1 Month, 1 Week, 3 Days, 21 Hours, 56 Minutes ago.


SNK worked alongside the awesome Octagon agency and Oscar nominated director, Peter Cattaneo to sculpt creative sound design and take care of music & dialogue editing along with broadcasting mixing the various spots. The hilarious TV spot features ex footballer Peter Crouch explaining the ‘New Normal’ and how it affects the return of football. “Sanitised balls? Surely a post-match shower would do it.” has to be our favourite line

Ad name: ‘New normal. Same old football.’

Brand: Paddy Power


Agency: Octagon

Production Company: Academy films



 


7 Months, 3 Weeks, 6 Days, 5 Hours, 50 Minutes ago.


8D Audio - what's it all about?!

In the past week, 8D audio seems to have gone viral with everyone wanting to know exactly what it’s about and if it’s something new they can use in their advertising, content or music.

IRIS seemed to kick things off and it wasn’t long before I was sent the 8D Spotify playlists.

At SNK Studios along with our partners at Red Apple Creative, we’ve been producing ‘immersive’ or ‘3D’ audio for years. One of my favourite campaigns was a collaboration with Spotify and BBC Studios for Sir David Attenborough's Seven Worlds, One Planet nature documentary.

We produced seven spots using the distinctive sounds from each continent to create a disruptive and wildly immersive campaign, an example of which can be heard here (best experienced through headphones).

So when I heard of another dimension being added, I asked the experts who make music and immersive audio everyday, what they thought.

Here are some of our sound engineers’ responses on 8D audio:

Ben Darier - Sound Engineer, Red Apple Creative and SNK Studios:

Here is a quote from IRIS website: “This is achieved through a proprietary algorithm which splits out and increases the phase information sent to the brain”. So we know that they’re playing with phase. Listening to their A/B tests, it sounds like they’re boosting the mono signal and giving it a bit more warmth, making the voice sound a bit closer. As far as I’m concerned, it’s very similar to binaural synthesis (creating “3D” sounds from regular stereo sounds, like we do at Red Apple Creative). Nothing “8D” to it.

The 8D Tunes channel uses the same process but in a lot less subtle way, panning around the head of the listener (it actually sounds to me like it’s pendulating at the back of my head for some reason). It is just a little audio trick and doesn’t add anything to the music in this context as far as I’m concerned.

There is apparently 9D, 10D, 11D music on the market too, which could mean these musicians (or marketing directors) have found the remaining dimensions to make string theory valid?

More seriously, how can it be 8D when there are only 3 spatial dimensions as far as today’s science goes?

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Rob Baker - Sound Engineer, Red Apple Creative and SNK Studios:

To my ears, it sounds like it is using a very similar technique to our “immersive” or “3D” mixes. They have used a room reverb / impulse in a few examples with a mono source which gives the listener the sense of listening in a specific space. This method allows the sound source to move more noticeably around the space. We usually avoid this feature of the software when mixing for our immersive 3D audio as it doesn’t sound as clean and polished for an advert.

I’m confident 8D is a buzzword for an existing technology (and one that we already use). There seems to be a fair amount of audio processing going on - spatial processing using phase effects, room reverb / impulse response, EQ and overall signal / level balance. Some of the 8D audio is nicely detailed and well treated, but it’s more showing off the effect than improving the music. I would imagine Dolby Atmos to binaural downmix is being used in a few cases.

Personally I don’t see much point in 8D music where it’s slowly panning around the listener’s headspace as, for me, this makes the track sound a lot worse. You also have to create a mono source from the original stereo audio which detracts from the music just to create the 8D effect.

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Chris Bristow - Sound Engineer, Red Apple Creative and SNK Studios:

Yeah this just seems to be moving effects with essentially the same treatment we currently use for 3D audio. Whilst it might make it feel maybe more engaging as your brain is forced to follow the sound, there’s definitely nothing going on that is technically different from what we use for current spots, it’s all just turned up to 11 as they say. I think it’s safe to say that this is a marketing buzzword - I think overall it just takes away from the music a fair bit!

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Al Bolt - Sound Engineer Red Apple Creative and SNK Studios:

I’ve never heard of it. I’ll caveat this by saying I’m usually pretty cynical with stuff like this, so apologies if anything comes across bluntly; but to me it’s not founded in any science and it’s just a bit of a marketing gimmick. I can’t find anything on the site that says what it actually does which is always a red flag - anything really geared towards high fidelity always wears details like this on its sleeve. Using my ears, turning on the ‘IRIS’ function just applies a bassier EQ, turns it up and gets rid of any panning (making it mono), their example of Wish You Were Here doesn’t do it any favours. This takes out any intricacies in the work that the mixer and mastering engineer would have done. On certain tracks it might sound more impressive, just because the EQ is more favourable to headphones, but this could be achieved by the EQ in your phone settings if you desired.

The 8D Spotify playlist seems to me to be just ‘3D audio’ (binaural) - someone has spun the track around and added their own sound design, just a bit of a fun idea really, much less disagreeable than ‘IRIS’ (the name is just a bit misleading).

There’s no indication of what IRIS is actually doing - there’s nothing we couldn’t do with existing spatial audio techniques that we use for our ‘3D audio’. The 8D playlist is just someone having fun with a spatial binaural panner. It’s just buzzwords.

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So there’s the verdict: 8D audio is nothing new and in some cases, it’s making binaural or standard immersive and stereo sound worse.

Finally, I decided to put it to the test and asked our resident composer superstar and sound engineer wizard, Ben Bell to make one of our SNK Publishing Library tracks 8D.

Listen to the original here and the 8D here.

To quote Flight of the Conchords, that’s too many ds on the dancefloor for me.

3 Years, 10 Months, 1 Week, 2 Days, 3 Hours, 5 Minutes ago.


We are delighted to announce that, as of January 2017, Nick Roberts has joined forces with the SNK team. 



Using his extensive experience Nick will be helping to further develop the ADR offering here at our lovely Tottenham Court Road facility. He'll be working closely with the engineering and production teams to ensure we provide a world-class ADR service for TV drama and film. 

Existing in-house ADR Producer Jack Whitney is especially excited about working with Nick, having previously teamed up together on dozens of projects at other London facilities. Jack has extensive experience in co-ordinating ADR sessions for UK and international clients.

Nick is in the relatively rare position of having years of experience in both long and short-form audio, being happy mixing the sound for nationwide advertising campaigns as well as recording ADR for major feature films. What makes him happiest is working with actors and directors to glean top performances in both the VO booth and the ADR studio. He's worked in facilities such as DeLane Lea, Goldcrest, Halo, Hackenbacker & Mayflower.

Nick is looking forward to working with SNK over the coming months which coincides with the opening of Studio 7. Constructed from the ground up it is a brand new Dolby-approved Commercials and Trailers cinema mixing suite, which also provides an ideal acoustic and performance space for open-room ADR recording. Studio 7 complements Studio 1's existing Control Room / Booth setup which has been used recently by several big name actors.

You can read more about our ADR services including technical information, here.

Welcome to the team Nick!!! 

4 Years, 1 Month, 3 Weeks, 4 Days, 19 Hours, 37 Minutes ago.


Dolby Atmos comes to SNK




Work has now started on a brand new, 500 square foot reception space, new production offices and, the icing on the cake, our flagship audio suite, Studio 7. A cutting edge Dolby Atmos Studio with full 5.1 & 7.1 Commercials and Trailers Certification.

We've been working closely with the wonderful designers and acousticians team at Miloco Builds in conjunction with the clever people at Dolby to create a space capable of handling all the latest developments in the cinema and VR audio worlds. With a massive 360° speaker array from Berlin based manufacturer ADAM Audio, Studio 7 will be one of only a handful of studios in Central London with Dolby Atmos capabilities. In addition, the open layout will make the suite ideal for ADR recording and dubbing of long-form work.

Studio 7 will perfectly complement our current offering, allowing for greater flexibility, enhanced technical capability and superb client experience throughout the facility.

Why stop there?!

To handle the increase in audio capacity, we're also creating a beautiful new reception area on the first floor with custom furniture from AKA Design. This will provide a large, bright space for clients to prep, meet or just hang out after sessions.

We're also completely refurbishing the communal parts and upgrading some of the existing studios… not to mention installing new network, backup and security systems, and fitting out a brand new Production Office to house the 20 odd bookings and specialist audio gurus who make the real magic happen!

Don't worry though, SNK Studios will be remaining fully operational throughout the next few months, so it's very much business as usual. We'll be opening the new look facility in December 2016 with drink invites going out well into the New Year, so watch this space!


5 Years, 1 Month, 2 Weeks, 21 Hours, 17 Minutes ago.


The Hive


We're delighted to have been commissioned by the lovely people at Lupus Films for the voice recording of The Hive! Series two of the globally successful pre-school kids series revisits the lives of the Bee family and their adventures centred around Honeybee House.

SNK Studios are providing all the character recordings in tandem with the animation process. The series has already started to air on Disney Jr in the UK and we'll be squirrelling (or buzzing) away on the project well into 2016.


5 Years, 4 Months, 1 Week, 1 Day, 12 Hours, 27 Minutes ago.


Original Music and Sound Design

 
 
Teaming up once again with Golley Slater and producer Amanda Lowit, SNK Studios managed creative sound design, music composition and the final mix on both the English and Welsh TV commercials
 
Produced by Amanda Lowit at TV Production Office, these commercials will broadcast between the Summer and 1st December 2015 on channels in England and Wales promoting the new 'opt-out' policy for organ donation.
 
View the Welsh version of the commercial here.

5 Years, 4 Months, 1 Week, 1 Day, 12 Hours, 52 Minutes ago.


New Kids TV Series for Disney XD



SNK Studios are delighted to be providing the voice recording over the next year or so for the new animated TV comedy series, Counterfeit Cat. The series is a co-production between Wildseed Studios and Tricon Kids & Family for Disney XD EMEA.

All of the voices will be recorded at our Tottenham Court Road studios and include some familiar names: British comic actor Marc Wootton (Nativity!) voices ‘Max’, the anxious but vain house-cat, alongside comedian Kayvan Novak (Phonejacker) who voices ‘Betty’.

Aimed at the 6-12 year old audience the series consists of  52 x 11 minute episodes and 11 x 2 minute shorts all airing on Disney XD.

 

5 Years, 8 Months, 6 Days, 18 Hours, 50 Minutes ago.


Just a bit of banter

We recently worked with Golley Slater Cardif and The TV Production Office on this set of powerful films to promote the #whereistheline campaign.

Audio post, sound design and final dubbs were all provided for the two main films, which included a 90 second interactive digital campaign and two 30 second TV cutdowns.