Slate Run Productions has responded to customer demand for High Definition video playback facilities by installing a Fairlight Xynergi media production system with PyxisTrack HD video.
Based in Northern California, Slate Run productions is a state-of-the-art post production facility headed by Jay Shilliday, a sound engineer with over 25 years experience in the music and broadcast markets. The facility provides a full service post-production environment offering audio mixing, video editing, sound sweetening for picture or radio, sound design and original music composition.
Prior to this upgrade, Slate Run Productions was running a Fairlight MFX3 Plus with standard definition PyxisTrack video.
“I've always been a big supporter of Fairlight and having worked with their computers for 15 years now, I can honestly say they make the best equipment for what I do,” Shilliday explains. “Lately, I've had more and more projects come through that include high definition picture but with the standard definition Pyxis, I had to re-compress the picture, which never looked as good. It was always my intention to upgrade the Pyxis so that I could maximise the performance of our 45 inch 1080P HD monitor, and given the customer demand we were experiencing, it just felt like the right time to do this.”
Shilliday also wanted more control of the audio than he could achieve with his MFX3 Plus, and he had a requirement for more audio tracks and better editing capabilities.
“Because Xynergi combines PyxisTrack HD video with Fairlight’s powerful CC-1 engine and its renowned audio editing package, I was able to address all these issues at the same time,” he says. “The Xynergi gives me HD playback and editing, as well as more audio tracks and better audio editing capabilities. Having both the audio and video in the same editing timeline has streamlined my sessions. It's also reduced my overall energy costs as well by not needing two separate computers for picture and audio.”
For any facility that undertakes a major upgrade, there is always a concern that income will be lost if studios have to close. This was Shilliday’s biggest fear, particularly in terms of the wiring.
“I couldn't afford to take the studio down for a long period of time for any re-wiring to be carried out,” he says, “but as it turned out, this fear proved unfounded because the MADI connections on the Crystal Core card meant that I was able to install the Xynergi with minimal cabling changes. The MADI connections also made the interface to our Yamaha O2R console a breeze.”
Shilliday is delighted with his new Xynergi system and describes its performance as ‘nothing less than stellar’.
“I've always thought the MFX3 Plus was fast and intuitive, but the Xynergi takes the MFX3 Plus to a whole new level in terms of its functionality, features, and stability,” he explains. “The keyboard is nothing short of revolutionary with video screens on each one of its keys. This allows the Xynergi to jump between various editing states with a completely new set of keys. Its ergonomic functionality is truly amazing. I've never had this much control in such a small footprint of an interface between myself and the computer.”
Slate Run Productions is now using its new Xynergi system for a variety of audio post production services, including mixing for feature films, televisions shows, radio and television commercials, ADR and sound design.
Most of the work is carried out by Jay Shilliday, who has an impressive list of credits to his name, including corporate work for clients such as Network Appliance, Toshiba, and TAB Products, and commercials for Budweiser, H-P, E-Trade, The Dairy Advisory Council, Saturn, Microsoft, and eLoan. He has also worked on over 30 music CDs, including a number that have graced the Grammies, and has worked on projects starring Robin Williams, Whoopie Goldberg, Lance Armstrong, Andre Agassi and Huey Lewis.
An avid golfer, Jay Shilliday played in "The World Juniors" golf tournament at Torrey Pines/San Diego at the age of 17 and scored a hole in one at Clint Eastwood’s Tehama Golf Club.