Deluxe Media Paris —an affiliate of the American service provider for the movie and TV industry— opened its doors last year to meet the need for the adaptation and dubbing of foreign series and films into French and other languages.
Deluxe Paris dedicates half of its resources to the dubbing of feature films for the movie industry, and the other half to TV dramas and high-end documentaries. Deluxe’s clients include American and French distributors like Fox, Gaumont, Mars Film, BAC film, Paramount, Pathé, etc. , as well as TV channels TF1, Netflix, CBS, Warner etc.
With a surface of 1,700 m² spread over 3 floors, located near the Saint-Cloud quays and overlooking the Seine River, Deluxe offers two 7.1 mixing theaters, four audio post studios and a few digital labs, for the dubbing and mixing of cinema and multi-screen television projects. All studios are equipped with Avid Pro Tools HDX or Pro Tools HD Native, and the latest control surface —32-fader Avid S6 M40— is located at the heart of the large movie theater, known as “Theatre #6″.
Avid recently met Fred Taieb, Director of the Audio department at Deluxe Media Paris, a leading figure in the dubbing world, credited with over 500 movies, including Star Wars, Transformers and Fight Club.
“I’m not a CEO — I’m a team leader,” Fred likes to say. He spent over 10 years in the USA, and is well aware how vital it is that the team gets on in order for a movie to succeed. At Deluxe Paris, Fred relies on his Technical Director, Samuel Domingues, “a highly valued person”, and on five permanent members of staff. In addition, a large number of talented composers and artistic directors, as well as around 20 editors and sound engineers, regularly take part to Deluxe Media Paris’s dubbing projects.
Six comfy studios for all
With 25 years’ experience in various roles including supervisor/mixer, audio designer and CEO, Fred puts a particular emphasis on the acoustics, working comfort and technical environment.
“Our aim at Deluxe Media Paris is simply to offer the best possible service while making the technical aspect transparent, so that people can devote all their time to creation,” says Fred. “The well-being of comedians, artistic directors and sound engineers —who sometimes spend 10 hours a day in a theater— is also high among our top priorities.”
“Opting for the S6 with Pro Tools HDX was probably the best choice we made for our work and our clients.”
Avid S6 control surface and Pro Tools—a perfect match
The first American feature film dubbed into French in Saint-Cloud was Spongebob, for Paramount. The French version was mixed in Theater #6 with the Avid S6 control surface driving the Avid Pro Tools HDX DAW.
“Opting for the S6 with Pro Tools HDX was probably the best choice we made for our work and our clients,” Fred explains. “Used alongside Pro Tools HDX, the S6 provides a whole lot of technology for a very reasonable price. It combines the practical aspects of a next-generation physical and tactile control surface with the proven features of Pro Tools HD software.”
He goes on to mention the ability to visualize tracks as waveforms to mix directly on the control surface, with the advantage of bypassing the Pro Tools screen in order to focus on the sound. He also highlights the surface’s improved touch and feel compared to the previous generation, with its clear color codes and central touch commands.
“We had suggested some improvements to make to the previous generation of Avid technologies, and their team has fully met our needs with this new version,” he says.
Automation and time-saving
With the Avid S6 control surface, the possibility to read and write the mixing data at any time on the Pro Tools session considerably improves the workflow. It also gives great consistency to the dubbing work, from one language to another. These session files include the full array of a movie’s soundtrack settings, from editing to automation, but also all the processing and effects plug-ins picked by the Deluxe studios to fully optimize the workflow. The sessions can therefore be exchanged and opened in a few seconds by Deluxe affiliates around the world.
Having supervised the mixing of countless movies in multiple versions all over the world, he’s an expert in the field. “With the S6 control surface, the time-saving factor is obvious for films and TV series dubbing,” Fred explains. “Since reverbs and pans already exist in the original version, the work consists of going back to the original and focusing on the tone of voice and specifics of each language. For instance, we may need between six and seven hours for the French mix of a 50-minute American TV series episode. By going back to that session and its automation data, we cut the time in half for the adaptation into another language. It changes everything! On top of that, when you go from one session to another, the soundscape stays the same and the consistency with the original work is maintained.”
Building up on the previous versions, and improved by new client-oriented features, the Avid S6 control surface offers a very modern approach to mixing, with a greater focus on the creative and instinctive sides of the work rather than on the technical side. Avid S6 + Pro Tools? “Probably the best possible match for mixing,” Fred states.
The Deluxe studios were set up by the company 44.1.