The growing trend towards High Definition programming, combined with client demand for commercials to be mixed in both stereo and Dolby Digital, has led Soho-based Factory Studios to expand its facilities to incorporate a new Dolby audio suite designed by acoustic consultants White Mark Ltd.
Established in 1997, Factory is an audio and visual production house that provides expertise in sound, production and design for both the advertising and music industries.
The company comprises two divisions: Factory Studios and Factory Production. Factory Studios is staffed by an award-winning team of engineers and producers who offer a full audio production service including sound design, audio post, music composition, mixing and mastering. Based in Margaret Street, the company has three Pro Tools HD studios, as well as the new Dolby suite.
Factory Production, which also operates from the same premises, offers a range of audio and visual services including voice casting, music composition and music searches, Final Cut Pro editing, 2D & 3D graphics, sleeve design, clearances and trafficking.
Ben Firth, Sound Engineer and Technical Support Manager, says: “Our new Dolby Suite has been constructed on the third Floor of our building, in a space that we created by moving and expanding our Production Suite to the fourth floor.
“We chose White Mark for this project on the basis of our ongoing relationship with the company, which extends over a number of years. White Mark was instrumental in designing our existing studios, which have proved to be a great success. When the idea of a Dolby room arose, we had no hesitation in calling upon David Bell, Derek Buckingham and the White Mark team to act on the brief we had set out. Their knowledge of designing world class studios is invaluable.”
The installation of a Dolby Suite licensed for commercials and trailers will not only help Factory Studios to attract new clients but it will also improve the services it can offer to its existing client base.
“There is undoubtedly increased demand from the industry for this type of facility,” Firth adds. “We have always been able to offer stereo mixing facilities for commercials but with more and more customers asking for Dolby Digital as standard, we recognised the need to meet that demand.”
The new suite is equipped with an Avid D-Control mixing console and also has a Focal Professional monitoring system, making it the first Dolby Approved studio in the UK to use this technology.
David Bell, managing director of White Mark, adds: “It is always rewarding when long term clients return to us when they are considering further expansion and this is our third project with Factory. The new studio includes all of our current thinking on bass frequency design and has turned out very well indeed. The space within the building has also allowed us to pull the client seating forward into a position where excellent surround monitoring is possible from all areas of the room.”
Factory’s new Dolby Suite is now on-line and is already handing projects for some of London’s leading Advertising agencies.
“We have specifically designed our room for optimum mixing in both Stereo and Dolby Digital, while having a Dolby Commercials and Trailers Licence allows us to mix and monitor all Dolby Digital Surround Formats,” Firth adds.
About White Mark:
Established in 1997 by David Bell, John Dunnill, Derek Buckingham and Alan Cundell, White Mark Ltd specialises in production facilities for music recording and the film and television industries. Over the last decade it has designed and supervised the construction of over 170 audio production suites worldwide. The company’s impressive client list encompasses some of the world’s most famous music recording facilities including Peter Gabriel’s Real World Studios in the UK, Hit Factory in New York (for which the company won a coveted TEC Award for Best Acoustic Design), Hit Factory/Criteria Recording Studios in Miami, Strongroom in London and private studios for producers and musicians such as William Orbit and Damon Albarn. In the area of audio post production, White Mark has completed over 100 studios for more than 40 companies in Soho alone. The list includes Grand Central, Hackenbacker, Envy, Scramble, Lipsync, Molinare, Ascent Media, Wave and Boom. This impressive achievement means that a significant proportion of mainstream British television output passes through rooms designed by White Mark.