Re-recording mixer Tom Marks selected Nugen Audio Halo Upmix and MasterCheck Pro plug-ins to mix the hit Netflix series Sense8, Season Two of which is due to hits screens in early May.
Based in Hollywood, Marks has many popular television and cinema movie titles to his credit. With Halo Upmix, he is able to deliver a 5.1 mix that is true to the original source while also sounding ideal in many listening environments. The MasterCheck Pro loudness, dynamics, and codec toolset enables Marks to "audition" a mix in real time and determine how it will sound when streamed online.
"For ‘Sense8’ we’re handed a wide range of source materials – anything from orchestral 5.1 stems to stereo stems to songs from every genre,” said Marks. “I’m able to dial in a sound pretty quickly and then check the stereo downmix to make sure it’s folding down correctly."
In one technique for creating a 5.1 upmix, Marks will bus several stereo tracks to a stereo auxiliary track and put Halo on the aux. "As I get different versions of a song, I can keep all of them on their respective tracks and mute them so I can listen only to the current version. When a client wants to hear an older version, I can do that by pressing two mute buttons. Meanwhile, only one instance of Halo is being used. And if I change the setting on it, the changes will apply to whichever version gets picked," he explained.
Regarding his experience with MasterCheck Pro, Marks added: "MasterCheck Pro is really valuable on ‘Sense8,’ which is likely to be watched on many different types of devices. As I’m mixing the show, I can switch over from the 5.1 mix on big speakers to the LtRt mix on small TV speakers as I’m listening through the MasterCheck Pro plugin. That way, I’m able to replicate what an average viewer’s experience will be.
"From a creative point of view, my favourite tools are those that are so straightforward that you don’t have to think about them, and Nugen products allow me to do that,” Marks continued. “Also, the Nugen team is extremely accessible and open to my suggestions in shaping future product upgrades."
AMI also recently caught up with production sound mixers Stevie Haywood and Barry O’Sullivan about working with the Wachowskis on the second season of the show, which finished filming in the autumn of 2016.