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Mastering for television

From: Audio Mastering Techniques

Video: Mastering for television

Most of the time, music intended for television is delivered to the post-production facility unmastered, or it's mixed in against the video. The video editor then determines the correct level against the effects and dialog, just like with film. But on the rare occasion when the television audio is coming from the mastering engineer, the first thing you need to do is obtain a technical specification from the engineering department of the network it's going to be shown on. This will tell you exactly what they want and how they want it. Among the types of things that the network spec will contain is all the video requirements, as well as all the audio requirements.

Mastering for television

Most of the time, music intended for television is delivered to the post-production facility unmastered, or it's mixed in against the video. The video editor then determines the correct level against the effects and dialog, just like with film. But on the rare occasion when the television audio is coming from the mastering engineer, the first thing you need to do is obtain a technical specification from the engineering department of the network it's going to be shown on. This will tell you exactly what they want and how they want it. Among the types of things that the network spec will contain is all the video requirements, as well as all the audio requirements.

Read and follow these carefully, or else you'll end up redoing the project to their liking. Here is what to watch for, the operating level for a reference tone, how long they want the tone, and if laid back to tape, where on the tape it begins. The operating level will usually be at -20dB full scale, but sometimes it might be -18 or -16, so check this closely. The acceptable audio quality in terms of distortion and noise, the phase. Make sure you listen to mono, because they will. Audio/video synchronization or lip-synching.

Being out of sync by more than a frame might not be acceptable, the desired audio track assignment on a delivery media. Remember that the standard audio resolution for television is 48kHz/24-bit. Of all the above, the peak audio levels are the most important and are usually stated like this. Programs must have audio levels that regularly peak near but not above -10dBFS using a Peak Reading Meter. This means any peak that goes just a tick beyond -10 will be kicked back for you to redo.

Television networks are very strict with their specs and a violation will result in the project being kicked back for you to do it again. So on those rare times that you're asked for television delivery, paying close attention to all the details will pay off and a lot less hassle.

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Audio Mastering Techniques

56 video lessons · 10738 viewers

Bobby Owsinski
Author

 
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  1. 1m 39s
    1. Welcome
      1m 39s
  2. 7m 7s
    1. Introducing mastering
      1m 22s
    2. The history of audio mastering
      3m 30s
    3. Mastering professionally versus doing it yourself
      2m 15s
  3. 10m 10s
    1. Mixing with mastering in mind
      6m 41s
    2. Mastering session documentation
      53s
    3. Printing alternative mixes
      2m 36s
  4. 6m 21s
    1. Evaluating your listening environment
      1m 33s
    2. Beginning with the basic listening technique
      3m 19s
    3. Deciding between monitors and headphones
      1m 29s
  5. 18m 13s
    1. Overview of mastering tools
      22s
    2. Exploring the dynamic ranges of different music genres
      2m 40s
    3. Understanding compression
      3m 20s
    4. Understanding limiting
      1m 25s
    5. Understanding equalization (EQ)
      1m 44s
    6. Using a de-esser
      1m 14s
    7. Metering while mastering
      3m 57s
    8. Exploring the mastering signal path
      1m 11s
    9. Listening in your digital audio workstation (DAW) using the A/B method
      2m 20s
  6. 33m 10s
    1. Making a loud master
      3m 7s
    2. Compression tips and tricks
      2m 4s
    3. Achieving competitive level
      2m 2s
    4. Understanding the pitfalls of hypercompression
      2m 10s
    5. Balancing frequencies
      3m 20s
    6. Reducing sibilance with a de-esser
      2m 2s
    7. Inserting fades
      1m 37s
    8. Eliminating noise and distortion
      43s
    9. Using multiband limiting
      4m 23s
    10. Adjusting the stereo image
      3m 24s
    11. Bringing out specific elements in a mix
      8m 18s
  7. 8m 17s
    1. Using dither
      1m 40s
    2. Using the appropriate workstation
      1m 27s
    3. Adjusting the spreads
      1m 28s
    4. Using International Standard Recording Codes (ISRC)
      1m 14s
    5. Using Universal Product Codes (UPC)
      1m 10s
    6. Creating CD-text discs
      33s
    7. Delivering or receiving a DDP master
      45s
  8. 12m 44s
    1. Encoding using the MP3 format
      3m 43s
    2. Understanding MP3 metadata
      1m 44s
    3. Creating a great-sounding MP3
      2m 46s
    4. Generating a FLAC file
      1m 18s
    5. Submitting music to online stores and services
      48s
    6. Submitting music to online song databases
      2m 25s
  9. 17m 23s
    1. Understanding AAC, the iTunes file format
      2m 28s
    2. Mastering for iTunes tips and tricks
      1m 36s
    3. The Mastered for iTunes format
      1m 29s
    4. The Mastered for iTunes tool package
      54s
    5. Using the iTunes Plus tools: iTunes Droplet
      1m 51s
    6. Using the Mastered for iTunes Audio To WAVE Droplet
      49s
    7. Using the Mastered for iTunes AURoundTripAAC Audio Unit tool
      6m 48s
    8. Using The Mastered for iTunes tools Test Pressing Feature
      1m 28s
  10. 3m 30s
    1. Mastering for high resolution
      1m 36s
    2. Mastering for television
      1m 54s
  11. 1m 19s
    1. Delivering the master to the replicator
      28s
    2. Archiving the project
      51s
  12. 50s
    1. Next steps
      50s

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