SFP

Music: Northern Lights Integrates Sound and Picture

Northern Lights is one of a new breed of multifaceted, creative companies that offer comprehensive graphics, video and audio services under one roof. Relatively new to the company is sound designer/c 3/01/2011 4:00 AM Eastern

Damon Trotta at work in his studio within Northern Lights

Northern Lights is one of a new breed of multifaceted, creative companies that offer comprehensive graphics, video and audio services under one roof. Relatively new to the company is sound designer/composer/engineer/musician Damon Trotta, whose audio studio within Northern Lights went online this past August.

“The business was starting to integrate,” says Trotta, who previously worked for close to 19 years at the now-defunct Sound Hound. “Video was putting in audio; audio was putting in video. Everybody was trying to get into the package business. It seemed like a natural fit for me to end up here.”

Trotta is one of two audio engineers within Northern Lights; Ted Gannon joined in 2007. Trotta now works from a new studio designed by Walters Storyk Design Group; it’s a 350-square-foot space that incorporates his workstation running Logic and Pro Tools (which he favors for music composition and post-production, respectively), 5.1 Focal Twin and Solo 6 monitors, D-Command controller, a selection of real and virtual instruments, and outboard gear including Millennia mic pre’s, dbx 160s, Empirical Labs Distressors and more.

One of the most appealing aspects of working at Northern Lights for Trotta is the variety of projects the facility handles—often, he says, from “concept to delivery,” providing audio and video post for TV commercials and promos, Websites and documentaries. A recent project included sound design, post and even a brief uncredited voice-over for History/New Animal Productions’ four-hour World War II documentary The Rise and the Fall of the Third Reich. “There are few angles you could take on that subject that haven’t been covered,” Trotta acknowledges. “This company specializes in what they call experiential TV. They create programming from found footage and string it together to create a story. This one included home movies, diary entries and soldiers’ battlefield footage, and they created the story of being an average citizen in Germany during the rise and fall of the Third Reich. These guys do great work.”