going to do part of it at home it might actually be more practical to do the j-cards yourself and have the cassettes duplicated by a manufacturer rather than the other way around.  There are a bunch of duplication companies in the UK if that's where you are (no idea which to recommend though), and if you make the j-cards yourself you can use any print shop you want, or your own printer.

I'd get the j-cards printed on standard paper and then hand cut them (when I've done it I used an exacto knife and straightedge but some kind of rotary paper cutter might be easier, even a cheap one).  lay out your cards for printing with reference marks around the edges for folding. Get a bone creasing tool (the kind on the left in this photo) and use it with a straightedge to score the paper lightly along the fold lines before you cut it out.  It's slower than getting j-cards printed but it opens up a lot more options and it's probably cheaper in the long run. I've done a couple small runs (40-50) and it takes about an hour and a half to do all the j-cards that way once you get the hang of it. I recommend using semi-gloss photo paper.

 

I think I have some Photoshop j-card templates I made a few years ago, if I can find them I'll share them.

 

EDIT: I just checked and actually it was a standard template, I just moved them to a three-per-sheet document when I printed.  This is the template I used, complete with scoring/folding guides:

 

https://we.tl/t-wyl4YO5WK1

Edited by TubularCorporation
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