When you get to the audio mastering stage, you’ll likely want to consider including ISRC codes on your CD master. Here’s a quick breakdown of ISRC’s and how to obtain them before mastering your music.

What is an ISRC Code?

The ISRC (International Standard Recording Code) is a global identification system that tracks individual sound recordings. Each ISRC code represents a unique master sound recording and can be embedded into the “digital fingerprint” of the song during the mastering stage. Think of it as a license plate for each individual song.

What are they used for?

ISRC codes are what rights and royalty organizations (such as SOCAN) use to track royalty payments, and are often required by digital music services such as iTunes or CD Baby.

The ISRC code is a 12-digit number comprised of the country, registrant, year of reference, and the unique song designation. If you’re looking to include ISRC’s on your Redbook CD master, they must be acquired and sent to Mojito along with your rough mixes.

Where do I get them?

ISRC’s can only be obtained by the rights owner of the song masters (generally the artist or record label). In Canada, ISRC codes are administered by AVLA (Audio-Video Licensing Agency). Apply for ISRC codes through AVLA here.

Resources:

For more information on Canadian ISRC’s, check out AVLA’s useful FAQ page.

In the United States, ISRC’s are administered through US ISRC.

For a list of International ISRC agencies, head to the IFPI website.