I'm currently breaking down a documentary that uses quite a bit of b-roll and mono nat sound over interviews. I am curious how folks organize this kind of audio in your session. Do you stick it under dialog? With BG tracks (that will inevitably be intermixed with sound design)? As separate nat tracks? How about when there is sync dialog or action in the nat sound , but an interview is superseding it?

This particular project is in multiple languages, so I am trying to look ahead to a slew of deliverables and create a session that will be most useful for printing stems ready for dubbing, etc. Trying to figure out where this kind of stuff should land in my DME

Any thoughts would be greatly appreciated. Cheers, Jesse


When working on documentary's, I like all of the interview dialogue staggered across 6-10 Dialogue tracks. I'll add a few extra b-roll tracks for footage containing dialogue happening under an interview. The interview / b-roll with any dialogue is printed into my Dialogue Stem.

I create a few Production FX tracks for any b-roll or nat sound without dialogue. These tracks are printed on the FX Stem. If there are a lot of ambient b-roll / nat sounds under entire scenes, I will make separate Production BG tracks which are printed to the BG stem.

I pull any usable production audio from the interviews onto the production fx tracks to make it easier to create the fully filled M&E.

I dislike pulling b-roll or nat sounds into my dedicated FX or BG tracks. It's easier to find them later if they live on their on tracks.

If the doc has narration, I create a narration track and I print it to a dedicated Narration Stem which is usually requested.

  • Stellar, thank you Luke! This makes great sense to me.
    – JFASound
    Feb 13 '14 at 14:03

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