A Day in the Life of a Scoring Stage

Apr 1, 2004 12:00 PM, By Maureen Droney

DMT Rentals Supplies Warner Bros. Orchestral Date


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Multiple formats, mountains of preamps and converters, miles of cable, a 96-input console and a 100-piece orchestra: These days, recording an orchestral score for a major motion picture often requires an infinitely complicated setup — and a very skilled crew. Mix visited the Clint Eastwood Stage on the Warner Bros. lot in Burbank, Calif., one morning to observe the day-long setup required to record the score by veteran composer Jerry Goldsmith for the animated feature Looney Tunes: Back in Action. Mixer Bruce Botnick headed up the session, with a team that included, from Warner Bros., Greg Dennen, recordist; Ryan Robinson and Peter Germanson, scoring technical support; Rich Wheeler and Barry Fawcett, floor operations; and Jamie Olvera, client services. Also on the stage were Pro Tools operators Thomas Graham and Bob Bayless, and the team from DMT rentals: Doug Botnick, Brad Cobb and Eric Cowden.

A Pro Tools rig, manned by “chief science officer” Nick Vidar, controlled playback of prerecorded tracks from Goldsmith's GigaStudio and various synthesizers. Re-cording for the session was to two DMT Pro Tools|HD systems. Both Goldsmith and Botnick prefer to get their mixes live: The first Pro Tools rig recorded the 11 channels of live film mixes at 48 kHz/24-bit using dB Technologies converters. The second DMT Super Pro Tools for the main multitrack format was configured to record Botnick's Neumann M 150 overall mics on its first eight tracks at 192 kHz/24-bit, with the rest of the tracks recording at 96 kHz/24-bit. Tracks 1 through 8 used outboard Pacific Microsonics AD/DA converters, and tracks 9 through 48 used Genex GXA8 A/D and dB Technologies DA824 D/A converters. Recording as safety backups were a Genex 8500 MO deck in PCM mode to capture the 5.1 mix, plus a 48-channel iZ Technology RADAR system. Additionally, the session was recorded in 1-bit DSD mode for a stereo SACD that is for an album version of the soundtrack through a pair of EMM Labs Meitner Design DAC8 converters to Botnick's DSD 8500, which also recorded for full surround and 44.1 CD formats.

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