UK: Breathe Post Production - the combined operation formed by the post facilities of Air Studios and Strongroom - has made a substantial investment in new equipment to enhance its HD video and surround sound capabilities. An Avid Symphony Nitris HD on-line suite, Avid Media Composer off-line suites, a Final Cut Pro HD on-line room and a Midas Venice 160 console are among the results of a _350,000 outlay, writes David Davies.
While some of the new equipment will be used at both sites, the work focused primarily on expanding facilities at the Strongroom premises. For example, the revamped Studio 4 now features a 5.1 Genelec system, Pro Tools HD Accel, a Midas Venice 160 audio mixing console and a 42-inch HD plasma screen, enabling it to be used for a variety of music and post-production work.
A hectic schedule is already underway at the studio, which was only completed within the last week. "We've got everything on from vocals for Mel C to drama work for Discovery," Breathe's managing director, Rob Kelly, tells PSN-e.
The team has also been readying five new edit suites based around Avid Media Composer and Final Cut Pro HD, connected to a new eight terabyte Unity Lanshare shared storage system. This will enable Breathe to tackle multi-episode productions requiring several simultaneous suites - as is the case with a current commitment for BBC 3.
Software from Virtual Katy, Sony Oxford's Restoration Tools and a Dolby LM100 Broadcast Loudness Meter, among other items, have also been added to the Breathe inventory.
"Even before we were involved with Air, we had made the decision that in order to grow in post-production we needed to be able to offer the full service," explains Kelly. "Following the merger it made sense for us to have a fairly large expansion on the video side, ensuring that we can offer the complete service at both locations."
Owner/managing director Richard Boote adds: "This represents a substantial investment in our commitment to Breathe post production at Air and Strongroom. We will be spending a similar amount this year on the other areas of our business. I think it is important when everyone is predicting gloom and doom to invest and expand to be able to continue to provide the best facilities available."