Location Sound

Our Approach to Audio

We are audio fanatics here at CenterStage Media. This probably stems from the fact that our team has over 80 years of aggregated audio experience accumulated from the areas of pro audio, live sound, audio post production, and entertainment. As such, we generally spend equal, if not greater, time determining our audio workflow during pre production planning for all shoots other than those where a boom or lav mic will suffice. There’s an old saying in the film world that goes something like this: “Good audio can make up for bad video, but good video can’t make up for bad audio.” We believe amazing results are created when the quality of both elements is maximized.

Our approach to capturing location sound depends on the nature of each job. For projects that will be finalized in post, we believe it’s always best to render a final mix in the controlled environment of our post studio. For event streaming work, we implement post production mastering processes in real time to maximize the audio quality of the broadcast.

We approach live music filming, whether for houses of worship, entertainment, or academia different from most video production shops. Leveraging our pro audio experience, we have the ability to multitrack record the event’s audio, using our own mic pre’s and splitter snakes, which yields ultimate flexibility in terms of audio mixing during post production. Most smaller market production shops rely on a Front Of House (FOH) board feed which offers very little options in post production. And rarely is a house mix appropriate for an end distributable mix. To listen to an audio-only example of the result of our workflow, click the play button below.

This MP3 clip is taken from a live concert DVD we filmed inside the Stein Hangar at the Waukesha County Airport/Crites Field in Waukesha, WI for an outstanding local Milwaukee '70's cover band named Stoneship Eden. All production and post production editing, mixing, and mastering of this clip were done using in house personnel and resources.

We own a full assortment of instrument and vocal studio microphones that are equally appropriate in a stage environment. Microphone selection, for just about any manner of audio recording, is perhaps the most crucial component of the audio recording chain. Our mic locker contains everything required to mic an entire backline of live instrumentation from symphony orchestras to rock bands and everything in between.

After production wraps, we take all of the multitracked audio back into our post production studio and begin mixing it down into either a stereo or 5.1 surround soundtrack for inclusion with the film footage shot during the event, using our primary mixing surface – a Tascam DM 3200 digital console that serves as the heart of our post production studio.

We work with our clients during post production to give them choices during the mixdown process because we want to make sure that our interpretation of the event is consistent with their vision. Multiple mixes often appear during post production depending on the desired distributables, be it broadcast television, MP3, DVD, or Internet media.

We believe it’s this process taken in its entirety, as well as our combined experience, that separates CenterStage Media from other production shops. We have the tools, the knowledge, and the resources to deliver first rate audio that will compliment, not derogate, the visuals of your production.

About Aaron J. Courtney

Aaron J. Courtney is the Director of Technical Production at CenterStage Media. He brings media production, marketing, web development, and graphic design skillsets to the firm. He began working with film cameras at age nine and has served in various media post production capacities for over 15 years. Connect with him on Google+ and LinkedIn and follow CenterStage on Twitter and Google+.

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