Sound Q&A: AudioEngine

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With offices in New York and Phoenix, AudioEngine is a prolific mixing and audio post shop, having worked on dozens of recent spots. Now, the shop has formally moved into the music and sound design arena with a high-profile Pepsi spot in the U.K. Featuring David Beckham, Beyonceand Jennifer Lopez in a Kill Bill fight scene, the spot's track is a techno-pop remix of "Wild Thing" using the two singers' vocals and tons of sound effects. Managing partner Michael Porte discusses the project and the business strategy behind the new move.

C: Why the move into music and sound design?

It was a logical progression for us. We were already doing a lot of sound design. [Mixers] Tom Goldblatt and Carl Mandelbaum, in particular, had a couple of clients that were relying on them more and more for the final outcome of music and sound effects. So we discussed it as a team and we decided that it would be an appropriate step. Additionally, when we opened in Phoenix, we knew we'd need to offer music there as part of services. As we began to get acclaim there, our New York clients started using us for music as well.

C: Did you hire any new composers?

We did add a staff composer, Jason Camiolo, who works out of our Phoenix studio, who was specifically hired to write music. Tom Goldblatt oversees sound design and music supervision. The other mixers, like Carl Mandelbaum, have always created sound design in a more modest capacity, and are now doing so on a larger level. Carl, who has always been in the sound design space, joined the company about a year ago with this progression in mind. We've also added technical capabilities to make this process feasible.

C: What kind of work are you most excited about now?

Work that has the complexity of Pepsi with a full complement of sound design and music. With Pepsi, we were given voice tracks and that was it, leaving plenty of room for creativity. It was a great challenge and we love that. The process was an interesting combination of combining our original music and sound design with tracks created by others, including Jennifer Lopez and Beyonce Knowles. We're very proud to call this our first official foray into this area; however, in addition to Pepsi, Jason Camiolo has done excellent work for the Phoenix Addys as well as projects for the University of Massachusetts, Arizona Lottery, Arizona Highways and Mercedes-Benz.

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