Alan Meyerson Selects System 5-MC for Mixing Movie Scores

Avid announced the sale of the ultimate digital audio workstation (DAW) controller to award-winning scoring engineer Alan Meyerson. When it comes to mixing the music for Hollywood's movies, Meyerson is among a select group of audio engineers that handle the lion's share of the biggest features. Meyerson recorded and mixed King Kong, Over the Hedge and both Pirates of the Caribbean blockbusters. Meyerson's new System 5-MC consists of the MC Media Application Controller and 24-faders housed in the System 5 frame. The system was purchased in August and installed in September.

While Meyerson is frequently found on the sound stages of Todd-AO (NASDAQ: LWIRA), 20th Century Fox and other prestigious facilities, he recently installed a System 5-MC integrated digital audio workstation (DAW) controller in his personal studio, enabling him to work on projects without fighting Los Angeles' notorious freeway traffic.

With its ability to switch between multiple applications, combined with Avid's universal control protocol EuCon, the System 5-MC provides Meyerson the flexibility he requires with the added benefit of utilizing the strengths of each workstation environment.

"I do much of my film mixing on the System 5 and I've become quite a fan of that environment," Meyerson said. "I was looking for a similar system for my personal studio, but wanted to minimize the amount of hardware necessary to run a traditional System 5. Because of the nature of my work at home involves a lot of interaction with a DAW, I wanted a control surface capable of interacting with my DAW computers. The System 5-MC not only addressed my hardware concerns, but also provides a tremendous amount of functionality in terms of controlling my DAWs. Its ability to control multiple DAWs and switch between them at the press of a button was particularly appealing."

While speaking with members of Avid's sales and technical staff, Meyerson became intrigued with the approach taken by sound re-recording mixer John Ross at his studio. Ross also has a System 5-MC and is using Pro Tools® as his pre-dub system that feeds into Nuendo, where he then handles his automation.

"This setup appealed to me because it's very similar to the way I work on a standard System 5 console," Meyerson said. "I frequently have two or three Pro Tools rigs coming together at the System 5, where I create my pre mixes and then do all my automation. The process of feeding mix stems into Nuendo is very similar — and the System 5-MC with multiple DAWs made a lot of sense for the way I work."

"Nuendo is a really wonderful sounding environment and it supports a tremendous amount of inputs," Meyerson said. "With my System 5-MC, I'm running one Pro Tools rig with 56 outputs into 56 inputs of Nuendo, where I can run all of my orchestral tracks. I've essentially managed to re-create the environment that I work on when using a standard System 5 — all on my MC setup. With the System 5-MC, I can create my pre mixes in Pro Tools and bring multiple 5.1 mix stems up to my mixing environment, which is now Nuendo."

"With the MC's ability to toggle between Pro Tools and Nuendo at the press of a button, I can take advantage of each system's key features," Meyerson said. "I can easily go back into my pre mixes in Pro Tools and have everything just as I left it. This is a huge time-saver. I use the System 5-MC's Ethernet control of Pro Tools, then switch to Nuendo, which uses Avid's EuCon control protocol. The work environment created by combining the System 5-MC and Nuendo is amazing. Everything I need is right there on the mixing surface, and this enables me to work as though I were actually sitting behind a System 5."

"The templates were the biggest challenge in getting started," said Meyerson, "but everyone at Euphonix has been tremendously supportive. I'm really excited about the capabilities this system presents. Not only does the System 5-MC represent a very cost effective approach to my type of work, I also feel it is about as obsolescence proof as possible. Because the control surface has the ability to evolve right along with the software, I believe the System 5-MC will be viable for quite a long time — and that in itself is a rarity among professional audio products these days."