09-27-2018, 12:45 PM
Hi - I'm trying to find the answer to this but it appears that my Google-Fu is weak.

From time to time I come across soundtracks that have track prefixes along the lines of [6m22] or [xmx] of some kind.

For the life of me, I can't find out what that prefix relates to?
Initially, I thought it was the track length, but this doesn't appear to be the case.

Lil' help?


09-28-2018, 02:09 AM
Something like 6m22 is a slate number.
It is an absolute reference number identifying the track by where it is placed in the film.
Slate numbers have different format conventions between, say, Western and Japanese soundtracks.

James P.Sullivan
09-28-2018, 08:44 AM
6m22 is a slate number, referencing the old days of filmmaking when people used physical reels of film (some still do). In this instance, 6 refers to the 6th film "reel" and 22 refers to the 22nd cue in the score. This is why you can get slates like my favourite cue 7m76 The Water Rises from Trevor Rabin's National Treasure: Book of Secrets - the scene was part of the 7th film reel (so pretty near the end of the film) and cue was the 76th cue in the score.

In some scores, a new reel number "resets" the cue number. So each new reel starts with cue 01. Randy Newman does this on his scores. Toy Story 3, for example, has 35 cues in total. 1m01-05, 2m01a-2m17, 3m01-3m13, 4m01-4m18, 5m01-5m15, 6m01-6m05bs.

That last one is an opportunity to explain the other letters you sometimes see at the end of slate numbers - the "b" refers to the second part of a cue, so 6m05as comes directly before. The "s" means "source". This refers to any cue that is not part of the orchestral score, usually a song for the end titles, or a piece of music from another source, such as diegetic music coming from a radio in the scene or a live band performing at a party. So in the case of Toy Story 3, cues 6m05as and 6m05bs are the two halves of the end titles (hence "a" and "b") and are both songs, hence both "s" source cues.

In most scores, unless the song is an original song written for the film by the score composer (such as Randy Newman in most of his films), the source cues are often absent from the recording sessions and you'll just notice the gap in the slate numbers where they should be.

In other scores, not many, such as Spielberg's "Bridge of Spies" by Thomas Newman, there is no reel number. Cues are just named by M01, M02, etc. to the end of the score.

Does that help at all?

09-28-2018, 02:58 PM
very good explain!

09-28-2018, 03:22 PM
cheers, sully! that was educational.

10-01-2018, 01:39 PM
...Does that help at all?

Oh my goodness.

That was an education in a post.
Thanks for taking the time to explain


10-01-2018, 07:05 PM
Does that help at all?

Posts like this make me miss the 'like' button every now and then.