Downstream Digital in Portland Select System 5-MC

Post house commits to two systems for its primary audio post rooms integrated with Nuendo

Avid announced that Downstream Digital of Portland, Oregon recently purchased two System 5-MC Integrated DAW (digital audio workstation) Controllers. Slated to be operational at the start of calendar 2007, the two identically configured systems each include the MC Media Application Controller plus an additional 8 faders and are to be housed in custom fitted desks.

Downstream Digital is involved in a broad variety of disciplines, including A/V design and integration, film and video production, motion graphics, telecine, digital editing, dubbing, and sound design. Much of the company's work involves corporate messaging and advertising spots with an emphasis on sound for animation. The new System 5-MC workstation controllers will be housed in the company's two primary audio post suites and will serve as the core systems handling their post-production workflow.

According to Lance Limbocker, Downstream Digital's senior sound designer and head of the audio group, "We're really looking forward to integrating the new systems into our work environment. We looked at a number of mixing solutions and genuinely feel that the System 5-MC represents the best fit. The high degree of programmability that the control surface offers is particularly impressive. The System 5-MC enables us to define how we interface with any given DAW application—as opposed to being locked in to the way some design engineer thinks a given task should be done. Of equal importance, the hardware is first rate and provides all the tactile control you could ask for. The color coding feature of the faders makes it easy to visually keep track of assignments, and this is just one example of the system's well-thought out engineering."

While the System 5-MC has the ability to seamlessly switch from one DAW application to another at the press of a button, it was the EuCon high speed protocol and its tight integration with Steinberg Nuendo that helped seal the deal for the two systems. The EuCon high speed protocol enables extremely fast network access to any function in software applications supporting it, such as Nuendo. With the System 5-MC and Nuendo, the combined system offers blazing performance and bi-directional capability, enabling the MC to receive high-speed data such as metering and reflect this information on its vivid LCD display—facilitating fast and intuitive control.

"The way the System 5-MC and Nuendo work together is really impressive," states Limbocker. "Nuendo's support for the EuCon protocol creates an environment that is extremely responsive and highly customizable. And because the control surface is so highly configurable, it can evolve right along with advances to the software—making obsolescence less of an issue. Once we get acclimated to the new way of working, I can certainly envision us integrating Apple Computer's Final Cut Pro with the System 5-MC as well—and that's the beauty of the MC—it works with any application."

Downstrean Digital and Avid cemented the sales transaction during the AES show in San Francisco, CA. Reflecting on their conversations with the sales and technical staff, Limbocker commented, "The entire team was very supportive throughout the sales process. We had numerous questions, and their technical staff was extremely responsive and went to great lengths to provide us with the information we needed. Avid enjoys a reputation for excellent service and support, and we look forward to developing a long term partnership with the company. I'm confident our decision to go with the two System 5-MC workstations is right for our business."