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‘The Lord of the Rings’ Returns to Studio Network Solutions

After aiding workflow during the recording, editing and mixing of Howard Shore’s music score for The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers, associate music producer Mark Willsher again turned to Studio Network Solutions while creating the score for The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King.

“We briefly discussed switching over to some of the newer software, but decided that the A/V SAN PRO™ had been so good on Two Towers that we didn’t want or need to make any changes,” Willsher stated, referring to the Abbey Road Studio that houses one of several A/V SAN Fibre Channel storage area network systems used for this project. “It was easy to manage because all the drives are in one physical location. From the point of view of backing it up, you don’t have to go around and search for drives and figure out who is doing what because it’s all available on the A/V SAN PRO. It was an easy way to keep track of everything and avoid multiple copies of work, which at the end of the day, saved us from confusion. The SAN was rock-solid for what we needed it to do.”

There were several instances in which Willsher and his audio crew expanded the scope of the A/V SAN’s usage for the latest LOTR flick. During scoring, a multi-user A/V SAN was placed onstage while the musicians were recording. This facilitated working directly on a particular session on location. “This enabled us to have an editor on-site who could be working while we were recording,” Willsher said. “During a recording session, the editor would be working off the same material, so as we finished each piece, they would then edit it and we would review the material during breaks. This way, we were certain we had everything that was needed.”

Returning to The Film Unit in New Zealand, Willsher utilized both Pyramix and Pro Tools workstations for dubbing. Running SANmp off an A/V SAN located at the New Zealand studio, the crew was able to work on OS X, OS 9 and Windows XP concurrently to complete the task.

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