Soho, LONDON. July 2017: Following Halo’s recent Dolby Atmos installation in their flagship Studio 1 film mixing stage, they have now completed a major upgrade to their DFC mixing console to v11 DFC3D with DAWSYNC plugin, aligning their facilities with those of the major US mix stages, and helping to bring Dolby Atmos mixing to a wider client base.
The DFC series has long been the standard among the world’s premier motion picture facilities, including Warner Bros, 20th Century Fox and Skywalker, and the DFC3D ensures Halo stay at the cutting edge of content creation in emerging 3D surround formats.
A 24 fader Avid S6 M40 mixing console has also been integrated into the existing DFC surface, providing access for DAW control for a hybrid mixing experience.
“We seized the opportunity to do the Atmos installation at relatively short notice, so didn’t have much time to think about anything other than the main build at the time!” recalls Richard Addis, Halo’s Head of Audio Operations. “Since the studio relaunch, we’ve turned our sights to the one major aspect which wasn’t addressed as part of the main build, namely the mixing console.”
“The DFC continues to be the gold standard in film mixing” he continues, “and AMS Neve’s ongoing commitment to developing for and streamlining the Dolby Atmos mixing experience is fantastic. That said, with Pro Tools 12.8’s Atmos integration, there are other options out there, which means Atmos is now highly accessible to projects of all sizes and budgets, and not just for Film. We needed a solution to cater for all, and with the S6 integration, we now have that.”
David Turner is Head of Film at Halo, he stated, “A great many films want to either mix entirely ‘in-the-box’, or work in a hybrid fashion, whereby certain elements are mixed using the much beloved DFC.”
“We have upcoming projects with the FX being mixed entirely in the box, and Dialogues and Music on the DFC. This has been the case for a number of years, but now with S6 integration we have a solution that is both progressive and ergonomic. With Dolby Atmos deliverables also beginning to appear on delivery specs for providers such as Netflix, investing in upgrades that streamline the Dolby Atmos production workflow are of clear benefit to us across the business as a whole, not just for film.”
“The DFC continues to be the gold standard in film mixing”
Dolby Atmos mixing has been possible on the DFC since the release of DFC V8 software; however, the additional features afforded by the DFC3D upgrade made the proposition extremely attractive.
AMS Neve’s Software Development Manager, Dave Critchley, elaborates on some of the enhancements: “DFC3D’s new meter bridge provides complete feedback of the session, from level and waveform and Routing displays, Plugin displays for EQ, Dynamics, De-Esser and Subharmonics, to the Spatial Panning Display and Dynamic Display of Dolby Atmos Object usage that are key to mixing in Dolby Atmos.”
“Having a long heritage of mixing with the DFC, upgrading Halo’s console to the latest platform made perfect sense,” adds Critchley. “This configuration mirrors the systems of the major US stages, and having the DFC3D with access to the S6 controls offers great versatility to the stage.”
With a growing number of systems all vying for control, Johnathan Rush required a way to quickly lock everything together, regardless of where a transport command is issued from.
“By combining the new AMS Neve DAWSYNC plugin with our existing SoundMaster Atom and Avid Satellite network, we have an elegant solution to instantly lock all Pro Tools systems, the DFC and the VCube together, no matter where you press ‘Play’,” states Rush.
“By having use of the DFC’s surround monitor and Pec/Direct module, we retain accurate Bus/Tape metering, which is a must when working with multiple playback and record rigs.”
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