Ventura, CA (April 5, 2004)–A brand new 6.1-capable mix room is now hard at work in Burbank, providing Dolby E mixing for the popular television show, 24. Long-time Hollywood post production engineer Bruce Black and studio designer Lawrence P. Swist recently completed this post production mix room for Academy Award-winning sound editorial house SoundStorm. The teaming of Black and Swist provided a turnkey installation, where Swist designed the room, its acoustics and interior, and Black designed the technical systems and infrastructure, and supervised the construction and integration.
The mix room is designed around a Euphonix System 5 console, which provides the flexibility to handle all of SoundStorm’s television, feature film, and game mixing requirements. Two Digidesign Pro Tools HD systems handle the audio, and processors include equipment from Lexicon, Cedar, Dolby, dbx, and more. JBL and Crown speakers and amplifiers were added, and Stewart provided a perforated screen for true theatrical performance.
Keeping an eye toward the future, Black insisted on wiring the room to accommodate 96 kHz 24 bit digital audio. “Things are changing rapidly,” said Black. “You have to anticipate the trends. Designers of technical systems and rooms must create new facilities that remain useful for many years, so the owners get the fullest possible return on their investment. This requires very forward thinking and a very creative approach on the part of the designers.”
Unlike nearly every other mix room in post production, Swist and Black’s is unique–it is a freestanding metal structure prefabricated by IAC in New York, shipped to California, and assembled in an open space at SoundStorm’s facility. The panels of the structure feature the same amount of sound isolation as 12 inches of concrete blocks on the ceiling and floor, as well as the walls. Additionally, a unique system of rails and isolation disks under the enclosure floats the facility so that no structure-borne sound can enter or leave it, providing sound isolation that exceeds any other facility using convention construction. And to cap it off, the rooms are seismically approved for use in earthquake-prone California.
But these prefabricated studios can impress clients and handle the work just as well as conventional construction. According to Swist, “The best part is that you would never know the mix room is a floating, prefabricated enclosure just by looking at it or working in it. It has all the performance, amenities and looks of a conventional room, yet it is a faster, easier, cleaner installation. And there is one more incredible advantage for studio owners–the room can be disassembled and moved to a new location! You certainly will never be able to do that with conventional construction. Facility owners can no longer be held captive by their landlords–they can take their room with them if they need to relocate! This represents enormous savings and options.”
“Each enclosure is custom-designed to fit the space available and provide the exact acoustical performance that will be required of it,” continued Swist. “Prefabricated‚ doesn’t mean it’s a cookie cutter design that facility owners have to crowbar their intended use into, with substandard acoustical performance. We’ve just completed the design for an ADR stage that will be going into a facility with very a constrained space and a low ceiling, and yet will give the performance of a stage many times its size. The flexibility of the IAC structures allow us to create an acoustical space that can even replicate the non-reverberant environment of the great outdoors!”