HHB assists Abbey Road Studios in creation of new Mix Stage
Wednesday 24th May 2017
Building on an extraordinary legacy of film score recording, legendary London studio complex Abbey Road Studios has built a complete, Dolby Atmos Premier Studio-certified sound post-production facility with equipment supplied by HHB. Part of the biggest transformation since the studios opened in 1931, the new Mix Stage features a hybrid Neve DFC 3D and Avid S6 console, 8 Pro Tools systems, 4K projection and 44 speakers, enabling clients to mix all elements including music, dubbing and special effects in a variety of formats including Atmos and IMAX.
“Ahead of the build, a lot of film post production people generously gave their time and expertise to describe their ideal post facility to us” explains Abbey Road Studios’ Head of Technical Services Simon Campbell. “Some favoured the DFC, others the S6, so the idea of a hybrid console took hold. HHB seemed the obvious people to talk to as we’ve known them for many years and always have the utmost faith in the advice they give us. They brought their team from Scrub on-board who, along with Frozen Fish who built the new console frame, helped us pull the plan into focus. HHB’s experience in this area proved invaluable and they were able to help us fill in the gaps. For instance, their experience with the NTP audio interfaces and IHSE KVM matrixes, which enable operators to share or take control of any Pro Tools screen, was an essential part of making the Stage truly flexible.”
Now open for business, the new Mix Stage makes Abbey Road the only studio complex in the capital to cover everything from the recording of the score through to the delivery of the final film mix, all in spacious, comfortable and client-focused surroundings that enable the composer, director and sound team to collaborate in the same space.
Also part of the huge building project at Abbey Road is the creation of two new studios: The Gatehouse, a tracking studio and live room, and The Front Room, comprising a live and control room and focused on smaller recording projects. Meanwhile, the Neve DFC console originally installed in The Penthouse and now serving as part of the hybrid console on the Mix Stage has been replaced by another Avid S6, also supplied by HHB along with DAD AX32 and Avid MADI interfaces for the incumbent Pro Tools rigs.
Commenting on behalf of HHB, Pro Audio Sales Manager Matthew Fletcher says, “What Abbey Road has achieved with the new Mix Stage is truly impressive, and we’re proud to have helped Simon and the team realise their original vision for this exceptional film sound mixing facility.”
A list of the equipment supplied by HHB for the Mix Stage includes a 40-fader Avid S6 in Frozen Fish buckets, 8 x Pro Tools HDX rigs with Apple Mac Pro computers in Sonnet chassis, 11 x Avid HD MADIs, a comprehensive library of plug-ins, 6 x NTP Penta 720 interfaces with MADI, AES and Dante cards, IHSE Draco KVM extender with matrix, 4 x Bricasti M7 reverb processors and a TC Film 6000 processor.
Pictured: Kobi Quist, Sound Mix Technician, and Jack Cheetham, Junior Mix Technician, at the hybrid Neve DFC / Avid S6 console on the Mix Stage at Abbey Road.