Based in the post heartland of London’s Soho, LIPSYNC has been providing a complete range of post-production services to the film and television industries for a quarter of a century. Working closely with the client is one of its defining maxims, and it’s a focus that has resulted in a lengthy roll-call of high-profile credits, with ITV’s Black Work, the BBC’s Emmy-nominated Wolf Hall and Mike Leigh’s acclaimed movie Mr. Turner among recent projects.
Senior re-recording mixer Rob Hughes has been an integral part of the LIPSYNC team for many years, working on TV and film productions to equal acclaim. He is also a long-term Pro Tools aficionado, having used the system for 12 years. LIPSYNC Post recently upgraded its audio control configuration in Studio 6 to include a Pro Tools | S6 control surface. It was this development that provided a starting point for a conversation with Hughes that also touched upon the changing landscape for audio post, and the contribution that Avid technology has made to optimising LIPSYNC’s workflows.
Speed and efficiency
“The Pro Tools | S6 has received a lot of acclaim since its launch, and that certainly helped to pique our interest when it came time to update Studio 6. But what convinced us that S6 was the way to go was the fact that it provided an integrated control surface that would allow us to work quickly and efficiently as a complete mix solution – as well as prepare work for feeding into our main theatres.
The intuitive nature of the S6 was another big selling point. We often have multiple projects going on in the same week, so the speedier the workflow the better. In particular, it has come into its own when we are re-cutting and re-versioning projects, allowing us to offer an improved timescale to clients.
The S6 feels very immediate, and the ability to work on a ‘proper’ console before bringing a mix onto a larger dubbing stage is a godsend. We are also very keen on the modularity and ergonomic design of this control surface – not only does it look great, it also allows us to tailor the studio and mixing environment to the needs of the room and operator.”
“One of the most important aspects in which the S6 enhances our workflows is in delivering multiple versions of the same shows. These are becoming the norm as programmes are sold into an increasingly large number of territories, requiring a wide variety of delivery specs and surround formats to be accommodated.
Fortunately, using an integrated surface like the S6 has meant that even the most demanding deliverable schedules can be met. As hoped, the S6 has brought us the ‘all-in-one’-type solution that can facilitate audio post on a large or small scale in all types of environments, yielding efficient workflows from beginning to end.”
“We now have a solution that is more than ready to accommodate the fast-turnaround nature of today’s TV and film production industries.”
—Rob Hughes, senior re-recording mixer
“In conjunction with Pro Tools | HDX, we now have a solution that is more than ready to accommodate the fast-turnaround nature of today’s TV and film production industries. It also underlines the extent to which DAWs have evolved over the last ten years. The flexibility and capability of the S6 control surface, along with the quality of HDX channel summing and AAX plug-ins means that we are able to take on the most challenging of commitments.
Of course, the final proof is in the work itself, and in recent months we have undertaken a number of projects with the S6/HDX combo. These include several episodes of Company Pictures drama The Village, and all of Red Planet Pictures’ The Passing Bells – both of which were broadcast by the BBC.
The Passing Bells, in particular, involved a rapid turnaround and a highly intricate sound mix. The S6 and Pro Tools | HDX proved to be fantastic tools for dealing with a high track count, combined with the implementation of Mix Layouts and VCAs for a mix that was both fast and efficient. We look forward to using this combination on many other projects in the future.”