Margarita Mix de Santa Monica, a post-production sound facility that is a subsidiary of The L.A. Studios Inc., recently completed the 5.1 DVD sound design and mix for the Stone Temple Pilots Thank You CD/DVD. The project was given to the facility by Dean Gonzalez of rOOm (formerly The Cutting Room), who edited the three-hour DVD.
A part of the DVD was an hour's worth of bootleg footage contributed by fans. Gonzalez sifted through 12 years of VHS and Beta concert footage for this section of the DVD. "Some of the footage was bootleg; the producers reached out to fans to obtain this, letting them know that no legal action would occur. This footage, as well as some live pieces, had bad audio and we wanted to make sure it was mixed really well," said Gonzalez. "I've worked with Jeff Levy at Margarita Mix de Santa Monica several times and I know he is an amazing mixer."
One of Gonzalez' concerns was the 5.1 mix: "I knew that Jeff had experience with 5.1, as well as mixing long-form," Gonzalez said. "I really like his style and sensibility toward clients, so I knew he'd be perfect for this project."
Levy, who has been with L.A. Studios since 1985 and with Margarita Mix de Santa Monica since its 1999 inception, came to the project with experience mixing high-end commercials, including Super Bowl spots, film trailers and music videos for major hip hop and rap artists.
On the mix, Levy worked closely with STP guitarist Dean DeLeo, whom he described as "having the best ears I've ever encountered." The major challenge, recalled Levy, is that the original material was all in stereo, which he had to format for the 5.1 surround sound mix. "We EQ'd all of the tracks in one way or another to try and bring out different elements in the stereo mixes."
Working with the Postation by DSP Levy spent three weeks meticulously going from song to song, balancing out levels. "As we were working, the project evolved," he said. "We wanted things to flow seamlessly so the locked picture was important."
The resulting DVD includes an hour of music videos and an hour oflive footage from the fans. "There's talk right now of doing another STP documentary," said rOOm's Gonzalez. "If we do that, we will definitely be returning to Jeff and Margarita Mix de Santa Monica."