SANTA MONICA - Audio post studio Margarita Mix de Santa Monica, a subsidiary of The L.A. Studios, recently completed the 5.1 DVD sound design and mix for the Stone Temple Pilots "Thank You" CD/DVD. The client was Dean Gonzalez of Room (formerly The Cutting Room), who edited the three-hour DVD.
Gonzalez sifted through 12 years of VHS and Beta concert footage for this section of the DVD, including bootleg footage sent in by fans. "This footage, as well as some live pieces, had bad audio and we wanted to make sure it was mixed really well," says Gonzalez, who brought the project to the audio Margarita Mix de Santa Monica, because "I've worked with Jeff Levy several times, and I know he is an amazing mixer." He cut the project on an Avid Media Composer.
One of Gonzalez's crucial concerns was the 5.1 mix. "I knew that Jeff had experience with 5.1 as well as mixing longform, Gonzalez says. "I really like his style and sensibility toward clients, so I knew he'd be perfect for this project.
Levy, who has been with LA Studios since 1985 and with Margarita Mix de Santa Monica upon its 1999 inception, came to the project with solid experience mixing high-end commercials, including Super Bowl spots, film trailers and music videos for major hip-hop and rap artists. With his diverse background, he had an easy transition to the Stone Temple Pilots (STP) DVD project.
On the mix, Levy worked closely with STP guitarist Dean DeLeo, whom he describes as "having the best ears I've ever encountered." The major challenge, says Levy, was that the original material was all in stereo, which he had to format for the 5.1 surround sound mix. "We EQ'd all of the tracks in one way or another to try and bring out different elements in the stereo mixes," he says.
Working with a DSP Postation, Levy spent three weeks meticulously going from song to song, balancing out levels and making sure DeLeo got what he wanted. As we were working, the project evolved, he says. We wanted things to flow seamlessly so the locked picture was important."
The resulting DVD, which includes an hour of music videos and an hour of live footage from the fans, has been a head-bangin' success. There's talk right now of doing another STP documentary, says Room's Gonzalez. "If we do that, we will definitely be returning to Jeff and Margarita Mix de Santa Monica."