Just a ten minute taxi ride from Birmingham city centre in a leafy suburb, The Audio Suite quietly provides a cost-effective, high-quality sound solution for today’s challenging broadcast budgets and ambitious film makers.
Over some thirty years Managing Director Neil Hillman has built a reputation for recording, editing, designing and mixing sound, that is second to none. He is a member of the USA’s prestigious Motion Picture Sound Editors (MPSE) and Britain’s Association of Motion Picture Sound (AMPS).
In fact, through the reach of the BBC, as well as the National Geographic and Discovery channels syndication process, it is likely that somewhere in the world, someone is listening to sound that Neil has processed in some form or other.
He explained to MBF Blogs that for more than a decade the Audio Suite has offered production and post-production consultancy coupled with bespoke, high value-added sound services from its two exceptionally well appointed Dolby mixing studios and adjoining ISDN voice studio, as well as specialist location sound recording.
What this all means is that they deliver award-winning, quality audio to picture for Indies, broadcasters and film makers that is firmly based on delivering innovative, imaginative and authoritative sound production. But it’s not just for film and TV; The Audio Suite also number video production companies, advertising agencies, B2B/B2C marketing and games designers among their clients.
Additionally, they have a unique, well established ‘regional hub’ system for their post-production services, to facilitate distance / remote-working on ADR (automated dialogue replacement) for drama, ISDN voice sessions for adverts, prime time TV series, and hugely successful viral videos and games.
In short, they have become one of the UK’s top audio-outsourcing specialists, working with expertise across a range of audio genres. Neil Hillman sums up the company philosophy simply as: ‘When the sound is bad, you notice the sound; when the sound is good, you notice the pictures’; and they have applied this to deliver high levels of quality to every project; keeping them on budget, and on time, every time.
So how did they hook up with MailBigFile? ‘We needed a Cloud-based distribution solution for our clients who weren’t as comfortable with a pure ftp server arrangement as we would have liked,’ says Neil, ‘so what we needed was an easy, browser-based platform, with a simple user-interface, one that we could brand and that our clients would quickly become familiar with.’
The Audio Suite started utilising MBF in 2010 and quickly adopted it as their main distribution pipe, particularly for its frequent hook-ups with London commercial sound studios via ISDN, who need the audio recorded by The Audio Suite quickly after a session has been completed.
Neil Hillman again – ‘We provide a fast-turnaround service for clients such as high-profile advertising agencies who entrust their talent to be recorded by us, whilst they direct and listen ‘down-the-line’. At times, in-between ‘takes’ we will be sending sections of the clean recording to them via MBF so that they can begin the assembly of different length commercials. Ultimately, this what our reputation is built on… delivering an ultra high-quality, fast-turnaround service, that is reliable.’
Finally, we asked Neil how he saw The Audio Suite in 10 years time and how MBF’s services might evolve to meet The Audio Suite’s changing needs. ‘There’s no doubt in my mind that the Cloud – in whatever industry-standard form it eventually takes – will play a significant part in the way that we both ingest and distribute media content. The Audio Suite intends to be around for a good while yet, and we certainly intend to remain at the forefront of our industry. MBF has the opportunity to be a part of that exciting future by building products and services that reflect this constantly-increasing requirement for secure, reliable and accountable data transfer.’
Some of the Audio Suite’s professional sound work in TV and film
The Audio Suite’s ADR Service
Neil Hillman’s Blog ‘Sound Thinking’