CALEDONIA, ONTARIO, CANADA—Jukasa Studios, a resort recording facility located on the Six Nations of the Grand River reserve in the province of Ontario, will shortly be opening the first Dolby Atmos room in Canada. The new film mix theater was designed by Martin Pilchner of Toronto-based Pilchner-Schoustal International Inc.
“We’ll also be the first people in Canada with the new Avid S6,” reports Alex Di Carlo, audio post engineer at Jukasa Media Group. “We’ll have two 32-channel S6s, the M40 model, fully loaded, so we’ll have 64 channels in total. We’re going to be running five Pro Tools machines, as well. We’ll have a master HDX2 rig that will be linked to four other HDX rigs, all on duo six-core [12 core] Mac Pros.” The DAWs will all be running Master Control and Satellite Link. JL Cooper and TiMax hardware will support panning control.
Situated on the largest First Nations reserve in Canada, approximately a one-hour drive from Toronto to the north and Buffalo, NY to the east, the Jukasa facility is a multimillion- dollar residential complex built in mid-2009 by Kenneth Hill, a prominent local businessman. Hill is also a founder of one of Canada’s most prominent charitable Aboriginal foundations.
The facility’s main control room, in the front half of the building, features an SSL 8072 G+ console that previously spent 12 years in Abbey Road’s Studio 3, and adjoins a 1,200-sq.-ft. tracking room with flexible acoustics. The studio is well-equipped with outboard gear and has an extensive selection of microphones. Past clients at Jukasa have included Snoop Dogg, Juno-winning Canadian hardcore band Alexisonfire, Deep Purple’s Ian Gillan and numerous others.
The original construction was designed and built by Toronto’s Rectech Rooms. Rectech’s Marco Resendes provided architectural and acoustic design while the company’s Chris Tedesco managed the build along with equipment consultation and installation. Jukasa was selected as one of the world’s best new facilities by MIX Magazine for its “Class of 2010.”
The two-story complex includes a pair of two-bedroom apartments on the upper story. “We have a par three chip-and-putt golf course in the back, too,” adds Di Carlo. “We’re kind of in the countryside, so clients can come here and relax. It’s got everything here to make it feel like home.”
Jukasa Media Group also offers intensive training on Avid Pro Tools and music production through its School of Recording Arts program. The classroom, formerly in the rear section of the building, has been relocated nearer the front in order to make way for the new mix theater. “The only thing we really had to build onto the building was a separate reception area,” he says.
In addition to the necessary Dolby Atmos Cinema Processor CP850, the new mix theater is also outfitted with a Dolby Screen Server DSS220 with Integrated Media Block (IMB), which support 2D and 3D playback at 2K and 4K resolution. A Doremi DCP2000 Digital Cinema playback server is also available. The servers feed content to a Christie Digital 3D active stereoscopic 4K DLP projection system.
Audio playback is handled via a Meyer Sound EXP cinema sound system that includes three Acheron model 80 screen (LCR) channel speakers, each with an accompanying X-800C subwoofer providing low-frequency extension (Atmos supports bass management). There are two more X-800Cs up front to handle LFE, and a pair at the back of the theater to extend the rear surrounds. A total of 36 HMS-10 speakers are arrayed across the ceiling and on the side and rear walls. The system is processed and controlled by a Meyer Sound Galileo speaker management system.
If the new Atmos room attracts enough business, says Di Carlo, “There’s a lot of potential for becoming a really cool and exciting post environment. Down the line, it would be nice to have the offices converted into edit suites. Also, the classroom is a fairly big size—it’s got 22-foot ceilings—so if we are getting enough business that we’re having scheduling conflicts, we could eventually turn our classroom into a smaller pre-dub theater for film or TV mixing.”
In accordance with Canada’s Indian Act, business conducted on a First Nation reserve is fully tax exempt. “There are actually no taxes; that’s a bonus for people who come here,” he confirms.
Di Carlo, who has a background that includes audio post work on several films and numerous TV ads, observes, “A lot of films are filmed in Canada, and a lot of stuff is post-produced in Canada, but I know a lot of features end up going back to California” for audio post. The new Atmos room, which combines the best of available technology, will hopefully attract some of that business, he says. “We want to show that Canada has something to offer for the international film industry, not just our own film industry.”
Jukasa Media Group