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Thursday, 31 May 2012 16:36

Post Audio

Written by  Gordon Meyer
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Even though Hollywood has been doing multichannel audio mixing for over 70 years, the sound technicians and artists behind today’s mixes take nothing for granted. To get a feel for today’s audio postproduction tools and techniques, I visited two of the hottest boutique post houses in town. SonicPool and 5 Guys Named Moe offer state-of-the-art equipment and software and a full range of postproduction services, and both have corporate cultures that focus on strong customer service. The co-founders of these boutique houses both feel that the size of their companies enables them to offer more personal service. “Being a small company helps us be more efficient,” says SonicPool Co-Founder Patrick Bird. “We try to operate as if we’re a production’s post department rather than an outside facility.”

Located in North Hollywood, Calif., 5 Guys Named Moe offers audio postproduction services that include mixing movies, TV shows/promos/spots and new media content. “We also do a big business in creating domestic and international versions of programming,” says Seth Krugliak, CEO and co-founder of 5 Guys Named Moe. This can include significant amounts of ADR, re-cutting and re-creating sound effects. “The thing that we’ve done that I think is different is that we’ve created incredibly versatile rooms that have a lot of horsepower, but without spending the dollars that many of our competitors spend in creating sonically perfect rooms. This is one of the things that give us an edge. [And] because these rooms were designed to multitask very well, we can easily overcome issues on both the sound and video side; and our audio and video sides are designed to work hand-in-glove.”postaudio_doubled-command


At 5 Guys Named Moe, both picture and sound are on a central network, which enables Krugliak and his team to come up with quick solutions to any problems that arise. The company’s Avid equipment includes an Euphonix System 5-B digital audio console in one room and dual ICON-D Command ES mixing boards in another room, while Pro Tools is run on all three systems. SonicPool, which is based in Hollywood and Burbank, also relies heavily on Pro Tools software. Bird’s experience with Pro Tools goes back to the product’s earliest days when it was called Sound Tools. “Pro Tools just fits the bill for everything we do,” Bird explains. “The work flow works for us. Since it’s so widely used, it’s much easier to find top notch [talent] that know what they’re doing on it.”


Like Krugliak, Bird speaks with pride about SonicPool’s ability to provide personalized service using high-end facilities to give their clients exactly what they want in a timely manner, even when something needs to be turned around in a matter of hours. “One of our clients had an emergency with a trailer,” Bird recalls. “They needed multiple versions done that night in order to meet deadlines for planned focus groups.” Bird’s team at SonicPool was able to pull it off by working simultaneously in multiple audio suites and stages. “We got the call at 5 p.m. and had everything out the door at 1:30 that night,” he notes.
As challenging as that project was, Bird says it’s not unusual to work under tight deadlines. “It’s often in the nature of our business, especially when it comes to broadcast, which tends to be a lot tighter because people are trying to do a lot more with a lot less these days,” Bird explains. “We’re sort of the last line of defense. Sometimes you get deadlines that have been missed before it even gets to us. We’re always looking for the best ways to do things quickly without making any sacrifice to quality.”

 

5 Guys Named Moe www.5moes.com

SonicPool www.sonicpool.com

Avid  (http://www.avid.com/US/)

Euphonix System 5-B (http://www.avid.com/US/products/System-5B)

ICON-D Command ES (http://www.avid.com/US/products/ICON-D-Command-ES)

Pro Tools (http://www.avid.com/US/products/family/pro-tools)

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