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Flattened Audio File

From Chace Audio

A flattened audio file is an audio file that incorporates all automation and processing.

For example, if an audio file containing unmixed dialog is delivered to a sound mixer it will have uneven volume levels, mismatched tonal quality (EQ), and inconsistent spatial characteristics (reverb and echo dependent on the environment in which the recording was made). The mixer will adjust levels to even out the volume, apply EQ to match tonal quality, and add reverb to create consistent spatial environments. All of these processes will be automated in a DAW (digital audio workstation) or mixing console. In order to reproduce what the sound mixer has done, the unmixed dialog track has to be played back through the automation.

To create a flattened audio file, the mixer will re-record or regenerate a new audio file that incorporates all of the processing and automation. The result is a mixed audio file that can be played without automation or special hardware and software components.