The Cheapest Way to Record & Make CDs of Your Worship Services (2014 Edition)

by Ryan on May 14, 2014

TEAC CD-RW890 CD Recorder Available on Amazon.comMost churches have a basic set-up (mixing board, microphones, etc.) for recording a worship service, and ideally you need to record the service directly onto a CD-R or as a WAV audio file. The easiest and cheapest way we have found to record a worship service or any other special event is to use a TEAC CD-RW890 CD Recorder (about $175) connected with a cable from output on the mixing board — depending on your board either an RCA to XLR Splitter cable or an RCA to Dual 1/4 Inch cable.

If the service is recorded on a CD-R and is ready to go, then skip to the next step.
If not, then:
– For MAC users the easiest way to cut, trim, edit, and adjust your audio levels is to use GarageBand. Garageband is now available for free!
– For PC users, MAGIX makes a range of sound editors including MAGIX Music Maker 2014, but the free Audacity program offers the essential editing capabilities that may be needed.

Copystars CD and DVD Dual Layer 24x Duplicator Tower Available on Amazon.comOne you have the master CD, it is time to duplicate your CD. If more than 10 copies are needed, you might want to consider investing in a CD duplicator. The cost of CD duplicators has dropped immensely over the years. The best deal is Copystars CD and DVD Dual Layer 24x Duplicator Tower for about $150! This has stellar reviews and is a worthy investment. For about $250, the BestDuplicator BD-SMG-5T allows you to make 5 copies at one time of a DVD or a CD and also has excellent reviews.

If less than 10 copies are needed then simply use a computer:
– For MAC users you can use free programs like iTunes, GarageBand and Disc Utility to make copies of your CD. Also, Roxio’s Toast 11 Titanium offers a simplified way to make copies.
– For PC users, you can use Windows to make copies for free, or use Nero 2014 Platinum or Roxio Creator NXT 2.

Inkjet Printable CDs and DVDs Available on
Although a Sharpie Marker is the quickest labeler, there are much better alternatives. I should quickly admit that I hate the old school CD labels that stick on a disc with a label applicator, but that system does offer the least expensive path to a good looking disc.

The ideal solution is to use printable CDs. 100 Verbatim printable CDs are available for about $17. The Epson Artisan 50 Color Inkjet Printer and the Canon IP88720 Wireless Inkjet Photo Printer are both photo printers with great reviews that come with a special tray that is used to directly print on the disc. There are some photo printers that are less expensive and may even have a scanner built in, but the printing resolution is much less which brings down the quality of the prints. If you are also planning to make photo prints for your bulletin boards, then a higher resolution will be needed.

Primera Autoprinter 100-240VAC Available on Amazon.comIf searching for a printer that will print multiple batches of CDs or DVDs, then the only viable option with decent reviews seems to be the Primera Autoprinter 100-240VAC. This printer looks so awesome, but it is out of the price range of our congregation.

Some photo printers offer free label programs but they are extremely limited. We use label software that allows us to put the entire order of worship directly on the CD along with the church’s address, website, and phone number. For best results:
For MAC users, Disc Cover is the ultimate label tool as it works with almost every photo printer, LightScribe, Labelflash, and DiscT@2 printers, and even the expensive multi-batch printers like Primera.

For PC users, I recommend Acoustica CD/DVD Label Maker which offers a ton of backgrounds and fonts, and it works with almost every photo printer.

CD and DVD Jewel Cases Available on Amazon.comWe use Slim CD Jewel Cases and we buy them 100 at a time for about $22. There is no need to print a cover for the case, because the colorful CD label shows through the jewel case. Paper CD sleeves with a window are also available for around $5 for 100 sleeves.

That’s it! What have you found that works? If you have further ideas, suggestions, or recommendations, please tell us in the comments sections.

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