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Mackie HR626 Studio Monitors Help Clarify The Matrix


Using Mackie Active powered studio monitors, Danetracks finishes post production sound editorial and design on

The Matrix Reloaded and turns attention to The Matrix Revolutions

  L to R: Dane A. Davis (Sound Designer/Supervising Sound Editor), Eric Lindemann (Sound Effects Designer), Julia Evershade (Supervising Sound Editor)
 

Four years after The Matrix hit the theaters, revolutionizing the special effects world and becoming a cult classic, The Matrix: Reloaded hit the big screen earlier this year... with enormous help from Mackie HR626 Active Studio Monitors. The core group of characters from the original smash hit - Neo (aka Thomas Anderson), Morpheus, Trinity and Agent Smith - all returned for another big-screen battle between what is truth and what is fiction.

But, as far as production, what happens sonically with the movie off the screen is the true battle for what is real and what isnít. For The Matrix movies especially, the post-production process is perhaps the most important part in creating real-sounding effects to complement the on-screen action. In order to achieve that, the Wachowski Brothers and Joel Silver tapped Danetracks, Inc. - a sound editorial facility in West Hollywood - for the post-production sound editorial and design on The Matrix Reloaded. Danetracks also worked on the first Matrix movie and is currently working on the third Matrix film, Matrix Revolutions.

Dane A. Davis, Sound Designer/Supervising Sound Editor for The Matrix Reloaded, and the rest of the Danetracks crew recently equipped their studios with Mackieís newest monitor, the dual 6-inch HR626 Active Studio Monitor, and he claims the HR626 monitors give him sound true to his mix.

"While sounding even and good to me, I trust the Mackies to tell me a truth that gets revealed on the final mix stage," commented Davis. "The worst thing for me is to hear details and harmonics in my own sound design studio environment that completely disappear when they project from the big theater speakers and have other layers superimposed onto them. I have yet to be surprised by harmonics or textures of my sounds on the dubbing stage that I did not hear previously in my studio from the Mackies. They are a great "preview" speaker to work through."

Davis founded Danetracks in 1986. During the 17-year history of the company, Davis has been Supervising Sound Editor/Sound Designer for an average of four films a year with The Matrix films, 8 Mile, Treasure Planet, Thir13en Ghosts, Red Planet, and Boogie Nights among his 80+ feature film credits.

Davis continued, "A big part of making sound effects that will 'read' when incorporated into a mix with hundreds of other sounds and musical instruments is knowing how much 'cut through' each sound has, meaning that its acoustic essence wonít easily be masked out. On a soundtrack as dense and complex as The Matrix movies, we need to hear all of our elements accurately ahead of time. Any clarity and definition we hear in our own rooms that is illusory by the standards of the final mix stage actually works against us. The Mackie HR626s, because they are a great nearfield approximation of a movie theater, help us make sounds that will realistically add to the whole of the soundtrack."

Dane A. Davis, Founder and President of Danetracks, is Sound Desinger/Supervising Sound Editor for the Matrix trilogy and has more than 80 feature films to his credit.  
 

Photo by Engle Meredith

Danetracks, Inc. has been around since 1986 and housed the production of movies such as The Matrix, 8 Mile, Red Planet, Boogie Nights and Pump Up the Volume.

 
 

Eric Lindemann, Sound Effects Designer at Danetracks, played a key role in the current Matrix film. Lindemann, who has worked on such films as The Matrix, The Green Mile, and Red Planet among many others, is currently working with Dane on The Matrix Revolutions. Lindemann, too, was impressed with the sound of the Mackie monitors.

"After hearing about the new Mackie HR626s I decided to audition a pair and was so impressed that I decided to buy a pair for my design studio for The Matrix Reloaded. This is one of the most challenging projects of my career, and the accuracy of the new 626s has played a major role in translating my work to the big screen," Lindemann noted. "I designed a large part of the effects including the guns, graphic displays and titles. The HR626s sounded very accurate and did not over-emphasize any one part of the mix."

Lindemann continued, "You could say that these monitors donít have a personality - they are very neutral. They clearly reveal what is good - and also whatís not so good - about the mixes. Their ability to resolve micro-dynamics enables me to more accurately apply EQ and compression. Also, these monitors translate very nicely to the re-recording stage. The integration of the highs, mids, and lows was seamless. They produced an accurate, stable image with a great deal of detail. For The Matrix Revolutions Iím using five 626s in a classic equidistant 5.1 channel surround orientation with the Mackie HRS150 handling the LFE channel. The Mackie sub's seemingly endless low end extension lets me accurately hear and feel the foundation of my mix."

When Paul Hackner, Chief Engineer at Danetracks and a long-time Mackie user, initially bought a pair of HR626s to add to the studio during the early sound design stages of The Matrix Reloaded, he trusted that they were what the studio needed for this large-scale project.

"We bought a pair of Mackie HR626s on pure faith and some of the positive magazine reviews - they delivered what was promised and then some," stated Hackner. "We proceeded to create almost of all of the 5.1 sound design for the film with the 626s, and the translation to the large dubbing theater was phenomenal."

Hackner continued, "They provide a microscopic clarity that is needed for serious music and post-production work in the small room environment. When monitoring with Mackies, the sound designer is able to focus on the creative process and transcend any other technical challenges. All in all, Mackie self-powered monitors are better than any monitor in their price range and compete with many products twice their price."
 

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