Professional Foley studio chooses Dynaudio’s premium studio monitors

Hemel Hempstead, UK – Earthsound Foley have chosen the Dynaudio Core 59 monitors for their new purpose-built Foley studio in Bedfordshire, UK.

Founded by business partners Jason Swanscott and Rob Price, the studio provides professional Foley and Sound Design services for TV, film and advertising, with past projects including Guy Ritchie’s The CovenantKandaharLuther and The Lazarus Project.

Studio structure

A ‘room within a room’, the Earthsound studio is housed inside a converted barn. Roughly 1000sq ft in size, the space is acoustically treated throughout, with a 5m high ceiling slanting down to 4m on the other side.

“One of the big issues you get with Foley studios is resonancy and vibrations, either from other surfaces, or from the room itself,” says Sound Designer Rob Price. “This affects the sounds you’re recording – that resonance can get into your footsteps and other effects. And as a viewer, the second you recognise that those feet aren’t really taking place outside, it takes you out of the immersion.”

“A lot of studios will have one single surface which they then lay their other surfaces on,” explains Foley Artist Jason Swanscott. “In our studio, we created a 10m x 10m space and dug down, then built ourselves a grid of concrete going straight down into the earth. So the pits are completely isolated from the inner walls of the studio. I don’t think anyone’s done that before on this scale, at least not in the UK.”


Props and Surfaces

Along with its prop room – stocked full of everything you’d expect from a Foley studio – Earthsound is well-equipped to cover any scenario the pair may need to tackle in their line of work, including a bedroom and a bathroom area for different interior sounds.

The wide range of floor pits feature all kinds of indoor and outdoor surfaces – various types of wood, marble, concrete and tarmac, as well as earth, grass and gravel – whilst two water pits allow for recording everything from puddles to large splashes, with one sloped for organically moving between different water depths.

“A lot of studios only have a small, 1m x 1m area for the artist to perform footsteps, sometimes even smaller” says Price. “We always wanted to improve on that – our idea was that the artist should be able to actually walk.

“All the surfaces are therefore in long strips, so that Jason can walk up and down. This way he can achieve all sorts of variety in his walk. And he can easily transition through a lot of different environments, which can be interchangeable for any interior or exterior we need. That’s why we kept everything close together, so Jason can move between environments in a single take.”

“At the end of the day I’m an artist,” says Swanscott. “I’m acting – I act every day. It could be a three-year-old little girl running across floorboards in slippers, or it could be a six-foot blonde with red stilettos on – I’ve actually got a couple of pairs of those as well!

“When people come in – other Foley Artists, Editors or Sound Supervisors – they say they can tell right away that the studio’s been built by an artist and a mixer, because everything’s in the right place. It’s all right there ready for them to use, and thought out logically ahead of time by us.”

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Studio rig & Dynaudio speakers

When it came to choosing a set of main speakers for their studio, the pair decided on Dynaudio’s flagship Core 59 monitors in an LCR configuration. A household name in UK pro audio and post-production circles, Dynaudio monitors are perfect for providing the attention to detail required in professional film sound.

“A lot of the Re-recording Mixers we know are premixing on them, so we wanted to line up our sound with what they have in their suites,” says Price. “That way, what we’re hearing is as similar as possible to what they’re hearing in their studios.”

“Yeah we asked a few mixers what they work on, and quite a few said Dynaudio, which is one of the reasons we went for these,” says Swanscott. “It’s been a big investment – we could have gone a lot cheaper and smaller – but it’s been well, well worth it.”

“Accurate monitoring is of course very important to what we do,” Price continues. “Especially stuff like the accuracy of transients. With foley you could be recording these very small, particular sounds in one moment, then have someone smashing through a wall in the next.

“You need a speaker that can translate all of these things. When you’re listening to something like footsteps for example, you need something that’s not accentuating the bottom end too much. You just want clarity on how much is actually being captured.

“The 59s have a fairly natural sound that’s translating well. We’re using them every day, and I’ve been really pleased with the sound of them so far.”

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About Synthax Audio UK 

Synthax Audio (UK) Ltd. is the UK distributor for RME, Ferrofish, Calrec, Dynaudio, DirectOut, Appsys ProAudio, TIERRA Audio, and Lauten Audio Microphones.

Supplying and supporting a nationwide network of specialist pro audio resellers, Synthax Audio UK offers the highest level of service to its growing customer base in the studio, broadcast production and live sound markets.

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