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  #1  
Old 02-12-2021, 05:17 AM
Cheesehead Cheesehead is offline
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Default Limited Range Deliverables?

I've just been given a spec for a "Limited Range" LtRt mix for a film.
It specifies +12db to -8db.
Does that mean they're expecting me to brickwall limit at -8db?
Or is it average levels or something?

I thought R128 meant those days were over and now it looks like we're being forced back into them.

Has anyone else seen similar?
I haven't tried to mix to this spec yet, but I can foresee problems and it's certainly not the way I would usually do a stereo mix of a film.
They're also asking for an M&E to the same spec, which seems bonkers/ impossible.

Thoughts?
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  #2  
Old 02-12-2021, 05:32 AM
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Farhoof Farhoof is online now
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Default Re: Limited Range Deliverables?

I would assume max. +12dB over reference of 0dB VU / -20dBFS, so limited at -8dBFS.
The other -8dB translates to me as "don't make the quiet sounds to quiet so nobody hears it in the living room".

In practice I would just make a limited dynamics nearfield mix intended for tv broadcast like you normally would and set the limiter at -8dBFS. And use the same dynamics for the M&E so it sounds exactly the same, just without the dialogue (obviously lower when loudness measured, but that's the way it is).

In the meantime you can ask for clarification and if you're lucky you can set the limiter back to -1 or -2dBFS.
Some outdated broadcasting systems still require these specs. But usually it's the producer with outdated specs they've found in an email from 2003
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Old 02-12-2021, 06:00 AM
Cheesehead Cheesehead is offline
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Default Re: Limited Range Deliverables?

Quote:
But usually it's the producer with outdated specs they've found in an email from 2003 
Ha ha, so true!
I have chased it up so perhaps sanity will prevail.
I don't want to have to do a -1db limited R128 and this version too, seems crazy.
Also weird that they don't specify an LUFS level, just these db numbers.
Surely it will be used for broadcast?
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Old 02-12-2021, 07:44 AM
seanmccoy seanmccoy is offline
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Default Re: Limited Range Deliverables?

I'm currently mixing a TV show for a network that mentions "CALM Act" all through its literature, then lists -10 TP in its actual specs. So clueless. The director likes mondo music wherever he can get away with it, so I'm ignoring the spec and using -2 TP to avoid squashing the hell out of the music. Haven't been flagged yet.

After all this time I'm consistently amazed at how uninformed the people whose job it is to write specs can be.
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Old 02-12-2021, 12:19 PM
Leverson Leverson is offline
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Default Re: Limited Range Deliverables?

It's always good to check and clarify, as sometimes with deliverable specs they can be weird/outdated/crazy.

But in my experience, when I'm working on a project that will have a theatrical version and a TV version, about half the time lately they've been asking for the TV version to be R128 compatible, which is us bringing the average of the mix UP. The other half the time it's asking for a +12 'limited mix' like you are describing above, where we bring the max ceiling DOWN and that gives the distributor the means to boost it to broadcast on their side.

I'm happy to do either way, but I always double check just to make sure I'm not working with an outdated spec or outdated delivery methods.

Last edited by Leverson; 02-15-2021 at 01:30 PM.
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Old 02-12-2021, 06:25 PM
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Default Re: Limited Range Deliverables?

Man, Sounds like a "seat of the pants" theoretical mix, based on bad information.
I would maybe try to educate them about the reality of what IS really proper deliverables. If a dub stage is is doing the final, then I would just send it on. If not, then do some education of your producers on their end and get them the proper info. They may actually like it, if you do it diplomatically and let them know you are doing your part to make it the best it can be for them.

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Old 02-13-2021, 04:08 AM
Cheesehead Cheesehead is offline
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Default Re: Limited Range Deliverables?

Thanks guys.
I'm lucky, I have Producers that trust my judgement on these things and will challenge the sometimes crazy demands for Deliverables, like every item continuous and in reels and in 3 different timecodes for instance. 
I'm sure half of the things I deliver will never get used, it's just box ticking for the Distributers.
I'd never seen this flavour before though, I thought it might be a new trend?
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Old 02-15-2021, 09:27 AM
smurfyou smurfyou is offline
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Default Re: Limited Range Deliverables?

Could it be like an airplane mix?
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Old 02-15-2021, 01:13 PM
Leverson Leverson is offline
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Default Re: Limited Range Deliverables?

I just wanted to reiterate from my post above, as I've delivered these to major studios. A +12 limited mix is the theatrical mix limited to +12 over reference (so -8dbfs). This allows the distributor to bring the mix up to TV deliverable levels on their side.

So instead of raising the average levels of your feature mix UP from theatrical (let's say for example -30db average) to average CALM act TV levels (-24 average in the US) INSTEAD you are bringing your limiter DOWN and clamping your peaks at -8db true peak.

It is NOT -24 average levels AND -8 peak.

I think the reason why some studios do this is it gives them the flexibility to deliver their films to various regions through their own internal pipelines. So they can bring the average up to -24db/-2 true peak for US TV, -23db/-1 true peak for European TV, Netflix or streaming to their own -27 dialnorm standards, and all the other many standards that are out there etc, without needing separate mixes for each, or a mix that tries to straddle the US/EU/streaming tolerances all at once.

Again, it's always good to clarify specs and have a discussion, as some distributors copy/paste without really understanding what they are asking for and why on their spec sheets, but a +12 limited mix is a real modern deliverable that I see from time to time for my theatrical deliveries.

EDITED TO ADD: honestly I hadn't seen it prior to about maybe a year or so ago, but I've had two feature projects since then list it on their spec sheet, and during our deliverables call were very clear they did not want an R.128 mix instead. A third one also had it listed on their deliverables, but during our deliverables call decided they'd rather have the traditional R.128. So when in doubt, always call and have the conversation!

Last edited by Leverson; 02-15-2021 at 01:25 PM.
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Old 02-16-2021, 12:00 PM
Cheesehead Cheesehead is offline
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Default Re: Limited Range Deliverables?

Thanks Leverson, that's really useful info and good to know.
I am chasing it up so I'll see if it can be replaced by an R128 mix, as I'm already making one of those for one of the sets of deliverables.
My concern is that this mix has very loud sections in the theatrical and if I just fold down and then limit at -8db,it will probably sound pretty ropey and over compressed in the loud sequences.
Do you literally just limit at -8 in these cases or do you find some re-balancing is required?
I'm really trying to avoid having to mix and provide 2 sets of stereo deliverables here, as it's not a massive budget film.
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