I'm looking for info on mixing for film

Discussion in 'Mixing & Editing' started by EricWatkins, Aug 23, 2015.

  1. EricWatkins

    EricWatkins Active Member

    Feb 10, 2007
    Decatur Il
    I'm working with a tight group of film makers, all local, but a very dedicated bunch. I have been searching everywhere for info on mixing dialogue, foley, and music and happened upon the -20DBFS pink noise to 85 RMS mix standard. For anyone familiar with this, I think I get it, yet I wonder if I really do.

    My understand is that you are supposed to playback a -20DBFS pink noise signal and then, from your listening position, adjust your monitors to 85db RMS. Let me just first say, this seems insanely loud to me. I then found another reference stating that, for small rooms (I'm sure mine qualifies as such) with near field monitoring, 79-80 db is the acceptable range. I'm thinking still too loud but maybe that's just me.

    So if I have the above info correct, then am I supposed to assume that you then mix everything to the level that you would be expecting to hear in a theater? I can tell you that with -20 pink noise coming out at 79db, it would be one of the quietest mixes I've ever done.

    Maybe I have something wrong here, but could anyone help me or point me at some authoritative info on this subject? I also wonder what delivery levels are standard on the mixdown. I should also mention that I'm only talking about 2 channel stereo, not 5.1 or more.

  2. pcrecord

    pcrecord Don't you want the best recording like I do ? Resource Member

    Feb 21, 2013
    Quebec, Canada
    Home Page:
    Hey Eric !
    If we are talking about mixing and not mastering, how loud your monitors are is independant of the finish product's loudness.
    You can do as most mix engineer do, mix at low levels and check at high levels once in a while to be sure the bass frequencies are ok.
    Even a mastering engineer don't listen to the project at full levels all the time. (at least not all of them)

    If you are doing the finished product, you can still work at lower levels but be sure your output levels are at standard peaks. (sorry I don't have the exact numbers the industry obeys to.)

    If the product is going to youtube, they are now using LUFS measurements which sums the whole files and ajust the volume according to their norms..
  3. bouldersound

    bouldersound Real guitars are for old people. Well-Known Member

    Jan 23, 2010
    Boulder, Colorado
    You need to study up on Dialnorm. It's a way to accommodate the requirements of different types of productions for the amount of headroom above the dialog level. The default is 27, with a data range of 1 to 31 representing a gain range from odB to -30dB. The default value allows for 26dB of headroom above the dialog level. The dialog level would be measured using Leq, A weighted, a long term average level method.
    DonnyThompson likes this.

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