DDP - Mastering - Disc Description Protocol

Over the last few weeks I’ve been chatting to a lot of people in regards to their work and what formats they need the masters in, whether it’s WAV, high quality MP3 or a DDP.

A lot of the clients I’ve dealt with have asked what is a DDP? So here it is –

What is a DDP?

A DDP is basically a digital image of the CD. This digital image contains all of the relevant information about that particular album or single. Information such as CD text, Track Titles, Album Title, Artist Title, ISRC’s etc.

All professional mastering studios will be able to run you off DDP Master files. The great thing with the DDP is that most of the duplicators/replicators will prefer working with these files, or digital images as they are stored digitally, rather than being on a physical CD which is obviously prone to scratching.

If you want to hear how your album will flow, with gaps etc, you can. The mastering studio will be able to send you the DDP which you can then play using the DDP player. The great thing with this is that you can hear how your tracks flow, you can check gaps and see how the album sits together. This is the advantage of the DDP. If you get sent the tracks as separate files then you aren’t able to sit and listen through as the album sound as the gaps aren’t in there.

So, if you’re releasing an album, want to embed all the relevant data into the tracks, especially ISRC’s, then getting a DDP of the master files is the best way to do things. If you’re also sending the album off to be replicated, send them the DDP, the majority of the time that is their preferred format. If you end up sending them single WAV files, the likelihood is they will have to add their own gaps in, which might not be to your taste.


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