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Lawo Mixing Console Helps Capture Score For New Sci-Fi Film “Valerian”

French Oscar Award-winning composer Alexandre Desplat has contributed a score for the sci-fi blockbuster movie “Valerian,” which will hit theaters worldwide on July 26th as the most expensive movie produced in Europe. To capture the magic of his score, featuring the Orchestre National de France, Desplat enlisted the help of production company Europacorp, which supplied a Lawo mc266 audio production console to mix the sessions.

Setting up in Studio 104 at Radio France’s auditorium in Paris, the film’s sound engineer Peter Cobbin—who regularly works at Abbey Road Studios as Audio Director, where he is used to working on very large projects with some of the best equipment available—asked that the Lawo console be customized with unique settings in order to work the implement the capabilities and workflow he desired most. This flexibility made the mc266 audio production console the ideal desk for the task at hand.

“When we had to change our console six years ago, we searched for a replacement that could handle recording, postproduction, and live broadcast,” said Laurent Fracchia, Sound Director at Radio France. “We wanted a console with high-grade preamps and excellent summing buses, and the Lawo mc266 was the best on the market. I can change its layout while I’m mixing or recording or broadcasting without losing anything.” 

Fracchia said that completed projects are totally transportable on a simple USB stick, allowing him to record in an OB van and mix in the studio.

The complete score was recorded in ten days, accommodating the large Orchestre National de France – close to 105 musicians – plus the 32-strong choir from Radio France. In total, there were 158 audio sources plus six 5.1-channel groups to be processed and recorded at 96kHz, 24-bit resolution.

Lawo audio console specialist Hervé de Caro was on-site to oversee the production and to personalize the console to the specific needs of Cobbin, who wanted the same layout and routing flexibility he uses on his studio console bat Abbey Road Studios.

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