Fairlight systems deliver sound for the Grammys

Blackmagic Design has revealed that Sound Design Corporation has been using Fairlight DAWs with Xynergi controllers to deliver audio for major award shows, including the 59th Annual Grammy Awards.

Led by founder and CEO Paul Sandweiss, Sound Design Corporation relies on 12 Xynergi systems, with six in daily use at the company’s Los Angeles facility and two in daily use on TBS’ Conan, for which Sound Design Corporation built the audio broadcast facility.

Sound Design Corporation also uses four Xynergi systems in flypacks to record award shows and specials, such as the American Music Awards, the Billboard Music Awards, the Emmy Awards, and more.

The company has five Fairlight-equipped mixing suites, consisting of four dialogue rooms and one room equipped with Fairlight’s XE-6 fader for mixing music and vocal writing. All the machines are networked together, which Sandweiss noted is essential to their workflow.

“The networking is great because we can pass files back and forth with ease,” he said. “The machine room has a networked Xynergi that we can all access for sound effects, backup files from past work and more. We could be working on TV shows from any decade, so we have to hang onto content, and Fairlight lets us access it in just a few clicks.”

The Sound Design Corporation team is often tasked with delivering on networks’ censoring guidelines and time zones, extra foreign language deliverables, stem delivery and more, which can add up to 80 tracks of deliverables for one airing. “Having audio and video in the same box is a necessity, and I know Fairlight will always be frame and field accurate,” Sandweiss added.

The company relies on Fairlight’s built-in ability to independently advance or delay video to compensate latency in monitors, as Sandweiss explained: “While mixing, video monitors will sometimes be a field or frame late, which can add up to two or three frames of latency. All monitors have different latency, and while you want audio in sync, you don’t want to delay the audio because then you’re asking the faders to move late. Instead, Fairlight’s video playback advance tells it how many frames to advance, and boom, you are synced up.”

(Picture credit: Christopher Polk)