Real-Time Collaboration

The Mix Room: Finishing Audio Workflows Remotely

Introduction

Owned and operated by Jamie Mahaffey and Marty Taylor, The Mix Room is a full service, award-winning, audio-post completion service located in downtown Vancouver with a socially distanced workflow. Long before most of the industry was forced into distributed collaboration, Mahaffey and Taylor had made work from home workflows routine with built out home studios which are the mirror of the set-up to the facility enabling them to perform everything up to and including the final mix without having to be in the office. Their facility offers 5.1 mix studios and two editorial/premix suites along with ADR and voiceover. All rooms monitor Dolby Pro Logic and adhere to the Dial Norm protocol.

Products

ClearView Flex, Sohonet Media Network

Overview

Using ClearView Flex to collaborate with their clients in real-time from home as well as the facility

“We cast the net around with folks we knew in the industry and the feedback we got was to try Sohonet. Once we’d demoed ClearView Flex it was immediately clear that this was the way to be going.”

Jamie Mahaffey, Owner of The Mix Room
  • Real-time remote review -– from any location, on any device
  • Ultra-low latency

Challenge

The Mix Room needed the right infrastructure to facilitate every stage from dialogue edit to final broadcast deliverable but found the systems they were using to be ‘clunky, difficult, and lagging behind real-time’. These technical challenges were making it hard to function smoothly and so they cast the net around for another solution with folks they knew in the industry. The feedback was to try Sohonet.

Solution

The Mix Room began utilising Sohonet’s real-time, remote review tool ClearView Flex to perform work in progress, reviews, and final presentations with clients remotely. “We share files with clients, they send us back notes, we address those notes live with them over ClearView Flex and use real-time teleconferencing. It’s as close as possible an experience to us all being together in a studio. On using Flex, he adds, “We recently finished a session on an animated feature streaming media between ourselves and the client in New York for eight hours solid without a single blip. The lag between pressing the play button here and the person on the other end seeing it is just three frames or 3/30th of a second. That’s quite amazing.”

Result

While social distancing has temporarily precluded the physical presence of more than a couple of people at The Mix Room, the team have been just as busy during lockdown. Mahaffey comments, “One of the major factors that appeals to clients is that [Flex] does not require a third-party server to store the media, it is a portal from which we access the media and which ClearView Flex streams as an encrypted file. That’s the same whether we are in Vancouver or at our home studio. Clients want the guarantee of watertight security for their high-value media and Sohonet’s studio-grade locks and keys provides it.”