“Jim and his team at Berkeley Sound Artists’ don’t do sound. They summon your film’s soul and make it sing. Their craftsmanship is impeccable, commitment total.”

Amir Soltani, Co-Director/Producer of Dogtown Redemption

Berkeley Sound Artists Video and AAF / OMF Specs

Both the picture and the OMF should have head and tail pops.


Full frame codec (preferably Pro Res LT) Quicktime video
Window burn that matches sequence in either top corner, or letter-boxed safe area
2-Pop (2sec before first frame of picture), and tail pop (2sec from last frame of picture)
Reference mix of your audio matching the delivered sequence.

You can deliver your video using the Quicktime Pro Res, Pro Res LT or Pro Res HQ codec. Please note that Pro Res files tend to be very large and won’t be easily delivered over the internet. To reduce file size you can send us a Quicktime Video using the Photo JPEG codec instead. For smaller projects or reference material transferred over the internet an H264 Quicktime movie (.mov) can suffice, but will need your Pro Res or Photo JPEG video before our initial spotting session. PLEASE NOTE, VERY IMPORTANT: Do not send us MP4 videos.

There needs to be a window burn of the timecode. The best placement of your window burn is in either top corner. It doesn’t have to be very big. If your project is letter-boxed, please put the window burn in the letter-boxed area. Try to avoid putting window burns in the same location as subtitles or lower thirds.

We need pre and post roll on the video. In an ideal world, start the movie and the window burn at 0:59:50:00 and add a second or 2 to the movie past the tail pop.

Please include your mixed audio in the Quicktime movie as we use this a guide.

AAF / OMF Files


OMF: Embedded Audio, :10 sec handles, 2GB file size limit
AAF: audio only, separate audio, consolidate audio, no size limit

For those exporting OMFs the file size cannot exceed 2 gigabytes. If you hit that limit split your sequence into 2 or more parts by exporting a few tracks at a time.

Final Cut Pro—OMF:

Export Instructions: https://helpx.adobe.com/premiere-pro/using/exporting-omf-files-pro-tools.html
Preferences: encapsulate, trim files = 10 sec handles
Notes: 2GB OMF file size limit = multiple OMFs per sequence

VERY IMPORTANT: When working in FCP7, DO NOT have any muted regions in your audio tracks. This causes your OMF to not open on our systems. No muted regions means that any regions that are greyed out in FCP should be undone. Some editors prefer to use this instead of taking the volume on the clip all the way dome. You’ll be able to tell if your regions are muted by finding the audio clips that are not green.

FINAL CUT PRO X: requires third party software for export to any media exchange format. Please call us. Export options are evolving and we’re becoming more knowledgeable about this. Thank you Apple for not putting in an easy way to export AAF files.

Adobe Premiere Pro—AAF:

Export Instructions: https://helpx.adobe.com/premiere-pro/using/exporting-projects-applications.html
Preferences: non-embedded audio

Adobe Premier Pro—OMF:

Export Instructions: https://helpx.adobe.com/premiere-pro/using/exporting-omf-files-pro-tools.html
Preferences: encapsulate, trim audio files = 10 sec handles
Notes: 2GB OMF file size limit = multiple OMFs per sequence

Avid Media Composer—AAF:

Export Instructions: http://avid.force.com/pkb/articles/en_US/How_To/How-to-export-an-AAF
Preferences: either embed (10sec handles) or separate (consolidate audio)
Notes: most compatible exchange with Pro Tools, AAFs do not have the file size limitation that OMF files have

Additional Material

If you have a collection of useful sounds such as ambiance or sound effects, you should deliver that to us as an organized collection of AIFF or WAV files. Organizing your files into folders and then naming the sounds will help us find them quickly.

Keep room tones in another folder, again delivered as a AIFF or WAV file. It’s important that we know which room tone clip is associated with which scene/person. One way to do this is to name your room tone file with the person’s name and location or their name and color of their shirt. (“Alex in hallway” or “Karen Blue blouse”)

Naming Conventions

It’s best if you name your Quicktime movie with the name of the film and it’s version number or creation (dupe) date. Be sure not to use the following characters in naming your video, AAF or OMF:

/ (forward slash)
\ (backslash)
: (colon)
* (asterisk)
? (question mark)
“ (quotation marks)
< (less-than symbol) > (greater-than symbol)
| (vertical line or pipe)
Any “high order” ASCII character (created with a key combination)

AAF / OMF Track layout tips!

If there is a narrator, they should be on Track 1.

Any on-camera interviews should be on the first tracks. Tracks 1(if no narrator), 2, or 3. This includes any interviewees that continue to talk when cutaways of other shots are being seen. These ‘voice overs’ are on the same tracks, 1, 2, or 3. Of course, you may need more than three tracks for this material.

Other on-camera speaking (i.e., people talking on the street) should be on the following tracks.

Any sound effects from production shoots (production effects) should be on the next set of tracks. This includes ambient sounds like traffic or audience murmur as well as specific sounds, for example, chopping wood.

If you have bought, borrowed or recorded sound effects, these should be on separate tracks, below the production effects.

Music should be on the bottom tracks…

If you have any questions, please call us at

510 486 2290: Office

510 388 2290: Jim’s cell