Technicolor (Montreal)

With state-of-the-art stages and award-winning sound teams, Technicolor chooses Avid to drive its new 900,000 sq. foot complex.

Avid announced that Technicolor Montreal has installed three System 5-MC integrated digital audio workstation (DAW) controllers. Technicolor Montreal — a Quebec-based film, video and audio post-production facility — finished installing the new consoles in July and has quickly come to value the flexibility and versatility of the improved workflows enabled by EuCon surface control technology.

Two System 5-MCs with 40 faders serve as Technicolor's main interface for two Nuendo systems and a Pro Tools system in the facility's famed dubbing theater, which was converted from a church. The third System 5-MC, with 16 faders, controls the studio's smaller film and DVD mixing room. Both rooms are built with Euphonix converters for AES-Analog-MADI connections and center around a Euphonix SH612 StudioHub digital router/patchbay. Picture playback is powered by Pyxis non-linear systems.

"We are very happy with system 5-MCs and are finding ourselves mixing more on the strips and less in front of the screen than we had been doing with other DAW controllers, it's a much more natural mixing environment," Gavin Fernandes, chief re-recording mixer for Technicolor Montreal, said. "We are also impressed with the StudioHub for changing between complicated routing setups. In fact, we're starting to wonder why we even bothered with standard patch bays."

EuCon, the high-speed Ethernet protocol from, enables System 5-MC to directly control both Pro Tools and Nuendo workstations. Though EuCon was designed specifically for audio and video software, it works with any Mac or PC application and can manage multiple workstations and applications simultaneously. This unique feature from Avid is critical to supporting the demanding projects Technicolor accepts.

For example, Technicolor recently completed post-production on a documentary, La Rivière aux Castors, for Les Films du Reve in France. The film's entire FX-Foley premix was done in Pro Tools. The music and narration had been edited in Nuendo. Although both edits existed in separate DAWs, the mixers only had to deal with one console interface. Thanks to the System 5-MC, the switch between platforms was seamless.

According to Fernandes, a future client watched the mixing process and asked if Technicolor could transfer his sessions from Pyramix. To simplify the transition, the studio suggested that he bring over his Pyramix system and they would hook it directly into the System 5-MC with EuCon. He could keep editing on his machine then pass it over to the Technicolor mix team who could directly mix the tracks on the System 5-MC surface.

"The first reaction of anyone who walks into the room, be it mixer or client, is to remark on the amount of visual feedback we get from the board, metering, encoders and faders," Fernandes said. "The System 5-MC also has the most solid, long-term feel of any board on the market today. Had we wanted to just ‘fit in' in the community, we could have gone with different choices. But we now have the potential to do something different, more powerful, more customizable and — honestly — more fun with the System 5-MC without having closed any other doors."