CD marker positioning with crossfaded clips, or clips without a gap

What do you guys recommend concerning marker placement with crossfaded clips, and/or adjacent clips without gaps? In both cases, obviously the marker is probably not located at a zero crossing (especially once quantized) or area of silence.

  1. If the marker is placed directly at the beginning of the 2nd clip, are there potential issues? It’s probably going to move a little when quantized. Will CD players possibly cut off the beginning of the song because there is no 200ms safety buffer?

  2. If the marker is placed roughly 200ms before the 2nd clip, obviously the fade-out of the earlier clip will be heard on the 2nd clip.

Just wanted to see how people are handling these issues…


If a ‘problem’ like that occurs, I simply introduce silence of 100-200 ms between the two clips. Nobody will hear it, and let’s face it: there are no 2 CD-players that will treat my placement the same way. With crossfades it’s a little more tricky - usually trial and error will do and on the other hand, there will always be part of clip 1 in clip 2 at the transition, so more is acceptable here.

Hi …

This is not uncommon in my world. I typically just try my best to get the track marker in the most artistically pleasing space (within client directions of course) and hopefully try and avoid a “click”. I typically mention to the client that some CD players may play this transition with a “click” if the track is auditioned individually.

With the subsequent digital versions, the client is offered the choice to have each cross-faded track stand alone (non crossfaded) for streaming and the now all important playlist.

When there isn’t enough time between clips to leave 200ms of buffer between the CD marker and the first audio due to overlapping or tight gaps I do this.

  1. If there is overlapping audio and never any silence, I just find the least awkward place for the marker when I skip right to that track.

  2. When there is just a small amount of silence between clips, I’ll still opt for placing the marker in the silence even though it’s less than 200ms, it’s the least problematic way.

And yes, markers will always quantize to the nearest CD frame on a DDP render or CD burn so in pretty much all cases, I will manually quantize the markers using the CD Wizard after I do my preferred clip and marker placements to make sure the quantizing doesn’t make the markers move somewhere that is not ideal.

I do a lot of EP and album work and like to deliver as DDP for approval so I am just in the habit of quantizing up front so there are no surprises. This way, the client knows exactly how things are laid out and will respond.

Also, I never really see issues with clicks and pops related to zero crossings with overlapping tracks. I can render seamless WAVs out of WaveLab that never glitch when put back to back again in a new session or playlist.

The main place I see an issue with clicks and pops is trying to render track by track WAV files when plugins are inserted and running live. The starts of the WAVs for each track may not be sample accurate due to the plugins not being “warmed up” so that is part of why before I render track by track WAV or mp3 files, I always do a full render of the entire montage so I can print alt the plugins in one pass. Without doing this, I would often hear (and see) a small tick between song transitions when checking them out after rendering.

Dithering is the only plugin I’m running when I render WAV or mp3 of each track and it’s light duty enough to not cause a problem unlike some bigger CPU/latency plugins.

I do a lot of punk albums and other albums that often have overlapping tracks and tight spacing and with this workflow, there is never an issue.

I think I can get away with a 200ms delay on the one with zero silence between…

On the others that are crossfaded, I’ll speak to the client about it… and we any need to do some trial & error.