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charles maynes
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16th February 2007
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PostAudio Terminology

perhaps this could be a sticky-


I have noticed on a number of threads here that there is some inconstant usage of terms here-

The one that prompted me to post this is the use of "stem"

Since this is the Post forum, I would suggest we try to standardize these so everyone can more effectively communicate their ideas-

In my experience,

A "Stem" is a mixed set of tracks which are fed into what we understand to be the composite "track" An example would be in film terms, the Dialog, Music and FX stems.

In this parlance there is only 1 stem for each catagory. There is not a drums "stem" for instance- only a Music stem, which the drums are a part of.
so with that in mind, for those who do not work regularly in the Post Production world I will offer up the follwing terms-

I am actually going to go in reverse order stating at the end product and working back to indivdual recordings.

1. Printmaster- The final version for duplication and distribution.

2. The M&E Printmaster- The final version with specific language dialog bussed to an reference stem. This is used for foreign language versions which will be re-voiced in the local language.

3. The final stems- these will be Dialog, which includes the ADR which is used, FX which includes the Foley and BG's, and Music. These played at unity gain, make the printmaster.

4. Premixes- these will be made up of subgroups of final stems- There are generally more than one in each group- examples would be a, or multiple ADR premixes. For FX, it might be a foley feet premix, a BG wind premix, an explosions premix. For Music, it might be a percussion premix or a synth premix. the premix is cut elements which are mixed, eq'd and panned so that they both fit the visual picture and are also segregated so that if a certain element need to be adjusted, or even removed, it can be done without destroying other sounds which might occur at the same time.

5. Predub- THe predub is the collection of sounds the sound editor turns over to be mixed. See the premix description for further details about potential contents of predubs.

6. Elements. These will be the sound recordings which are placed in to the tracks f the predub. they are edited from the source recordings and will have fade ins/outs to avoid clicks for the mixer.



So everyone- have at my list- and add as you might think is needed- do not be shy about editing them either.


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16th February 2007
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This is the same terminology that I'm familiar with.

However, I think composers and music editors might differ with your strict usage of the term "stems." In film re-recording, our "stems" are D/M/E which, when mixed together at unity, will yield the final printmaster. In Music Land, they're mixing music only so their "stems" may be drums, synth, strings, etc. which, when mixed together at unity, will yield their intended final mix. Once they deliver their "stems" to the re-recording mixer, some will still call them "stems" while others, like yourself, might call them "premixes." It might be a "bananas/ banawnas" at that point. Of course, in the end they'll be mixed together and comprise the "music stem."
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Quote:
Originally Posted by starcrash13 View Post
This is the same terminology that I'm familiar with.

However, I think composers and music editors might differ with your strict usage of the term "stems." In film re-recording, our "stems" are D/M/E which, when mixed together at unity, will yield the final printmaster. In Music Land, they're mixing music only so their "stems" may be drums, synth, strings, etc. which, when mixed together at unity, will yield their intended final mix. Once they deliver their "stems" to the re-recording mixer, will still call them "stems" while others, like yourself, might call them "premixes." It might be a "bananas/ banawnas" at that point. Of course, in the end they'll be mixed together and comprise the "music stem."

Good point- however this is not really catering to composer and music editors pre-se- more to post mixers (NOT music mixers) and editors.
And I would say that the "stem" term seems to have really started catching on with the idea of doing subgoups out of ProTools to summing mixers-
On Music stages (doing film music at least), In my experience pre-mix is a more common term.

But alas, that is why we are talking about it-


I would like to think that we are again talking about this not to the purpose of everyone defending their use of a term, but rather so anyone working in the field will be sure of what a term is describing.

so in that interest I would ask people who do post sound to either support a terms usage, or explain the usage they attach to the term.


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For TV we generally refer to stems being N/D/M/E (N for narration, which would be the first thing changed for a foreign version), although I guess there are also the channels than make up a 5.1 mix as well, at least in network spec parlance. Otherwise you are correct about people (me) mixing up "stems" and "premixes". I'll try harder to be accurate.

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16th February 2007
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Wow. Did I really say "bananas/ banawnas"? I meant "tomato/ tomahto".
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Quote:
Originally Posted by philper View Post
For TV we generally refer to stems being N/D/M/E (N for narration, which would be the first thing changed for a foreign version), although I guess there are also the channels than make up a 5.1 mix as well, at least in network spec parlance. Otherwise you are correct about people (me) mixing up "stems" and "premixes". I'll try harder to be accurate.

Philip Perkins CAS
Philip, I do not mean to chastise at all-
for this to be useful, peoples' experience is whats required- you rock. keep it up!


One thing as well for those who are unfamiliar with Post audio is the notion of track designation within a stem-

Many think only of a 5.1 or printmaster type track layout-

In film work, a stem is typically an 8 channel set of tracks-

for dialog stems it might also be typical to assign multiple tracks to the center-

in your DIA stem you might have something like-

1- DIA L
2- DIA C
3- DIA R
4- NARR
5- ADR L
6- ADR C
7- ADR R
8- PFX C

Any sort of layout is possible really, but this is something a lot of *edited to embarass Tom Hambleton* folks who might pop in would never know.



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Quote:
Originally Posted by charles maynes View Post
a lot of non-saavy folks who might pop in would never know.
You say "non-saavy" and I say "non-savvy"....
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Quote:
Originally Posted by minister View Post
You say "non-saavy" and I say "non-savvy"....
that is why I am sometimes an "Editor"...


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Charles,
Very informative thread.
My background is from music, but am slowly becoming more interested in post.
This kind of clarification from pros is invaluable.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by charles maynes View Post
perhaps this could be a sticky
Good idea, I might compile all of the info in another thread as there are some other threads with terminologies, but I'll stick this to the top for now, because then there's a pointer where to post new ones.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by charles maynes View Post
that is why I am sometimes an "Editor"...
i was just trying to sing along with pascal and his bananas..


ok, i will actually add something...

Dubbing.

what Charles is calling a pre-mix can also be called a pre-dub. is that right?

Dubbing can be the same as Re-recording. 'Dub' is an American term....and certainly doesn't refer to Osbourne "King Tubby" Ruddock (for you post-reggae dub fans) . Dubbing means copy, and since when you do the final mix of a film, you are re-recording what was already recorded onto another media : a 'Dubber'; a Mag Machine; a Magnetic Optical Disc... your are Re-Recording it, like in music when you mix to 1/4" or 1/2" tape.

Dubbing can also mean to replace dialogue either in the same language or in a different language.

here is a good link to some decent definitions of film terms :

LARRY BLAKE'S FILM GLOSSARY
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Tom-

In my experience here in LA , a "Predub" session is what a mixer uses as the source for his "Premix".

charles

Larry Blake's glossary is useful in an academic sense, but I think for practical definitions, we need to make a more concise collection available.




Quote:
Originally Posted by minister View Post
i was just trying to sing along with pascal and his bananas..


ok, i will actually add something...

Dubbing.

what Charles is calling a pre-mix can also be called a pre-dub. is that right?

Dubbing can be the same as Re-recording. 'Dub' is an American term....and certainly doesn't refer to Osbourne "King Tubby" Ruddock (for you post-reggae dub fans) . Dubbing means copy, and since when you do the final mix of a film, you are re-recording what was already recorded onto another media : a 'Dubber'; a Mag Machine; a Magnetic Optical Disc... your are Re-Recording it, like in music when you mix to 1/4" or 1/2" tape.

Dubbing can also mean to replace dialogue either in the same language or in a different language.

here is a good link to some decent definitions of film terms :

LARRY BLAKE'S FILM GLOSSARY
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25th February 2007
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Hello everyone!

To add to Charles' initial post I thought I would try to very briefly explain Vanilla Stems (please correct me if im wrong)

Vanilla stems are the final versions of the Dialogue, Music, & Effects stems containing the (generally very subtle) Pushes/Pulls/Tweaks that Re-recording mixers may do the stems while Printmastering.

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Let's not forget my favorite terms;
"Dipped" and "Undipped". and I aint talkin softserve.
When stems are dipped, they contain the fader moves related to "dipping" down for dialog or narration. When FX and MX are undipped, the tracks do not have those fader moves, but are mixed relative to each other so a mix with "dubbed" DX in another language can be inserted. We professionals call this process a "pain in the A**"
I'm more of a Rocksteady, Ska fan myself.
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Some misc terms I had lying around

Glossary of Technical Terms

32 / 44.1 / 48 / 88.2 / 96 / 176.4 / 192 / 352.8 / 384kHz – Refers to the sample rate of a digital recording (samples per second).
16 bit / 24 bit / 32 bit – Refers to the bit width (sometimes called bit depth), or precision of a PCM digital signal (or recording).
AIFF – Audio Interchange File Format. A computer file type which contains digital audio data. Notably, the AIFF format does not support time stamping.
AIT – Advanced Intelligent Tape. Helical-Scan Magnetic Tape Storage Format developed by Sony.
ATA – Advanced Device Attachment. Often used in the same context as IDE or
EIDE. Short for Advanced Technology Attachment, a disk drive implementation that integrates the controller on the disk drive itself. There are several versions of ATA, all developed by the Small Form Factor (SFF) Committee:
* ATA: Known also as IDE, supports one or two hard drives, a 16-bit interface and PIO modes 0, 1 and 2.
* ATA-2: Supports faster PIO modes (3 and 4) and multiword DMA modes (1 and 2). Also supports logical block addressing (LBA) and block transfers. ATA-2 is marketed as Fast ATA and Enhanced IDE (EIDE).
* ATA-3: Minor revision to ATA-2.
* Ultra-ATA: Also called Ultra-DMA, ATA-33, and DMA-33, supports multiword DMA mode 3 running at 33 MBps.
* ATA/66: A version of ATA proposed by Quantum Corporation, and supported by Intel, that doubles ATA's throughput to 66 MBps.
* ATA/100: An updated version of ATA/66 that increases data transfer rates to 100 MBps.
Blu-Ray – A new, as-of-yet-unreleased optical disk technology that utilizes a short-wavelength (hence, “blue”) laser to write and read, allowing far greater amounts of data to be reliably stored.
Broadcast Wave File – A computer file type which contains, among other items, digital audio data. The Broadcast Wave File format is an EBU (European
Broadcast Union) standard whose data format is based on the Microsoft RIFF wave format; there is room for additional information in the file (as specified in the “header”) which allows for storage of metadata.
BWF – Broadcast Wave Format. Same above.
B-Wave – Broadcast Wave Format. Same as above.
CD – Compact Disc. 5.25 inch Optical storage medium that allows storage of either 74 min./650 MB or 80 min./700 MB of information.
CD-R – Compact Disc, recordable one time. The CD-R is 5.25-inch optical media with same storage capability as CD.
CD – RW – Compact Disc Recordable/Writable. 5.25-inch Compact Disc format that may be written to, erased, and re-written many times.
Channel – one indivisible “stream” of audio. “One” channel would refer to a mono source, “two” channels might refer to a stereo source, 6 channels (and perhaps more) could refer to a “Surround” source.
Consolidate (as it refers to audio files) – The process of taking the constituent
audio files with edits & etc for a single track (“vocal”, “guitar” & etc) and combining them into one continuous file.
DAW – Digital Audio Workstation. ProTools, Nuendo, Fairlight, Digital Performer, Emagic Logic, Sonic Solutions, SADiE & etc.
Deliverables – Materials turned into the Record Label upon completion of a project. Refers to all media and documentation. NARAS Master Delivery Specifications set a Minimum and Recommended set of delivery requirements.
DLT – Digital Linear Tape. Magnetic tape backup format owned by Quantum.
DSD – Direct Stream Digital. Refers to the process used for encoding audio in a high sample rate (2.8224 MHz) / one-bit depth format. Certain recorders from Genex, Tascam, and DAW’s from SaDIE & Merging Technologies (see below) support this format type. DSD is the technology at the foundation of Sony’s
SACD release format.
DVD – Digital Versatile Disc - 5.25 inch Optical storage format that allows for storage of 4.7 GB for single sided media and 9.4 GB for double-sided media.
There are many types of consumer DVD’s (e.g., the well-known DVD-Video, and more recently DVD-A, which provides multiple formats including 5.1, or surround,
audio) and personal computer formats (DVD-R, DVD-RW, DVD+RW, DVDRAM), some of which are not compatible with certain players.
Ecrix (was Exabyte) 820/8505 – 8mm proprietary magnetic tape storage format. Used in many RADAR II and RADAR 24 digital recorders as backup device. No longer manufactured.
Ecrix (was Exabyte) VXA – 8mm proprietary magnetic tape storage format.
Currently holds a maximum of 66GB of compressed data per tape (33GB uncompressed). Can be considered as a replacement to Exabyte 8505/ 820
EIDE - See ATA above.
Enterprise-Class Storage Media – Media types that are in use by large
corporations (Fortune 500, etc.). These storage types include LTO, SDLT, and AIT.
Exabyte – see Ecrix
FAT32 – Logical disk format method used by PC compatible machines.
Firewire Drive – Hard disk utilizing a Firewire physical interface and typically composed of a Firewire to IDE bridge chip and, inside the box, most often an IDE/EIDE drive.
Flatten (Audio Files) – Refers to the process of taking audio files used on a
Digital Audio Workstation and converting them into one continuous file for each track. Also referred to as “Consolidation” (see above).
HDD – Hard Disk Drive.
IDE – Integrated Device Electronics. See ATA above.
HFS, HFS Plus (also called “Extended”) – Logical (as contrasted to Physical) disk format method developed by Apple. HFS Plus increases the number of allocation blocks, especially useful for high capacity hard disk drives.
Linux / Unix <tar> – Logical format originally developed for archival of files on Unix Machines. tar is an acronym for “Tape Archive Retrieval”. tar format is accepted as a universal and open-source logical storage format. It is most often used with streaming tape physical media.
LTO – Linear Tape Open. Magnetic Tape Format co-developed by Hewlett- Packard, Seagate and IBM. Multiple vendors for both drives and media.
Master – A “Master” is defined as a collection of the various original components of the recording process for a given production, each in their originally recorded formats, and collected in a form that is ready for transition to the next phase of the process. (For example, the ‘Master’ from the tracking process is collected in a form that is ready for transition to the overdubbing process. The ‘Master’ from the overdubbing process is then prepared for the mixing process. The mixed ‘Master’ is in a form that is ready for transition to the mastering process. And so
"Masters" include (but are not limited to) all analog and digital master tapes, hard
disks, optical media, and all backups in turn made of these during the recording process. The Masters include all of the various original components of the recording process for a given production in each of their originally recorded formats. These ‘Masters’ should have no deletions of useful material (out-takes, artist talking, incomplete or unreleased recordings, etc.). The constitution of “useful material” is determined by agreement between Record Company and Producer prior to the commencement of the recording project.
Metadata - Metadata is data (or “information”) about data or other information.
MO – Magneto-Optical. Storage method which uses an optical laser and a magnetic field to record data on an optical disk.
Optical Storage Media – Understood as recordable media which consists of several materials, one of which is heated with a laser to allow absorption (instead of reflection) to expose the ‘pits’ in the material which, when read by a laser, can be interpreted as data. CD-R, CD-RW DVD-R, DVD-RW & etc.
PCM – Pulse Code Modulation that refers to an encoding process used whenconverting analog audio to a binary digital file that may be written in a variety of formats.
PDF – Portable Document Format. An Adobe product standard that generalizes document format; it allows the same document format to be created on, and transferred between many different types of computers.
PHDD – Proprietary Hard Disk Drive.
Positional Reference – Timing reference used during the recording/ overdub/ mixing process used to synchronize devices and mix automation.
SACD – Super Audio Compact Disc. 5.25 inch optical format utilizing Direct Stream Digital (DSD) technology to record and play music with a “single-bit” running at a high sampling frequency (2.8224 MHz).
SCSI – Small Computer Systems Interface. An interface often used on computers for connecting devices (usually hard drives) to a computer. SCSI is currently the fastest large format random access technology available, making it desirable for Pro Audio use.
SDII – Sound Designer II. Used to refer to a type of audio data file developed by Digidesign. Limited to a maximum sample rate of 48kHz.
SDLT – Super DLT. Magneto-Optical tape format owned by Quantum. Next generation of the DLT format.
Time Code – The most common type of Positional Reference, usually refers to SMPTE time code (developed by the Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers). The number (30, 29.97, 29.97drop-frame, 25, 24) specifies the timecode reference in number in frames per second.
Track – “Track”, for the purpose of audio storage, is a place where elements of
program (music & etc) material are put. Meanings abound, however…
Track (n.): Originally, in analog tape recording, a term synonymous with one channel of content. An Ampex 301 3-track recorder had the capability of 3 separate channels of audio.
Track (n.): (proposed modern definition for audio recording) A unique, irreducible element in the context of a “production”. A modern “track” may contain one or more channels of program material (e.g., the “lead vocal track” would most often be a single-channel track, whereas the “live room track” recorded on a DAW in surround, may have 4 or more “channels” of audio). Tracks might also include, or even be limited to, MIDI or sequencing data.
The word “Track” has various additional meanings in and around music and production.
Track (n.): One individual selection on a CD or an “LP” or etc.
Track (v.): The process of recording. (example, “to track a session”)
Track (v).: Logistically, to locate. (example, “can you track down a drummer who can play in tempo?”)

Glossary of Recording Technologies

Alesis ADAT & XT – 8-Track 16-bit Modular Digital Recorder that uses VHS videotape.
Alesis HD-24 – 24-Track Hard Disk Recorder
Alesis XT-20 / Alesis M-20 – 8-Track 20-bit Modular Digital Recorder that uses VHS videotape.
Cubase VST – Host Based Digital Audio Workstation software.
Digital Performer - Host Based Digital Audio Workstation software.
Emagic Logic - Host Based Digital Audio Workstation software. Recently purchased by Apple (July 2002).
Euphonix R-1 – Multitrack Digital Hard Disk Recorder. Configurable up to 96 tracks & supports 24-bit/ 96-kHz recording.
Fairlight MFX / MFX Plus – Digital Audio Workstation utilizing a proprietary Hard Disk Drive format for audio storage.
Fairlight Merlin – 24 or 48-Track 24-bit Digital Hard Disk Recorder
Genex GX8500 & GX9048 – 8-channel High-Density 24-bit/ 96-kHz PCM (8500) & PCM/DSD (9048) Magneto Optical Disk Recorders.
Mackie HDR / MDR 2496 – 24-Track Hard Disk Recorder manufactured by Mackie. HDR/ MDR recorders utilize removable IDE drives in a proprietary format.
Merging Technologies (Pyramix) – Host Based Digital Audio Workstation software.
Nuendo – Host-based (meaning running on a Macintosh or a PC) Digital Audio Workstation manufactured by Steinberg. Supports up to 32-bit / 96-kHz Recording.
Paris – Multitrack Digital Audio Workstation manufactured by Ensoniq.
PCM 3348 / PCM 3348-HR – Open reel digital 48-track recorder. PCM3348-HR machines support 24-bit resolution. PCM 3348 machines support only 16-bit resolution.
PCM 3324 – Open reel digital 16-bit 24-track recorder manufactured by Sony.
ProTools 24, Mix, Mix+ – Digital Audio Workstation manufactured by Digidesign. Limited to a maximum resolution of 48kHz, 24 bit. A “host-based” system, it runs on either a Macintosh or a PC.
ProTools HD – Newest revision of a host-based (meaning running on a Macintosh or a PC) Digital Audio Workstation released by Digidesign. Supports sample rates & resolutions up to 192-kHz/ 24-bit.
RADAR II / RADAR 24 – 24-Track Hard Disk Recorder currently manufactured
by iZ Technologies. RADAR utilizes a proprietary hard disk drive format and generates proprietary backups on DVD or Exabyte 820 / 8505 8mm Media
Tascam DA-88 / Sony PCM 900 – 8-Track 16-bit Modular Digital Recorder which uses Hi-8 format tapes.
Tascam DA-78 / Tascam DA-78HR – 8-Track 16-bit Modular Digital recorder which uses Hi-8 format tapes. The DA-78HR refers to the High-Resolution version that supports 24-bit width recording.
Tascam DA-98 / Tascam DA-98HR – 8-Track Modular Digital Recorders with basic editing and routing functions which use Hi-8 format tapes. The DA-98HR refers to the High-Resolution version that supports a 24-bit width recording, the DA-98 is a 16 bit machine.
Tascam DS-D98 – Modular Digital Recorder which may be configured as a 2- track tape- based DSD (SACD format) recorder or up to 8-Track digital recorder. Supports sample rates up to and including 192 kHz.
Tascam MMR – 8 or 16 - track (16 is play only) Hard disk recorder with removable media (SCSI hard disk in either FAT32 or MacOS format). Unusual in that it reads Digidesign-format project files.
Tascam MX 2424 – 24-Track Hard Disk Recorder that uses both internal and removable SCSI Hard Drives formatted in either Fat-32 or HFS formats.


cheers
geo
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21st March 2007
Old 21st March 2007
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Quote:
Originally Posted by charles maynes View Post
Good point- however this is not really catering to composer and music editors pre-se- more to post mixers (NOT music mixers) and editors.
And I would say that the "stem" term seems to have really started catching on with the idea of doing subgoups out of ProTools to summing mixers-
On Music stages (doing film music at least), In my experience pre-mix is a more common term.

But alas, that is why we are talking about it-

I would like to think that we are again talking about this not to the purpose of everyone defending their use of a term, but rather so anyone working in the field will be sure of what a term is describing.
I'm coming quite late to the party, but music is, of course, always essentially "pre-mixed" by the scoring mixer before being delivered to the dub stage, which in itself can be one source of communication confusion. Sometimes it's a full mix (stereo or surround), and sometimes it's broken down into elements (percussion, leads, strings...). When it's broken into elements, on the scoring stage they will often just be called stems for short, but on the dub stage I've always refered to them as pre-mix stems, to differentiate from mix stems on the stage (Dia/FX/Mus), or from simply a full mix of the music that is not split out by the scoring mixer.

In the interest of terms that are most descriptive and useful for all, as Charles is asking for above, it seems to me that pre-mix stems for the musical situation in question leaves the least room for confusion. Then again, it could be a mental affliction I'm suffering from...
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8th April 2007
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Hello everyone - I'm new here and also to audio post. I am currently at university doing a degree in sound design.

Are the above terms generally universal to both American and UK film industries?
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11th April 2007
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nicola_W View Post
Hello everyone - I'm new here and also to audio post. I am currently at university doing a degree in sound design.

Are the above terms generally universal to both American and UK film industries?
Many, but not all. One well-known difference is that the effects known as backgrounds in the US are often called atmospheres or atmos in the UK. I think most experienced people in the industry will know, or be able to understand from context, the terms from both sides of the pond.
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14th April 2007
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Charles in right but the muc biz has discovered "Stems"!

Borrowing from the film biz, the music biz has adopted their own "stem" concept.

Not totally unlike groups or gangs, stems are the resultant pre-mix if-you-will and yes there can then be a drum stem!

Just know which biz you are dealing with will go a long way to understanding what is intended.
#20
23rd April 2007
Old 23rd April 2007
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Talking Greetings

Hi guys and gals, I'm spanking new. Althought I've gathered some experience on post work in the past 2 years or so, I'm still literally trying to crawl my way in to shape.

So please bare with me when I ask stupid questions, at least know it's for standarization's sake.

And thank you so much for sharing terms and knowledge with nubies like me

Last edited by flyboogie; 23rd April 2007 at 02:30 AM.. Reason: forgot to say thanks. lol
#21
6th June 2007
Old 6th June 2007
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another terminology question...

Handles ?? what does this mean? I read on the DUC and here and I keep seeing people talk about audio clips having "handles"... I assume they are talking about the trim tools???
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#22
6th June 2007
Old 6th June 2007
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris G View Post
another terminology question...

Handles ?? what does this mean? I read on the DUC and here and I keep seeing people talk about audio clips having "handles"... I assume they are talking about the trim tools???
There are two definitions for "Handles"-

In the "general" context, it would be audio that is before and after a audio region- IE said region can be "openned" to reveal hidden audio.

In the "Post" world, it refers to the amount of audio that precedes and follows a particular audio element. This is most commonly required for production dialog recordings, as the handles will allow the re-recording mixer to more easily blend the different sound recordings which make up the track. Those handles allow for smoother transistions from one mic angle to another.


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#23
29th October 2007
Old 29th October 2007
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Quote:
Originally Posted by charles maynes View Post
Good point- however this is not really catering to composer and music editors pre-se- more to post mixers (NOT music mixers) and editors.
And I would say that the "stem" term seems to have really started catching on with the idea of doing subgoups out of ProTools to summing mixers-
On Music stages (doing film music at least), In my experience pre-mix is a more common term.

But alas, that is why we are talking about it-


I would like to think that we are again talking about this not to the purpose of everyone defending their use of a term, but rather so anyone working in the field will be sure of what a term is describing.

so in that interest I would ask people who do post sound to either support a terms usage, or explain the usage they attach to the term.


charles maynes
Hi Charles.

Thanks for putting all this effort into writing. I will dispute you, however, about the seeming rejection of "stem" as a component of music underscore or song delivery in post sound. "Pre-mix" is not common parlance with the composers and scoring crews I work with, although I agree completely that the "stems" I deliver to the stage from the mix room are the rough equivalent of dialogue or FX pre-dubs, the difference being they are inter-dependent and meant to represent an overall balance that can be altered with little fuss. Though "pre-mix" may be used by some, we don't call them that, so I'm here to legitimise the usage of "stem" in real-world movie music.

Music departments continue to befuddle the other 75% of film sound with the usage of "cue sheet", which unlike the dubbing log used to alert the mixer to events happening in the timeline from the various units, it's the performing rights society's document that tells them how those with composing credits get paid. On behalf of my fellow colleagues, I want to apologise for this without reserve.

regards,

Dan
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#24
29th October 2007
Old 29th October 2007
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Quote:
Originally Posted by D Pinder View Post
Hi Charles.

Thanks for putting all this effort into writing. I will dispute you, however, about the seeming rejection of "stem" as a component of music underscore or song delivery in post sound. "Pre-mix" is not common parlance with the composers and scoring crews I work with, although I agree completely that the "stems" I deliver to the stage from the mix room are the rough equivalent of dialogue or FX pre-dubs, the difference being they are inter-dependent and meant to represent an overall balance that can be altered with little fuss. Though "pre-mix" may be used by some, we don't call them that, so I'm here to legitimise the usage of "stem" in real-world movie music.

Music departments continue to befuddle the other 75% of film sound with the usage of "cue sheet", which unlike the dubbing log used to alert the mixer to events happening in the timeline from the various units, it's the performing rights society's document that tells them how those with composing credits get paid. On behalf of my fellow colleagues, I want to apologise for this without reserve.

regards,

Dan
Dan-

If you ask your final music mixer about the six or 8 track recording he puts the music in he will call it a "stem". as in Dialogue Stem, FX Stem, Music Stem. there are only 3 stems which go into a printmaster.

I think to use the term outside of this convention (and it is THE convention) only furthers confusion.

the stem is everything that goes to the speaker, in its mixed state. it should require no further level adjustment. The stem is what feeds composite printmaster.

I think this is the case of two peoples at the mercy of a common language.


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#25
30th October 2007
Old 30th October 2007
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Quote:
Originally Posted by charles maynes View Post
Dan-

If you ask your final music mixer about the six or 8 track recording he puts the music in he will call it a "stem". as in Dialogue Stem, FX Stem, Music Stem. there are only 3 stems which go into a printmaster.
Indeed. This is undisputed.

Quote:
I think to use the term outside of this convention (and it is THE convention) only furthers confusion.
Confusion for whom? A professional understands the context. Most re-recording mixers have asked me something like, "is that [instrument] on the Hi Perc stem or the Lo Perc stem?" There's a convention in film music and editorial that conflicts with your beliefs. I'm unsure as to why it's such a concern.

It's funny, because as I'm typing this, I'm downloading some...erm... pre-mixed stem thingies from my composer, for use in a temp dub. They all say "orch stem" "guitar stem" etc.

Quote:
the stem is everything that goes to the speaker, in its mixed state. it should require no further level adjustment. The stem is what feeds composite printmaster.

I think this is the case of two peoples at the mercy of a common language.
Well, sure that's what the stem is in a re-recording milieu. In a score milieu, we have stems too and we like to deliver them to the stage. Lots of them, in my case! It's the context that keeps it from being confusing.

all the best,

Dan
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#26
30th October 2007
Old 30th October 2007
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Quote:
Originally Posted by D Pinder View Post
Indeed. This is undisputed.



Confusion for whom? A professional understands the context. Most re-recording mixers have asked me something like, "is that [instrument] on the Hi Perc stem or the Lo Perc stem?" There's a convention in film music and editorial that conflicts with your beliefs. I'm unsure as to why it's such a concern.

It's funny, because as I'm typing this, I'm downloading some...erm... pre-mixed stem thingies from my composer, for use in a temp dub. They all say "orch stem" "guitar stem" etc.



Well, sure that's what the stem is in a re-recording milieu. In a score milieu, we have stems too and we like to deliver them to the stage. Lots of them, in my case! It's the context that keeps it from being confusing.

all the best,

Dan
It seems things will stay the way they have then I suppose...

I can say this though- music is the only place this might be considered acceptable- if a dialog predub or an fx predub were called a stem the supervising rerecording mixer would likely have choice NC-17 terms to describe the inappropriate usage...

On this issue I will yield to Mike Minklers opinion of the terms usage...

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#27
30th October 2007
Old 30th October 2007
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Again, Charles, I respect and admire your wish to make the world a better place.

Quote:
Originally Posted by charles maynes View Post
It seems things will stay the way they have then I suppose...

I can say this though- music is the only place this might be considered acceptable- if a dialog predub or an fx predub were called a stem the supervising rerecording mixer would likely have choice NC-17 terms to describe the inappropriate usage...
Understandable. it would be ridiculous. This is only because there is a convention for what these things are called, in the world of non-music sound. We don't pre-dub. Well, Curt Sobel sometimes does. I wish they'd hire the stage for 3 weeks of music pre-dubs. We tend to score a few days before the start of final so I guess that's out!

Quote:
On this issue I will yield to Mike Minklers opinion of the terms usage...
indeed.

Having made the case for the term "stem", I will say that we also regard these collections of multi-channel tracks as "mixes" internally. Saying it back to myself now, I rather like referring to them as "mixes" because that's what they are.

"The Orch, Brass & Choir mixes"

The day I hear anybody refer to my music delivery mixes as "pre-mixes" or "pre-dubs", you shall receive beer in the mail. Same goes for Mike.

DP
#28
1st November 2007
Old 1st November 2007
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Could someone please explain to me what transients are. Cheers!
#29
1st November 2007
Old 1st November 2007
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Quote:
Could someone please explain to me what transients are. Cheers!
1) the initial attack of a sound... ie: the begining of a snare drum hit or other percussive instrument

2) people who wander around asking to do odd jobs
#30
3rd November 2007
Old 3rd November 2007
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So we're talking the first few split seconds of a quick sharp sound? Does this mean that you would really only use the term "transients" when talking about drums and percussion as you noted, and not vocals/bass/guitar (rhythm) etc.?

Awesome! Thanks for that.
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