Cassette Duplication

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Three forms are required to be submitted along with your audio and art files. Now you can complete them online.

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National Audio duplicates cassette tapes on high-speed, studio-quality, open-reel tape recorders known as duplicating slaves. This produces cassettes with a higher output level, lower background noise, less wow and flutter, and a 55-60 dB crosstalk rejection between tracks.
We do not duplicate from a master cassette. We create a master which is used to feed program material (sound) to as many as 20 slave duplicators. The duplication master also contains inaudible control tones and other automation data to operate our duplicating system.
Our engineers do not sonically alter your audio, unless requested. They simply ensure that output levels are uniform on the left and right channels and consistent on all tracks; maximizing the sound for the cassette format.
We add a small one-time charge for a duplication master to your first order. It is archived and re-used unless you request additional audio changes on subsequent re-orders.

National Audio doesn’t recommend that you have Dolby applied if your listeners may not all have Dolby capabilities on their playback devices. If you like the sound of your original master, you don’t need Dolby.
Dolby B for cassettes is intended to reduce tape noise on copied tapes, while leaving the original audio unchanged. It does not fix a sound master with unwanted noise. The original master is run through a Dolby encoder. The encoder basically boosts the upper frequencies while the audio is quiet, and doesn’t boost as much when the audio is loud (relative to a set threshold). The copied tapes are duplicated with this encoding of shifted frequencies. When played back on a deck with Dolby B engaged, the decoder reversed the boosts that were added to the original audio by the Dolby encoder according to the program levels that it senses. The result should be that the original audio sounds unchanged, but the tape noise (most noticeable in the higher frequencies) on the copied tapes has been reduced by almost 10 dB.
Keep in mind that not all players have Dolby encoders and later versions of the original Dolby B also exist. Many pros choose to duplicate their tapes without Dolby encoding for these reasons.

A Cassingle is a cassette tape packaged only in a paper sleeve called an O-Card, which is printed flat then glued on one side to create a box that’s open on both ends. The sleeve neatly slips around the cassette shell to protect it and provides space for art, titles and credits.
O-Cards (Cassingle sleeves) are often confused with Norelco box sleeves, which are constructed similarly, but at a larger size that slips around a plastic Norelco box containing a cassette. J-cards, U-cards and/or download cards may also be packed inside the Norelco box along with the cassette tape.

Tape inside cassette shells stores information when the recording device arranges tiny magnetic particles on the tape. It plays back when it moves over the electromagnetic head in a tape player and the movement causes a varying magnetic field that is interpreted as sound.
Powerful magnets can distort or erase recorded cassette tapes when they are in close proximity. Even a refrigerator magnet is powerful enough. Cassette tapes should always be stored away from magnets of all types.

The overall thickness of the tape itself dictates how much of it can fit inside a cassette shell. The plastic film substrate + the binder + the magnetic oxide surface = the tape thickness.
National Audio Company has only recently found the proper type of plastic substrate of a thickness to make (up to) 90 minute cassettes. Since NAC began manufacturing magnetic tape until now only a substrate to make 64 minute or shorter tape had been available. Any longer cassettes available anywhere (that we know of) have been made with older stock, not newly manufactured tape.

Analog audio recordings have two limits, a quiet noise floor where signals become inaudible and a loud upper ceiling where a system may create gross distortion and cause clipping. The space between the two extremes is the dynamic range.
Until the very last stage of mixing and mastering, an audio engineer attempts to keep levels at a “sweet spot” where there is plenty of margin for the range of the recording. The upper capacity of the system above the sweet spot is the headroom, and making the best use of it allows the reproduction of the audio to capture every nuance of the sound.
Though ideally largely unused, headroom refers to the space or buffer zone that accommodates the unexpected in order to create natural sounding highs, lows, and volume. National Audio’s Ferromaster C456™ tape provides greater headroom than other ferric tapes.

Two halves of a plastic cassette shell are normally joined in one of two ways, by screws or sonic welding. Sonic refers to a welding method often used for plastics. Ultrasonic welding creates a solid-state weld using high-frequency acoustic vibrations applied to plastics held together under pressure. No connectors, soldering materials or adhesives are required. Although shells screwed together can be repaired more easily, welded shells are popular because they are rigid, professional in appearance, and a bit more reliable than a shell joined together at a few selective points. Professional music releases are generally recorded on sonic shells.

The letter refers to the shape seen when you view the edge of the insert. Its folded shape looks like a J, an O, or a U. J-Cards and U-Cards may include extra panels folded inside.

A song played on the radio encompasses two separate copyrights, one for the musical composition and one for the sound recording. The standard copyright symbol is © and applies to the author of a composition, the song and its lyrics. Copyrights generally apply to the life of the author (or last survivor of a team) plus 70 years, with some variations. This legal protection may also extend artwork and photographic materials used in the creation of packaging.
The symbol for copyrighted sound recordings is ℗. The p stands for phonogram, a legal term applied to the master recording of music, spoken words, or sounds on LPs, audiotapes, cassette tapes, compact discs, etc. A specific sound recording copyright does not apply to any other rendition or version, even if performed by the same artist(s). It is usually noted in the same way as the more familiar copyright symbol (example: ℗ 1987 Name of Owner). The author of the sound recording is typically the performer(s), the record producer, or both.
Answers to specific individual questions should be obtained from qualified legal counsel.

Ferric cassette tape is manufactured as thin plastic film coated with a magnetic layer of gamma ferric oxide (Fe2O3). Professional-grade tape is shipped on large pancakes (similar to reel to reel tapes) or wound into cassette shells as pre-recorded or blank tapes.

That depends. In most equipment the absence of tabs makes it impossible to record over the contents of the tape. National Audio always uses tabs-out shells for duplication orders to prevent the tape from being accidentally erased by the end-user.
If you record on cassette tapes yourself, tabs-in are easiest, but you can record on tabs-out cassettes by covering the holes with adhesive tape. Breaking out the tabs (or removing the tape) after recording prevents erasure.
Some professional recording equipment can record onto either tabs-in or tabs-out tapes.

Cassettes are recorded as side A and side B. Two stereo pairs of tracks (four total) are available on a cassette tape; the first stereo pair is played or recorded when the tape is moving in one direction and the other pair when moving in the opposite direction. So a standard 60 minute tape can contain up to 30 minutes of recorded material on each side.
Prepare your audio tracks so that side A and side B are approximately equal in length so there is not too much silence on either side.
90 minutes total recorded audio is the new maximum length that can be produced.

Imprinting is the process of printing your artwork, in a single ink color, directly on any of our color cassette shells. The imprint ink is permanently fixed on the shell using NAC’s commercial printing presses with UV dryers for a professional result.
Laser printed paper labels are also an option for colorful or complex designs. Labels can be multi-color and full bleed designs.
There are separate templates for imprints and for labels. Please use the correct one for your designs.

National Audio can work with almost any kind of media or digital audio file as the original for duplication. The most professional quality is achieved if you send .wav files that sound exactly as you like. The audio engineers at NAC make slight adjustments to make your recording sound its best on cassette tape. For more specific information click here.

Due to the volume of projects currently in house, our turn-around time for cassette duplication orders has extended to at least five weeks from the time we have received all the elements of your project: The three required forms, your audio master, and your album art files.
Rush orders are not available, but if you have deadline requirements call Customer Service to ask if your delivery date can be met.

Within a few days of the receipt of your project forms and files National Audio will email you a Sales Order / Invoice which can be paid with a major credit card using the link to our payment portal. You must pay the invoice before we begin work on your project.

For a limited time we are offering special package prices for duplication. There are also a few bonuses for quantity ordering.

There are no package
specials at this time.

View our photo galleries of our people, process, customers and examples of final results.


The people of NAC are who keep the cassette alive.


See photos of final cassettes and packaging.


Bands and record label personnel are invited to stop in to see us.


Making tapes is an interesting process. See how it’s done!

NAC Duplication Guidelines
– a PDF document of instructions containing links to all forms and templates.

Imprint & Label Templates
– direct link to the imprint and label template page.

J-Card, U-Card and O-Card Templates
– direct link to the J-Card, U-Card and O-Card template page.

Download Card Template
– The Download Card template is near the bottom of the J-Card, U-Card and O-Card template page.

Audacity Tutorial
– a PDF document of instructions on how to use Audacity.

iTunes Tutorial
– a PDF document of instructions on how to use iTunes.

NAC Cassette Shell Colors
– NAC Cassette Shell Color Chart page with downloadable PDF.

NAC Imprint Ink Colors
– NAC Cassette Imprint Ink Color Choices page with downloadable PDF.


We just wanted to say that your mastering department did a very excellent job putting this to tape. We are VERY happy with the way everything sounds, please pass a big THANK YOU over to them, we appreciate the attention to detail!!!
Thanks so much!
Dave Rucinski

Gubbey Records   

We just wanted to say that your mastering department did a very excellent job putting this to tape. We are VERY happy with the way everything sounds, please pass a big THANK YOU over to them, we appreciate the attention to detail!!!
Thanks so much!
Dave Rucinski

Gubbey Records   

Just got tapes in other day, and the Tapes look amazing! Thank you so much for helping me out! I will for sure do more projects through you guys in future 🙂

Trey Hanawalt   

I wanted to tell you what an amazing job you guys did with the O-card Cassettes , they look and sound great and got here on time !
Thanks for rushing the order and the awesome work 😉

Greg Alvarez   

Hi - Just wanted to thank everybody over there who worked on our first tape! I believe you said your regular turnaround time is 3 weeks, so I definitely appreciate you making it happen in less than 2.
We got the tapes yesterday in time for the show last night and the tour departure today. Thank You!

Nathan Young   

the tapes look great. I'll be sending more projects in the future.

Ian Thompsen   

Received the tapes yesterday they look fantastic! They turned out exactly as I wanted them to.
Great job to everyone for the high quality production work!

Nathan Cook   

Hi! The tapes came 2 days ago and they look and sound great! Thank you for such a positive and easy experience. If we want to get more tapes made down the road of this same recording, is that something you keep on file?

Gavin Tucker   

They are beautiful and sound magnificent! Thank you again, so much!

Damian Master   

I received the Glock tapes the middle of last week. They turned out great! Thanks a ton again! Looking forward to working on future projects with you guys soon.

Dan M.

Dan McCoy   

Just wanted to say my Storm Warning tapes came out great! Excellent quality and great customer service, will be back shortly for my next release!


Mike Mendyk   

Thank you!! You guys have nothing but a great reputation and I can't say anything but the same. Awesome info .pdf with everything to place the order, fast clear response to questions, well done site w/ extra info... you guys rock.

Mario Viele   

THANKS! (Death Valley Wolfriders - Play For Blood)

I received my shipment of tapes today, and I can't get over how incredible they look and sound. I know this album is pretty out there, but you guys have absolutely exceeded my expectations with your whole package, and I just really wanted to say thanks!

I'll definitely be sending referrals your way; several fellow musicians have already expressed jealousy over my awesome tape :).

Working with you and your team has been a wonderful experience. I very much look forward to working with you again in the near future.

Thanks again,
-Nathan Gearhart

Nathan Gearhart   



Morrison Agen   

Just wanted to write you back and let you know how happy we are with the tapes! We received them ahead of schedule and have been in awe of the quality ever since. I really appreciate all of the work that NAC put in and specifically all of the questions you answered for me. If I have any other tape needs in the future, we will definitely be working with you.

Thank you so much!
Cody Rogers

Cody Rogers   

Hi! We actually received the tapes a little over a week ago. We are SO incredibly pleased with these! Your team did wonderfully and we've been singing NAC's praises all 'round town.

Kenneth Parker, Glossolalia Records   

Just got rabbit cradle. You guys do such an incredible job. The sound is perfect and the art looks amazing. Thank you so much!

James Webster   

These look and sound so amazing! Thank you. We'll definitely be working together in the future.

Nolan Smock   

just wanted to let you know that i got the sweet sweet package of 100 pink
cassettes in the mail!
cannot wait to get on distributing these gems.
they sound great and look even better.
...yet another satisfied customer!

josh rogers   

A huge thank you!

I just wanted to let you know that I'm very appreciative of how quickly you were able to get that double tape order shipped and ready.
I'm definitely glad to be working with people that are as detailed and wonderful to work with as you are at National. Thanks so much for everything!


Sean Hermann   

I just want to take a minute to thank you for the wonderful service. I received my order last week and they're perfect. The overall quality, from packaging to production, is outstanding. Thank you. We will certainly use you again in the future and refer your services to our constituents.



Oh my godddd!
These came in today and they are absolutely AMAZING!
I cannot thank you enough for helping me with this, and making it turn out as incredible as it did! I am working on a few more releases right now, and I am definitely coming back to you when I am ready to get these made!
Thanks you so much!

Like Young   

I received the tapes and they look AMAZING!!!
Thank you for the quick and friendly service.

Utech Records   

Many great thanks to the amazing staff at NAC!! We are so happy with the sound and look of our new cassette release. So are our listeners, we sold out of our first order in one week. We WILL be re-ordering...

Also, we were VERY pleased with the hi-fidelity results of the ChromePlus tape. Amazing sounding tape. Our music features a plethora of vintage instruments Hammond Organ, Gibsons, Marshalls, Sunn amps ARP & Moog Synthesizers, and Mellotrons. This tape was PERFECT for all of these sounds as well as vocals and drums all coming through. I am SO pleased with the mastering of the recording,
Everyone at NAC rocks. Looking forward to doing many more releases with you.


Adam Smith   

Everything came on time and looked, sounded just right. Thank you and your creative team from a grateful us.
Looking forward to calling again, soon.

Coy Campbell King   

The packages arrived safe and sound on Friday. They look and sound unbelievably good. Thank you so much for your hard work and patience with us!

You guys are truly the best.

Crawford Philleo   

Just got my order of chrome #771 cassettes. THEY SOUND GREAT !!
I am enjoying using my deck once again - Thank you NAC and all the people there that make a great product. You have earned the title of "show me state". I am a believer !! I also like the graphics on your paper insert.

Dave in Albuquerque NM

David Rankin   

just wanted to say thanks to you, kind tricia and the NAC, for the prompt
and courteous service. always.
the luxury/saint split cassette came with all of the right adjustments.
you always take care of your loyal customers.


ps. also thanks for the bonus walkman.
they really come in handy for my promotional tables i set up for people to
hear what it is that i do.


josh rogers   

just got the tapes in the mail and wanted to say thanks for everything!
they look and sound incredible! you were a tremendous help with this whole thing and we really appreciate it. It was a pleasure ding biz with ya and a great first experience with professional cassette duplicaiton... will be back soon!

Cory Calvin