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  • Preparing audio for a DCP

    Posted by Pier-philippe Chevigny on November 5, 2014 at 2:12 pm

    Hi guys,

    I’m currently preparing to export a DCP for a 30-sec commercial to be played in theatres. It’s my first time delivering material to a theatre and I’m a bit confused by their requirements. I’m (hopefully) doing all the audio work in Premiere CC 2014 but I could switch to ProTools if need be.

    Here are the specs:

    7) The audio .wav file
    Digital Reference Level must be at –20dBFS.
    8) FOR COMMERCIAL PRESENTATION ONLY – Audio levels must not exceed a loudness level of 82dB leq. This is an average loudness over the length of the spot.

    Does that mean I should put a limiter at -20db on the master and turn down the track volumes to give a little headroom? I’m confused by the 82 db leq loudness level. Please, any help would be greatly appreciated! Thanks!

    Pier-philippe Chevigny replied 9 years, 7 months ago 3 Members · 3 Replies
  • 3 Replies
  • Chris Borjis

    November 5, 2014 at 5:35 pm

    I was confused by that as well, so much so that my client actually paid for a .pdf
    file from DCI to get specifics…well there weren’t any to explain it better haha.

    So we just mixed the audio at Standard TV levels, that of hovering between -18 and -10
    with occasional peaks at -6.

    and don’t forget to export the audio as 24-bit.

    good luck!

  • Angelo Lorenzo

    November 6, 2014 at 7:05 am

    [Pier-Philippe Chevigny]
    Digital Reference Level must be at –20dBFS.”

    Digital reference is usually “dial norm” or average level. Use audio effects > special > loudness radar to measure this to approximately -20. This USUALLY DOES NOT MEAN SLAP ON A LIMITER AT -20db. A reference level is to compare dbFS (digital, 0db max) to analog levels like dbu; -20dBFS = 0dBU in this instance. In other words, 20db in headroom between average level and digital maximum.

    [Pier-Philippe Chevigny] “8) FOR COMMERCIAL PRESENTATION ONLY – Audio levels must not exceed a loudness level of 82dB leq. This is an average loudness over the length of the spot.”

    “82dB leq” is meaningless in this context. This might be a loudness reading in the theater, but you have no context as to what digital dBFS level translates to this volume. Ask for clarification.

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  • Pier-philippe Chevigny

    November 7, 2014 at 12:58 pm

    Thank you so much guys, this clears things up!

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