Margarita Mix, a FotoKem company, has expanded into the virtual reality arena with the addition of 360-degree sound rooms at their facilities in Santa Monica and Hollywood. Whether it’s creating sound design, mix and final print masters for VR video, or remixing current spots for a full-surround environment, Margarita Mix now offers producers and content owners high-quality sound solutions for the professional VR market. The new capabilities augment the full array of premium audio services for studios, networks and production companies offered at Margarita Mix.
Currently, the facility is collaborating with director-producer Art Haynie of Big Monkey Films on a VR concert film with the band Eagles of Death Metal, utilizing the Dolby Atmos system. The full-length film was recorded to commemorate the last show of the band’s 2015 tour, which was derailed mid-tour by the tragedy in Paris. It is expected to be available online and via apps next month. Haynie said, “It’s the wild west out there when it comes to VR filming and audio because it’s so new. Margarita Mix is enabling me to create truly cinematic, 360-degree head tracking sound for a concert film that is going to be exceptional and unlike anything you’ve heard or seen yet.”
Rand Gladden, senior vice president at FotoKem, said, “While audio technicians and artists in gaming have been working with interactive 360-degree sound for years, the requirements for that format in the cinematic and advertising realm differ. We are bringing sound design, editorial and mixing expertise to the next level based on our long history of industry-recognized work on short and long form projects.”
Margarita Mix has been working closely with major leaders in VR sound. Gladden added, “Much of the technology and equipment that is required for seamless VR is just now becoming available, giving us the opportunity to support manufacturers creating those tools and to develop our own solutions. It’s exciting to be creating new workflows and guiding technology companies into a new frontier.”
With nearly 40 years of award-winning sound expertise, the facility has the talent to get the job done. At the console are Margarita Mix’s multi-award winning re-recording mixers Paul Hurtubise and Nathan Dubin in the Santa Monica facility, and Konrad Piñon and Michael Greenberg in Hollywood. All four mixers have VR sound experience. They are backed by senior technical engineer Pat Stoltz, who has more than 15 years of immersive audio experience.
Piñon said, “We’re incredibly excited about the opportunities that VR offers us as mixers. We are now able to expand upon our multi-channel mixing experience and go further into a creative space. The team here at Margarita Mix has built a technical environment that supports the artistic process and assists in establishing workflow solutions. As the boundaries of VR expand, we are excited to join our customers in creating amazing, immersive experiences.”
Regardless of format or streaming platform, Margarita Mix is able to deliver projects in accordance with any specifications. Veneta Butler, general manager of Margarita Mix, said they are partnering with many agencies to provide high-level creative and technical VR services for this burgeoning market.
“Margarita Mix has always provided excellent audio service and sound design for the many animated series and projects we've produced,” said Joel Kuwahara, co-founder, executive producer and head of technology at Bento Box Entertainment, an Emmy-award winning studio. “They were my first stop when I needed 360 audio for a recent VR project with Bob’s Burgers, and the results were amazing.”
Margarita Mix www.margmix.com.