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Pro-Sound News Article on Hitso Digital
September 2000 edition
Hitso and Run.....
Opened in 1996, Hitso Digital is a high-end audio post and music studio located in the central, Sukhumvit area, of Bangkok in Thailand.
Hitso was set up to meet the demands of a wide range of clients, from music producers to creative directors in the Southeast Asian region.
Says Managing Director, Tim Beale, "At Hitso we are fairly unique in that both our studios have the ability to work as either music studios or as Audio Post Production suites, locked to Betacam. This diversity definitely helps give us a significant commercial edge, particularly given the volatile nature of the music recording market"
The technical problems of running both music and audio post in the same room, with full 5.1 monitoring, were quite considerable "We had to link together several digital audio and video systems and allow communication and transfers from both Studios as well as maintaining video and digital sync. For Multitrack recording both Studios use the Otari RADAR II which is a 24 bit high resolution 48 track digital multitrack, a wide range of outboard equipment including Focusrite compressors and eq’s, TLA and Bellari Tube Compressors, TC M5000 and M2000 effects and a wide range of Tube mics, Neumans and Earthworks with monitoring from TAD and Genelec. For Audio Post both rooms are equipped with the SADiE 24:96 system with the Portia Random Access Digital Video option, Otari Timecode DAT’s, Barco Monitors and extensive music and sound effect libraries.
"Portia was quite an expensive option", says Beale,"but it saves headwear on the Betacams and does allow us to work much faster which clients like"
"We have been using Otari RADAR systems for over five years now and we recently upgraded to the new RADAR II. They have to be about the best sounding multitracks I have ever used", says Beale, "and I have used pretty much most of them over the last 15 years! Very warm and fat sounding. The quality of support and service we get from Otari Singapore is also very professional."
"The choice of Mixing Desk was quite a challenge and was the result of a lot of research and listening tests. In the end we chose the ‘Project X’ system from Metric Halo Labs. This is a 64 input digital board with 48 bit resolution on the EQ which helps give it a very smooth, warm sound – most of the time our Focusrite EQ’s lie idle in the rack – the Project X eq is that good! It is not a well known desk which surprises me really as the quality of sound is excellent, it’s good to use, and the price is realistic"
"The choice of the SADiE 24:96 system was easy – particularly as the local dealer, KDM Trading, offers an excellent level of customer support and regular free software upgrades. Again this is a very fast system in the hands of an experienced operator and the sound quality seems considerably better than the earlier SADiE Classic system." Says Beale. We also use it extensively for Mastering and for creating DDP masters for CD manufacture.
Right from the start we envisioned Studio 1 as being a full 5.1 room so the acoustic design and the main monitoring was all designed with this in mind. "Surround monitoring is far, far more complex to design and set up than standard stereo – phase, timing and reflections become much more critical. All the design for the acoustics and the custom TAD monitoring was designed and installed by Hitso Acoustics – our sister company who specialize in the design and construction of high performance studios and monitoring in Asia."
So far we have mixed several albums in surround formats – both 5.1 and also analog matrix surround. We use the Circle Surround matrix encoders which are essentially very similar to the Pro-Logic system except without the delay on the rear speakers. Provided that care is taken during the mix the end results can be most interesting – certainly in creative terms surround is a fascinating format to work in.
We have spent a considerable amount of time trying to create a very relaxed atmosphere here and clients seem to feel very much at home.
I think that if producers and artists are relaxed that counts for a great deal both in creative terms and for customer satisfaction with the end results.
We get a considerable amount of business from other Asian countries as well as from Europe and the States – basically clients can come here to work on their project in a top flight studio, stay in a five star hotel and have all the pleasures of an exotic location, superb beaches and friendly people for the same or less than it would cost them to use a basic studio in their own country. If needed we can arrange the complete package for overseas clients including flights and accommodation.
Tim Beale (formerly Chief Engineer of PolyGram, Thailand and R.S. Promotions), has been based in Thailand for over ten years. To date Hitso have worked with clients from all over Asia, Europe and USA on a variety of projects from full album productions and mastering to television commercials and feature films.
Tel (+66) 02-662-6188/9
Fax (+66) 02-258-7222
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