Audio Specifications

Audio should be turned over as an intermediary EDL and group of linked audio files. The current workable solution is known as an AAF and/or OMF audio export.

AAF and OMF export works from these common video editing systems:
Final Cut X
-Requires extra software X2Pro
Final Cut Pro version 7 see below

Added Instructions for Final Cut 7
Final Cut 7 OMF export creates one large file with media and EDL info embedded in one file. Please note that the embedded OMF export from Final Cut 7 must be limited to under 2 gigabytes in size. This will require a large project to be split into manageable divisions before export. For example one export will include just audio track 1 and 2 a second export will include audio track 3 and 4 and so on until all tracks are exported.

These tracks will then be grouped together again in one session after import to the sound edit system.

The video does not need to be split into sections if the AAF/OMF is split due to size restrictions. There is no file size restriction on video. Though it is best reduce the size of a video file for internet transfer workflow.
Each split AAF/OMF section should start in the same spot in the time line so that it is in sync with the final complete video and matches the original timecode. Placing a single frame 2 pop on each track is a sensible sync check reference.

Please note that there are other options for exporting from edit systems that are not listed here.

AAF/OMF Parameters
  • 16 or 24 bit, whatever matches the current picture edit
  • 48khz sampling rate (Please advise if you are using Pull Down audio rate of 47.952 to perform some sync tests.)
  • Handle length of 10 seconds
  • Include Crossfade Transitions
  • Include Levels
  • Include Pan

The audio tracks in the AAF/OMF should contain the audio pop that matches the head leader. Placing a single frame 2 pop on each track is a sensible sync check reference. The sync pop is a 1khz (1000hz) tone that is 1 frame in duration. Recommended 2 pop level is -30db. Watch your ears if all tracks have full level 2 pop!

Edited Production Audio
The OMF/AAF export should include all usable production microphones. It is hugely beneficial that the audio tracks are organized so that the production mix track and split boom mic and isolated lav mics remain consistent through out a scene. For example: the top track is the mix track and the isolated lav mics per character are below with the boom options on the bottom. Arrangements may vary as long as they are consistent.

As a rule, a good boom track is better sounding than isolated lavs, but every project is different.

Larger projects that are afforded the time to complete a dialog edit
  • Please submit all the raw original production audio with sound reports.
We prefer to receive audio as audio files, if there was not a secondary sound system, as in audio direct to camera. We prefer not to receive any of the original video from production.

Edited Music and Effects

The basic rule is to group like sounds together on their own tracks. If possible organize the video edit audio tracks so that there are separate audio tracks keeping dialog, music and effects split in their own groups of tracks. Do the best you can here but if its not perfect its not a problem if few things overlap.