Storm Utilises HHB Communications to Upgrade Flagship Audio Suite


Storm, a full service post-production company based in Covent Garden, have upgraded their main audio suite to Dolby Atmos.  An agile outfit, Storm is known for their ability to offer end to end services that can quickly adapt to the needs of their clients’ projects no matter the size.  Prompted by the desire to upgrade from an Avid D-Control, Storm used the opportunity to upgrade their audio suite from 5.1 to 7.1.4 enabling them to expand their capabilities.  A long-time customer of HHB Communications, Storm reached out to Scrub, the post-production division of the company to support this important upgrade.

David Ingram, Head of Audio and Dubbing Mixer at Storm, worked closely with Greg Wheeler, Head of Scrub Sales, to ensure the room would have the latest audio technology, be ergonomic and most importantly, sound great.  To do this, one of the first steps was to visit the Scrub Experience Centre where David could audition the Avid S4 and S6 Consoles side by side.  After demonstrating the two consoles, David ultimately decided on a 16 fader S6.  The modularity of the S6 allowed for an ergonomic mix position, coupled with a beautiful AKA Designed desk, the room is now equipped with powerful audio tools in a comfortable fashion.

The suite is equipped with a combination of Neumann KH310s, KH120, and a KH820 Sub while relying on the Genelec 4435A speakers for the ceiling. Ceiling speakers can often present a challenge when upgrading from 5.1 to 7.1.4 as height prior to immersive audio was not often considered.  That coupled with Dolby’s specific height channel requirements can create a problem when finding the right monitors for a room. For Storm, who already had a great acoustically sounding room but lower ceilings, this meant their usual choice of a Neumann wouldn’t work comfortably with the size of the room.

“I really enjoy using the Neumann monitors, they translate well between the studios and my home setup.  I trust the sound quality and find that I can work long hours without any ear fatigue.  They sound natural and are great for dynamic mixing.  However, we learned quickly during the design stage (for the new studio), that due to size and shape they wouldn’t be an ideal fit for ceiling speakers,” explains David. “Thankfully, both Greg and JJ (CTO, at HHB Communications) suggested using Genelec alongside Neumann monitor system.  They assured me that they would integrate perfectly.  Now that the studio is complete, the room sounds great and having the Genelec speakers fitted flush to the celling makes it look aesthetically pleasing too.”

The team at Storm work on a wide variety of different types of projects from natural history documentaries to event cinema. With evolving delivery specifications and the broad-spectrum of work they do, upgrading to Dolby Atmos was an easy choice for the post-production company.  David is currently working on My Tiger Family made by Mike Birkhead Associates for BBC2, PBS Nature, and Pathé. For this production, he’ll get to put the system to use working in both 5.1 and 7.1.4.

“I appreciated how detail-oriented the Tech Support team at HHB were throughout the project.  It made the upgrade seamless,” says David. “The advice that Greg and JJ gave for the upgrade has already proven to be invaluable.  I’m enjoying working on my first Dolby Atmos project and I’m looking forward to many more in the future.”

“Working with David and the Storm team has been a great experience. It is always interesting to find solutions for our customers’ problems and even better when what we’ve specified works out exactly as planned.  We are excited to hear what comes next from them,” comments Greg Wheeler, Head of Scrub Sales.

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