What is an M&E?
- An M&E is made from the final Music and Effects stems that create the Printmaster.
- An M&E should contain additional effects or foley to “fill” in any production effects that were lost when the Dialogue stem was removed.
- Once an M&E is “fully filled” it is ready to be sent around the world for international dubbing.
Why is an M&E important?
- High quality M&Es allow for a consistent viewer experience around the world.
- If the M&E is not believable to what the viewer is seeing on screen, they can’t immerse themselves in the program.
- M&Es provide a home for the dubbed dialogue to live in. If the M&E feels empty, then the dialogue won’t be grounded in the on-screen space.
M&E QC Defenders Of Quality
M&E QC provides valuable feedback on:
- Missing effects
- Level issues
- Mismatched content
- Inappropriate content
- Technical issues
M&E QC Tiering:
- Full Comparative Pass
- Full Integrity Pass
- Spot Comparative Pass
- Spot Integrity Pass
Tiering may include one or multiple types of the above listed QC passes.
- Listening to the M&E and the Printmaster side-by-side out of a Left / Right speaker configuration
- Using an X/Y phase scope to display an image of both mixes, comparatively
- Having all tracks available for reference, both audibly and visually
- Using your ears to target missing Fx and mismatched content
- Listening to the M&E in its native configuration.
- Targeting technical issues
- Ensuring pans match program visuals
- Finding inappropriate content, such as discernible dialogue
- Evaluating the quality of experience from a consumer standpoint
Where do Optionals fit in?
- Optionals are additional stems delivered alongside the M&E.
- They contain pieces of dialogue-related content that can potentially be used in a dub.
- They’re called Optionals because each mixer has the “option” of using them in their mix.
Optionals may contain the following:
- Vocalizations: grunts, sighs, laughs, cries
- Song Vocals: on screen singing performances, songs produced for the show
- Non-Primary Language: dialogue spoken outside of the primary language
- Pre-existing IP or Archival Material: film clips, old TV shows, radio programs
- Discernible Walla: walla with intelligible dialogue
When it comes to M&E QC, we expect all Optional tracks to be:
- Spot checked for content
- Included in the QC session and available to audibly / visually check during the full QC
It is not required to do full QC passes of the Optional stems, but to have an understanding of their use on content.
An aside on Vocalizations...
- Breaths and their placement should not be flagged in M&E QC. Please do not flag them as issues or FYIs, they may remain as is.
- Missing vocalizations are, by and large, not a problem since dubbing actors can always recreate them. These should NOT be flagged during QC.
- 7/30/21 - Added guidance that breaths should not be flagged as issues.