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.
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).
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:
- BLITS - Black & Lane's Ident Tones for Surround
- EBU Multichannel Ident Signal (link shows multiple ident tones)
- GLITS - Graham's Line Identification Tone System
- EBU Stereo Ident Signal (link shows multiple ident tones)
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"
- BLITS 48k 24b_SIFTERTSTUDIOS
- 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! 🙃)!