New York, NY (September 1, 2009)--Creative Group tackled audio for two major Michael Buble concert DVDs released this summer.
Sue Pelino, Creative Group's Emmy Award-winning VP of audio post production and senior mixer, along with her team, performed the final 5.1 and stereo mixes for the DVDs Michael Buble Meets Madison Square Garden and Chess In Concert Live From Royal Albert Hall.
Pelino mixed the rehearsal music in Michael Buble Meets Madison Square Garden in stereo only and toned down the sound of the documentary footage, so that when contrasted with the 5.1 mix of the actual concert, the sound of the latter would truly stand out: "I mixed all the documentary footage in surround, but it wasn't quite like once you get inside; all of a sudden you feel the grandness of being in Madison Square Garden and the mix is really open at that point. Even though the doc stuff was mixed in surround, it wasn't as big as when the concert actually started."
With its multiple musical elements, Chess In Concert Live From Royal Albert Hall--featuring the lyrics of Tim Rice and music by Benny Andersson and Bjorn Ulvaeus, formerly of ABBA, with vocals by Josh Groban and Idina Menzel backed up by a 100-member chorus, a rock band and a classical orchestra--presented its own challenges. Chief among them was keeping the sound of the lead vocalists' voices from being drowned out by some of the other elements. "These are some amazing vocalists, so the key was really to keep them pronounced," says Pelino. "Because there was this combination of classical music, rock and the chorus, along with some small speaking parts, we had to be very careful never to lose those vocals."
According to Pelino, accomplishing this came down to careful management of the audio in Pro Tools: "It was really just riding the volume levels, with slight compression and EQ, and letting the vocals drive the performance. These vocalists are so incredible that there's really not that much that I have to do; their voices unprocessed just sound absolutely perfect. So we just made sure that they stayed pronounced in the final 5.1 and stereo mixes."