Santa Monica, CA (November 20, 2008)–Margarita Mix recently provided audio post production services for a Honda commercial that features a road that plays the theme from the “William Tell Overture” when driven over at the right speed.
Santa Monica ad agency RPA had a series of grooves cut into the pavement of a quarter-mile stretch of highway near Lancaster, CA in such a way that a car traveling at the right speed produces several bars of Rossini’s famous melody. The road has since been paved over.
The commercial is presented in documentary format with a crew using calipers and road grading equipment to modify the road surface. Four people then get into a Honda Civic to test out the course and exchange high fives when the experiment works.
In preparing the final audio mix, Margarita Mix engineer Nathan Dubin worked with field recordings to recreate the ambience inside the car. His aim was to bring out the sound produced by the grooves while preserving its realism. Part of the challenge, said Dubin, was that the passengers in the car listened intently to hear the tune above the normal sounds of the road.
“They can hear it, but they have to listen,” he explained. “And we thought viewers should have to listen too. From a mix standpoint, we played around with the need to make the sound audible but only so much that you still have to listen intently to understand what is going on.”
Dubin mixed the spot in 5.1 on a Fairlight DREAM Constellation mixing console.
Margarita Mix is part of The LA Studios, the largest employee-owned audio post production company in the United States.