After completing a major overhaul of its two largest dubbing stages, Wildfire Post-Production Studios in Los Angeles has become the first film and TV production facility in Southern California to offer Meyer Sound's cutting-edge EXP cinema loudspeakers in a large mixing environment.
The top-to-bottom refurbishing project—which also included new 288-channel Harrison MPC digital consoles for each stage—had stretched out across more than a year, primarily because steady bookings allowed little down time for rewiring and re-equipping. However, after everything was in place, regular clientele quickly noted the difference.
"We had mixed 'Rampart' [forthcoming release with Woody Harrelson and Sigourney Weaver] on our old system," notes Leslie Shatz, veteran film mixer and co-owner of Wildfire. "Then we came back later and remixed it on the new Meyer EXP system. The director, editor, post supervisor, and music supervisor were immediately aware of a quantum improvement in sound quality, all without being told we had made the change."
Both rooms are equipped with Acheron screen channel loudspeakers, HMS-10 cinema surround loudspeakers, and X-800 subwoofers. The Galileo loudspeaker management systems can be programmed to provide a 7.1, 5.1 or, if required, up to a 13.1 surround mixing environment.
According to Chris David, Wildfire's other co-owner and fellow mixing luminary, louder program material clearly reveals the qualitative difference. "I was very impressed by the ability of the Meyer systems to handle very loud program smoothly," he observes, "and by the clear articulation of the subwoofers. We mixed 'Immortals' on the system, a film with some serious action scenes in the last reel. I was struck by the clarity in the low frequencies and the total lack of high-frequency distortion even at very high levels."
The drastic improvement in clarity was also evident to Brian Slack, chief engineer. "When mixing dialog and music, you hear absolutely everything," he comments. "It's totally transparent. It's so much more realistic, yet it also translates well to other stages."
Another notable project mixed using the new Meyer Sound EXP monitoring systems was "Boss," a new cable TV miniseries starring Kelsey Grammer.
Wildfire Post-Production Studios provides a full range of services to the film and television production industry, including sound mixing, sound editorial, ADR and Foley, digital intermediates, digital effects, and transfers.