Audio Layback and Restoration

Richard Evans - Audio Specialist

Richard Evans, a long time veteran of the audio arts and ADS audio specialist, got his start in audio when he first worked for Cinesound, the oldest post production studio for audio, and later moved to Vidfilm. He then founded the Best Little Post House in Hollywood (sound design and mixing, including Automated Dialogue Replacement (ADR), Foley, and narration) and later joined ADS as the head of audio restoration. Richard's audio expertise started in the analog realm where he learned from some of the most renowned audio pioneers that had been working on film since the early days of sound in the 20’s and 30’s – legends like Zahm Yamamoto, Wayne Nakatsu, Mark Rosette. These audio pioneers taught him the proper way to lay down sound and guided him in using editing, sweetening and mastering techniques that he uses today. “My job at ADS is to make the sound as pure as it can be keeping true to the original source. By combining state-of-the-art equipment with a variety of techniques I've learned from decades of experience, I can quickly remove ticks and pops from a bad track to recreating seamless ambiance pieces to a background track. Critical hearing, from minute amplitude and pitch differences, to the phasing of each track and how it marries into the final composition are key.”

ADS Audio Layback and Restoration Services

Today, Richard focuses on a variety of services for his many ADS clients - Restoration, Laybacks, Conforms, and Dolby Digital, to name a few. He adds, “The advantage of working for ADS is they have worked with every format related to film and video. There is nothing we can’t handle – from 24 track Dash, ½”, ¼” - and any other format, including all the digital file formats. This is a big challenge in many studios today where most audio engineers aren't familiar with the nuisances of old formats and the use of legacy gear so they’re not able to move them to a new format easily, if at all; for example starting with a mag format or 24 track and conforming it to a 23.98 film speed. You must understand the analog process to be able to know what it takes to get it the desired format and be able to run at the right speed and pitch - that takes experience.” ADS is also one of the few studios that keeps legacy and current equipment in perfect working order for any particular conversion project. As such, the facility has a vast wealth of rarely used equipment like mag or analog playback machines to help studios convert from mag or tape to any number of newer digital file formats.

Experience Where it Counts

Aside from restoration projects, ADS offers layback services where Richard takes different sources and lays them back to HD and SD formats or syncing to file, as well as doing laybacks to current titles, foreign laybacks – adding languages for every country from Icelandic to Chinese. From there, Richard performs file conversions, file format creation, and laybacks to various sources using the latest software tools. Adds Richard, " There is always something out of sync after a conversion. There are no software tools that can emulate human hearing and decades of experience - that's my value added benefit because I know how to use the necessary equipment to make every project the best that it can be." ADS's notoriety has also caught the attention of many foreign markets for file based workflows. A studio needed Edward Scissor Hands for Australia. They had a 23.98 file source but needed it to be converted to 25 frames to match the picture. For this project, ADS needed to do a conversion of the file itself because it came from a mag source in reel form. Richard loaded it into Pro Tools, synced it to the new picture, created a long file to match the long picture, then put it on disk and shipped it to Australia. "We made sure every little thing is taken care of since foreign QC are some of the toughest standards in the world. We want it done once, done right, so the client is really happy while keeping the costs to a minimum since they only pay to do the process once."

Bottom Line: Trust in ADS's Commitment to Quality, Service, Value

"I know what I’m doing and I’m really good at what I do. I love the clients that I have here at ADS. I never cut corners and make sure there is enough time to get it done right. If I’m needed here 16 hours or more a day then that’s what I do. There are so many amazing people here at ADS that are so good at what they do there is no challenge that we can’t handle."