Sound Lounge in New York City recently provided audio post-production services for Herbie Hancock: Possibilities, a feature-length documentary produced by Magnolia Home Entertainment about the jazz great and the making of his latest album by directors Doug Biro and Jon Fine.
Possibilities features duets by Hancock and recording artists such as Christina Aguilera, Annie Lennox, John Mayer, Damien Rice, Carlos Santana, Paul Simon, Sting and Joss Stone. The documentary also traces the history of Hancock’s rich and iconoclastic career, from his early days with Miles Davis through his time as leader of the seminal fusion band Headhunters to the present.
The studio’s Tony Volante mixed the film’s 5.1 surround-sound soundtrack, working with both original recordings and archival material dating back to the beginning of Hancock’s career. Volante, who has more than 50 feature films to his credit, mixed Herbie Hancock: Possibilities on a Digidesign ICON integrated console.
Because all of the original material was recorded in stereo and some of the older tracks were monaural, Volante had to affect a 5.1 sound during post-production. “Ninety percent of the material was performance shot in a studio with the sound recorded either as a board mix or with boom mics,” recalls Volante. “The challenge was to fill the 5.1 space while retaining the intimacy of the recording sessions. We wanted audiences to feel as though they are in the room with the performers.”
Sound Lounge is currently building a new mixing suite for long-form work. The room will be able to accommodate mixing, editing, ADR, voice-over recording and other audio work—all in one space. It is also adjacent to supporting sound editing suites and gear. “It’s meant to be very flexible,” Volante comments. “We are even going to have a couple of Foley pits in front of the screen. If we are in the middle of the mix and decide we could use some footsteps, we’ll be able to create them on the spot.”