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Splice Sound Editor Kelly Pieklo Counts Successes With Nuendo

Minneapolis-based post-production company Splice Here® ( and Sound Editor Kelly Pieklo

Sound Editor Kelly Pieklo

are enjoying some recent successes, thanks in large part to Steinberg’s Nuendo platform. Director Eric Howell’s “Ana’s Playground,� on which Pieklo filled Sound Editor and Sound Designer roles, recently made the Academy’s Short List for the 2011 Live-Action Short Film Oscar. Additionally, Director Brady Kiernan brought his feature, “Stuck Between Stations,� to Splice and Pieklo for all sound post-production services. The film premiered with four sold-out screenings at New York’s Tribeca Film Festival in April 2011.

“Both of these projects were an absolute joy to be a part of, and each brought different creative sound editing challenges to the table,� says Pieklo. “The choice to work in Nuendo gave me the ability to speed up my editing and clean-up process, which in turn

allowed me to spend more time creating and fine-tuning the soundtrack per the directors’ requests.�

“‘Ana’s Playground’ Director Eric Howell was talking sound with me before the first frame of film was shot,� Pieklo shares. “I knew from the initial sit-down that despite the film’s 20-minute running time, we had an abundance of creative sound work to hash out, especially since the only dialogue in the film is spoken in a fictional language with no subtitles. My role was to use sound to keep the audience on the edge of their seat and tell the story.�

Pieklo continues: “We accomplished this through examining sounds on a microscopic level, and shaping them until the sound was right. We locked many of our final sounds right off the bat, thanks to the great sounding channel strip EQs included with Nuendo. We carved out what we needed and went back to work, no hassling with opening a plug for a decent sounding eq. For some of the big on-screen action, the ability to instantly transpose booms and explosions down a step or two, as well as immediately adjust the clip gain on the fly, came in extra handy. During these spotting sessions, we were able to move through options for sound quickly and efficiently, allowing me to get back to the creative.� Pieklo adds, “Faster than real-time export of pre-mixes allowed both Howell and Splice Founder/Editor Clayton Condit to respond back with suggestions and requests in a fraction of the time it would normally take.�

According to Pieklo ‘Stuck Between Stations’ from a soundtrack perspective is a world apart from ‘Ana’s Playground.’ “Whereas ‘Ana’s’ relies on the big and the small sound details, the dynamic of the loud versus the quiet to help tell the story, ‘Stuck Between Stations’ is a dialogue-driven walk-and-talk movie,â€? explains Pieklo. “The film is the conversation between the two main characters from the first frame to the last. Because of this, I needed a quick way to audition and note the subtleties between the different line reads, as well as efficient dialogue editing tools to insert and clean up those reads. Nuendo’s Mediabay and Fade Editors, both of which are light-years ahead of the equivalents of other sound workstations, helped me manage, audition, and ultimately work in the takes the Director wanted without having to compromise. I cannot say enough good things about the Fade Editor functionality — a must in post sound.â€?

Pieklo has worked in sound post-production for over 10 years and for the last five years has been using Nuendo as his preferred workstation for all film and broadcast projects. “When I joined Splice, I was encouraged to put Nuendo to the test, to determine whether or not it was a reliable and realistic option for sound post production, as our company is always searching for better, more efficient modes of working without sacrificing the quality our clients are accustomed to. It took only a matter of days using Nuendo in a real-world post-production environment for me to realize just how powerful a tool Nuendo is. When we invested in a Euphonix MC Pro to pair with my workstation, I was again amazed at the amount of focus and level of resolution that the EuCon protocol offered in the Nuendo workstation environment.�

The efficiencies Nuendo introduced to Splice’s work environment has extended beyond the sound department. “We’ve had the opportunity to rethink how we integrate post-production sound into our Design, Edit and VFX workflows,â€? concludes Pieklo. “This has allowed our sound creatives to get back to what we’re all here for — to create.â€?

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