Soho Sonic MD Ofer Shabi explains how new technology is allowing audio professionals to collaborate across vast distances much more easily, and how demand for this way of working is rising fast.
Here at Soho Sonic, we’ve long been a successful recording studio in the heart of London. Over the years we have accommodated a number of talented and professional musicians, record labels and media companies. We have also been involved in a number of exciting movie and theatre productions, providing voiceovers, scores and compositions.
We’ve noticed over the past few years that the demand for remote recording has become paramount. What was once something that was rarely requested
has now become a vital part of our everyday jobs. As experts in this type of recording, we have had plenty of people reach out, asking us to help them with a number of projects.
With the advanced technology that we have these days, it’s making it so much easier for producers, engineers and musicians to interact without ever having to meet face-to-face. Recording sessions can now take place without all parties having to be in the same location, meaning that we have access to a whole network of performers without having to set foot out of the recording studio.
So what exactly is remote recording and why is it suddenly in high demand?
We use remote recording for several different reasons at Soho Sonic. The main area in which it is used is within the media industry. As professional sound engineers and audio producers, we are approached by a number of clients who want help in recording voiceovers. Whether this is for films, advertisements or documentaries, it’s clear that there is a high demand for these services.
Source Connect is technology that allows audio connections to take place between digital audio systems anywhere in the world. It enables direct to-the-timeline recordings to take place in real time, providing high-quality audio using just our internet connection.
We use it to collaborate with actors and directors around the world, regardless of their geographical location. For example, when an actor is in London but the director is in LA, we can use Source Connect to record the actor in our studio and send it directly to the producer using DropBox. He can listen in to the recording in real time and make comments or suggest improvements.
This is the same for music artists – the Source Connect audio software makes it easy for the producer to dial in and listen to someone being recorded hundreds of miles away.
We don’t think that there is anything more valuable than an actor or artist being able to receive live feedback.
Picture our engineers being able to hit the Record button, while an artist in the US hears the backing track through their computer, enabling them to play along. Our engineer is then able to record the performance directly into their DAW.
This is something that Soho Sonic has been doing efficiently, thanks to Steinberg’s VST Connect Pro. We are able to connect with any musician in the world, as long as they have a computer and internet connection. It’s revolutionised the way that artists and producers work together. Some critics may argue that it’s taking away the authentic feel of having everyone in the same place at the same time, but we think that the advantages far outweigh any negative aspects.
With our high-speed internet connection, we are guaranteed a perfect two-way video and audio link-up. It’s 100% effective, no matter what locations the musicians are located in.
Rejoice for Revoice
We’ve recently started using the newest version of the Revoice Pro software, and it’s proving to be an amazing eye-opener. This is mainly used to replace dialogue or correct audio. For example, in our studio, we would use it to match an original recording. If something is filmed on location in a busy street, there is a good chance that the audio or dialogue will be ruined. We can record using the Source Connect software, and the director can quickly listen in to how it’s being done. We did this recently while working with Fox in the US. We re-recorded badly-recorded audio that they had done on location, and the director was able to listen in to give his opinion on the job we did. It didn’t involve anyone having to leave the country; in fact, no one had to leave their office!
On the horizon
No one can deny the impact that improved technology has had on the world of music and media – it’s definitely made our job so much easier. We think that remote recording is the future of these industries. Too much time and money is spent getting people from one location to another, so it’s only natural that this is now something in high demand. Fingers crossed it remains something that is both efficient and essential.
Ofer Shabi is a producer/composer and managing director of Soho Sonic, a recording studio in London that has served the music industry for over a decade, accommodating musicians, record labels and media companies alike.