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Production Sound: Recommended Practices

NOTE: These are not Technical Specifications, but preferred practices and ideal scenarios. Following these guidelines is not required by Netflix.

  • Sound files should be recorded to SD or CF cards. If possible, a dual media recorder should be used for simultaneous media redundancy. Only one sound roll should be recorded per master SD/CF card. Additional cards may be used if multiple recorders are used. Media and media cases should be labeled with the show name/date/sound roll number before being sent out.

  • Work with camera to ensure that corresponding sound and camera takes go out at the same time. Picture should never be delivered to editorial without the matching sound files. Files should be backed up off site on a daily basis by the dailies house or lab.

  • For Series project, use different folders for each episode to organize and avoid duplicate file names.

  • Files should be recorded as 24 bit Polyphonic Wave Files (.wav or .bwav) at a sample rate and time of day TC frame rate determined in consultation with the camera and editorial departments.

  • DO NOT repeat sound roll numbers.

  • Audio track layout should be determined in consultation with editorial. A preferred default layout is: Ch. 1 Mix (mono); Ch. 2 Boom; Ch.3-X ISO mics.

  • For certain documentary and special-use cases where sound is recorded only to the camera, it’s essential to monitor audio at all times to ensure quality. In-camera mics should be avoided. Use industry standard boom microphones, high quality preamps and limiters, rather than relying on camera electronics.

  • Please allow at least :08 of pre-roll per take. Optionally, this can be done using a “pre-record” cache.

  • Each file will be named for its corresponding scene and take, as well as included in the metadata for each file.

  • If used by the project, circled takes will be noted on the sound reports, and confirmed with Script at each break.

  • Script character names and microphones should be included in the metadata for each ISO mic.

  • Preferred wireless transmitters: Lectrosonics, Zaxcom, Wisycom, Sennheiser.

  • Frequency coordination for intermodulation is key to reducing RF interference. Should be done on all sets. Coordinate with other departments and use RF scanners to learn the spectrum usage on each set.

  • During prep, coordinate with costume department to determine ideal mic placement. Consider colored wind protection or swatches of costume cloth to conceal mics.

  • If possible, go on location scouts to assess and notify the production of sound challenges.
    Participate in workflow meetings and distribute information regarding sound workflow to all interested parties.

Preferred sound roll labeling scheme (subject to recorder capabilities):

  • (Show)(Season)(roll###) or (Film)(roll###).
    • Examples:
      • TWD8056 - The Walking Dead Season 8 Roll 56
      • OKJ056 - Okja Roll 56
  • For second Unit:  (Show)X(Season)(roll##) or (Film)X(roll##)
    • Example:  STX201 - Stranger Things Season 2 Second Unit Roll 1
  • For additional recorders: (Show)X(Season)(roll##)(B) or (Film)X(roll##)(B)
    • Example:  STX201B - Stranger Things Season 2 Second Unit Roll 1 Recorder B
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