The team here at SNK Studios are delighted to confirm that for the second year running we have completed our TPN Assessment wtith a clean bill of health.
The team here at SNK Studios are delighted to confirm that for the second year running we have completed our TPN Assessment wtith a clean bill of health, allowing us to continue doing what we do best, in the world of Dubbing & ADR; creating content safely and securely for some of the biggest names in the business. The TPN is a joint venture between two major entertainment industry associations, the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) and the Content Delivery & Security Association (CDSA), worldwide leaders in third-party entertainment industry assessments. The TPN is backed by the biggest film studios and content creators in the world and the program helps companies like ours prevent leaks, breaches, and hacks of their members' movies and television shows prior to their intended release, and seeks to raise security awareness, preparedness, and capabilities within our industry.
The audit covered almost 300 separate checks from data IO, network and IT security, to management processes, training, culture, HR and building security. It's a huge achievement and in completing the process, SNK Studios remains a member of an elite group of vendors working with the world's leading creative companies.
SNK Studio's clients range across the feature film, localisation, broadcast and OTT landscapes and by taking part in the TPN, all our clients can be reassured that SNK Studios has the utmost respect for our clients most valuable assets; their IP and the media they create.
Our report is now available to all TPN members to view, or available on request directly from us. Drop us a line if you'd like more information.
Audio is at the core of everything we do, and our next generation it seems. We are so proud of our Head of Production, Sam Dillon, and his 5 year old (!!) son Patch for winning the Virgin Radio '12 Families of Christmas with Sky'- a national radio competition.
Sam and Patch wrote, produced and filmed a music video for a charity Christmas song for Make-A-Wish® UK. Their Covid Christmas anthem was played on the Chris Evans Breakfast Show on Virgin Radio, and has received over 28,000 views on YouTube.
‘A Normal Christmas’ tells of the woes the world is facing during these unprecedented times, whilst bringing hope and a reminder of what’s important.
Have yourself a really normal Christmas,
Even if it's sanitised this year,
We can love and share a laugh...
even if it's through a mask!
Patch is aiming to raise tons of cash for the amazing Make-A-Wish charity. Make-A-Wish UK grant magical wishes to enrich the lives of children and young people fighting life-threatening conditions. Granting their wish provides seriously ill children with hope for the future, strength to cope and resilience to fight their condition.
They’re given quality time away from the daily realities of living with their condition and given the chance to make magical memories they can treasure forever – whatever their future may hold. We want to transform the lives of 1,000 children this year by granting their One True Wish!
SNK Studios are delighted to announce that having been Senior Engineer for almost 7 years, Rob Baker is now stepping into the newly created, Head of Engineering role.
Whilst Rob will still be getting his hands on the desk and working closely with clients, he will now be splitting his time overseeing our team of 12 in-house Sound Engineers, across a broad range of areas from a creative and technical perspective. Rob will be working closely with the team on continual improvement of workflows and processes, with a particular focus on internal development. He will also be working closely with our Booking and Production teams to plan for new projects and workflows.
We have no doubt Rob will add huge value to the whole SNK family here and ultimately to our client's experience; ensuring we continue to provide a world class audio service. It's a very exciting development and we all look forward to him getting stuck in - well done Rob!
This month the spotlight is on our Front of House Runner, Jack as we spent some time finding out some fun facts we never knew about him. Jack is a very familiar and friendly face around the Studios, and it is his job to ensure everything runs like clockwork. From setting up sessions, greeting clients to supporting some of the transfer and IT requirements, Jack is always on hand to get stuck in with the busy day to day running of the facility. He also makes a mean cappucino!
What is your favourite way to unwind after a busy day at work?
My favourite way to unwind use to be getting a drink with friends, but as I can't do that as easily now I'd say it was either going for a long walk or cooking a big meal.
How would you define 'success' in life / or at work?
I would define success through happiness, as long as I am content with what I have done then I'd say I am successful.
If you had the chance to do away with one piece of modern technology, what would you abolish and why?
Bluetooth headpones! I have finally made the switch to a phone without a headphone jack an I find it so frustrating!
Which storybook / carton character are you most like and why?
Carton character I'd sat Wile E Coyote from The Looney Tunes (the one who tries to catch the Road Runner) as I can often get obsessed with a goal, and while my creative plans may not turn out the way I had planned- they are often fun to watch unfold.
If you had to have one song on repeat forever, what would it be and why?
As the other Dubbing guys know very well, the song I'd happily have on repeat is Friday by Rebecca Black. Always brings a smile to my face and I love tormenting the guys by playing it at work every Friday.
3 things on your bucket list?
I can't decide! Lockdown has made me realise there are so many places to go and things to do that I couldn't possibly narrow it down.
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
This month the spotlight is on one of our Sound Engineer’s Ben, as we sat down (from a social distance) and quizzed him on what makes him tick in life both inside and outside of work. Not only is Ben an award-nominated ADR Mixer, he’s also clued up in the department of sound design, and editing and mixing ads making him an invaluable asset to the SNK team.
What’s your go-to productivity 'tip' or 'trick' at work?
Putting the phone away! Also turning off notifications or putting it in silent mode so I don't get distracted by these intrusive nudges. Tighter deadlines usually help as well, which is usually the case for me as short form and ADR work constitute the main jobs I work on on a regular day.
If you could have dinner with four people, alive or dead, who would it be?
My late grandfather who was an accomplished musician and whom I would have loved to discuss my day to day with.
Sam Harris and Jordan Peterson, who are great debaters and who I believe have very interesting opinions on a lot of different subjects.
Does "not born' count? Because I would like to have a chat with my great great great grandson/daughter/person to take a sneak peak at whether humanity overcame today's challenges or not, and in what way.
Tell us your favourite project to date you've worked on and why?
I would say working on the second series of "Hanna", which I recorded the entire ADR for. It was amazing to be part of such a huge project and take care of the recording from start to finish. Also working closely with ADR Supervisor, Adele Fletcher was definitely a highlight for me!
What couldn't you start your day without?
Glass of water down the throat. Bang. Your eyes open instantly after that.
What is the best piece of career advice you've ever received?
You should always give your best, even for things that appear trivial, as well as being courteous and fair in your work. I guess it's more from personal experience, but basically work opportunities can come from anything and anyone. There is no project that should not require your full attention once you agree to work on it. Sometimes you get really interesting work from the people you least expect. Also, I like to think that someone could pull out anything I ever worked on and that I would know I gave my best to make it sound as good as possible.
When you were a child what did you want to be when you grew up?
Ok this one is a bit of a weird one, but I wanted to be a veterinarian that specialised in dolphins. I had a thing for dolphins - loved them. I had dolphin posters in my bedroom, a dolphin pillow cover, dolphin toys, the whole lot. I got sick of them eventually, even though I still think they're pretty cool.
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?
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.
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!
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.
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.