Ruy Garcia Gets The Sound He’s After With Nugen Audio

Award-winning sound editor and designer Ruy Garcia used Nugen Audio’s Halo Upmix to complete the surround mixes for the Netflix release of 2019’s “Midsommar” and the theater premiere of “Wendy.”

Initially, both Midsommar and Wendy were 5.1 projects, but with the advent of streaming releases on the horizon, film execs requested Dolby Atmos-compliant mixes.

“In today’s mixing environment, you often have to make your projects simultaneously compatible with Atmos, 5.1 and stereo,” said Garcia. “It’s important to have tools that work well with the artistic side in conjunction with all these technical requirements. In the case of Midsommar, when it was seen in theaters, it was a very sonically complex, 5.1-format movie.”

After the film was sold to Apple TV, A24 and Supervising Sound Editor, Gene Park, hired Garcia to mix the Atmos version.

“With Wendy, we originally mixed in 5.1 and then, thanks to a Dolby Fellowship grant, had the opportunity to finish our mix in Atmos before it premiered,” he said, adding that Nugen Audio’s Halo Upmix allows for quick transparent Atmos capability.

From naturally extracted and expanded soundscapes to full cinematic big-stage enhancement, Halo Upmix delivers all the control needed to fine-tune surround mixes. “Halo Upmix is not only fully immersive, but its visual tools and sonics stand out from all the other upmixers on the market,” said Garcia. “Nugen’s Halo Upmix is useful for simultaneously delivering projects in both stereo and Atmos, and it has given us the option of making a really immersive sound field. For example, with Midsommar, there are scenes where the camera is tilting and rolling around. We literally took an entire piece of stereo score and made it flow all around us with the simple move of a fader. That was incredibly natural, and you could really feel it in the room.”

For Garcia, Nugen provides a vast array of other benefits. “I really like Nugen’s software because, when I’m mixing, I prefer not to leave one setting for the entire movie; I'm moving it all the time,” he said. “Nugen plug-ins allow me to have more in the center or more in the ceiling, when working between formats. They are really creative tools, not just converters. The graphics are also very informative, especially the meters, which provide visual cues for what we have to adjust. I also really like the Halo Upmix ‘exact’ control mode, which affords me the confidence of knowing that the original source integrity is precisely preserved. No matter what I’m working on, Nugen is part of my template.”

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