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Nugen Audio Helps Deliver Zydeco Breakfast

Documentary’s inconsistent sound was salvaged by Michael Stearns.

Santa Fe, NM (March 14, 2018)—Filmmaker Tom Uhl approached Michael Stearns to clean up the stereo soundtrack for his documentary, Zydeco Breakfast, a task the sound designer achieved using Nugen Audio’s Stereoizer for stereo enhancement and Stereoplacer for frequency specific panoramic placement.

The documentary features the sights and sounds of live zydeco music and dancing during brunch throughout various Louisiana restaurants. The footage presented challenges, says Stearns. “Many of the elements for the soundtrack, especially the live music recordings in sync with the pictures were in really bad shape. Much of the music was distorted, either from overload somewhere in the gain structure of the PA or the recording input.

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“The first task was to clean up the audio. When I started to tackle reconstruction of the audio, I researched what software might lend itself to the task and the Nugen Audio products stood out to me.”

Stearns used Stereoizer to create a stereo spatial field from the mono elements. Then, he was able to cycle through the Stereoizer’s extensive range of stereo enhancement presets, listening to how each affected the spatialization with the targeted audio file and adjusting the parameters accordingly to fine tune the audio to the exact mix needed.

“Stereoizer has come in handy for everything from creating proprietary sample libraries from the mono musical elements for my older film scores to stereoizing mono underwater hydrophone recordings that I’ve made,” says Stearns.

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Stearns took advantage of the Stereoplacer’s ability to adjust and move specific sonic bandwidths within a stereo field to address these outlying frequencies. “The Stereoplacer worked wonders,” says Stearns. “Being able to hone in on the specific frequency bands of individual instruments, and re-spatializing them within a stereo field, was just what was needed.

“I’ve used Stereoplacer on mixing/mastering projects for both local clients who weren’t happy with specific frequencies and spatial aspects within the sonic spectrum of their original mixes, and on some of my early archival material, originally recorded in stereo.”

Nugen Audio •