In response to a significant increase in business, award winning sound design and audio facility Factory has expanded its offering to incorporate two new audio studios, including one of the first Dolby Atmos certified mix rooms for Commercials & Trailers.
Acoustic consultancy White Mark Ltd was called in to handle the design of both rooms on the basis of Factory's previous good experience with the company. This is the fourth time the consultancy has undertaken work for Factory.
"White Mark was instrumental in designing our existing studios, which have proved to be a great success," says Ben Firth, Factory's Head of Technical Support & Sound Engineer. "We have always been very happy with the service White Mark provides, and their knowledge of designing world class studios is invaluable."
Established in 1997, the Soho-based Factory Family Group offers audio and visual production services to the film, television, radio, advertising and music industries. The Group comprises four divisions: Factory, which offers sound design and audio facilities; Siren, which offers music composition and supervision; Texture, handling design and video production, and Honey, which provides voice production and audio project management services.
"When we began planning our new studios, we initially thought that Texture would have to move to alternative premises," Firth explains. "However, we discovered that the lease on the premises next to ours was available so we acquired it. This allowed us to expand whilst keeping Texture onsite. Our fourth floor now extends across two buildings – our original premises in Margaret Street and the new space in Great Portland Street."
The studio that was originally on the fourth floor of Margaret Street has been refurbished into a much bigger space and renamed Studio 5. It is designed for 5.1 Surround Sound projects and incorporates a new live room. On the same floor, White Mark has designed Factory's new Dolby Atmos Certified Studio 4.
"Since Dolby Atmos was premiered back in 2012, we have seen growing demand for the format in cinema theatres around the world," Firth says. "It is rapidly becoming the standard mixing format for all major film releases and more cinemas are embracing the technology."
With this in mind – and with Dolby recently announcing support for Atmos within home theatres – Factory recognised the need for dedicated Dolby Atmos mixing facilities.
"As sound design specialists, we have kept in touch with the capabilities of the technology, and by expanding our services to offer Dolby Atmos mixing, we continue to provide our clients with first class facilities working across all audio formats." Firth says. "We have already won numerous awards for commercials mixed in 5.1 surround, so the fact that we can now offer mixes in Dolby Atmos, takes surround mixing at Factory to the next level. As well as offering expanded services to our existing clients, both of our new rooms will allow us to focus more on short films, feature films, trailers and television projects that are increasingly embracing Dolby technology."
David Bell, managing director of White Mark, says: "This project involved significant building work because we were knocking through into an adjoining building. However, we were able to keep disturbance to a minimum and Factory continued operating throughout. The new studios look and sound amazing and we are thrilled that, once again, we have played a part in Factory's ongoing success."
In recent months, Factory has undertaken sound design projects for a variety of international clients including Honda, whose The Other Side commercial has won a Grand Prize Award for Sound Design at the New York Advertising Festival, whilst also being honoured as Advertisement Of The Year by The British Arrows. Factory’s team of talented sound designers have also picked up recent awards from D&AD, BAFTA, The One Show, Shots and the Music And Sound Awards.
For more information about the Factory Family, please visit www.factory.uk.com or follow Factory on Twitter @factoryuk and @benfirth.
About White Mark:
Established in 1997 by David Bell, John Dunnill, Derek Buckingham and Alan Cundell, White Mark Ltd specialises in production facilities for music recording and the film and television industries. Over two decades, it has designed and supervised the construction of more than 500 production suites worldwide. The company’s impressive client list encompasses some of the world’s most famous music recording facilities including Peter Gabriel’s Real World Studios in the UK, Germano Studios in New York, Hit Factory/Criteria Recording Studios in Miami, Strongroom in London and private studios for producers and musicians such as William Orbit and Damon Albarn. In the area of audio post production, White Mark has completed over 140 audio studios and many broadcast and video editing facilities for more than 60 companies in Soho alone. The list of clients includes Grand Central, Hackenbacker, Envy, De Lane Lea, Factory, Scramble, Lipsync, Molinare, DeLuxe, 750mph, NBC/Universal, Wave, Unit and Boom. Advertising agency clients include worldwide facilities for Hogarth International and AMV/BBDO on four continents.