Monday, August 14, 2000
MI Casa Studio�s Grammy-Winning Engineer Robert Margouleff and Engineer Brant Biles Mix and Master DVD With SADiE 24 96; “SADiE is at the Heart of Our Systems; We Would Not Be in Business Without It”
In early 1998, Grammy Award winning engineer/producer Robert Margouleff and engineer Brant Biles built MI Casa Studio, a facility dedicated to 5.1 mastering and post production. At the technical heart of their operation is the SADiE 24 96 Digital Audio Workstation.
“We found ourselves spending a lot of time and money unnecessarily at other studios to do 5.1 mastering,” says MI Casa co-proprietor Biles. “When we would master a project it took a whole day to set up speakers and adjust levels, and we never had the opportunity to experiment. We realized that time should have been spent working instead, so we reached out to SADiE and put together our own place.”
Margouleff and Biles first came in contact with SADiE systems eight years ago during a remote recording gig in Chicago. “The engineer traveling with the show had the basic SADiE setup and loved it,” recalls Biles. “We were very impressed with the sound, so when it came time for us to put together our system, we needed a hard-disk, 24-bit editing system with the ability to hot-swap. We knew the 24 96 was the perfect DAW for us.”
Since then MI Casa Studio, designed as a home environment as opposed to a commercial studio setting, has utilized the SADiE 24 96 to master in 5.1 and 2.0 for New Line Cinema DVD projects including, “Boiler Room,” “Seven” and “House Party: 1, 2 and 3.” They have also done extensive 5.1 DTS music mixing and mastering for groups such as The Gluey Brothers, The Eagles and
Boyz II Men.
“We aren�t a production house slamming stuff out day and night,” says Margouleff, whose work has always been praised for its passion and
inventiveness. “We don�t work by the hour, we work by the project. Brant and
I want to perfect a project so it has integrity. The DVD platform is a big
step forward in the way people experience movies. Audiences can hear every
The studio has also been using the 24 96 in 5.1 for the restoration of motion pictures, as well as records, something most studios don�t do. “Every movie has different challenges when we re-master these films and get rid of the background noise,” explains Biles. “Sometimes portions of films aren�t recorded that well and the noise floor is shocking. The De-Click and the
De-Noise in the SADiE really helps us with the distorted parts.”
“I�d say 99 percent of our work is in 5.1 or 6.1 surround sound,” adds
Margouleff, who won an engineering Grammy for Stevie Wonder�s “Innervisions.” “Directors are very specific about the integrity of their movies and DVD is a critical listening situation and a critical medium in a movie. The SADiE CEDAR plug-in has done marvelous things for us when we re-master or re-mix from the movie stems.”
The SADiE 24 96, a PC-based workstation, features an optional CEDAR noise removal plug-in suite, designed specifically for restoration applications. All internal audio processing uses 32-bit floating-point accuracy, ensuring the highest-possible sound quality throughout the system for the restoration of audio files and optical soundtracks.
“I have PC Anywhere on my home computer and on my SADiE,” explains Biles. “This allows me to come to the studio during the day, set up files for CEDARing and do the required listening. Later, during the evening, I can run CEDARing, archiving, and De-Clicking from home. This is an added bonus that greatly increases productivity.”
Re-mastering one film can take up to 12-18 gigs of files, so for archiving the 5.1 movies MI Casa Studios uses Exabyte. “Our current back-up system handles only a maximum of 6 gigs per tape,” Biles adds. “So we use many SCSI CD drives and IBM SCSI drives, which the SADiE 24 96 interfaces with flawlessly.”
The SADiE 24 96 is also designed for audio applications including film and TV post production, music editing and mastering, telecine transfer, speech editing and multimedia. The system is capable of 192 kHz editing and mixing, full surround sound panning and it can be configured to provide up to 32 inputs and outputs. Standard features include RS-422 machine control, time compression/expansion, PQ editing, AutoConform, built-in timecode support and eight channels of I/O.
Another SADiE feature that MI Casa Studio relies on is the technical support and the fast and efficient way to receive DAW updates via the Internet. “We are a totally remote production,” Margouleff explains. “We can go directly to the SADiE Web site and upgrade our software. Their technical support is unparalleled by any other company I have ever worked with.”
Biles, agrees, saying “I have worked with competitive mastering hard disk editing systems and the support just isn�t there. In the beginning, during system set-up, SADiE�s technical support staff made themselves available to talk me through any questions, 24-hours-a-day. That says a lot about SADiE�s integrity and dedication to their customers. SADiE is at the heart of our system; we would not be in business without it.”
For more information on MI Casa Studio, call 323-874-2722. For more information on SADiE, call 615-327-1140.