Audio Line-up tones for media

Got some strange document with lots of rules when delivering to a tv-channel or Netflix? This should help for some of it!

2 years ago

Latest Post Multi-part MIDI-editing in Cubase by Tormod Liseth public

For people getting started with delivering content for commercials, TV and Film, it can be quite daunting to learn all about the requirements. Even more so because different recipients require different things. Today we'll hopefully tackle the Audio Line-up part.

If you JUST want the downloads, head down to the bottom of the article! (signup required)

What are Line-up tones?

Lineup tones are audio files placed in the programme material (read: the commercial, movie, tv show) at the beginning (and sometimes at the end too!) to make sure the picture is in sync with the audio and that there's no issues with the audio in itself. Over the years different standards have emerged both geographically but also from tv-station to tv-station. Different mediums have also required different deliveries, so Netflix won't be the same as BBC for example.

Now, important to specify, this time around we're not talking about the programme material in itself, that is a whole other ballpark. We're simply focusing on the Lineup tones and sync pops (2-Pop).

Different standards!

Although the standard of the EBU R 128 by now has seeped into much of the business, there's still lots of wiggle room and the standard is only making recommendations and not rules. As such, there's a couple different lineup tones being used.

However, finding them and downloading them seems to be tricky. In many delivery requirement documents, a link to DPP is given, saying you can download the lineup tones from here. From my findings, they have been removed from the downloads over there, and so I had to make my own.

After spending quite a bit of time making these I figured, why not share these for others in the same situation, and that's what you'll find at the bottom of this article.

I made a couple of different lineup tones that you might meet in the business:

The length of these audio files can also vary from tv-station to tv-station, however, these files can be duplicated or cut without issue. Other specifications include where the sound should start (ie. at 09:59:30:00 or 23:59:30:00). Remember to not change the volume as this is also part of the automatic Quality Assurance (QA). This process is automated using different tools, hence the need for accuracy.

2-Pop (Sync Pop)

Now, the 2-pop is easier to understand. 1 frame of 1 kHz sine wave to seconds before the first frame of the picture, to line up the audio to the video. I've supplied versions for 24 fps and 25 fps, as these are most common, but if you are off on a millisecond on the length for this I honestly don't think it matters as much. The start, however, is of course very important.

What's in the package?

I've had a good look at what I've been delivering myself and what others might request of me in the future and made the most common ident tones for surround (5.1) and stereo. Add to that, I made surround (5.1) and stereo 2-pops for 24 fps and 25 fps. a full list of the files can be found here:

List of files in "Lineup Tones_SIFTERTSTUDIOS v1"

  • EBU Multichannel Ident_5-1_SIFTERTSTUDIOS
  • EBU Stereo Ident Tone 48k 24b_9Seconds_SIFTERTSTUDIOS
  • EBU Stereo Ident Tone 48k 24b_10Seconds_SIFTERTSTUDIOS
  • EBU Stereo Ident Tone 48k 24b_13Seconds_SIFTERTSTUDIOS
  • GLITS 48k 24b_1Minute_SIFTERTSTUDIOS
  • GLITS 48k 24b_10Seconds_SIFTERTSTUDIOS
  • GLITS 48k 24b_15Seconds_SIFTERTSTUDIOS
  • GLITS 48k 24b_30Seconds_SIFTERTSTUDIOS
  • 2-Pop 24 Fps 48k 24b_5-1_SIFTERTSTUDIOS
  • 2-Pop 24 Fps 48k 24b_Stereo_SIFTERTSTUDIOS
  • 2-Pop 25 Fps 48k 24b_5-1_SIFTERTSTUDIOS
  • 2-Pop 25 Fps 48k 24b_Stereo_SIFTERTSTUDIOS

Now, hopefully, you will get some use out of these and can deliver post-production audio of impeccable quality from now on (at least the lineup-part! 🙃)!

Tormod Liseth

Published 2 years ago