Fairlight’s award-winning Crystal Core technology (CC-1) is gaining significant momentum in the US where broadcast and post production companies have recognized its ability to improve workflow and reduce energy costs and carbon footprints.
Incorporated into Fairlight’s key products such as Constellation, Xynergi and Anthem CC-1 has placed the company at the forefront of ‘green’ computing initiatives by providing an alternative processing platform that delivers increased performance with dramatically lower power consumption. In a world where energy price rises and climate change are major concerns for every responsible business, this technology is proving enormously popular because it performs digital audio and video processing hundreds of times more efficiently than state-of-the-art CPUs or digital signal processors.
In recent months a number of key Fairlight customers have upgraded their facilities to incorporate CC-1, citing speed, improved workflow and reliability as the main reasons for their decision to upgrade.
Westlake Village Studios in California is one of these. Opened in 2007 as an HD 1080i production, post production, play out and transmission facility, Westlake has recently transitioned to the CC-1 Dream II platform for its Constellation. They have also upgraded their entire network storage capabilities to utilise the workflow advantages afforded by the CC-1.
Mike Farina, Westlake’s director of engineering, says “We already had a CC-1 Dream Satellite in our studio production audio control room to support multi-track audio recording on our stage. The Crystal Core upgrade in our audio post/sweetening room has improved existing workflow by providing compatibility with that file structure and with our existing audio network.”
Farina adds that the improvement in compatibility with Westlake’s video editorial was particularly striking. “We are a Final Cut Pro house running DVCPRO HD 100 as our video file format for editorial,” he says. “Previously, with the QDC engine, we had to drag a MAC running FPC and Virtual VTR locked to the CC-1 DAW when doing ADR work to view our video in the audio post room. Now, we can access HD FCP files directly from our USP-V storage and see our video from the CC-1 through its built-in codec and HD video I/O card.”
New York-based Penny Lane Studios has also recently upgraded to Fairlight CC-1 technology and is already noticing a significant difference in terms of improved workflow and efficiency. Opened by Robert Sorrentino in 2000, Penny Lane Studios is a full service Post-Production facility that comprises four audio Studios and two Avid Suites offering recording, mixing to picture, sound design and original music composition.
Joseph Miuccio, Penny Lane Studios’ chief mixer and sound designer, says: “The CC-1 was a logical upgrade for us because we already had Fairlight Constellation in four rooms and all of our old jobs are in Fairlight format. The CC-1 technology enables us to have higher track counts, as well as allowing us to play back uncompressed standard def video and 720p Hi Def video (422). Installing the CC-1 was a necessary step as it has made it much easier for us to adapt to an increasingly digital work flow. More and more clients are providing QuickTime’s instead of tapes and are working in high definition instead of standard definition formats. The CC-1 allows us to integrate and work efficiently with all those files.”
“Having video playback integrated with the CC-1 allows us to work even faster,” he explains. “We can even edit the 1:1 video and lay it back off to digi-beta. Exporting your mix and video to QuickTime, WMV, high or low rez is a breeze for us now, allowing for faster client approvals. As a result of our upgrade to CC-1, our clients have definitely noticed a substantial improvements in our workflow.”
Clients have also been noticing a difference at Back to God Ministries International, a Chicago-based audio facility that produces 25 radio programmes streamed in five different languages to more than 500 radio stations worldwide.
The facility’s technical director Mark Drenth says: “At the beginning of June we installed four Fairlight Dream Satellite CC-1 systems and we have already noticed a significant increase in productivity. The ability to export multiple clips and ranges within seconds has reduced production download time, while the internal mixer is amazing, giving us broad control in EQ, compression, and limiting. Thanks to this upgrade we are now able to complete programs and turn around projects much faster, which has been noted by our customers.”
Among other US facilities that have recently upgraded to Fairlight CC-1 technology are MVI Post, Film Foundry, Independent and various sports broadcasters including NFL, NBA and NASCAR Media Group.