Audio Post Production & Q.C.

QC Central
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In the Quality Control process, the audio portion of the report is of equal to, or more importance than the video portion. In fact far more movies and television shows that we QC are rejected or placed on hold for audio issues than for video issues or other reasons.

QC Central is a full Video / Audio Post Production Facility, in addition to our usual Video /Audio QC services. We work with production companies that work exclusively with audio portions of shows or movies, these audio streams later become “married” together with video before projects completion. Along with Audio QC Reports we can also perform other audio post work including Finishing, Conforming: fixing out-of-sync audio, & removing ticks, pops, & other sound anomalies.

Audio QC:
In the audio report we will check for correct audio averages, & peaks; we will also insure that the stereo phase is correct for each set of tracks (Stereo Comp, Stereo M&E, Individual 5.1 pairs etc.) we also check for a multitude of other audio problems including mono audio, out of phase audio, incorrect panning, ticks, pops, glitches and much more. We inform you with a full written report.

Audio QC and conforming

Other Audio Services We Provide

Audio Finishing Services
Finishing refers to correcting whatever existing issues are still present after QC to enable the audio portion of the show to be approved. Sometimes a filmmaker will receive a deliverables list that wants stereo M&E tracks (Music & Effects) and/or 5.1 mix that the filmmaker may not have. These must be present in order for distributor to accept the project. We can help with this by performing the following Audio Editing and Post.

Creating M&E & 5.1 Mixes from Scratch
We can create these mixes using available audio “stems” that the client may have in their possession. These stems are separate “D M & E” (Dialogue, Music & Effects) audio files which are usually .aiff, or .wav. We use these to create the additional audio mixes required. In extreme circumstances the movie maker may not have any additional files besides the 2 channel stereo mix, in that case we can still create the new mixes by recreating the music and effects needed without any additional source material.

We can create an M&E track (Music & Effects) by cutting around the dialogue of a stereo mix track, and recreating effects that happened during dialogue. We have worked with several clients doing exactly that. We can then create full 5.1 mixes (and 5.1 M&E Mixes) including the LFE track (low frequency effects) which many 5.1 mixes we get for QC do not contain.

Fixing Missing Effects In M&E Track:
Most Film & TV Projects contain a Stereo M&E (Music & Effects track) This is a track that contains all audio except English dialogue, which is removed. Foreign language dialogue will be added to the mix later. Often the M&E track is not fully filled meaning that some of the effects in the stereo mix or 5.1 track are not present in the M&E track. Often this is due to the effects being recorded into the mix in the dialogue track, which cannot not used in M&E if the effect is happening during dialogue. We can add all missing effects to the M&E track even if there is not a separate effects track available. One way we do that…

Sound Effects Design.
In some instances we may need to design effects from scratch by finding the desired effect and matching it to the scene, we then mix in any music or other effects that were present, and reinsert the new effect in the mix.

Audio Cleanup:
We can remove audio ticks, static, pops, dialogue glitches and other sound anomalies for a cleaner, more professional sound.

Audio Conforming:
Often a movie that was worked on by more than one editor or edited over a period of time can have sync issues, where the dialogue may start before the mouth movement , or after; or sound effects could be out of sync starting early or late. Sometimes the out of sync audio will change from one scene to the next. We can fix these problems so that the audio dialogue and effects are in sync and where they should be throughout the program.

Other conforming services include Audio peaks and Loudness level adjustments. There are audio peak limits in both movies and TV that must be followed. QC rejection will occur if audio peaks are too high (or too low.) We can also fix incorrect loudness levels as defined under the calm act in which overall loudness of a show must fall within a certain range. Loudness is different than Volume and is a composite of dialogue averages throughout program.
Loundess is measured in LKFS using specialized audio equipment. We are able to get any audio level problems straightened out and Approved by QC

Sound Mix & Design w/ Pro Tools:
We can work with you to create the entire audio mix for your feature, we can also create 5.1 mixes, including real LFE (Low Frequency Effects) track, M&E, and much more.
Please contact us for full more information on full audio mix and design.

Dolby E QC
We can also do QC of Dolby E, which is encoded data tracks that contain multiple audio tracks within, and have to be run through a Dolby E Decoder in order to be heard. On an HDCAM SR machine the tracks will show a solid bar on the audio meters, and will sound like static if not decoded properly.
A typical set of 2 Dolby E tracks will contain up to 8 channels of audio encoded within. Typically a 5.1 + 2 mix that contains a full surround sound mix plus and additional set of Full Audio Mix tracks.
We have completed many full seasons of shows with Dolby E audio, and are one of the few places that can do this type of work. Please give us a call, for more info.