by Steve Harvey
Los Angeles, CA (May 24, 2005)–Record producer, engineer and former Capitol Records executive, Michael Frondelli, has just completed audio post, sweetening and mixing of a brand new live performance by Marianne Faithfull for broadcast and DVD release. The audio for the entire project, recorded and filmed at the Music Box at the Henry Fonda Theater in Hollywood, was finished at Threshold Sound + Vision in West Los Angeles.
Michael Frondelli (third from left) has just finished working on a Marianne Faithfull project for broadcast and DVD release at Threshold Sound + Vision, assisted by (l-r) chief mastering engineer, Stephen Marsh; chief engineer, Peter Barker; and resident sound designer, Michael Perricone.
“I found a flow-through operational facility that I didn’t have to leave,” commented Frondelli. “I did it soup to nuts there. They have a mix room with a modified Neve 8078, which was from the original Sony Music Studios, where I mixed with Peter Barker. I then went with Michael Perricone and did the audio post and sweetening in his Pro Tools|HD3 room, then went into the mastering room with Stephen Marsh.”
The project’s bonus materials, including a documentary by filmmaker Alan Boyd, offer a look back at the life of the living legend, who was famously first persuaded to sing in the early 1960s by Andrew Loog Oldham, manager of the Rolling Stones. She had a hit with “As Tears Go By” a year before the Stones released their version of the Jagger/Richards composition. It’s about time, considered Frondelli. “Nobody has really heard her story. You hear about her and Mick and Keith, but she’s really got a deeper story than that.”
Captured with a multi-camera setup by the HDNet HD-1 hi-def truck, co-owned by Mark Cuban, owner of the NBA’s Dallas Mavericks, the single-day shoot was recorded by Frondelli through API mic pres to Pro Tools–with digital tape backup–using the Design FX remote truck. The project, produced by Stephanie Bennett, is destined for an Eagle Vision DVD release this summer, as well as HDNet broadcast pay-per-view.
Frondelli, who finished the audio post and mixing of 18 songs in two formats, as well as two versions of the bonus material, in barely more than a week, says, “I like working that fast; it puts an edge on it.” And, he pointed out, “Technical requirements for video are different than they are for CD, so I have to master for DVD, which is not the same as DVD-Audio, and it’s not PCM. You have to find a way to enhance it and make it work.”
He continued, “The project model is interesting, because you can get it on pay-per-view and HD, and you can have it at home in MPEG-2 format. The 2-channel audio is PCM and in 5.1 it’s Dolby Digital for broadcast, and Dolby Digital and DTS for the home. You get your money’s worth.”
Frondelli, working with producer Bennett for the third time, noted that the Marianne Faithfull project truly fits his philosophy. “It should really be the Cracker Jack box; you should get the prize inside. You need to give people value-added extras and content for them to dig deeply into their pockets.”