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DART Audio Resoration and Noise Reduction Software. DART Audio Resoration and Noise Reduction Software. DART Audio Resoration and Noise Reduction Software.
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ABCs to a Clean Audio CD Burn 

By Dale Swafford; reprinted from the Feb, 2001 issue of the PC Alamode

In the spirit of old time computer experience sharing, I’d like to share some things that now help me enjoy my computer more while burning a music CD. My hope is others will share their successes and failures so that all Alamo PC folks, and all computer users will benefit from the free flow of knowledge.

Set up your system

Unless your burner software specifically advises you to leave it on (like Easy CD Creator v4), deactivate Auto Insert Notification in Control Panel- Device Manager-your CD-R/RW. Reboot for the change to take effect.

Defragment the partition

Defragment the partition on your hard drive with the Windows temporary (swap) file and the burner software’s temporary work area for image and wav files.

Open your burner software.
DShut down unneeded memory resident programs running in the background

Especially anti-virus, “Fast Find” if you have Microsoft Office, and timed screen savers. Anything that can interrupt the CPU. I recently downloaded Process Control from ZDNet. A shareware program that lists all memory resident programs and allows me to set priority for each or put them to sleep. It listed 32 items running in the background, Ctrl-Alt-Del only listed 17. I can assign top priority to my burner program and put unneeded items to sleep. It also puts the ones in red that should not be put to sleep. I really like it and it’s much better than using the three finger salute (Control-Alternate-Delete).

Load your wav files

I make the preparation of the wav files for recording a separate operation from the burn. Clean the original music CD of dust and finger prints using a hub out rather than circular wipe before inserting it in the burner. By replacing the Windows CDFS.VXD file, you can copy the music tracks you want from a CD by opening the stereo folder (open 16 bit, 44.1 kHz) using Windows Explorer and copying the desired tracks to your temporary work folder. Or use digital audio extraction thru your burner software with all the inherent problems. 


Now is the time to listen to your extracted music tracks. Some CD players do a lousy job of digital audio extraction. You can use filters to reduce noise (clicks, pops) and even the volume level for all the tracks. Remember, every time you filter a file, you lose part of the music. If you need to change the filter settings, maybe reloading the track first might give you a better result. When you are happy with all the music tracks, it’s time to create an image file through your burner software.

Setup your software for the burn

Get in the habit of reviewing your settings before every burn. Burn speed must be determined by using the software test feature and experience. It has little to do with the burners capability, it has everything to do with the capability of your complete rig and the quality of the finished CD that you are satisfied with. That was a really hard lesson for me to learn. I have a 4X burner, so naturally, that’s the target speed for all burns. Wrong ol’ thick headed one! I now use 2X for a music burn. Yes, with proper setup, 4X works most of the time. But with 2X, buffer underrun is a thing of the past and the music sounds much better. I burned a lot of coasters and wasted a lot of time learning that. You’ll have to make your own decision on what works best for you. Ain’t it fun?

Setup for a disk-at-once burn

That will take your image file, write the table of contents first, write the image file in one session, close the session, and then close the disc, all in one clean burn without having to turn the laser on and off. Weak music readers (like the one in my Honda), work better with discs burned this way rather than gaging on 80 min track-at-once burns. 

Burn the CD

Media: There’s a lot of horror stories on the web about bad discs. Check the date on the article. It’s probably a few years old. There are exacting standards on discs now and the process has really improved. Funny, cause there are hardly any standards for burners. All the colored books deal with what you burn on the disc. My opinion is, use only discs rated at or above your burner's max burn speed. I jump on every sale or free offer, the cheaper the better. I have yet to find a bad disc was the cause of a coaster. Stick to 74 minute 8X or 12X discs, disk-at-once if you going to play it on a weak player. It’s a real workout for the laser to stay in grooves that are 1.6 microns apart. With 80 minute discs, the extra 6 minutes, 50 Mbs are stolen from the lead-in, lead-out and tightening the track pitch. Unfortunately, some older readers have a real problem with the 80 minute table of contents.

Leave the machine alone

Unless you have a new top of the line machine with a 16X or 12X burner with burn proof, once you hit the burn button, leave the machine alone. Do not try to do other tasks on the machine. Do not cause vibrations or bumps. Just let it do its thing. I know, they test the new high speed rigs with a very CPU intensive program running in the background while doing a burn. It’s a commie plot to make us feel inadequate, so we’ll run out and buy the latest and most expensive burner (which we’ll have to throttle back to work with our existing rig). 

Label and Test

After the software indicates a successful burn, and usually ejects the disc to clear its buffer, then it’s time to label and test your latest creation. I want to hear the results of my efforts before I waste a label. So, I take the new disc to the car (my weakest and most used reader) to make sure it can read it and I listen carefully to the music tracks. Then, it’s time to print a label and put it on the disc.

All this effort so I’m not a slave to the two radio stations that I enjoy. One keeps playing that 40’s crap and the other has gotten so successful, the commercials have proliferated and are getting really annoying. If only I could get http://www.rondiamond.com/ in my car. 

Maybe someday.

If you are asking a question please give me some idea of your rig and the software you are using. 
Dale Swafford 
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