Fitzrovia’s String and Tins offer bespoke sound design and composition services to clients as varied as Audi, Under Armour, Guardian News & Media and Three Mobile. In order to maintain their position in a constantly evolving marketplace, they need technology solutions that help them stay agile, flexible and efficient…
“The number one benefit of keeping up to date with technology is efficiency,” said Technical Engineer Kaspar Broyd. “It means we can turn around work more quickly for our clients, and direct more resources and brainpower to creative, stimulating work. And at the same time, the best technology can completely change the way we interact with a task, and bring something to the table itself.”
One such technology has been Dynamic Drive Pool (DDP) shared storage, widely acknowledged as the most effective shared storage solution for audio facilities.
“Prior to switching over to DDP, we worked on local drives in every studio and edit suite. At the beginning of every job, engineers would download the latest version of the project from a network RAID. Once finished, they would back up the project to another partition. The backups would then be manually ingested and archived the next day,” Kaspar explained.
“If a job had to change rooms suddenly, we had a little downtime restoring work, and we wanted to cut that out. Installing the DDP has made us far more flexible and greatly simplified the process for engineers and producers, who can now pick up and drop projects from any room at a moment’s notice.”
String and Tins team can now finish a voice recording session in one studio and instantly pick up edits in another room, so another voice artist can use the studio immediately. They’ve also been able to increase access to resources by pointing their sound effects server at a centralised DDP share, and their processes are “much more streamlined.”
“We’re saving a lot of man hours on our backup process, as we are able to clone our single working projects drive to our archive and simply cross check,” said Kaspar. “We’ve also future proofed ourselves for a good chunk of time, and can work with our second studio, which is on the other side of Soho, as if they’re in the next room rather than a mile away. Without the DDP we’d be a lot more limited.”
While they may owe their success to staying at the forefront of technology, String and Tins are keen to make sure they don’t put technical innovation ahead of their customers’ needs. “We are already involved in various 3D and ambisonic projects but, as a company, we are more interested in creating sonically rich work than in the exact tech of the moment,” Kaspar told us. “Whatever a client needs to do – be it VR, Dolby Atmos or something else – we can advise them, and the individual technologies are just a means to an end. That said, equipment like the DDP helps us get to where we need to be with the least interruptions!
“Our clients care about end results and reliability. Being able to instantly open a job we last worked on 3 years ago, from any suite, without having to spend a chunk of time restoring work from an archive, buys us more time to spend crafting our work.”
Delivery Ricky Gervais' latest in HDR.
Designing a custom broadcast space for the UK’s first eSports course.