About Doug Mountain
Doug Mountain is a sound designer, sound editor and re-recording mixer. Having recorded and mixed audio for film, television and music for over 25 years, he remains one of the world's leading authorities on digital recording and digital-mixing technologies.
Having served for the last 15 years as sound designer and consulting engineer for the Grammy Awards®, over the years Doug has been involved with a number of award-winning TV and movie productions, such as Breaking Bad, The Mist, Super 8 and Sideways. Since System 6000 was first released, it has been an essential part of his toolbox.
Describing how System 6000 addressed some problems that the industry had at the time, 'TC gave us a box that could contain a 5.1 mix with multiband compression and also a way to contain the sub as well,' he considers. 'When you're re-mixing for film and television, you need to box things in a little bit. The System 6000 lets us do that with a single processor where all the channels are working together. So you knew that when you were boxing in a 5.1 mix, and you were setting certain thresholds and certain limitations, they were being met. In that respect alone, System 6000 did an excellent job.'
The re-recording mixer considers that the Unwrap Algorithm, which turns stereo material into 5.1 Surround, is one of the most important tools to hit the industry in a long time. Because of developments in home-audio systems as a result of the popularity of DVD and Blu-ray media, there was a growing demand for material to be up-mixed from stereo to 5.1.
'Various techniques had been tried at the time,' he states, 'but together with TC's engineers we came up with various versions of Unwrap - it really made a difference in the industry. It was a cost-effective way of meeting the requirements of the distribution. The Unwrap algorithm would take a Pro Logic mix and unlace it beautifully. It would steer just the right things into the surround, and give you this great unique content. You could even make changes on the fly - it was seamless. So, Unwrap quickly became the standard not only for broadcasting, home video, remixing and distribution, but also for original content such as feature films.'
The next big industry hurdle was mix containment. Over the years, the audio industry had suffered from a loudness problem, where the loudness was pushed more and more to the point where it became uncomfortable to listen to. 'We needed to start containing mixes and pulling them back down into a set of standards that was acceptable to everybody,' he says.
Doug describes the new Loudness Radar feature as a groundbreaking and efficient way to measure the average perceived loudness of sound productions. 'The radar does an amazing thing - it shows you where the energy level was over a period of time.' he explains. 'So you know where to go back in your project and fix the areas that are either too loud or too soft. With the System 6000, the Loudness radar and some of the other tools, it's really easy to contain a 5.1 mix and meet the specifications that the broadcasters require.
'Now when you listen to TV shows and the commercials kick in, listeners won't be blasted back, which is really nice. You also feel like your content still has some dynamic range; this box was an integral part of making the transition to these new loudness standards.
'From experience, I'll tell you that at the final stage of your mix you can rest assured that when it arrives at the consumer's home, it will sound exactly as you remember it, because the mix translates very well to smaller loudspeakers. The System 6000 is such an integral part of making that happen.'