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Filled

From Chace Audio

The term "filled" refers to a music and effects track (M&E) that has been augmented to match a film's original language composite track minus the dialog. M&E tracks that contain all the music and effects from a film, including those recorded during production, are considered 100% or "fully" filled. M&E tracks are created for foreign dubbing, and need to have all the effects, ambiences, and music as heard in the original track. Foreign actors then re-record the dialog in their own language, and this is then mixed with the filled M&E to create a complete foreign composite.

Whereas an original language composite track is created by combining the mixed DME (dialog, music, and effects) stems, combining the music stem and effects stem of a DME will not result in a dub-ready M&E track. In fact, the effects stem of the DME may be only 50-70% filled depending on the film. This is because many effects are recorded along with the dialog during production and remain on the dialog stem. These effects must be edited out of the dialog track and mixed with the effects track in order to “fill” it.

Because a fully filled M&E track contains replacement production effects, it cannot be recombined with the original dialog track to create a new composite. If attempted, the effects will be doubled and cause an anomaly known as phasing.

Creating a fully filed M&E track can be a time-consuming job, but the work becomes especially demanding when stems no longer exist. When creating an M&E from a composite source, music that is tied to dialog must also be replaced, either with cues from “clean” areas of the soundtrack or with library music (pre-recorded, “royalty free” cues). For a scene with dialog, music score, and sound effects all playing together, a sound editor will have to find replacement music, steal or recreate all the effects on the track, and then mix them in a such way as to replicate the sound of the original audio.

When this work is complete, the new, fully filled M&E can be delivered to foreign territories around the world and be re-voiced by actors in any language. If the fully filled M&E was created and mixed with care and attention, it will honor the intentions of the filmmakers and match the sonic landscape of the original language composite as closely as possible.