Creative Audio Post, an audio and video post-production studio based in New York City, is using Nugen Audio's Halo Upmix to provide automated upmixing of stereo audio to 5.1/7.1 sound for a wide variety of film and television projects.
The firm first applied Halo Upmix on Paradise is There, a just-completed film project for recording artist Natalie Merchant, to create ‘a seamless and high-quality audio soundtrack that is equally enjoyable in both stereo and surround sound.’
Founded in 2002 by Emmy Award-winning sound engineer Jacques Boulanger, who today serves as the company's CEO, sound designer, and re-recording mixer, Creative Audio Post has over the years worked with Merchant on numerous projects in collaboration with filmmaker Jon Bowermaster.
"Mixing Paradise is There was challenging because it included source audio in both 5.1 surround and stereo. We wanted to bring as many surround elements into the mix as possible, a job that required advanced upmixing capabilities," commented Boulanger. "Other upmixing plug-ins we've worked with have not lived up to our expectations, but Halo Upmix offered a powerful solution. It offers capabilities that simply aren't found in other plug-ins, such as the ability to produce full stable surrounds with precise downmix matching."
For Paradise is There, an especially valuable feature of Halo Upmix was its centre channel management, which uses proprietary neural network-based dialogue extraction to fine-tune the centre in a surround mix. While the centre track for film and television is typically reserved to anchor dialogue and narration, Halo Upmix enabled Boulanger to divert that content to the left and right speakers when needed and create, in effect, a "virtual centre.” Another important feature was the plug-in's ability to divert some audio to the back speakers for an ‘organic and natural sound.’
"Creative Audio Post is one of the most respected audio post-production facilities in New York City, with an Emmy-winning team dedicated to delivering inspired and unique productions," said Jon Schorah, creative director, Nugen Audio. "We're pleased that Halo Upmix has become an important link in the facility's strategy to ensure that every sound element contributes to a production's overall emotional soundscape."
Paradise is There is a memoir of Natalie Merchant's career coinciding with the 20th anniversary of her album, Tigerlily and her new music release, Paradise is There: The New Tigerlily Recordings.