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What to ask for from audio mixer for final mix ?

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Rosie Walunas
What to ask for from audio mixer for final mix ?
on Jul 29, 2013 at 7:07:17 pm

I've just locked my first indie short. Ready to make an AAF and pic ref for the sound mixer / editor. I'm not sure about what to ask for from him in terms of delivery specs - what I need back from him. He threw a few things out at me but I haven't ever had to deal with anything beyond making an AAF and pic ref for a sound person.

Don't know if I need stereo or mono? 5.1? Splits? Format? What else? Essentially I don't know what I need to ask for from him.

This film will first be submitted to festivals, some small screenings, and eventually broadcast on local stations.

I am in 1080p29.97 48khz 16-bit.

It would be great to know what I should be asking for from him in order to meet my goal for sound. Thanks!


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Andrew Rendell
Re: What to ask for from audio mixer for final mix ?
on Jul 29, 2013 at 8:47:11 pm

Stereo, 48kHz 16 bit uncompressed (either wav or aif), levels to whatever is normal for tv broadcast in your territory (that varies from station to station so I'd suggest getting a specification from the kind of place you expect to take your film, if you have trouble there a reasonable rule of thumb is to go for peak levels of -10dBFS).

If you have commentary in your film, also make a "mix minus" version.


IN MY OPINION (others may disagree): A surround mix is up to you. It's great to have but not everywhere can take it, you'll probably need a stereo version as well because of the variety of outlets you're looking at, so you might want to consider putting that off until you have a sale where you know it's going to be heard (because it's rather soul-destroying to go to the effort and expense of making something that no one gets to hear).


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Michael Gissing
Re: What to ask for from audio mixer for final mix ?
on Jul 31, 2013 at 12:53:46 am

For festivals a 5.1 mix is nice but you will need a stereo regardless for many festivals, DVD/bluray etc and broadcast.

Many Festivals now insist on a DCP which is 24 fps and 5.1 You can put a stereo mix in a DCP. You will need your files as mono wavs labelled for left, right center etc. All files should be 16 or 24 bit 48khz.


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