I'm curious how other people do M&E mixing. I've never actually had to mix an M&E before as it was all done for me in the mixer routing in ProTools (I also had totally clean dialogue as the shows were all animations).

Now I'm doing a live-action show that will have all the footsteps etc. replaced to create the M&E track.

I'm thinking of either mixing all the extra SFX/foley along with the dialogue so that it will be at an appropriate level with regards to the actual mix, or would it be better to just mix it as a separate thing so it sounds correct and imagine how it would work underneath dialogue.

As I go through cleaning up the dialogue I am stripping out as much of the production sound as possible and using it. The guys in tracklay are matching the production sound as best they can, otherwise they are ditching the production sound for the M&E.

I like the idea of referring you mentioned, kind of like mixing my two ideas together (forgive the completely intentional pun).

I'm leaning towards mixing it without the dialogue, the more I think about it it seems the most sensible and quickest. I will already have the bulk of the M&E already done as there's wall to wall music and lots of sound effects that I will be working with that come from the main mix

2 Answers 2


Hey Ian,

Do you have all the production FX split out for use in your M&E? That'd be my first step, if it's not already done - see what you can salvage.

Normally I mix my M&E's without the dialogue, while constantly checking back to the original mix to get as close of a duplicate as I can... Having some of those production FX mixed in with the new stuff can also help determine your relative levels with any new material, provided you adjust for shifts in room tone.

Setting up your session/monitor chain to quickly A/B your M&E with the original is really helpful.


Totally forgot to reply to my own question. I was a total idiot about this. Of course I didn't need to start from nothing as I had all the sfx and music already mixed. I simply muted the production sound/dialogue and mixed in the foley/footsteps so they balanced with the already existing sound. D'OH!

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