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Old August 26th, 2007, 02:12 AM   #1
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Final Mix Questions...

Any ballpark suggestions or recommended reading for sound levels on:
Dialog track, ambience track, music track, sfx track for final mix down?
(ie. dialog: -6, sfx -2, ambience -12, etc... <not suggesting these, just
clarifying my question!>)

(Output for DVD of dramatic narrative material if this makes a difference...)

thanks,
Lonnie
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Old August 26th, 2007, 06:34 AM   #2
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Are you mastering for stereo or 5.1?

SMPTE standards call for 0VU (+4dBu) tone and average levels to fall at -20dBFS with program peaks hitting -12dBFS or -10dBFS. Your dialog track controls the final mix and the other tracks should be adjusted by ear against it.
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Old August 27th, 2007, 02:46 PM   #3
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steve, presently mastering for stereo but how would it differ for 5.1 other than panning?
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Old August 27th, 2007, 06:14 PM   #4
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steve, presently mastering for stereo but how would it differ for 5.1 other than panning?
There are specific requirements for Dolby Digital encoding. I don't have all the details at the top of my head but one that comes to mind is that dialog should be normalized at -27dBFS.
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Old August 27th, 2007, 10:13 PM   #5
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steve, do you know of any good reference books or websites i should own/browse to educate myself??

thanks,
Lonnie
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Old August 27th, 2007, 11:15 PM   #6
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I recommend sampling the analog outputs of one of your favorite DVDs, and matching that. When I did that with the Matrix 3, I found the dialog to be about 12dB below full scale.

Don't take my word though. Find a DVD of a similar genre, sample it and use it as a mix target. You can then play it and your early attempts back to back for comparison.
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Old August 28th, 2007, 05:21 AM   #7
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steve, do you know of any good reference books or websites i should own/browse to educate myself??

thanks,
Lonnie
Thomlinson Holman's books "Sound for Digital Video" and "Sound for Film and Television" are very good, as are Jay Rose's "Great Sound for Digital Video" and "Audio Post Production for Digital Video." Holman's are more in-depth technically while Rose's are more generalized. They compliment each other well.
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Old August 28th, 2007, 07:13 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve House View Post
Thomlinson Holman's books "Sound for Digital Video" and "Sound for Film and Television" are very good, as are Jay Rose's "Great Sound for Digital Video" and "Audio Post Production for Digital Video." Holman's are more in-depth technically while Rose's are more generalized. They compliment each other well.
Those are all excellent books, no library should be without them, I would add to the list David Moulton's "Total Recording" which is a book that evolved out of Moulton's teaching experience, so it offers excellent coverage of topics with detailed explanations that help reduce confusion, and written in a style unlike other texts. While the focus is not specifically film related, Moulton's explanation of the basics will make reading other books easier. It's a good solid reference I often turn to.
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