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Alea Jacta Opts For Flexibility With Soundtracs DS-00

Updates operation with two Soundtracs DS-00 consoles and five expanders (November 15, 2004)

Alea Jactas Brussels-based studio provides much of France and Belgiums film industry with a comprehensive post-production facility, working on major productions including Calvaire, Mme Edouard, Viva Laldjérie, 25° en hiver, Haut les coeurs and Frédéric Fonteynes most recent film, La Femme de Gille. Studio owners Franco Piscopo and Manu de Boissieu recently made the decision to update their operation with two Soundtracs DS-00 consoles plus five expanders.

Piscopo studied in Brussels and started his career with a four years stint in one of Paris larger studios. Ten years ago, he decided to go it alone and moved into the building that now houses Alea Jacta, doing all the necessary construction work along with his team. The studio was originally equipped with analogue consoles, but Piscopo and de Boissieu decided they needed something more flexible.

?When we were working with the analogue consoles we were limited to 80 inputs and it wasnt physically possible to have more because of the width of the studio, explains Piscopo. ?So we decided to go digital. We wanted to have full automation on all the settings as well as expandability and we did a lot of testing. We found the Soundtracs DS-00 to be very user friendly, dynamic and really easy to use. As a rule, anyone who stands near the console understands what we are doing, which is great for us.

The two DS-00s are linked via a MADI connection giving 190 inputs, with 39 busses on each output allowing 80 plus outputs. External monitoring of each console allows the two outputs to be mixed and the external monitor settings are used for levels, muting, etc. They are connected to a ProTools system, a Pyramix system and two Tascam MX2424's.

?Generally, well work on a film for between three and five weeks, continues Piscopo. ?We always work with automation. For feature films its quite impossible without it because they are such fluid projects. We dont have absolute settings for the length of the film and we can be changing things on each and every scene.

?The fact that we use two consoles is very handy because there are always two people mixing on long feature films. Each engineer works separately and has his own automation settings and savings: one will work on the dialogue and one on effects. But we also have a link between the two consoles via a MADI connection giving the second engineer the ability to mix a sound from one of the stems of the first console.

?The tendency now is to have more and more tracks coming from the sound editing and quite often we will have more than 100 tracks for a long feature film. We separate them and do a pre mix of dialogue and foleys, then we mix everything together, taking what weve premixed for the dialogue to give us a stem with music, a stem with effects and a stem with atmosphere. Its five weeks of intense work.

?Weve found that the way the console is split into different pieces is very useful for us. We can add to it or change the configuration and its very easy to modify. So far its been very good for us and were really pleased with the results.

About DiGiCo
DiGiCo (UK) Limited brings together the design and development skills that have helped create some of the world's most popular, successful and ground breaking live sound consoles, with the digital engineering expertise and manufacturing resources of Soundtracs.

Soundtracs was formed in the early 1980s by a group of recording engineers in search of a better studio console than the desks available at the time. The team's success led to two decades of audio innovation and, in 1992, its first development of a digital audio mixing console. In 1996 this program led to the launch of the acclaimed Virtua console, followed a year later by the DPC, in 1998 the DS3 and in 2000 the D4. Since 2000 the company's product range has been based entirely on digital audio.

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Related Keywords:Alea Jacta, Soundtracs, DS-00, expanders, consoles, Franco Piscopo, Manu de Boissieu, Soundtracs DS-00, MADI, ProTools, Pyramix, Tascam, MX2424, sound editing, DiGiCo, Virtua,

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