The eight episode series Genius: Aretha depicts the life of the Queen of Soul, Aretha Franklin. The triple Emmy nominated series includes nods to the sound mix, completed by Soundtrack in New York. Dan Brennan has the likes of Quantico and Tomahawk under his name.
Soundtrack’s (New York) renowned re-recording mixer, Dan Brennan, talks working on the National Geographic episodic series ‘Genius: Aretha’ remotely.
Aretha Franklin, is aptly named the Queen of Soul as her music and powerful voice was the soundtrack to civil and womens rights throughout the 60s, and indeed onwards. Brennan states that the biggest challenge he and his team had was maintaining the integrity of Aretha’s iconic sound. Brennan states that “all shows have their complications and music is always unique because it can be so subjective. On Genius, we were recreating classic songs that people know from top to bottom. We all have memories of how old we were when we heard them, where we were and who we were with.’”
Once the actress Cynthia Erivo (responsible for playing Aretha Franklin) had performed the songs live on set, Brennan was tasked with the question of how his team could “take [that] work and elevate it more.” This complication was further exacerbated by the fact that the audio team was “split between LA, New York and Atlanta” therefore the first task was to figure out how to create a workable, dynamic workflow which would work regardless of “people being spread across the country.”
After trying many software solutions responsible for streaming to LA, Soundtrack came across ClearView Flex. Brennan stated that “once we put it [ClearView Flex] through its paces, we knew the stability and the quality was there.” Undoubtedly, on a show like this, what platform you listen on “really affects how a show like this works” but this was overcome with the fact that ClearView Flex is “really pretty solid in terms of audio fidelity.”
Following the completion of the series, Aretha: Genius has been triple nominated for an Emmy. Brennan states that with Aretha, “we were working with her songs and music, and trying to put the audience right in the story with her.” ClearView Flex enabled the team to maintain the creative intent and make the audience “feel the emotion of what you remember from those songs without rendering an exact copy.”