Can you explain me, how we get to dolby digital encoding?

What is level about dialogue editing to normalize at? and what are the levels of dialogue at the mixing? what are leves of music and fx ?

will the dialogues be mixed c? or on L and r too? and what about music and fx? at the end of mixing how we get to dolby digital? daw as logic for example can mix and export multichannel file, and compressor can convert it to ac3? is anyone of you use this workflow? how we get to dolby digital to deliver to theatre?

2 Answers 2


I highly recommend reading up some literature upon the post sound process, especially John Purcell's Dialogue book and Dave Yewdall's as well. I say all of this because I took at look at the questions you have asked on SSD, and all 3 seem to be considerably related/reformulated and all are quite rudimentary 'bread-and-butter' topics of post sound.

This is not to say you are invalid in asking the question. I share this because the questions you pose are so open-ended that providing a succinct response is difficult if not impossible - the workflow is so vast and the nuances so detailed (even on a show-by-show basis). So you likely will not find the perfect response you are seeking from the community because of the broadness of the question(s).

Gaining an overall understanding of the post process through those two books, as well as others that people may be able to recommend (I believe such a question about literature was actually asked on here not too long ago, you may have to search for it) will likely be a beneficial starting point.

Again, I say this not to deter you nor your question, just as a hopefully helping hand in guiding you to where you will likely find the most fulfilling answer, to which SSD can be a great resource thereafter with more of the details and idiosyncrasies of the post process.


thanks for your reply, my really question is about last step, its enought to encode a multichannel file in ac3? I dont think so, what hardware is used to achieve that goal.

  • You don't need hardware for that, there are codecs to buy for most DAWS, as well as stand-alone programs, that are very easy to use. You must however understand the fundamentals of their operations, and that's very hard to describe if you do not fully understand the mixing process, and the mixing process is more or less the same no matter what codec you're using. Save for differences in behaviour and transparency. The books Stavrosound suggested are in my opinion as well very good choices to start with. Feb 7, 2013 at 5:38
  • is that true? for DVD sure... but for Dolby Digital theatrical release in cinemas don't you need to have a Dolby Approved dub stage, use their encoder, have the mix checked during Print Master by Dolby Consultant? Maybe the OP should check with Dolby
    – user49
    Feb 7, 2013 at 5:53
  • @tim you are correct, a Dolby tech is required to be on the premises - as I've heard they bring in their "proprietary black box" to the stage to run everything through for encoding, and leave with it (maybe they don't do that anymore but I heard the used to at least). Feb 7, 2013 at 6:02
  • and yes it has to be the Dolby-ceritified stage too (not just room size, speaker config, etc but Dolby has to tune it). I was at a small sound house many years ago when we installed a bunch of parametric EQs in the signal chain for the Mains, and the Dolby tech came by to tune everything (including with some crazy-looking proprietary software on his laptop - looked like a metering system on steroids). Feb 7, 2013 at 6:04
  • aye, we have excellent guy Bruce come over from Dolby, Australia for every print master of a film I've worked on... And I know for a fact there are only two Dolby approved film dub stages in NZ...
    – user49
    Feb 7, 2013 at 9:12

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