What Happened to Building a New Audio Mix Room?

By John Lux

[fusion_dropcap class="fusion-content-tb-dropcap"]O[/fusion_dropcap]ver the last year we have been asked a number of times what happened to the audio mix room we were building. It’s actually an interesting story. Two years ago when we announced that we were moving from our previous location, one of the main reasons we chose the building we are now in is that it gave us the ability to build a state-of-the-art post production audio mixing room. A room that would allow us to continue to do the same audio work we had done for years. We hired an acoustical designer to take what we liked about our old room, incorporate things we didn’t have, as well as make the new room an up to the minute critical listening space. The process started before we moved, our designer studied our old space and took measurements, both physical and audible, of every detail. Then he spent time at our new home, first determining if we could even do what we wanted to do. Once it was determined that we could have what we wanted, the challenge was to figure out how we would accomplish it. We had a couple “must haves” as did our designer. He finalized the designs in about June, 2009. Since this was such a detailed and specific type of build, it took 2 months to get final quotes from a number of general contractors. We chose one and construction began in September, 2009.

After about a month into construction, we began exploring the options for financing for the required equipment to operate the room. We talked to a number of companies and after a few months we realized that financing equipment was not like it was a few years ago. If the equipment didn’t fit exactly what the lender wanted and the company’s financials didn’t work out perfectly in their spreadsheets they were not lending. After 3 or 4 months of beating our collective heads against a brick wall, we took a very difficult, but necessary, step. We decided to put the project on hold until the lending market improved. At the same time, it was evident that there was only so much time in a day and we needed to focus our attention on our current clients and projects instead of trying to push water up hill (without a bucket) with lending companies. On December 10, 2009 we officially put the project on hiatus.

At no time during the last year did we waver in our plan to complete the room and get back to providing extraordinary post production audio for any number of markets. Audio has and always will be a mainstay within our organization. Whether it’s audio mixing for a made-for-TV movie, an audioscape for a museum, an experience for a corporate event, ADR for a feature film, or even just recording traditional voice overs, we have always had the intention of getting the room completed and providing the >great audio services we have in the past.

Over the past few months, as the economy has started to improve, financing companies are starting to loosen up. We have been fortunate enough to find a lender that was willing to understand the project and what we’re trying to accomplish instead of just punching numbers into a spreadsheet. We have already closed on most of the necessary financing and are in the final stages for the remainder required to outfit the room. The general contractor is scheduled to start back up the beginning of January and the plan is to have the room completed by the end of March.

Of course, the last year has been excruciating for all of us. We have continued to do most of the audio we have done in the past in our current smaller audio mix room, but our ability to take audio to the next level has suffered. Nobody will argue with what we have done over the last year – but to be who we are, and do the variety of work at the level we require, we need the new room. Having the past year to regroup has allowed us to focus on getting our insert stage up and running for both still and video shoots. It’s not perfect but it’s a nice space that has allowed us to shoot a season of Adventure to Fitness as well as use the room for a number of shoot days with outside clients. But most of all the past year has allowed us to examine what we will have in the room and get a year later into the production of certain software and hardware products. Give or take some time for final calibrations from our acoustical designer, starting in April we’re back on the map for every piece of post production audio that we are experts in doing. For a small sample of that click below and to catch back up with photos and behind the scenes webisodes about the build, visit our new home website. We look forward to reintroducing ourselves to past clients as well as meeting new ones. Regardless of who you are, once you see and hear the new room, you will realize why we were so adamant about building it.

December 10, 2010|Archive|

About the Author: John Lux

As COO of IDEAS, John manages the day-to-day operations of the company. He is a category expert in studio production and is responsible for bringing advanced digital media technology to IDEAS.

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