Founded in 1973, Music Annex is one of the Bay Area’s premier audio facilities, with studio complexes in San Francisco and nearby Menlo Park. The two-site operation has more than 20 studios and high-end audio suites, covering the gamut from music recording and mixing to mastering to DVD authoring. Music Annex Post, opened in 1985, continues that long tradition in technological superiority and creative excellence.
Located in the heart of San Francisco’s booming “Media Gulch,” Music Annex Post’s seven state-of-the-art studios – five mixing studios (two of which are surround-capable), an offline Pro Tools-equipped audio editing suite, and an offline video editing suite equipped with an Avid Express system – serve all of the industry’s major advertising clientele that make up the facility’s core business, including Foote Cone & Belding, Y&R, DDB San Francisco and Saatchi & Saatchi. Music Annex’s commercial post work has earned numerous accolades within the advertising industry, for national television spots such as Chevron’s talking cars and highly creative spots for Clorox, PacTel, Toyota, Bank of America and Taco Bell. In addition, Music Annex’s sound design capability is kept constantly on the edge from extensive work in designing sounds for the toy and video game industry, including work for market leaders such as Electronic Arts, Konami, Tyco, Mattel, Hasbro and Fisher-Price.
Underscoring the facility’s commitment to sound, Music Annex founder and President David Porter notes that the studios still do a lot of radio spot work. “And we love radio, because it’s pure audio,” he observes. “You really learn how to paint the sound picture when you do radio. To me, it’s the mark of a great post facility when you can do great radio work, which we do every day here.” Keeping the facility well-rounded is also work for Sundance- and Academy Award-winning independent filmmakers, documentaries and cable television post-production.
Music Annex was the first post facility to implement digital audio editing in the Bay Area and the first to offer the D-2 video format. The studios’ technology complement is still a fine balance of the old and new, with their venerable New England Digital Post Pros – which Porter describes as “still the best scrub-based editing system ever made” – and Digidesign Pro Tools systems. “So we have this interesting mix of scrubbing and waveform editors here,” he says. “And those different approaches to manipulating sound really give you a lot of creative options.”
Music Annex clients can access the entire range of capabilities that the facility offers at both of its locations, and that will be made significantly more efficient once fiber-optic networking between and within facilities is completed in the near future, creating a seamless post-production environment between San Francisco and Menlo Park.
Music Annex’s technology complement is rivaled by its talent bench: 54 employees allow the facility to handle numerous large and small projects simultaneously. “We’re not intimidated by the sheer size of projects,” says Porter. “There’s not much we can’t handle. And we have the people that make sure it’s handled well.”