IN THE MIX
LONG ESTABLISHED OFFLINE FACILITY FINAL CUT
HAS CREATED A STUNNING NEW DOLBY CERTIFIED SOUND STUDIO WITH THE TECHNICAL SUPPORT OF AVID ELITE RESELLER DIGITAL GARAGE.
Walking into the newest suite at Final Cut, something looks amiss. It’s not the large glass window, but what lies beyond that comes as a real surprise. A professional audio booth equipped with monitors, soundproofing and mics. Final Cut, the editorial company best known for cutting some of the world’s most recognised advertisements and features, is getting into the audio game.
THE AUDIO GAME
Sitting down with Final Cut founder, Rick Russell, he explains Final Cut’s evolution: “Every five years or so we set out to do something new. In 1995, we established premises on Great Marlborough Street. Five years later, we opened our New York offices and five years after that, we set up in LA. Added to that, we recently we moved to Margaret Street. Now we are entering the world of audio post.”
Heading the new audio department is Patrick “Patch” Rowland, former Senior Engineer at Angell Sound. In his teenage years, after a brief spell in demo and rehearsal studios in his native Newcastle, Rowland made the decision to move to London, where he gained his first taste of audio post production. Like so many, he moved up the ranks, while being mentored by some of the greats of the audio industry. During his residence at Angell Sound, the company was honoured with the ‘Conch UK Screen Award 2009 – Commercial Facility of the Year’. Furthermore, Rowland’s work has been recognised at the Cannes Lions and BAFTA.
It’s hard to pin Rowland to a specialty. Spending time with him, one soon realises the role of an audio engineer is one of the most multi faceted. He mixes, edits, records, sound designs and composes for a wide range of clients, including Leo Burnett, Sapient Nitro, WCRS, Big Balls Films, Stink Digital and even Brit Award winner Ben Howard. So why get into finishing now? Final Cut’s Managing Director David Webb says: “We had always shied away from expanding our offering into finishing, as we never want to be perceived as a jack-of-all-trades. However, we believe editing and sound design are inextricably linked. And so we have worked hard to ensure we can provide both at the highest level.”
As traditional audio-facility business models are struggling to cope with the quick evolution of the digital era, the integrated approach Final Cut is offering leads to a much stronger sense of collaboration. With its new sound studio, Final Cut’s editors can collaborate on the audio element of a project from day one of rushes. Final Cut called upon Digital Garage to help facilitate the studio build. It was a natural fit, as Digital Garage had already been supplying and supporting Final Cut’s Avid-based offline post production provision. Digital Garage’s Matt Seymour says: “We’ve been working with Final Cut for a number of years. When approached to provide a flexible, high quality audio dubbing facility, it seemed only natural to turn to Avid and their new modular S6 control surface.”
THE ONLY WAY IS S6
The combination of Pro Tools | HDX and the new S6 puts Final Cut squarely at the top of audio mixing facilities. Designed to be an extension of Final Cut’s editing facility, the audio suite offers a fully integrated recording, editing, mixing, 7.1 surround sound monitoring and video playback solution. ISDN and IP connections also enable worldwide audio communication and recording. Touring the studio, the result is obvious – it’s an agile, high-end recording and mixing environment which fully complements and enhances Final Cut’s services. Webb concludes by saying: “The foundations for world-class audio are often laid down in the edit suite. Having Patch on site means we can build on those foundations and ensure creative continuity throughout the post production process. From a voice-over record to a final cinema mix we can now achieve it all without leaving the building. We are excited with the prospects that lay in store.”
As seen in Televisual’s May issue