Merging Technologies Delivers Atmos to Toronto’s Tiny Studio
With a career spanning more than four decades, Toronto-based audio production professional, Paul Novotny has had a transformative journey, from life on the road as a gigging bassist and jazz artist to a studio musician, composing for various visual media.
To fulfil his ambition to “write music, do sound design, work in immersive audio and do audio post for TV”, Novotny launched The Audio Producers, a full-service audio production company, which resulted in the construction of no less than six studios in the Greater Toronto Area, mixing and delivering music for over 1,000 TV shows episodes!
Novotny hasn’t stopped there. In his relentless pursuit of excellence - and continuing to push the boundaries of innovation - his latest venture is the aptly named ‘Tiny Studio’.
Built in response to the challenges posed by Dolby's Atmos studio guidelines, his concept was brought to fruition by Merging Technologies, whose commitment to sound quality, workflow efficiency, functionality and environmental sustainability positioned it as the ultimate hardware solution.
He set out to create “large scope, small scale, efficient operations in a small space that is economically sensitive to the realities of today’s music business” and to bring Atmos’ immersive capabilities to compact studios. However, Novotny faced challenges from the outset when he realised Tiny Studio’s compact footprint didn’t meet Dolby's guidelines for an Atmos studio listing; the minimum is 50 cubic metres.
“Their designation deals with Far-Field, Mid-Field, and Near-Field which is what most music Atmos rooms are”, he explains. “I thought there has to be a way to make an effective room for independent music creators that is efficient, accurate, and affordable in a small space, especially with the constraints of high priced real estate around the world.”
Undeterred, Novotny looked for a solution, which came in the form of an introduction to Swiss pro audio specialist, Merging Technologies.
The studio’s compact space ruled out a traditional mixing board, prompting Novotny to make some strategic decisions regarding equipment that would give him the necessary efficient workflow, power and input. Meanwhile, the acoustic challenges of such a small space - standing waves, low noise floor, short reverb time and the sound pressure levels mandated by Dolby - required some truly innovative solutions.
Thanks to Merging Technologies, these logistical, equipment and acoustics obstacles were met and Novotny’s studio now boasts both an enhanced audio quality and workflow. He cites Merging’s Anubis system as a “gamechanger” for anyone looking to build an Atmos room, praising its multichannel console and seamless integration with the Hapi MK II: “I've worked in a lot of big rooms and Tiny Studio sounds as good or better than most of the professionally tuned big rooms I've worked in the past 40 years. I couldn't do it without Anubis, Hapi MKII and Sonarworks Sound ID Reference.”
Not only did Merging’s technology meet Novotny’s stringent audio quality standards, the system also offered versatility, longevity and the potential for future expansion, thanks to its multicast capabilities: “From the sound to the workflow to the functionality, the expandability, and the economics, I realised it was the best out there. And it would be the last hardware I would buy in my lifetime. It will go the distance with me.”
Merging Technologies' exemplary customer service was also a key differentiator for Novotny, who wanted assurance that any technical queries would be addressed efficiently: “I had the confidence when I jumped into Anubis with Hapi Mk II that I was going to get the answers I needed from my team here in Toronto and also the team in Switzerland and elsewhere.”
Novotny's ground-breaking concept, realised by Merging Technologies' solutions, represents true innovation for immersive audio production and, as Atmos expands into automotive spaces, Tiny Studio's role may become yet more pivotal.