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Cinematic Audio Level Helper

I hear a lot of inexperienced users in the cinema realm asking for guidance on how to know what is “the right level” for cinematic audio mix.
It would be really unique if Waves created a Cinematic Audio Level Helper with a simple interface (for Dummies) where you can just enter the Dolby Fader position (4.5, 5.2, 6, 7) enter theater size and in seconds the user gets a clear indication if the mix is HOT, fine or like a whisper in the crowd, of course there are many tools out there to measure but not one of them is simple to explain how to setup and operate when talking to a beginner in this field that just want to send his mix and doesn’t have the budget to spend on a film mixing stage.

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I love this idea! I’m actually going to be scoring an upcoming television show, and a tool like this would be quite handy!

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Hi Gregg,
Quickly and safely upcoming stereo TV mixes into usable cinema projection event is the number one target users (like yourself) and there is also a huge market of commercial advertisement production targeted for cinema pre-movie screening that will never hire a film mixing stage for the final mix, all of which can use WLM Plus - TASA Leq-m preset or any LUFS meter but it’s far from being straightforward for anyone who’s not familiar with the field and raises more questions than answers, plus most TV mixers not even aware of the Dolby Fader existence, theater size factor affecting the energy of the sound etc.

Of course that is just the tip of the iceberg before getting into audio systems configs speakers layout in the theater (several small ‘side speakers’ and ‘back speakers’ along the side walls and back wall or a single big once, is it a THX theater, IMAX, Atmos). this can get very confusing and is very importent stuff that no tool provides the means to compare.

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Thanks for this. As the composer, and the recording engineer, this all sounds like it can be quite confusing. No offense, but some of what you said up there seems like another language to me. :slight_smile: It sounds like I would need someone else to master it for film / TV, so if that’s the case, what would you recommend?

Mix it down with headroom in the master to let someone else take care of leveling? What should I do for the mix?

Well, the best way is to let someone with experience mix it for you and he should be the one to tell you what and how he would like to get the material for the cinematic mix. there is several approaches and each mixer can prefer it slightly different.

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