Professional Sound - April 2018 - Page 29

POST 207 and TC Electronic System 6000 as well as a Rosendahl NanosyncHD, SSL AlphaLink, Optocore DD2FE and DD32FX, an RTW TM-7 loudness meter, and one M-52D. Given that ACR 7 is new, beyond the recent season of The Beaverton, there is little else consumers have seen that’s come out of that room, Baggley says. “But it’s going to become busier with more arts and entertainment-style productions and sports production.” As for Post 207, being CTV’s largest mix room, it does pretty much everything rang- ing from documentaries to news, music, and sports. “Basically, anything that requires wide shoulders and a comfy couch for clients to sit on,” Nunan says. “It’s our general, do every- thing room.” Now, given many people don’t appreci- ate the hoops – technological, budget-wise, and so on – that marquee content providers like CTV have to jump through to provide the stuff we see on a day-to-day basis and take for granted, some discussion of the elephant in the room – the fact that, in- creasingly, there’s more content vying for eyeballs that’s created, shall we say, using far more low-fi, democratic means than CTV uses – is warranted. For his part, Nunan isn’t particularly concerned about how people consume the product CTV creates. “Excellent loudspeakers and processing and an honest, well-calibrat- ed, believable, truthful listening environment are absolutely crucial. We do our job right when creating content. Part of that is to en- sure the survivability of that content across the entire media distribution ecosystem and that’s going to get much gnarlier in the future. It is still the case that we have a ‘one mix to rule them all’ environment. It doesn’t matter how it sounds in 5.1; it only matters how it sounds folded down to two channels, or mono, should that happen. So we need to have our loudness averages and range and our spectral range well-managed to ensure that we don’t create an off-normal experi- ence for someone should they be listening in a substantially sub-par environment, but that’s the same as it ever was. And I bristle mightily at any insinuation that, because people are watching the content on their iPads, that somehow we should be content with using iPads to make that content.” As commercial audio becomes more complex, you’d think people would under- stand that it requires a certain level of tech- nology and expertise to create what we see on a network like CTV every day, but, gener- ally, Nunan says, they don’t. “I think there’s an irreducible extent to which people are never going to get it.” That said, he adds: “There are not too many picture people who are laboring un- der the impression that because people are watching on their iPads, they should shoot everything on an iPad; they’re working with Red Epics and Arri Alexas and shooting at eye-bleedingly high frame rates and spatial resolutions knowing that they’re going to get a better product once the degradation in the digital distribution environment takes hold and someone’s looking at it on a tablet or phone. “My argument would be that we’re on the part of the map where it says, ‘Here Be Dragons,’” Nunan offers. “We’re in undiscov- ered territory here. How do we continue to insist that we should be identified as profes- sionals and be remunerated accordingly in a world where anybody can shoot a movie on their iPhone or blast out a podcast on GarageBand? Look, for people who are just entering the industry now or, god forbid, are students aiming to get into the industry, if you’re not properly terrified about what the future holds, you’re not paying attention, because the truth of the matter is that it’s not clear to any of us, ‘What makes me a profes- sional?’ If you ask a hundred people, you’re going to get a hundred different answers.” For now, they’re holding the line against the encroachment of these conve- nience-over-quality consumer technologies and still standing to guarantee that the con- tent they produce day in and day out, regard- less of circumstance, is going to be delivered in the best possible form. That’s partly why the continual evolu- tion of spaces like Post 207 and ACR 7 and any other Bell Media sees fit to work on will be an ongoing process. As Nunan mentioned earlier, the process is indeed like painting the Golden Gate Bridge: lengthy, largely thank- less, but necessary for one of the country’s top content producers. Take ACR 7: “Until some fairly substantial production requirement comes along that we’re not able to fulfill with what’s in there, we built that room to be so enormously wide that we don’t envision [a time] when we need to throw anything more at that room.” In other words, even though it may seem like the case, nothing is ever really finalized. Kevin Young is a Toronto-based musician and freelance writer. PROFESSIONAL SOUND • 29