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Paragon Studios Upgrades Studio C, Installs Digidesign D-Command

Digital Mixing Options Extend Studio Functionality

Paragon Studios’ newly upgraded Studio C, featuring a Digidesign D-Command ES console.

Paragon Studios—a leading audio, broadcast and film post-production facility in Franklin, Tenn.—recently completed an upgrade to Studio C, which now features a Digidesign D-Command ES console. According to Paragon Studios owner/mixer Fred Paragano, the D-Command ES console provides unparalleled integration with Pro Tools HD while delivering the ultimate in hands-on Pro Tools control. “I think this serves the room really well,” he says. “We are primarily operating Pro Tools in that room.

“As the scope of work that we are taking on becomes larger and more complex, the need for equipment that could handle these projects has become apparent,” Paragano explains. Studio C, he says, is “kind of our all-purpose room. It’s been used for every possible thing that you can think of. It started as an editorial room and overdub studio, because it does have a booth. When we installed the SSL C300 in Control B two years ago, Studio C acquired the 32-fader Digidesign ProControl that used to serve ‘B.’ As our projects have become larger and more demanding, [Studio C] required something a little bit more substantial. We now do everything, ranging from live ISDN feeds, voice-over and ADR, overdubs, music mixing, pre-dubs and a lot of finishing and conforming for our post projects. It’s a great sound effects and sound design room, as well. It basically accommodates everything.”

Paragano explains that initially Digidesign replaced the ProControl console with a 32-fader ICON console. “I thought that that was really nice, and my staff here was really loving it. But I think it was a little bit of overkill for the room. The ICON was a little too big for the room, so [the D-Command] kind of scales down the footprint of the console and gives us all the functionality we need. I think this was a good compromise.”

Paragano says that the D-Command was a significant upgrade. “We were attracted to the features the Digidesign D-Command ES offers. From recording, editing, and music mixing to sound design, ADR and pre-dubbing, the D-Command’s flexibility and ability to customize suits our needs perfectly and provides us with powerful, hands-on command over jobs of any size.”

In addition to its Pro Tools functionality, the D-Command features dedicated center-section panels for EQ and dynamics plug-in editing, and per-channel control over many processing tasks, routing and automation modes. “[With] the D-Command, not only do we have fader control, but we also have the ability to do more with the center section and focus the channels,” Paragano says. “The monitor section is significantly larger [than the ProControl’s].”

The D-Command ES is only part of Studio C’s upgrade. “We have rearranged the suite completely and added more equipment,” Paragano continues. “We have included more recording gear, racks, a new patchbay, I/O, a producer’s desk and signal processing gear that one would expect in a high-end room. It has made the space more functional for not only our own team but for visiting clients as well.”

The room is still configured for 5.1 and now features upgraded HD picture playback options. A custom made Argosy desk along with Argosy racks have completed the upgrade. “We were under an extremely tight timeline and Argosy was incredibly accommodating in providing us with the equipment we needed to have the studio up and running in a very short amount of time,” Paragano says.

“As with all the rooms here, everything is tied to a central machine room, so any patching from any point in the facility can be done,” Paragano adds. “Yesterday we had one of our good clients, Brad Paisley, in studio. He was doing a radio interview out of [Studio C], and then he moved into the A room, where they were doing a promotional video shoot for his new record, American Saturday Night. We had the cameras and sound tied into [Studio C] and we were able to do all of the audio recording from that space. Everybody wound up being in there instead of sitting in the room with [Paisley] and made it more of a comfortable experience for him, because not everybody was watching over his shoulder.”

Paragano is also continuing to expand Paragon Studios’ film and video post-production capabilities. “We’ve added two picture-editorial suites,” he adds. “One came online a little bit over a year ago, and we have another one, as well. We’ve been taking shows from beginning to end—shooting them on location, cutting the picture, editing and mixing all the sound, and finishing them. We’re basically doing the whole thing under one roof, which is real nice for our clients, too—to be able to come in, check picture and then send it right over to sound and have us go immediately. It’s very convenient.”

For more about Paragon Studios, read Blair Jackson’s “Paragon Studios Profile” from Mix’s February 2009 issue.  For more information and a virtual tour of the studio, visit Paragon Studios’ Website,

For more information about the D-Command ES console, visit Digidesign’s D-Command ES page.