Denis St. Amand with the Brainstorm DCD-8 in the newly remodeled 20th Century Fox Newman Scoring Stage. Photo: David Goggin.
A leader in the world of blockbuster film music and audio post-production, 20th Century Fox in Los Angeles recently installed Brainstorm DCD-8 Word Clock Distripalyzers with high-resolution VSG-4 Video Sync Generators in its Newman Scoring Stage. The combination of the DCD-8 and the VSG-4 handles all sync requirements in the scoring, recording and post-production environment.
“We could not have done Pirates of the Caribbean without the DCD-8,” says Denis St. Amand (pictured), assistant chief engineer of Fox Studios Operations. St. Amand refers to the first project in the newly remodeled Newman Scoring Stage, which also has a large AMS Neve analog console. “We needed the Brainstorm units right off the bat. We plugged them in and hit the road running.”
With its new state-of-the-art control room, the Newman Scoring Stage is a premier recording facility for film and television scores. Originally built in the 1930s, it has hosted recording sessions for some of the most memorable music in Hollywood history. Since its gala 2007 re-opening, Fox has recorded scores for such projects as The Simpsons Movie, Live Free or Die Hard, The Comebacks and Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer.
“The Brainstorms are my primary video sync source,” explains St. Amand. “Nothing else allows me to run with multiple video rigs. We can run with NTSC 59.94, 60Hz black and white, 50Hz PAL, and even 48Hz slow PAL with 24 fps timecode. We also have additional Brainstorms that we use for master clocks for Pro Tools. I can take that off-rate video and feed it into the slave DCD-8 and then generate AES sync or local word clock for Pro Tools to be running at that rate, as well. It is very, very useful. The box is unique in that it does everything at once.”
“We worked on it for five months and fired back up in February,” St. Amand says of the scoring stage. “When people come in and listen to the work being done in our new room, they are just knocked out. It’s been a wonderful experience.”