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Sony Pictures Updates Stage 7 with Digidesign ICON

Mark Koffman (left) and Steve Ticknor.

Last December, Sony Pictures Studios in Culver City, Calif. installed two new Digidesign ICON integrated consoles into its Stage 7 dubbing room. Once the home of MGM Studios, the facility boasts a rich history dating back to the 1920s, having played host to hundreds of legendary films including The Wizard of Oz, Gone with the Wind, Citizen Kane and the original King Kong.

Stage 7 is the first dubbing room to move entirely into the Pro Tools realm with a new large-format, dual-operator ICON D-Control™ workstation.

“More and more producers are becoming aware of the impact that the ICON system has in the mixing environment,” explains Mark Koffman, Sony Pictures’ senior VP of engineering. “ICON was a logical choice for us. Its sound quality is excellent, and the ability to tightly integrate with Pro Tools and access the full range of plug-ins really streamlines the mixing process.”

Independent sound designer Steve Ticknor recently mixed the new Sony Pictures feature Premonition on the ICON, as well as the 3-D animation feature Surf’s Up, working with directors Ash Brannon (Toy Story 2) and Chris Buck (Pocahontas, Little Mermaid). Ticknor reports that working with the ICON system had an immediate and positive impact on his workflow. “You can move things around, grab things from other reels, pop them in and it’s instantaneously part of your mix,” he says. “If the director wants something changed, I’m no longer locked into making hard pre-dubs. The flexibility is a tremendous asset.”

“Using the ICON allows us to have the automation move with the files,” adds Koffman. “When you’re doing multiple versions of the same mix—like a 5.1 mix and a stereo mix on the same session, for example—you can make cuts and changes to them all at the same time, rather than having to go back and make extra passes. It’s a huge time saver.”

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