Studio and technical design consultancy White Mark Ltd has helped Award-winning post-production company Wave completely refurbish its facilities in London.
Established by sound designers Warren Hamilton and Johnnie Burn, Wave has a worldwide reputation for audio excellence and a client base that reads like a who’s who of advertising and film making. As part of the transformation of all floors and suites at the company’s Soho premises, Wave has installed a Dolby Atmos suite, which is already being used to mix cinema commercials in the new format. The launch of the suite makes Wave the only commercials facility in the world to run Atmos through an Exigy sound-system featuring 42 separate speaker cabinets positioned in exactly specified locations around Studio 3.
“Redesigning the complex has been a major project that has taken nearly three years to come to fruition,” says Warren Hamilton. “White Mark has been part of that process from the outset, helping to guide us through various stages of the remodelling that has seen a number of our rooms adjusted to 5.1 surround sound and improvements made to the overall layout of the facility.
“We are really delighted with the results White Mark have achieved, especially in our new Dolby Atmos room where we had to strip Studio 3 right back to its carcass in order to install the new monitoring system. Hats off to White Mark’s David Bell and Derek Buckingham, whose acoustic knowledge and expertise made this entire project such a resounding success.”
Hamilton says Wave took the decision to invest in a Dolby Atmos suite because it wanted to stay ahead of the game. Developed for the professional cinema and home theatre markets, Dolby Atmos provides the opportunity to create a truly immersive 360 degree soundscape. The realistic placement of full bandwidth sound means that, for the first time, consumers can feel a sense of height with the sound rising above them.
“This is a new format but it has incredible backing from Dolby and we believe it will have a significant impact on future business,” Hamilton says. “At Wave, we are renowned for offering customers the best that technology has to offer and we are very keen to maintain that reputation.”
Alongside the new Dolby Atmos suite, Wave also boasts seven audio suites for tracklaying, mixing and dubbing. All rooms are linked to a central server giving them access to a sound library with over two million sound effects.
Wave’s relationship with White Mark goes back many years – the company designed and installed Wave’s very first audio studios when the facility opened in 1999.
David Bell, Managing Director of White Mark, says: “Our long relationship with Wave is something of which we are all very proud. The true integration of interior design individuality and technical excellence is always a challenge to achieve, and our long common history helped enormously in the smooth running of the project.
“The design of Dolby Atmos rooms is very exacting and ensuring that the sound created in the studio space translates well to the larger theatre environment accurately demands a high level of acoustic control. The Exigy monitor system helps enormously in this; with its wide dispersion angle performance and physically shallow cabinets, integration with the room is significantly simplified. Our experience with Dolby as a company during Atmos projects in a number of countries also helped greatly in the creation of this truly world class space and their help is gratefully acknowledged.”
The final part of the Wave’s transformation jigsaw will slot into place at Christmas when Studio 5 comes back on line. All of the other studios are already operational, including the Dolby Atmos room where Wave’s Senior Engineer, Tony Rapaccioli, recently completed the company’s first mix in the new format – for Leo Burnett’s NSPCC spot Alfie the Astronaut.
About White Mark:
Established in 1997 by David Bell, John Dunnill, Derek Buckingham and Alan Cundell, White Mark Ltd specialises in production facilities for music recording and the film and television industries. Over two decades, it has designed and supervised the construction of more than 500 production suites worldwide. The company’s impressive client list encompasses some of the world’s most famous music recording facilities including Peter Gabriel’s Real World Studios in the UK, Germano Studios in New York, Hit Factory/Criteria Recording Studios in Miami, Strongroom in London and private studios for producers and musicians such as William Orbit and Damon Albarn. In the area of audio post production, White Mark has completed over 140 audio studios and many broadcast and video editing facilities for more than 60 companies in Soho alone. The list of clients includes Grand Central, Hackenbacker, Envy, De Lane Lea, Factory, Scramble, Lipsync, Molinare, DeLuxe, 750mph, NBC/Universal, Wave, Unit and Boom. Advertising agency clients include worldwide facilities for Hogarth International and AMV/BBDO on four continents.