The Technical Requirements call for the International M&E to contain all production Fx, added design, and ambiences as in the domestic mix minus dialogue. What about Production FX that are married in the dialogue? Do you have to ADR and then rebuild FX that are under dialogue just to fit this requirement? Please advise.

3 Answers 3


Typically you would cover this in foley. Even if you don't play that foley in the domestic mix, you would make sure it's mixed to match the production fx from the domestic when you do the M&E.

  • Simple enough. THX. Oct 12, 2012 at 19:11

Exactly what Gary said - you don't need to ADR, what international M&Es are looking for are the effects and music, which includes foley. They do not need or use the dialogue track (someone please correct me if I'm mistaken).

So yes, you will have to record fand/orcut in foley effects for PFX that are embedded into the dialogue tracks. The international versions only dub in the dialogue.

I typically 'save' as much production sound as possible, and paste room tone where ever the dialogue was to smooth out the sound, then cut in new foley effects over the room tone. So if your film is dialogue heavy, a significant amount of foley work will most likely need to be done.

Sometimes a 'fully filled' M&E is required, which means they're wanting all sounds including subtle foley sounds. If it's not, you can often get away with just saving PFX and cutting in the most obvious fx. On micro budget projects, this is often what needs to be done (which is also why sometimes international versions sound empty - because they often are).


The minus dialogue track is a valuable commodity that can add a lot to the final M&E. Try to preserve as many production effects as possible. Sometimes the best effects in the movie are production, i.e. doors, props, movement, cars, skids, etc. all in the dialogue stem. As Laura said above, reasonably fill for the mixer to get in and out of the minus D. It's possible to fix the effects, extend some that have pieces under dialogue. It's a judgment call if it's worth it. Some you can't save, there's too much dialogue to extract. Another element to preserve from the dialogue stem are crowds, cheers, efforts, screams, foreign language walla that lives in the domestic or any other vocals that could possibly be used in a foreign mix. Put those on an alt dialogue track for helpers on the M&E. This will give the foreign mixers more options either to use their own talent or the original. I've seen original vocals used in foreign mixes. Sometimes foreign dialogue is used in the domestic. Be sure to preserve that. I once had to fix an M&E that failed to preserve a character who only spoke Portuguese (Love Actually). I had to pull it out of the dialogue stem to mix with the other languages. This was a story point and obviously couldn't be dubbed in any other language. I don't remember what the solution was for the Portuguese version.

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