Margarita Mix of Santa Monica, a FotoKem company specializing in audio post services for commercials and advertising media, has installed a fourth Fairlight EVO integrated audio production system for their award-winning team of sound designers, mixers and composers. With the upgrade, the facilitys accomplished sound mixers Paul Hurtubise, Jimmy Hite, Nathan Dubin and Jeff Levy are now working on identical audio post platforms in their HD mixing suites.
The facility was already working extensively on Fairlight, and after careful evaluation and testing, I made the transition, says Hurtubise, who joined Margarita Mix in late 2012 with over 20 years of experience in commercial audio post.
Having used a number of platforms over the course of his career, Hurtubise notes, I simply think Fairlight sounds better. Its less fatiguing on the ears, and I seem to hear things more clearly and definitively.
The EVO workstation is also very ergonomic and easy to operate, he adds. I feel like Im on a system thats been developed for humans to work on. EVOs jogger fits my hand, and its keyboard fits my fingers. Im running sessions more efficiently because Im not as focused on all the clicking.
Hurtubise also points out that the graphic displays are less fatiguing. Its much easier for me to be on the Fairlight all day. I noticed immediately that I wasnt as physically tired at the end of the day. The displays are comfortable to work on, too.
According to the talented mixing team at Margarita Mix, there are plenty of features to like about the system. They like that the picture has a home in the system, versus floating around the screen. The pictures right there when I want itI love the Pyxis, Hurtubise says of the dual-channel HD video recorder that is integrated into EVO as standard. I also like the streaming Pyxis video frames along the bottom of the timeline display, and being able to see the picture frames before and after the playhead. This way, I can see how many frames I have until my next edit.
When the mixers need to face the voiceover booth with a script in front of them rather than face the EVO surface, theyve created a macro that puts Record on different sides of the controller so that its ergonomically easier for them. Fairlights one-button record function also helps in VO sessions when the talent starts to speak. We dont want to interrupt them; if we press our Record macro button, the disk recorder immediately stops one take and goes right into another one in the span of a 1/10th of a second, Hurtubise explains.
Custom fader sets are another admired attribute of the system. Ive never been on a system where I can so easily lay out faders to my liking, says Hurtubise. Sometimes Im knee deep into a session and I really wish I had my beeps next to my mic, right next to my music stem, right next to my sound effects stem, next to the dialog stem next to my headphone sendthen I can mute and level them very easily. I can create that quickly with Fairlight.
There are several features on the Fairlight that the Margarita Mix team hasnt had available on previous DAWs. For example, I like the way Fairlight solos tracks: I can solo a set of tracks, un-solo them by holding control and pressing one button, and then re-solo that same set by pressing one button, Hurtubise reports. I like being able to memorize zooms. Say I have 128 tracks with 70 music stems and 40 sound effects stems. I can zoom to the music tracks and store it in U1; I can go to the sound effects tracks and store that in U2. If I hear something in the music I just press U1, and instantly Im looking at the music stems. It is super easy.
All four Fairlight operators at Margarita Mix use similar console control templates for uniformity. Nathan Dubin has been at Margarita Mix for over a decade recording VO, mixing for television, ADR recording for film and commercial mixing for TV and radio that has earned several industry accolades. Working with clients such as Nissan, Activision, Disney, AT&T, Kaiser Permanente, and UPS, Jimmy Hite has over 30 years of experience in sound mixing for the commercial and advertising industries, and has won numerous awards throughout his career. Paul Hurtubise focuses on commercial mixing as well as ADR and commentary recording. His recent credits include spots for Google, eHarmony, Old Navy, Hyundai, and Toyota, among others. Jeff Levy has been part of the team for 20-plus years, also earning multiple awards for mixing and sound design.