Cinematic Media, a full-service post-production complex in Mexico City focused exclusively on episodic television and motion pictures, has opened its new Dolby Atmos-certified mix stages and sound editorial rooms, with both post-production sound facilities are identically equipped with components from the Focusrite RedNet range of Dante-networked audio converters and interfaces.
Horacio Malvicino, principal of the Malvicino Design Group, handled the acoustic and technical design of the six new rooms (four in a full Dolby Atmos setup), also consulting with the equipment integrator 3BH (3BlueHouse), a professional AV firm based in Mexico City. Two-time Oscar-nominated supervising sound editor and mixer Martin Hernández heads up sound services at Cinematic Media, which is led by managing director Arturo Sedano. Hernández, who regularly works with director Alejandro G. Iñarritu, was Oscar-nominated for his work on The Revenant (for which he also earned a BAFTA) and Birdman.
Cinematic Media’s six new stages, which are set up for sound design, sound editorial, pre-dubbing and mixing, each utilize a pair of Focusrite RedNet HD32R 32-channel HD Dante network bridges and Red 4Pre 58-In / 64-Out Thunderbolt 2 and Pro Tools | HD compatible audio interfaces (one per room). RedNet AM2 stereo audio monitoring units and RedNet X2P 2×2 Dante audio interfaces are also available on the stages.
“We tried to replicate the same rooms on all three floors of the building,” Malvicino says. “The only difference is the ceiling height, but as far as the gear, it’s all the same. Every floor has its own machine room, which is shared between the two control rooms.”
In addition to the Dante-networked RedNet equipment, each room includes four Avid Pro Tools systems, for dialog, music and effects, plus recording. Two rooms have Avid S6 control surfaces while the other four offer S3s. Every room also includes a JBL loudspeakers (consisting of C211 for the L-C-Rs, 708i for surrounds and height loudspeakers, JBL 4645C subs [two units per room]) – four rooms in a full Dolby Atmos 7.4.2 configuration and the remaining two in a 7.2 surround sound setup.
“All the rooms are connected through Dante, which is the key for this project,” Malvicino continues. “The clarity of the sound is unbelievable. The ease of installation and the cost savings are mind-boggling. I’ve been working with Focusrite for such a long time and have done numerous studios over the years with them, so for me it’s a no-brainer.”
The new facilities are designed to meet the technical requirements of the major streaming services, which are driving the current growth in production in Mexico. “If you’re mixing for Netflix, Amazon, Hulu or Apple, you can monitor how it would sound on the platform,” Malvicino says.
He ran the numbers through Dolby’s DARDT (Dolby Audio Room Design Tool) software to ensure that the rooms met the Atmos certification specifications, and worked with his regular contractor, TADI (Taller de Arquitectura + Diseño Interior), based in Mexico City, on room construction. “The two architects that run the company are great. They know the way I design and the way I want stuff to get built. We imported a bunch of installation materials from a company called AMC in Spain. We raised the ceiling on the third floor. Having a general contractor that has built studios for me before — they’ve built more than 15 studios around the world with me over the years — makes the process a lot easier.”