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music + sound + dialogue = ?
post May 20 2011, 21:32
Post #1

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Hi folks, I'm looking for a technical term, if you can please help me.

Let's say on a DVD I have 3 audio tracks:

(1) downmix of: music + sound effects + dialogue (in original language)
(2) downmix of: music + sound effects + dialogue (in foreign language, i.e. dubbed version)
(3) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Audio_commentary (e.g. director's commentary)

Ok, in my case (3) is the director's commentary, or more generally an audio commentary.
But what is the correct term for (1) and (2)?
How do you professionals refer to them?

I did some research:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Soundtrack says (1) is "composite track".
"Guide to postproduction for TV and film: managing the process" and "Video editing: a postproduction primer" also use the term "comp track" which however is just an abbreviation of the above.

"composite" just means that something has ≥ 2 parts and is quite vague an expression.
The director's commentary (3) is ALSO a composite track. It is composed of the director's voice and (1) which is slightly faded when the director speaks.
So "composite track" is too vague for me.

I was wondering if you professionals know a more precise term to fill in on the right side of the equation
music + sound + dialogue = ?

For "all sound elements minus dialogue" there IS indeed a precise term:
music + sound = M&E track (music and effects)

Are there similarly unambiguous and unequivocal terms for tracks (1) and (2) on my DVD?
Many thanks!
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post May 20 2011, 23:54
Post #2

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I'm not a pro... I'd probably call anything on the DVD a "final mix".

For "all sound elements minus dialogue" there IS indeed a precise term:
music + sound = M&E track (music and effects)
I didn't know that...

I'd say something like, "chrizoo is working on the music & sound effects tracks." "I'm working with the actors to record the the dialog now, and I'm going to do the final 2.0 & 5.1 English mixes."

A sub-mix or partial-mix is called a "stem". i.e. You could have a drum stem (a mix of all the drums & cymbals). Or it could be a sub-mix (of a song) with all the instruments without the vocals. I don't think a stem has to be a recorded. It can be a live sub-mix, so for example you can fade-up or down the entire drum kit with a single fader.
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