Anticipating the launch of a new 3D audio format, entitled Auro-3D, Galaxy Studios is premiering the first 3D-modified AMS-Neve console in the world, writes Marc Maes.
“When you introduce a new format, the whole workflow should be in place: recording equipment, microphones and recording techniques, and the mastering tools to make 3D masters,” says Wilfried Van Baelen (pictured), owner of Belgium’s Galaxy Studios on its latest novelty, the 3D sound for home, multimedia and cinema.
Based on parameters issued by Van Baelen, AMS-Neve developed a brand new modular monitor panel to include the 3D routing and panning options in a later stage. “The whole ‘panning law’ had to be changed, meaning that AMS engineers had to go to the basics of the AMS-Neve console,” says Van Baelen. “I’m happy that AMS-Neve CEO Mark Crabtree was also convinced that 3D audio would be the next step - and he gave the green light to modify the AMS Neve 88 D and the DFC console. Both consoles were treated identically to improve full compatibility and expanded with two monitor facilities racks, allowing monitoring [of] up to 14 channels including two joysticks to control 3D panning between top and bottom layers.”
The 88D was modified and upgraded in Galaxy Studios last June, making it the first AMS-Neve ever equipped for Auro-3D productions up to 13.1 with automated 3D routings and panning.
The whole process was the result of thorough contact between AMS-Neve engineers and Galaxy’s team. While the AMS-Neve engineers developed the software, Patrick Lemmens - dedicated Auro-3D engineer at Galaxy Studios - ran the beta tests, and revealed, together with Van Baelen, eventual shortcomings and suggestions to improve user-friendliness, ergonomics and system logic.
“We’re the people using it and I’m happy the AMS-Neve engineers were open to our feedback,” says Patrick Lemmens.
Van Baelen wants to officially launch the Auro-3D format at the November Tonmeister Tagung in Germany.