Bruce’s Shorts | 4.6 - What is SMPTE MCA and why do I need it?

In the fourth season of ‘Bruce’s Shorts’, Bruce Devlin takes a look at the Interoperable Master Format (IMF). Ever wondered why we don’t label the audio channels in files? This episode will help you find out.

Traditionally, audio channel designation was a house standard defined in a broadcaster's delivery specification. This has generally led to the need the remap the audio tracks at the ingest of files to a facility. Why isn't there a common way of labelling the audio? What track goes where and what language is being used?

That's where the Multi-Channel Audio (MCA) labelling specification comes in. MCA works at three levels:

  • channel labels
  • group of channel labels
  • group of group labels

The MCA labelling specification is SMPTE ST-377-4, a labeling framework for multichannel audio essence in MXF file structures. It specifies the basic object model, structures and metadata items for the MCA Labeling Framework.

This standard enables text-based representation of Multichannel Audio Labels and defines one such representation.

IMF is standardised by the SMPTE as ST 2067.

You might also like...

The Sponsors Perspective: Mixing Realities - Feeding The Immersive Markets

Will alternative immersive channels create an imperative for broadcasters? Veronique Larcher, Director of AMBEO Immersive Audio, Sennheiser, explores immersive content outside of the commercial broadcast space, including virtual, augmented, and mixed realities.

Encoding Shines At Virtual IBC 2020

Had IBC 2020 taken place as usual, some of the liveliest discussions would have centered around encoding, after an eventful year leading up to the virtual event that took place over the same time slot.

The Sponsors Perspective: The Personal HRTF - An Aural Fingerprint

HRTF stands for Head Related Transfer Function and, simply put, is a catch-all term for the characteristics a human head imparts on sound before it enters the ear canal. Everything from level tonal changes caused by our head, shoulders, and…

Data Recording and Transmission: Delivering Data - Part 23

The requirements for data transmission have changed out of all recognition since the early days of computing where the goal was simply to make something that worked. Today that’s the easy part.

The Sponsors Perspective: Deep Dive Into Immersive Audio For All

The familiar “Faster, Higher, Stronger” motto is not just for Olympic athletes but also applies to the common man (and woman): The first black-and-white television sets were considered a sensation until color TV came along, opening a whole new dimension to …