In early 1998, Grammy Award®-winning engineer/producer Robert Margouleff and engineer Brant Biles built MI Casa Studio, a facility dedicated to 5.1 mastering and post production. At the technical heart of their operation is the SADiE 24 96 Digital Audio Workstation. ‘We found ourselves spending a lot of time and money unnecessarily at other studios to do 5.1 mastering, ’ says MI Casa co-proprietor Biles.
Margouleff and Biles first came in contact with SADiE systems eight years ago during a remote recording gig in Chicago. ‘The engineer traveling with the show had the basic SADiE setup and loved it,’ recalls Biles. Since then, MI Casa Studio, designed as a home environment as opposed to a commercial studio setting, has utilized the SADiE 24 96 to master in 5.1 and 2.0 for New Line Cinema DVD projects including, Boiler Room, Seven and House Party: 1, 2 and 3. They have also done extensive 5.1 DTS music mixing and mastering for groups such as The Gluey Brothers, The Eagles and Boyz II Men.
‘We aren’t a production house slamming stuff out day and night,’ says Margouleff, whose work has always been praised for its passion and inventiveness. ‘We don’t work by the hour, we work by the project. Brant and I want to perfect a project so it has integrity. The DVD platform is a big step forward in the way people experience movies. Audiences can hear every little thing.’
The studio has also been using the 24 96 in 5.1 for the restoration of motion pictures, as well as records, something most studios don’t do. “Every movie has different challenges when we re-master these films and get rid of the background noise,” explains Biles. ‘Sometimes portions of films aren’t recorded that well and the noise floor is shocking. The De-Click and the De-Noise in the SADiE really helps us with the distorted parts.’
‘I’d say 99 percent of our work is in 5.1 or 6.1 surround sound,’ adds Margouleff, who won an engineering Grammy for Stevie Wonder’s Innervisions. Directors are very specific about the integrity of their movies and DVD is a critical listening situation and a critical medium in a movie.