Palo Alto, CA (February 28, 2007)–Michael Minkler, Bob Beemer and Willie Burton, Oscar-winning sound mixers for Paramount’s Dreamgirls, used the Euphonix System 5-F dual-operator console at the Todd-AO West mixing stage to prepare Bill Condon’s adaptation of the Broadway musical for the big screen.
For six years running, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences nominated a film mixed on a Euphonix System 5 digital audio console for Best Sound Mixing. Four of those films–Black Hawk Down in 2001, The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King (2003), King Kong (2005) and now Dreamgirls–have won the award.
Minkler, the lead mixer, has a few ideas why Euphonix is a perennial contender. “Automation on the Euphonix digital console was critical to the Dreamgirls mix,” Minkler said. “We had massive amounts of audio data to handle. Two Pro Tools systems with over 200 tracks were required for the music tracks alone. Thankfully, Euphonix provides the flexibility we wanted to make the system work for us–not the other way around. We were able to focus on the art of the film, the delicate blend of sound elements, and not the technology.”
The dual-operator System 5-F at Todd-AO West used to mix Dreamgirls has 64 faders and can control over 300 channels. The system is situated on one of Todd-AO’s premiere dub stages in Santa Monica, Calif.
“Dreamgirls has a mix that never stops moving,” Minkler told Variety magazine in an interview on February 7, 2007. “The film moves between moods that are dramatic, theatrical, cinematic, musical, comical, all in an instant. The picture, sound elements and music are all moving targets on musicals. The trick is to fit all the pieces of the sound puzzle together on an emotional level.”