Audio Mastering

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Post Haste Digital offers a wide variety of services and solutions to meet almost any audio need including:

Digital Asset Management

We transition large libraries and catalogs of audio content from physical media to tapeless workflows. A single mezzanine video file can have hundreds of related audio tracks – various stems, languages, and mixes. The problem is; this material lives back in the world of physical tape or disc media and needs to be matched precisely to the new digital master. We tailor and automate our workflows to match the needs of the specific libraries, including integration with the client’s data infrastructure and metadata architecture. We meet the needs of today’s content owners by scaling our services and rates for these large-scale projects. Together with our Video Mastering Department, we support complete mezzanine mastering workflows.


 

Video On Demand / Electronic Sell Through

These days everyone wants their content whenever and wherever they can get it – cell phones, tablets or on whatever device they happen to have in front of them. Familiar with file delivery to all the major licensees, from cable networks to online providers like Amazon, Hulu, and Netflix, we take all the technical confusion out of the new distribution marketplaces and streaming technologies. By collaborating with our Video Mastering Department, we can deliver complete packages including subtitles, trailers, and various audio mixes.


 

Digital Cinema Packages

As of mid-2012, there were approximately 77,000 out of 137,000 theaters globally — nearly 60% — capable of DCI-compliant digital cinema projection. In the United States, penetration is predicted to reach 94% in 2013. Adapting to this dramatic shift in theatrical delivery, we are completely familiar with the DCI specifications and use compliant hardware and software (DVS Clipster / OpenCube) to create final delivery files. In addition to delivering DCP-ready audio reels at 48kHz or 96kHz, we work alongside our Video Mastering Department to deliver complete Digital Cinema Packages.


 

Broadcast Standardization

Across the globe, the standards for Terrestrial / Cable / Satellite / IPTV providers vary widely. Emerging markets are the focus of broadcasters in search of revenue growth, which translates to a need for foreign language mixes of feature and episodic series. Content licensors must satisfy differing sets of demands depending on the licensee. We are well versed in the recent EBU R128 (EU) and CALM Act (US) audio loudness specifications, and can offer a variety of approaches to meet these new requirements. Our broadcast mastering workflow can accommodate both tape and digital file deliveries.


 

Home Video (DVD / Blu-Ray)

The DVD / Blu-Ray retail market remains significant, despite gradually giving ground to the popularity of streaming media. Coupled with our editorial, restoration and QC services, we offer audio encoding in all DTS and Dolby home media formats. Additionally, we can work alongside our Creative Audio Department to record, edit and mix new commentary audio tracks. Working with ourVideo Mastering Department, we offer complete DVD / BD authoring packages.


 

Film Out

Use of film-based elements as an audio delivery method is quickly fading, but there are still instances where a 35mm Magnetic and/or Optical Sound Track Negative is required. Our seasoned professionals are well-versed in mastering to these formats, including the unique equalization and leveling requirements specific to each. Our Dolby-Certified theatrical dub stage is fully configured for Dolby-licensed printmaster creation.


 

Music Mastering

Our arsenal of experienced music mastering engineers are ready to add that special something to your tracks and standardize each accordingly. From re-mastering old classics to polishing the freshest hits, we help make your mixes sound the best they can. We can also deliver finished mixes in the Disc Description Protocol (Red Book) master format required by most major labels.


 

Forensics (Law Enforcement / Justice Systems)

As digital audio recorders become ubiquitous in most security surveillance systems and mobile devices, there is a growing need for clean-up, isolation, and at times, restoration of audio for use in court cases. We have the tools and the expertise to employ unique techniques to bring out key components of even the poorest quality recordings in order to convey the necessary content needed. Additionally, metadata scraping of audio files using professionally certified tools can provide crucial verification of dates and locations.


 

Editorial, Synchronization, Quality Control

The basic audio mastering package involves ingesting / transferring audio from a source and syncing it to a picture reference for final output.  This can range from audio and video physical elements to digital ones and any combination of the two. While we listen to the various audio that may be transferred from these sources, we adjust sync and make any necessary fixes, all while generating a QC report so the client is aware of the condition of the original source and any necessary fixes that have been addressed by our engineers or should be further noted.


 

Restoration

For older feature films or episodic television series seeing new distribution, a lot of effort goes into raising the quality of sound to today’s more modern standards. In many cases it is better to return to the original sources with current techniques and technologies rather than use previously re-mastered material.  Working with our Migration Department, we can perform archival transfers to a multitude of obsolete formats.  Even brand new content, depending on the circumstances of production, can require extensive restoration prior to release.  This consists of a fine alchemy of noise, hum, and hiss reduction, equalization, pop and tick removal, and numerous other techniques that depend on the specific source.  We can tailor this process to the client’s budget, starting with a simple evaluation and presenting a range of options to move forward with.


 

Up-mix, Down-mix, Re-mix

Mono to Stereo, Dolby Surround Lt/Rt, 3.0 LCR, 4.0 LCRS, 5.1, 6.1 and 7.1 – we have extensive expertise in the fine art of adding depth and space to any mix.  Whether the client is concerned simply with satisfying delivery requirements or is seeking to add value to a home-entertainment release, we can create new mixes tailored to a multitude of specific needs.  The translation of a 5.1 mix from theatrical to home listening environment is not a simple one-to-one translation.  For releases that demand an immersive home listening experience, we offer unique near-field mixes that adjust to, compensate, and even take advantage of the space restrictions in an average home listening environment.


 

Loudness Compliance

Competing for audience attention, commercials and program content has increasingly resorted to over-compressing, and at times limiting, mixes to increase this loudness. Combatting this, EBU R128 in Europe and ATSC A/85 in the United States are the new standards for loudness measurement and program audio level normalization for broadcast standardization. This requires new metering designed to measure loudness units as opposed to true peak measurements. It also requires a new approach to audio mixing that favors dynamic range over “slamming” compression techniques. As broadcasters move to comply, content originators are expected to deliver audio normalized to fall within these specific loudness measurements. We can address this need by applying global level adjustments, or alternatively, we can selectively re-level sections of the mix and apply moderate dynamic range compression to better suit a mix to home listening environments, while still meeting the required loudness measurements.


 

Localization, Versioning, Censorship, Music Replacement

New content in new territories and on new platforms creates a slew of problems for distributors. Text on screen may need voice-over for translation purposes. Original theatrical mixes need editorial to match director’s cuts, mobile or airline versions. Uncensored content may need a cut-down or TV-friendly dialog replacement for broadcast. When licenses for source music cues expire, it often doesn’t make economic sense to re-license cues for new distribution agreements. If audio stems are available, the process of replacing previous music cues with new ones is a relatively simple remix job. However, when no stems are available, this can be incredibly tricky. Working alongside our Creative Audio Department we are able to handle any new creative recording that should need to take place. We are experts in a variety of techniques to cut out the original music to avoid hefty licensing fees and any potential legal ramifications. When some may think it can’t be done, we usually find a way. Whatever the editorial need, we use all available sources to make the necessary changes.


 

Encoding / Decoding

Utilizing the latest hardware and software encoders and decoders, we can supply or transcode most bitstream audio files into various configurations of Dolby AC3, Dolby TrueHD, Dolby E, DTS Standard Audio, DTS HQ, DTS Master Audio, AAC, Apple Lossless, MP3, 3GPP, Ogg Vorbis, FLAC, WAV, and AIFF formats.


 

Tapeless Delivery

For tapeless workflows, we can provide a variety of standard file formats from Quicktime to MPEG and WMV among many others. We also create MXF (Material eXchange Format) files in accordance with all of the most commonly used specifications for MXF wrappers and audio / video standards. We support the many various metadata schema and file-naming requirements necessary to make sure the file is properly and thoroughly identified by all parties associated.


 

Audio Layback

We record multiple channels of audio to SD or HD tape masters (most commonly Digital Betacam or HDCAM SR) in real-time and perform a final QC pass. We handle laying back audio to tape each and every day and have the capacity to record hundreds of hours of tape per day.

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