Avid Tools Sweeten ‘The Voice’ Audio Mixes

LOS ANGELES—I’ve been a music mixer for NBC’s Emmy Award-winning “The Voice” (currently in its seventh season), since the show’s first season in 2011. My goals are simple: Provide the best sounding mixes possible on air and keep the producers happy with how the show sounds for viewers at home. I first used Avid solutions seven years ago during my involvement with “American Idol,” and the results were so satisfactory that I began using Avid products on other projects as well.

Randy Faustino While searching for a new system for producing “The Voice,” I looked for a way to multitrack live shows without having to mix on the back end of a tape machine or hard drive recorder. Previously, all of my inputs had to be landed in the console, bused to a recording system, with the mixes then treated on the return of the record machine. This wasn’t a bad system, but if the record machine went offline, stopped or crashed for some reason, I was really “off-the-air.”

I finally settled on Avid’s Profile system with Venue software and Pro Tools. With this setup I can mix live without passing through the Pro Tools rig, allowing Pro Tools to record the head amps and not affecting what I’m doing live until we change the console over to HDX or Virtual Sound-check mode. Profile is fast, compact and extremely user-friendly. It sounds amazing and I love the available plug-ins.

For “The Voice,” I record every rehearsal with each contestant, creating snapshots for each scene (which incorporate all of the plug-in settings for each song) and multitracking every rehearsal. I then record the shows, make any band fixes and remix as required. With more than 100 blind auditions (which can take as long as two to three days), hours of rehearsals, guest star visits and performances and the live shows, our rehearsal time is extremely limited. As the Profile console was designed for live mixing, it makes everything go very quickly and easily.

With Virtual Soundcheck I can record rehearsals on Pro Tools, remix each performance, play these back to the artists, producers, and our music director, Paul Mirkovich. With his feedback, I then make changes to the mixes and store the new settings in their relative snapshots. Then we flip things back to stage mode and we’re ready for the show. We use the same process for guest stars and they’re always happy to see that we’re using Profile, as it’s what they use on the road.

Avid’s products have helped us in our work for quite a while, and when you need assistance, their people are as close as the phone.

For me, Profile with Venue software is the perfect platform for accomplishing my goals. It starts with a great sounding desk and there’s an assortment of plug-ins that can be configured any way you want. Being able to store the settings of each plug-in and associate the settings with any snapshot really makes mixing multiple bands or songs a breeze.

Randy Faustino is a music mixer for NBC’s “The Voice.” He may be contacted atrandyfaustino@dslextreme.com

For additional information, contact Avid at 818-557-5346 or visitwww.avid.com.