Los Angeles, CA (August 6, 2020)—Re-recording mixer Michael Phillips Keeley, CAS, tackled the mix for Discovery Network’s Journey to the Future documentary, which focused on the behind-the-scenes lead-up to America’s historic SpaceX Falcon 9 launch.
“Even though the documentary aired in stereo, I mixed the entire project immersively in Atmos, so Nugen Audio’s Halo Upmix and Downmix were both essential,” says Keeley, who worked on the project at his home-based Sound Striker Post mix stage. “I used Halo Upmix to turn the stereo tracks into Atmos-caliber audio and later used Downmix for the final deliverables. I feel that I get better mixes with that workflow – mixing it immersively and then downmixing it to stereo.”
Keeley also incorporated the Nugen LM-Correct plug-in into his workflow. “I love LM-Correct; it has really saved me on a couple projects,” he says. “The analyze function enables me to see if something is out of spec, allowing me to quickly process the fix. Having this function in a digital interface has been a huge help. When loudness control was first being implemented, we used hardware and physically watched the levels go up or down. With the LM-Correct Analyze feature, it’s so much easier to see even the smallest areas that need finessing. I never have to worry about the project getting kicked back from a station’s Quality Control due to levels being out of spec.”
In addition to the documentary portion, Keeley also sound designed and mixed the behind-the-scenes packages that aired throughout the live broadcasts. “We were given all the production elements one week before the initial launch date,” he adds. “Having worked on live, episodic and reality TV projects for 20 years, I’m used to being one of the last in the signal chain and working within very tight turnaround schedules. As with every television production, Nugen’s plug-ins afford me the ability to produce high-quality projects in short time spans, which has proven invaluable.”
With Florida’s unpredictable weather causing a last-minute postponement of the SpaceX Falcon 9 launch, Journey to the Future aired more frequently than originally planned. “The delay turned out to be a great promotion for the event,” says Keeley. “With the new date set for a Saturday, and everyone home under social distancing orders, the launch ended up being Discovery’s highest-rated daytime broadcast, ever.”
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