As part of their recent rebrand, Halo Post wanted to add a versatile new sound studio that would be equally at home handling TV and film projects. After demoing different systems at Jigsaw24's Golden Square facility, Halo and Jigsaw worked together to put together a Pro Tools S6-based system with DAD monitoring control and support for 7.1 film mixing.
Halo Post are one of the most respected post facilities in the business, and the winners of the 2016 Broadcast Awards Best Post Facility accolade. Their credits include The Danish Girl, Great Barrier Reef and The Missing.
What Did They Need?
A new audio studio that would be equally capable of handling film and TV projects, and would fit in with their existing Avid workflow.
Finding Flexible Tools For The New Build
The Studio 5 build, along with our recent rebrand, provided Halo Post with a fantastic opportunity to stamp their mark on something new. They believed that the Avid S6 was the obvious choice to complement that concept. Richard Addis, Halo’s Head of Audio Operations takes up the story...
Jigsaw24 were very helpful with reviewing my designs and offering suggestions throughout the process, liaising with manufacturers to clarify specifications and suggest the best configurations that would work for us. I think we went through three or four revisions before the final design was nailed down, and Ian at Jigsaw24 spent a lot of time talking us through the detail of the S6 at their Golden Square demo room. They’d previously put me on to both the DAD AX32 and the CB Electronics TMC-1 as part of a demo event at Jigsaw24 in Soho, and having all these products in their demo room meant that I was able to test drive the same configuration in an impartial environment before committing.
Deciding On The Core Kit
As an Avid-based facility, Halo were keen on using Avid’s latest S6 control surface. The S6’s modular design meant that we could arrange our S6 to best fit in with Halo’s workflows and the increased visual feedback that the console gives the mixer compared to the ICON desks is phenomenal – it drastically improves the mixing experience and means spending far more time over the faders, which is great for both productivity and neckache! We investigated numerous options for monitoring control with the S6, and in all honesty, nothing came close to the functionality and scalability of the AX32/TMC-1 combination. The modular nature of the AX32 meant that it was a no-brainer in terms of expanding our I/O capabilities very quickly, and the TMC-1’s flexibility, coupled with its elegant S6 module option, tops the system off very nicely indeed.
Finding A 7.1 Surround-capable Monitoring System
Alongside the S6 and its attendant convertors, we upgraded the studio’s monitoring system to a customised Munro Acoustics Dynaudio 7.1 system, with Dynaudio C3As as the screen channels, and six MF15c surrounds driven by Dynaudio custom T1000 and T4-250 amplifiers. An XTA 448 handles crossovers and EQ for screen channels and LFE, and an XTA 446 is used for surround speaker ganging and EQs. Additionally we have a pair of active Avantone MixCubes and a flat panel TV as reference speakers, and also have the ability to quickly rig near-field surround monitoring up to 7.1 through dedicated tie-lines and patching to the studio.
Reaping The benefits Of A More Flexible Studio
Studio 5 has proved popular with the Halo audio team. The customisation on the S6 is fantastic; everyone here has their own defaults, which work with our in-house template sessions. The touchscreen Master Module is a big hit – especially the touch panner – and having stereo and mono fold-downs accessible via a single button press on the TMC-1 without having to set up and output manual fold-downs in your session is great. Having such a versatile space has also made scheduling at Halo easier overall. It allows us to be much more flexible, and the adjacent sound editing suite gives us the ability to have sound editorial literally metres away, which is a boon on longer running projects where editorial continues well into the mixing period.