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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.

Comparative Pass:

  • 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

Integrity Pass:

  • 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

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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.

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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.

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CHANGE LOG:

  • 7/30/21 - Added guidance that breaths should not be flagged as issues.
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