DMOD Delivers "American Idol'' In Record Time

Sep 17, 2002 12:00 PM, Editors


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DMOD Inc., a provider of secure digital media workflow and distribution solutions for the media and communications industry, announced that RCA Records and eight business partners used the DMOD WorkSpace to reduce production time for the two singles from the TV show American Idol, will hits stores today. DMOD was also used to streamline production of the Top 10 finalist compilation CD, set for release October 1.

The DMOD WorkSpace allowed RCA and project team members dispersed across seven cities on two continents to securely share pristine, uncompressed audio files via Internet during mixing, mastering, manufacturing and radio distribution -- in nine days. This helped significantly reduce overall project costs by eliminating delivery and courier fees and reducing travel expenses.

"Quick and secure turnaround was pivotal in positioning us to convert American Idol's popularity into actual CD sales, and we couldn't have done it without DMOD," said Steve Ferrera, VP of A&R for RCA Records and producer of the American Idol music. "Moving from mixing to manufacturing in nine days is unprecedented. For RCA, this is the first example of a secure, end-to-end digital workflow because media was transferred digitally, not only during production, but to manufacturing, duplication and distribution to radio, as well."

"The American Idol project exemplifies DMOD's value in streamlining the entire production and distribution process in addition to the A&R review process," said Christa Haussler, VP of new technology for BMG. "The DMOD WorkSpace offers the potential to optimize our workflow and drive significant time and cost savings, while controlling access to our content."

How "American Idol" Team Used DMOD
RCA's American Idol production team had to wait along with the rest of the nation until 9:50 p.m. ET on September 4 to discover who would be voted the show's winner and signed to a recording contract. Over the course of Labor Day weekend, 15 tracks for the compilation CD were DMOD'ed from London to New York and to L.A., as they moved through the review and approval cycle.

From Saturday, August 31, through Wednesday, September 4, tracks of the two finalist singles were DMOD'ed from city to city repeatedly as various partners mixed, reviewed and delivered tracks to New York-based Sterling Sound for final mastering. In one instance, Sterling Sound was able to begin the mastering of one single just 15 minutes after the mix was completed in Miami.

On Thursday, September 5, at 10 a.m., Sterling Sound began final mastering on the winner's CD. By 2:00 p.m., the master was complete and the files were DMOD'ed to the Sonipress manufacturing plant. By close of business on Friday, two days after the winner was declared, 500,000 copies of winner's single were ready for distribution to retail outlets.

Collaborators who used DMOD to produce American Idol music included Nearly Perfect Productions, a recording facility in London, that mixed the compilation album; 19 Entertainment, co-producer of the American Idol TV program, based in London; Westlake Audio in Los Angeles that mixed finalist Justin Guarini's single; Destin Entertainment, a recording studio in Miami, that mixed winner Kelly Clarkson's single; Sterling Sound in New York City; Broadcast Data Systems (BDS), a digital fingerprinting and monitoring service in Kansas City, Mo.; DG Systems, a radio distribution firm in Dallas; and Sonipress, a CD-manufacturing facility in Weaverville, N.C., that produced the two singles.

For more information on DMOD, visit

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