Sharpe Sound Studios is one of the busiest audio post facilities in western Canada’s thriving movie-making community, and is also one of the biggest. The sprawling Sharpe Sound Studios and Sharpe Sound Television complex is home to three dubbing and mixing stages, two ADR and Foley studios, full mastering facilities and more than two dozen Pro Tools|HD®-equipped 5.1 editing suites, all bustling with activity.
Sharpe Sound recently completed a full digital upgrade in two of their busiest studios—replacing two analog mixers with Digidesign® ICON integrated consoles. Their flagship dubbing stage, Studio A, now features a 64-fader, three-operator ICON console, while an identical D-Control™ now sits front and center in studio Studio C, Sharpe Sound’s main mixing stage for television, feature film, and ADR work. Both rooms are equipped with full Pro Tools|HD systems, making full use of the ICON’s in-depth worksurface integration with Pro Tools®.
Boasting an exceptionally prolific output, Sharpe Sound recently completed 5.1 surround mixes of Stargate Atlantis for MGM, 4400 for USA Network, and the new animated Edgar and Ellen series for Nickelodeon. Recent feature film projects include Over My Dead Body for Gold Circle Films, Trick or Treat for Warner Brothers, and post-production mixes for Slither, White Noise II, Vice, Seed and Butterfly Effect II.
“Everyone knows a film or TV production goes through countless changes from cut to cut,” observes Iain Pattison, one of Sharpe Sound’s senior recording mixers. “Projects can frequently move from room to room during post-production, and we were looking for a way to streamline that workflow. The ICON’s ability to easily save and recall every aspect of a project means we can start in Pro Tools and stay in Pro Tools throughout the process. We can quickly return to any project, or portion of a project, and easily pick up exactly where we left off.”
“We do everything in Pro Tools,” adds Senior Recording Mixer Kelly Cole. “and using the ICON has allowed us to take that to a deeper level. The ability to recall the entire project, particularly automation settings, without the need to run a third-party automation system is a tremendous asset. Rather than needing multiple systems to do a job, now we can manage everything in one intuitive workflow.”
The ICON system’s integration with Digidesign’s extensive library of Pro Tools plug-ins was also a factor in Sharpe Sound’s decision to base the studio’s two main stages around the ICON systems. “We’ve made a strong shift in the past couple of years toward software plug-ins, steering away from outboard gear all together,” says Cole. “In addition to their exception sound quality, working with plug-ins gives us the ability to automate every aspect of a session, save it and move it from one studio to another—all without having to worry about gear compatibility issues.”
Senior Recording Mixer Bill Mellow adds that the studio uses Digidesign’s ReVibe™ room modeling plug-in extensively, as well as the EQ III and Dynamics III plug-ins. Also popular is the Sonic Solutions’ NoNOISE noise reduction and audio restoration plug-in.
“Another important benefit of using the ICON is data management,” observes Qiu Chun, Sharpe Sound’s chief technical officer. “Using the ICON D-Control, we’re able to save an entire project in one master file. That’s a tremendous asset for us in terms of efficient data management and archiving.”
“By keeping the entire project in one Pro Tools folder, you can load a session and feel confident [that] you’re playing back exactly what you’ve already done. We gain a lot of time in that we no longer have to move stuff in or out of Pro Tools to another platform. Being able to completely recall settings eliminates time and guesswork.”
Visit Sharpe Sound online at www.sharpesound.com.