MIAMI, FL — Responding to the desires of the many viewers who have invested in home surround sound systems, CBS decided to offer a high quality, immersive 5.1 surround sound experience for the 2010 Super Bowl. Audio Alchemy, owned by sound designer, mixer and five-time Emmy Award Winner, Dave Smith, provided onsite mixing in Miami for CBS’ promos, features, and other pre- and in-game elements.
The onsite mixing required special equipment and expertise.
“As one of three audio rooms at the Super Bowl [CBS staff mixers ran the others], we’d be scrambling, from Monday through game time on Sunday,” said Smith. “We’d be mixing the pre-game Jay-Z tease, a re-tease right before the game, a movie trailer-type intro designed to pump up home viewers, the player intros, and several elements, features and bumpers throughout the game.”
“So we needed to line up a trusted on-site ProTools studio provider,” continued Smith. “We’d be designing a custom 5.1 editing studio to exacting specifications with this partner company. Then we’d need to ship it to Miami, test the system, tweak configurations for the remote environment, and prepare for a variety of on-site challenges −all within a tight deadline.”
Audio Alchemy turned to Creative Mobile Solutions for this time-sensitive, technology-intense project. Creative Mobile Solutions built a custom ProTools fly-pack, on par with a fully-featured New York City or Los Angeles studio. Everything was configured in Los Angeles then packaged and shipped to Smith and his team at the Super Bowl across the country.
But Miami gave the Audio Alchemy team some unexpected surprises. When the team arrived at Miami’s Sun Life, the scene was chaotic, with record rainfalls and monsoon-like conditions. Shipping schedules were compromised, ankle-deep puddles slowed set-up crews, and production teams of every type were scrambling around the parking lot trying to make it work.
Chaos inspired creativity. CBS had planned to have each mixer set up his/her own room. So Creative Mobile Solutions, who usually sends engineering teams on location for set-up and optimization, was challenged to guide the Audio Alchemy team through the equipment set-up process via telephone from Los Angeles. With Creative Mobile Solutions’ clear and user-friendly system design, plus remote guidance, Audio Alchemy built the studio from a 12-foot by 14-foot trailer.
“Creative Mobile Solutions was absolutely indispensable. Their support was tremendous, especially under those tight time constraints,” said Smith.
Two hours before kick-off, Audio Alchemy received another challenge. The Jay-Z piece needed to be re-worked. Audio Alchemy re-mixed it and had it ready ½ hour before air time. “Thanks to our workflow and our efficiency with the Creative Mobile Solutions equipment, we got it done easily,” said Smith.
“Creative Mobile Solutions was unbelievably accommodating,” said Smith. “They delivered anything and everything I needed. If we needed carpet over there or baffling equipment over here, they quickly found a way to make it work with the sound equipment.” “I’ve worked with a lot of tech people, suppliers and vendors,” continued Smith. “Sometimes you get friction. But with Creative Mobile Solutions, everything I asked for was there. They were indispensable. If our team of audio experts didn’t know the answer to something, the Creative Mobile Solutions team would find out. They provide a high level of service, they’re flexible, and if they don’t know the answer to something they find it fast. There’s no bluster and no B.S. They have some of the smartest guys I’ve met.”
The event went off without a hitch, and, thanks in large part to the “indispensable” efforts of Creative Mobile Solutions, the Audio Alchemy team was praised by CBS producers and editors for their professionalism under duress.