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Levels Audio Post Installs Digidesign ICON

The Dub Stage at Levels Audio Post—a multi-room facility specializing in music production, sound design and audio post production primarily for television—has installed a Digidesign ICON D-Control integrated console environment. The new 32-channel console went online at the beginning of January 2006 and is being used by facility owner Brian Riordan for audio post production on the new record-breaking season of Fox’s American Idol series.

Located close to the intersection of Hollywood Boulevard and Highland Avenue in the heart of Hollywood, Levels Audio Post has been providing audio post-production services for American Idol since the series’ debut. Last year, for season four, Riordan created both stereo and 5.1 mixes for standard and high-definition television broadcast. The increasing quantity of 5.1 programming coming through Levels Audio helped drive the decision to install the D-Control, which offers substantial improvements to the audio post-production workflow and can handle surround configurations up to 7.1-channels.

“The upgrade to the Digidesign ICON D-Control has introduced a new level of flexibility, efficiency and speed that our clients, such as American Idol Productions, really appreciate,” says Riordan. “And of course, we are thrilled to be working once again on this latest season of American Idol, which keeps getting bigger.”

The new ICON D-Control on Levels Audio Post’s Dub Stage integrates every aspect of a project, including recording, editing, mixing and processing, complete with integrated video and delivery. The Dub Stage, the largest mix room at the multi-studio facility, is also equipped with outboard signal processing from companies such as Avalon, BSS and TC Electronic, as well as ADAM reference monitors and a Martinsound MultiMAX EX surround monitor controller.

Riordan provided audio post production for the opening episodes of American Idol, which premiered on January 17. Once the finalists are chosen and the competition is underway, he will edit and remix the music tracks as well as clean up and sweeten dialog for the weekly show. “The edit of the one-hour show locks on Sunday morning or Saturday night for a Tuesday night broadcast,” reports Riordan. “I often work straight through and finally get to go home on Tuesday afternoon!”

Levels Audio Post is an Emmy-nominated studio facility that specializes in music production, sound design and audio post-production primarily for television music, reality and awards shows. Counting major broadcast and cable networks among its clients, Levels Audio Post regularly provides audio post-production services to American Idol, So You Think You Can Dance?, the Billboard Awards, the MTV Movie Awards, the MTV Video Music Awards and the Radio Music Awards, and has just been selected to work on the 2006 Academy Awards telecast.

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