Before I call the tech, I'd love some pre-knowledge about this.
We have a feature, need Dolby to do an MO disc for us to strike surround sound prints. I know they send the technician to the mix house to record the 5.1 channels.
1) what exactly does he need? Us to just to hit play until the reel is up? and then hit play again?
2) is he feeding from AES out of the board? Can he take SDI?
2) does he burn the MO right there and then? We're in a massive time crunch.
So, I'm assuming they'll be doing this on a Dolby DMU CPU machine, which they surely will. The most basic thing they will need is the 5.1 audio, either as one 5.1 audio file or as 6 split tracks, named correctly with L,R,C,Ls,Rs,S tags in the file names. Once that's loaded, it will be outputed through AES from either the desk or the ProTools rig. The DMU only has facilities for AES/EBU input, not for SDI as it isn't an audio format per se.
There may be some mastering to do on the audio, and there should be one complete playback to measure the LEQ level. LEQ is Dolby's way of measuring volume over time and if your product is to be viewed in a movie theater, there must be strict regulations on that, with a fixed maximum LEQ reading. You don't want to have your mix refused because it's too loud. If you have a few hours to burn and want to know every little detail about LEQ, go here: http://www.dolby.com/assets/pdf/tech_library/AES5900.pdf
Once that's done, the actual encoding to MO is done in real-time. So that's another playthrough. After that, the engineer may want to listen back to what he encoded on the MO. That can be done through spot-checking.
Basically, in 3 playthroughs it should be done. I do this at least once a week and it's a pretty straightforward process, as long as the mix doesn't need to be touched up. I've never seen anything go horribly wrong in this type of session either, so you're pretty much in calm waters.
Have a good end of project pint when this is done!