New York City (October 4, 2004)–Buttons Sound recently found itself uniquely positioned to help the creators of the independent film Xtacy with sound design and mix. The film was shot in High Def, which provided a film-like high quality picture, and inspired the producer/director’s interest in obtaining a 5.1 surround sound.
The question was how to achieve Dolby Digital surround with a limited editing crew and within a reasonable budget. As a small independently owned company, with Dolby certified suites, Buttons could offer the type of service that the filmmakers were looking for within their timeframe and budget. To further increase efficiency, owner Rich Macar upgraded Buttons’ Padauk Suite, a Meyer HD1 surround room, to Digidesign Pro Tools HD2, which allowed unlimited tracks and plug-ins, eliminating any technology hurdles resulting from the inherent demands of the Dolby Digital 5.1 surround format.
Paul Levin, a sound designer/mixer since 1995, who cut his teeth under Macar at Buttons, sound designed and mixed the film at Buttons. The film was successfully screened at Magno NY, where Dolby created the magneto optical for final Dolby Digital film optical transfer.
Surround sound was integral to the film. Levin and director Tommy DeGrezia worked together on the sound design, including strange, electric shock-like noises during the struggling artist’s visions on his descent into insanity.
Macar believes that, as home theatres become established in every home, sound design is essential. He predicts that, though Buttons has been producing surround sound since 1998 and recently became a Dolby Partner offering Dolby E for High Def projects that include the same 5.1 surround format as Dolby Digital and DVD, Buttons will be sound designing and mixing all projects in surround 5.1 within the next five years.