UK-based producer Simon Franglen (pictured) recently installed Sonic Distribution's Ghost acoustic treatment in his pre-production suite at London's Air Studios. During his career, Franglen has worked with Celine Dion, Whitney Houston and Quincy Jones, and with James Horner, he co-produced the theme song "My Heart Will Go On" for the 1997 movie Titanic.
“I was unhappy with the sound—it just didn’t work,” Franglen says of his room at Air Studios. “Air is a beautiful old Methodist hall with some pre-production lofts at the top of the building. There are three rooms containing [Beatles Love producer] Giles Martin, [film composer] David Arnold and me. The problem with my loft was that it had sloping ceilings with no installed acoustic treatment. I do a lot of 5.1 mix preparation, so I needed to get that room sounding right.
“I read about the Ghost acoustic panels and realized that they might do the trick,” he continues. “We tried them out, as the aesthetics were important as was the ability to control the sound without major restructuring. We didn’t have the space to build enormous traps or reshape walls. We’ve got about 14 panels in there: the bass traps, the ceiling panels, pretty much everything. Putting them up was unbelievably easy. It’s made a massive difference to the sound. First of all, the bass is controlled, which is great. Secondly, the imaging has improved 100 percent. Because I’m doing so much 5.1 work, you really need a focused sound. There’s so much more control now.
“It’s really made my pre-prod room into an environment that I can actually use and feel confident about what I’m hearing. I always take tracks downstairs into the big Air rooms, as I still like mixing on the big old desks. Before [installing the Ghost panels] the work wasn’t translating properly, but now it is infinitely better. We tried other treatment systems and they were rubbish compared to the Ghost panels.”
Franglen is currently working in the pop/classical crossover arena. “It is one of the few areas in which people still buy a lot of CDs," he says. "I’m currently working on tracks for Andrea Bocelli, Katherine Jenkins and others." His next mix projects involve doing several 5.1 remixes on such classics as "I Heard It Through the Grapevine" and Thin Lizzy’s Live and Dangerous. “I’ll be doing quite a few surround projects this year. Conversely, as a producer, I am scheduled to deliver and mix 53 songs by the middle of May!”