The Cue and IPR Sheets

Before we can get test presses (and then the actual pressing) made for any Bad Timing release, we have to send a cue sheet and an IPR sheet. What are those? A cue sheet can differ slightly from sector to sector within the industry. For example, ASCAP says a cue sheet is "a document that lists all of the musical elements of an audio/visual program,” and that they use "cue sheets to determine to whom it distributes performance royalties." That's not all that much different from what a record label does with a cue sheet, but there are a few slight variations per record plant. Bad Timing uses AtoZ, a music broker that makes our vinyl at GZ - the same plant Pirates Press uses. Below is a screenshot of a blank AtoZ cue sheet.

It's pretty simple. We fill in the artist(s) performing on the vinyl release, the title, the catalog number (“selection”), the speed (33RPM, 45RPM) and if we want any spacing between tracks. The spacing is important to get right, as the individual that masters your vinyl side will often make (or not make) transitions. If you are pressing a double LP, plants often have A/B and C/D side cue sheets. Next is the IPR form.

Intellectual Property Rights. Do you have them? Do you? This is a pretty simple form. What's the album title? Are you selling it? Yes, okay, well that's retail. Do you own the entire master? If not, just say no - it's okay. Etc. Easy peasy.

Plants tend not to move forward with test presses unless both the cue and IPR sheets are filled out. The cue sheet is their North Star and the IPR form is their waiver of liability. I am typically the one, between Thomas and I, that sends new releases to the plant. I always send our masters with CUE and IPR sheets.