Recording and Production in the News
Prism Sound Helps Create a Monster Soundtrack For New King Kong MovieWellington, New Zealand – September 2005: With director Peter Jackson’s latest movie King Kong due to hit cinema screens on December 14th, the sound team working on the project are currently in New Zealand completing the music and effects for the film.
King Kong - released December 14th
Included in the extensive list of equipment being used on this project are six Prism Sound ADA-8XR multi-channel converters and processors – units that were recently awarded the coveted PAR Excellence Award 2005 by Pro Audio Review and nominated for the 2006 TEC Awards.
Los Angeles-based equipment rental company Advanced Audio Rental, which recently began stocking the new ADA-8XRs, supplied the converters to the music scoring team.
Paul Levy, head of Advanced Audio Rental, says: “We’ve stocked Prism ADA-8 converters for some time, but when the company brought out the new ADA-8XR units we realised they were perfect for the film community because they operate at sampling rates of up to 192kHz and boast even greater analogue performance. They are also 100% compatible with Pro Tools HD and, because they do not require a Digidesign 192 I/O interface, they are ideal for people working on location or moving around from studio to studio – as is the case with the King Kong crew.”
John Kurlander, chief recording engineer for the music score of the movie, chose Prism Sound converters because they had proved so useful during the recording of Jackson’s Lord Of The Rings trilogy.
“Our main reason for choosing Prism Sound converters was continuity,” he explains. “They performed brilliantly during our Lord Of The Rings recordings because they work so well with the Avalon mic pres we use and, indeed, with the whole signal chain. Therefore it made sense to use them again. The only problem we had was sourcing the new ADA-8XRs because none were available in New Zealand, which is where we have been trying to source most of our equipment for this film. Luckily, Frank Oglethorpe, Prism Sound’s representative in the US, was able to help by putting me in touch with Advanced Audio Rental, which has recently started stocking the units. Between Advanced Audio Rental and Prism Sound we were able to access the six units we needed.”
For the King Kong project, Peter Jackson is working with the same music team that were involved with the Lord Of The Rings trilogy, but this time rather than scoring in London he has kept the entire production to New Zealand, which is where two of the three batches of recording sessions are taking place.
Kurlander explains: “The score is being recorded over three periods. The first took place during August in Berlin where we recorded the twelve cellists of the Berlin Philharmonic at Teldex Studios. They completed a series of themes that were composed by Howard Shore especially for them. After that we moved to New Zealand where we are recording the main score with the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra. The sessions are taking place at the Michael Fowler Centre in Wellington, which was chosen for its excellent acoustics. We are using a remote recording unit that was specially assembled for the purpose and we have already completed an initial two-week session. The remaining sessions will be carried out in October. An acoustically treated control room has been built backstage to accommodate our mixing facilities and mix engineer Pete Cobbin will be handling the mix on a Euphonix System 5, concurrent with the recording.”
The music team are recording 40 channels, with the Avalon 2022 and GML mic pres feeding directly into five Prism Sound ADA-8XRs. The sixth unit is being used as a spare.
“We are using Digilink direct to Pro Tools with AES into Pyramix,” Kurlander explains. “With these recordings we only carry out one analogue to digital conversion, therefore the sound quality of the converters has to be as good as it possibly can be. These new Prism Sound units easily fulfil the brief. I am most satisfied with the neutrality of these converters and their ability to allow the balance and depth of the orchestral sound to transfer faithfully into the digital domain, where it will remain throughout the mixing and mastering process.”
Kurlander adds that the Berlin sessions went very smoothly and everyone was delighted with the sound. “We’re now half way through the New Zealand sessions and it’s all sounding good here as well,” he says.
Once the recording is completed, the final dubbing and mixing sessions will take place at Park Road Post in Wellington – the same facility used by Jackson’s team for The Lord Of The Rings: The Return Of The King
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