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Prep mix for broadcast?

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Joe BenderPrep mix for broadcast?
by on Aug 18, 2010 at 8:24:52 pm

Hi All,

I'm in a tricky situation and could really use some help on this. My documentary Capital recently got picked up by a distributor, who needed a new cut of the film. My collaborator and I made a TV-hour cut and re-mixed the audio for the new cut with our sound editor in ProTools. Unfortunately we mixed it to 0db, rather than the -6db that the distributor needs for broadcast. The editor at the distributor suggested reducing the levels in dubs for broadcast clients - unacceptable, as I see it, since there are some very quiet passages in the film that would be rendered inaudible - or running it through a limiter to bring the levels down. Apparently that can produce some distortion though, which I'd rather avoid if possible. So my question is this: what is the best way, short of re-mixing the whole film (the sound editor is out of the country for the next month) to get the levels to -6db for broadcast? The possibilities, as I see them, are these:

Limiter: what are the risks? What's the best/a good one to use? Is this something I can do myself as a solid video editor but no audio expertise, or should I eat the cost and go to a studio? The distributor's post house has also offered to do this for us; should I again swallow the cost and have them do it? As I see it that would be a less desirable solution, as I wouldn't be in the room and would have little/no control over the process.

ProTools: is there any way to bounce the audio from ProTools with the max level set to -6db? Would this be any different from reducing the levels/using a limiter?

Something else? I'm sure there are tools out there that I'm not aware of, since I'm a dabbler at best in audio.

So what do you think? I'm pretty lost here, so any help will be enormously appreciated!

Many thanks in advance,

Joe


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