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Preparing my first M&E track

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Richard Steele
Preparing my first M&E track
on Feb 9, 2013 at 10:45:19 am

Hey,

2 questions about my first M&E experience (which is going well so far).

1) Should the sound levels of my effects (or music) be identical to those I set in my general program mix (often around -50db) or should I bring everything up, say to around -18db, to give the broadcast technicians more sound editing freedom ?

2) I was told I didn't need to include any obvious music sequences (i.e. an edited live performance or a clean music clip, without any voice-over). Is this true ?

Cheers.


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Peter Groom
Re: Preparing my first M&E track
on Feb 9, 2013 at 11:06:41 am

Hi
Ill answer from my experience. Others may disagree.

An M&E's purpose is to allow another engineer take the audio track and re version / re work it usually for a foreign language. This will almost certainally differ in dialogue length, timing and gapping.

So I always Include EVERYTHING except the Voice over.
I do include any performances, effects, sync dialogue, and most importantly would mix these at the level Id want them if they WERENT under VO ie higher and without dipping. This is called an undipped stem and shows understanding for the fact that the new vo will not sit in exactly the same places as the old, so music level changes in gaps etc can be added where needed, not where they used to be (which is now irrelevant.
so point 1 yes bring it up and dont dip it.
point 2 Id want everything except the vo in it if i were receiving it.
Peter

Post Production Dubbing Mixer


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Richard Steele
Re: Preparing my first M&E track
on Feb 9, 2013 at 12:45:15 pm

Thanks Peter. I find myself a little bit confused now, seeing as I was told that the M&E track would just be what can be heard under a voice-over (thus can't be extracted if re-dubbed of course)...

I have to hand in a stereo program mix on track 1 & 2 of the digibeta anyway, so I thought they would take whatever was needed beyond the voice-over sequences from there.

My main and pretty basic problem was, from the start : seeing as my documentary doesn't (really) have a voice-over, do I still need to create a M&E track (on track 3 & 4) ?
My film is made up of observational scenes with or without dialogue, interviews with cut-aways (often with sound) and music sequences (either a "video clip" or an edited live performance). There is no studio "outsider" voice-over in the film.

The only answer I ever got from my broadcaster was "sorry, we're too busy to answer indivually, please just follow the guidelines."
The guidelines want "audio tracks 1 and 2 : program stereo" and "audio tracks 3 and 4 : M&E stereo".

So, here I am, trying to create some weird M&E track for a film that doesn't have a voice-over...

Very frustrating.

Any advice ?


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Peter Groom
Re: Preparing my first M&E track
on Feb 9, 2013 at 7:41:19 pm

I have to hand in a stereo program mix on track 1 & 2 of the digibeta anyway, so I thought they would take whatever was needed beyond the voice-over sequences from there.

Theyll not be wanting to mess on with mix and matching.

What you actually have to deliver could go 2 ways.
1) And this is what Id do.
Just put the full mix minus any vo on 3/4. If that is the same as 1/2 , so be it. They probably dont appreciate that fact.

2) And you dont want to have to do this.
They may want a full fx bed whereby all words , of any sort, are removed. This is a mega task and youd better hope loads of wild track was recorded for you. So if someone is interviewed, only the atmos of the room, or the park, or the seaside etc etc is left. If someone is walking down the street chatting, the words go and leave just the street bg.

If this IS what their delivery spec requires, then youd better hope that was budgeted for in the project financing, as it will take a long time and effort in the dub.

Go route 1 and let them complain!
Peter

Post Production Dubbing Mixer


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Andrew Rendell
Re: Preparing my first M&E track
on Feb 9, 2013 at 7:40:55 pm

In documentaries M/E usually means "Mix Minus", i.e., everything except the commentary and without dipping where the commentary would be. So a "Mix Minus" track on a programme without any voice over would be indistinguishable from the main mix (but it would still need to be there on tracks 3&4 and labelled as such).


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Peter Groom
Re: Preparing my first M&E track
on Feb 9, 2013 at 7:43:38 pm

Andrew
Indistinguishable , APART from the fact that the music is undipped, making it totally different.
Peter

Post Production Dubbing Mixer


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Andrew Rendell
Re: Preparing my first M&E track
on Feb 11, 2013 at 1:53:17 pm

Peter, well, er, if there is no comm in the mix, where would the music be dipped in order for the undipped version to be different?

Undipped doesn't mean not balanced with the sync, sound fx, etc (not over here, anyway).


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Peter Groom
Re: Preparing my first M&E track
on Feb 11, 2013 at 3:57:28 pm

Andrew - you are right.
Peter

Post Production Dubbing Mixer


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