Many people, particularly artists and other sound professionals, are often concerned about the audio quality of their CDs. They're particularly concerned about the quality of sound after replicating their original copy multiple times over. Indeed, for CD replication to work, each new copy should resemble the quality of the original as much as possible.
It has been debated for a long time whether CD replication results in an inherent loss in sound quality. This piece will seek to establish if indeed there is any change in audio after replication.
Understanding digital sound
Digital sound works differently from analogue sounds or natural sounds. Digital sounds are produced via a method called sampling, where sounds are recorded and generated at specific points along a programmed log. What does this mean? A machine typically records and places these samples along the back of a CD. As the CD plays, the digital samples are detected by your CD player and the sound is reproduced.
Various sound samples are stringed together in the CD and reproduced in their exact order during playback. This is why you may notice that a damaged CD often makes the sound come off as being choppy or scrambled. In this case, it is the samples that are being detected in an incorrect order.
Lossy sound formats
CD audio quality falls under a digital sound format known as 'lossy audio'. Lossy audio is basically digital audio that can be compressed to use less space but at the expense of audio quality.
Most CD audio quality is recorded at 44,100 samples per second. This gives CD audio good quality compared to other lossy formats such as MP3 files. MP3s are much more compressed than CDs, allowing more files to be stored in a smaller space but with lower quality.
Copying CD audio
Now that you understand how CD audio is recorded and played back, you can have an idea of the effect of CD replication on sound quality. When CDs are replicated from a quality original copy, there is no change/lowering in quality. This is because the exact samples that were in the original are replicated to the copy in their exact form.
Unless the CD copy is damaged or of a poor make/brand, the sound quality should remain identical.
With digital sound consisting of a series of 0s and 1s, an effective replication process doesn't interfere with digital samples and the quality of the audio in the original CD. The key to keeping superior quality after CD replication is to select a high quality replication service at all times. Talk with different businesses that offer CD duplication to learn more.