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Topic: Mixing for TV

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  1. #1

    Mixing for TV

    3 weeks ago I wrote a spot for the Barnum circus for a cable TV company.
    At first they wanted something typical of old circus style. I thought a Nino Rota piece would work but since i didn\'t have a CD handy for the Rota reference I came up with this:
    Clowns & Acrobats

    Last week the agency decided they wanted a rock piece instead!?
    I just found out that they accepted the rock piece I submitted. So I have to mix it with TV in mind.

    I know about listening to it in mono but I was wondering if some of you that do a lot of TV work would be nice enough to give me pointers on what to pay attention to when mixing for TV (bottom end?...etc)

    I am forever undebted to this forum
    (if you need tips on west african music just let me know [img]images/icons/grin.gif[/img] )

  2. #2

    Re: Mixing for TV

    Hands down best advice I can give you is to mix through a TV speaker. That is the best way to get balances. Also, back off on the low end with a shelving filter a bit as the low end energy will kick in the compressors used in TV. The less the compressors react to the low end the better, especially since on most TVs there is no low end heard anyway. Good luck!

    -matt

  3. #3

    Re: Mixing for TV

    Thanks to the both of you for answering so quickly. I guess I will check with the head of music production to find out what they need.

    What picture format do you usually ask for when doing music for TV (or film)

    I work with Cubase SX 2.0 and it seems quicktime is very practical. Is it common or another format is better for computer based scoring?

    Thank you all

  4. #4

    Re: Mixing for TV

    Charmant Sharmy,

    how do you go about doing that?

    also since I do not intend to have too many threads ging the same day:

    Do you usually get residuals from TV airplay for music for advertisement or is it usually a buy out?

    I am a life member of la SACEM (France)which is the equivalent of BMI, ASCAP and SEASAC(?).
    It looks like I need to join one of the US copyright companies now. Which one do you recommend and why?

    Sorry about all the issues here but things are moving fast and I have to make a move

    (I\'ll get by with a little help from my friends..)

  5. #5

    Re: Mixing for TV

    Patrick,

    For targeting your mix you might try channel surfing until you find an example that you like, then record it onto a VCR, DV camcorder or DVD recorder. You can then move the recording to your studio and listen to the mix on your monitors. If nothing else, it gives you a reference. (I like recording into a DV cam. I can then use Firewire to bring it into the PC.)

    BTW, I just read that a final DVD mix (master) should have the dialog at around 12dB below full scale, and that peaks can be as high as -.25 dBFS. (Source: DV Magazine, Nov. 2003, page 108). If you\'re mixing with dialog/foley this may help.

    If you\'re not doing the final mix, you might consider letting your music go full range, and let the last guy in the chain EQ for TV and for the other elements in the production.

    Also in the same DV issue Jay Rose writes about various EQ bands. He mentions that the 300-600Hz range is critical, since voice and melody instrument fundamentals live here. If there will be dialog over the music, you may need to eq down this range, which will step on any vocals a bit, but will be kind to the audience. You can go hotter on the music in the 600-1.2k range as it\'s not as dialog critical, and this is where the harmonics differ between instruments. 1.2-2.4 kHz is critical for consonants, so again the music needs to leave room here. 2.4-4.8k is important for brass, but it also is important for distinguishing different voices. If only one person speaks here, you can boost the music. 4.8-9.6k is the \"sizzle\" region - especially critical for pop music. Above 9.6k it\'s mosltly noise. TV is limited to 15k, and has a vertical retrace at 15.7k, so don\'t worry too much about this band.

    I hope that this helps rather than confuses.

  6. #6

    Re: Mixing for TV

    Thanks Jon,

    it certainly helps!

    Lots of good frequency tips in your post.
    It gets a little confusing when taking in consiration what Sharmy is talking about.

    The entertainment centers of late have certainly evolved into a full fledge Hi Fi system.

    Luckily, I\'m not the last man in the chain, only doing the music on this one. But the info everyone has provided here will help in the future anyway.

    Merci beaucoup!

  7. #7

    Re: Mixing for TV

    Originally posted by P de Caumette:
    Thanks to the both of you for answering so quickly. I guess I will check with the head of music production to find out what they need.

    What picture format do you usually ask for when doing music for TV (or film)

    I work with Cubase SX 2.0 and it seems quicktime is very practical. Is it common or another format is better for computer based scoring?

    Thank you all
    <font size=\"2\" face=\"Verdana, Arial\">Hey Patrick,

    I haven\'t picked up 2.0 yet but it now does full audio and video import. Would it not be easier if you can have the producers give you the files in AVI? That way you wouldn\'t have to get a card for the conversion. It is probably just wishful thinking (the DV cam transfer via firewire is a good idea but if you are like me with a SX computer 18 months old - I don\'t have firewire - arrrg!)


    Good luck.

    Rob

  8. #8

    Re: Mixing for TV

    Hi Rob, not sure if this helps, I\'m running Cubase SX 2 on a pc. I bought the Canopus ADVC100 for capturing. It is really versatile and lets you capture analog, digital, output firewire etc. I also bought a firewire card for the pc. (They\'re really cheap should be around $50 or so U.S. dollars I think) I\'m not sure what the ADVC100 would be worth in the states.

    You can capture your clip (digitize it) then convert it to Quicktime, AVI whatever. The quality doesnt have to be great as long as it is clear enough for you to work to. I usually cpature at half tv quality 352 x 240 I think. (Sorry it\'s really late here and my brain is on half power too) SOs if you keep the quality of the video down, you\'ll leave more system power for the audio.

    Hope this helps.

  9. #9

    Re: Mixing for TV

    Thanks Scott. Get some sleep!!

    Rob

  10. #10

    Re: Mixing for TV

    Hmmm, my advice is never to use a TV speaker ever! Your TV-mix will sound totally different when it broadcasts (it will sound bad, simple as that). Just mix it like you always do. If it sounds good in your studio, home ,car, portable, etc, then it sounds good on TV. All the music you hear on TV isn\'t mixed for TV. Make life easier and don\'t bother mixing on a TV speaker. If you have to much bass, don\'t worry about it, the signal is travelling through broadcast equipment and other machinery you can only dream of. In the end it will sound perfect on TV.

    ------------
    Alex Cremers

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