Margarita Mix of Santa Monica, a FotoKem company specializing in audio post services for commercials and advertising media, has installed a fourth Fairlight EVO integrated audio production system for its team of sound designers, mixers and composers.
With the upgrade, the facility’s sound mixers Paul Hurtubise, Jimmy Hite, Nathan Dubin and Jeff Levy are now working on identical audio post platforms in their HD mixing suites.
“The facility was already working extensively on Fairlight, and after careful evaluation and testing, I made the transition,” says Hurtubise, who joined Margarita Mix in late 2012 with more than 20 years of experience in commercial audio post.
Having used a number of platforms over the course of his career, Hurtubise notes, “I simply think Fairlight sounds better. It’s less fatiguing on the ears, and I seem to hear things more clearly and definitively.
“The EVO workstation is also very ergonomic and easy to operate,” he adds. “I feel like I’m on a system that’s been developed for humans to work on. EVO’s jogger fits my hand, and its keyboard fits my fingers. I’m running sessions more efficiently because I’m not as focused on all the clicking.”
Hurtubise also points out that the graphic displays are less fatiguing. “It’s much easier for me to be on the Fairlight all day. I noticed immediately that I wasn’t as physically tired at the end of the day. The displays are comfortable to work on, too.”
According to the talented mixing team at Margarita Mix, there are plenty of features to like about the system. They like that the picture has a home in the system, versus floating around the screen. “The picture’s right there when I want it—I love the Pyxis,” Hurtubise says of the dual-channel HD video recorder that is integrated into EVO as standard. “I also like the streaming Pyxis video frames along the bottom of the timeline display, and being able to see the picture frames before and after the playhead. This way, I can see how many frames I have until my next edit.”
There are several features on the Fairlight that the Margarita Mix team hasn’t had available on previous DAWs. “For example, I like the way Fairlight solos tracks: I can solo a set of tracks, un-solo them by holding control and pressing one button, and then re-solo that same set by pressing one button,” Hurtubise reports. “I like being able to memorize zooms. Say I have 128 tracks with 70 music stems and 40 sound effects stems. I can zoom to the music tracks and store it in U1; I can go to the sound effects tracks and store that in U2. If I hear something in the music I just press U1, and instantly I’m looking at the music stems. It is super easy.”
All four Fairlight operators at Margarita Mix use similar console control templates for uniformity. Dubin has been at Margarita Mix for over a decade recording VO, mixing for television, ADR recording for film and commercial mixing for TV and radio that has earned several industry accolades.
Working with clients such as Nissan, Activision, Disney, AT&T, Kaiser Permanente, and UPS, Hite has over 30 years of experience in sound mixing for the commercial and advertising industries, and has won numerous awards throughout his career. Hurtubise focuses on commercial mixing as well as ADR and commentary recording. His recent credits include spots for Google, eHarmony, Old Navy, Hyundai, and Toyota, among others. Levy has been part of the team for 20-plus years, also earning multiple awards for mixing and sound design.