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Marks Talks Challenges Mixing Kevin Hart Special

Keeping Netflix audio specs in mind was only one of the challenges facing mixer Tom Marks.

Hollywood, CA (August 8, 2019)—Re-recording mixer Tom Marks, CAS, tasked with mixing comedian Kevin Hart’s Netflix latest stand-up special in Dolby Atmos, faced a number of challenges when it came to keeping the dialogue consistent.

View from the Top: Paul Tapper, NUGEN Audio

Key among those challenges was time. “Regardless of what type of content you mix, shows have gotten more complex, there are more visual effects and the production values are higher—so the sound has to match or exceed that,” says Marks. “Fast decision making, a good template with plug-ins you prefer and a console/control surface laid out well, can help with the efficiency you need to create great content in today’s world.”

With those criteria in mind, Marks applied a selection of Nugen Audio plug-ins, including VisLM, Halo Upmix, ISL, MasterCheck and Visualizer. He credits features like True Peak metering; Netflix, TASA and R128 compatibility; stereo, 5.1, 7.1 and 7.1.2 channel formats; and loudness history, which saves VisLM’s measurements with the session.

“For a show on Netflix, there are two loudness numbers that are important to hit,” says Marks. “The first is True Peak. You need to limit your mix with a True Peak limiter, and this is where Nugen’s ISL is required. The second is your LKFS number. This Netflix spec helps to maintain dialogue levels across a wide range of content. With Nugen’s VisLM, you can load in the Netflix preset and start mixing.”

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For the Kevin Hart special in Dolby Atmos, Marks almost entirely mixed dialogue. VisLM and its Netflix present allowed him to hit the required spec numbers and spend more time on the creative process. “Thanks to Nugen Audio, the Kevin Hart special came out great,” he says.

Nugen Audio •