Dub Audio QC @ Netflix - Overview
Netflix expects that every asset uploaded to Source Management went through an extensive QC process on the Partner’s side and is free of egregious issues and mistakes, ensuring the best quality possible. Partners should not view Netflix’s internal QC process as a replacement for their own QC.
Upon upload, the dub audio of Netflix’s original content will go through one or more of the below steps:
- Premix QC
- Postmix QC
- Catalog QC
- Fix Check QC
Netflix will let dubbing partners know which workflow will apply to each title at the project onset. Nonetheless, in rare cases, that determination can change during the life cycle of the project to ensure the most appropriate level of QC is performed.
The dubbed audio QC and its arbitration (when applicable) is performed in Netflix’s Asset QC tool.
Premix & Postmix QC
What is Premix?
In Netflix lingo, premix is the edited recorded dialogue session prior to mix. It is NOT the dialogue stems including reverbs and panoramics.
During Premix QC, the recorded dialogue is reviewed before the final dub audio is created. Bringing the QC step further upstream gives dubbing partners more time to address any issues and ensure that all necessary fixes are implemented before the title launches.
What is Postmix?
Postmix QC is the review of final dub audio. This is a linguistic and technical QC.
Both Premix and Postmix QC involve an arbitration process which allows the dubbing partners to provide feedback on the issues in the QC report. After the QC is complete, an email is sent out to the appropriate dubbing partner indicating the report is ready for arbitration. Partners will have 48 hours to go into Netflix’s Asset QC tool, where the QC is in Fix Notes Needed state (or arbitration) and review the report.
Catalog QC also involves the review of the final dub audio. The issues flagged have the same severity level as Premix and Postmix QC and the QC report is also available in the source request for inspection. However, Catalog QC does not offer the option of arbitration.
Fix Check QC
When audio files are redelivered due to issues found during one of the above QC steps, a new QC is performed to specifically check that the issues the dubbing partners indicated would be fixed, were in fact fixed. Another round of arbitration may be required if issues flagged during Premix or Postmix were deemed as not fixed.
Each issue flagged in QC is assigned one of the following Severity Levels:
- FYI: Something we would like to draw attention to that is not necessarily an issue.
- Issue: Objective linguistic or technical issues that negatively impact customer experience and/or deviate from the creative intent of the original version.
- Blocker: Issues that render the file inconsumable or that would reflect poorly on Netflix (missing dubs, noticeable sync issues, offensive/derogatory language).
Fix Notes (Arbitration)
During Fix Notes process, or arbitration, dubbing partners should review all issues flagged and provide the necessary feedback. For each issue partners can select one of three options:
- Production Will Fix
- Best Possible
- Creative Intent
If an issue will not be fixed, partners are required to provide a comment explaining why the issue won’t be fixed.
If the arbitration is not complete in 48 hours, the system will automatically mark all issues as Will Fix and request a redelivery of the asset.
When the arbitration is complete, a report is created with the feedback provided. This report is available in the source request, under the Quality Control tab, for future reference.
For Premix QC, any fixes should be implemented and delivered in the final dub audio file.
Redelivery of the Premix WAV files (edited recorded dialogue sessions) are not required unless the issue flagged prevented the QC from happening (for instance, severe sync issue or wrong title uploaded), in which case a redelivery of the premix WAV stems will be requested.
For more information check the below links:
Dubbing Premix Recording and Delivery Guidelines