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34 Post • December 2009 For many in the audio post industry, 2009 has been a rollercoaster ride with many unexpected ups and downs. One of those ups has been the diversification of the types of proj- ects that many facilities now work on. New oppor tunities and the widespread acceptance of the Internet as a legitimate media outlet has helped many studios keep busy throughout these tough eco- nomic times. BRIAN REED President/Sound Designer Bam Studios Chicago ( Bam Studios has over 22 years of specialization in audio for television, radio, and film. STRENGTHS: "No matter what is going on with the economy, things still need to be recorded and mixed. I've seen a slow down in TV, but radio, corporate and Internet projects have all increased. I have found that clients are more apt to say, 'Instead of TV, lets do radio or Internet spots.' So, the audio industry is not an industry that is going to go away. "Another strength is how technology has opened the door for more ways of doing productions. There are more independent companies and projects than ever because technology has allowed more people to get into it. That means more recording, mixing and audio needs to be done. Also, clients have more avenues to get their message out there." WEAKNESSES: "Despite improved technology, the acceptance of lower quality is all around us. Even with better tools, things still may not be recorded or mixed right. People are willing to use MP3s, for example, and they're not thinking about audio enough. There seems to be a lack of education about audio over all, and we seem to be suffering because of that." OPPORTUNITIES: "One oppor tunity is, we have seen an up- swing with surround sound recording and mixing. The trend I am seeing here at Bam is more and more longer form projects coming in. All of those are surround sound mixes. "Another opportunity stems from the growth of the Internet, as more and more advertisers are putting their commercials on Web- sites. Corporations are not seeing Websites as just a pile of text and photos anymore. A lot more content, programs and commercials are on the Internet now. So, the opportunity to mix for the Internet is growing. The Web has also allowed us to be more efficient and collaborate with our clients better… with clients all over the world." THREATS: "I have to mention the economy.That has threatened everything, the world of post, advertising and companies promoting their products. The budgets are smaller and the deadlines seem to be much tighter. With the smaller budgets and tighter deadlines, there is a trend to skip the whole mixing process of a project. For example, I have heard people say that a project is just for the Inter- net or YouTube, so the mix doesn't matter. Well, I say no! If it's for the Internet, the need to properly mix it is even more! Computer speakers can be so crappy that we have to mix things differently if we know it is solely for the Internet. Like all our projects, we want to know if it's going to be played on TV, the Internet, a DVD, a laptop, or whatever. Each thing has different levels of acceptance, and we stress that to our clients all the time. "The acceptance of lower quality is also a threat. Thanks to iPods and MP3s, the idea that something can sound better than that is lost on many people." OUTLOOK 2010: "I am naturally optimistic. We have seen a dip in budgets and a little less TV, but we have seen more radio in place of that. We are getting more calls for film and documentar y-type stuff. There is a lot more corporate and interactive stuff. Our Web and interactive stuff is way up. That is mostly due to budgets just shifting and moving around. So, now our industry is more diverse." CHRIS JENKINS Senior VP/Oscar-winning Film Mixer Universal Studios Sound Universal City, CA ( STRENGTHS: "At the core, we have a very strong post production base with talent that is both diverse and gifted.We continue to focus on training and growing emerging talent." WEAKNESSES: "There has been a trend toward more formulaic stories and producers being encouraged to play it safer and safer. Over time, this focus on the short term will limit our industry across the board." OPPORTUNITIES: "The ever-growing new media platforms — iPods, mobile phones, game consoles, etc. — require specialized mastering and will continue to be an oppor tunity in 2010, along OUTLOOK AUDIO By Ron DiCesare Sounds GOOD Bam provided a final 5.1 mix for this one-hour show documenting Lollapalooza 2009 for Fuse TV.

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